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Showing posts from February, 2005

Double-checking with snopes :-)

One of my inboxes has started to be filled up again with a variety of mails... and while I usually just read and delete, this time there were a few that I thought I'd just swing by over to and check just how true some of those mails were. Let me share them with ya:

1. This picture was supposedly taken in front of an IHOP (International House of Pancakes, duh!), where the car owners were forced to stop on their way back from a Home Depot store (an Ikea / DIY type store). True or false? click here to get the whole story, and the verdict!

2. Oh my, one of those wonders of nature, izzit? Here's what snopes has to say about it...

3. I remember searching Snopes for some indication of true/false when I received that e-mail about archaeologists supposedly having uncovered gigantic bones proving the existance of a giant people. Not finding anything, I forwarded them the e-mail and asked them to investigate. Didn't hear anything back from them, but just now, as …

trials and tribulations : numero tres

I stumbled on a place to take quizzes that are much more educational (as opposed to the others I'd pointed you to in two previous postings, that were very much more for fun.): MSN's Encarta!

The ones I've taken so far:
1. Famous First Words: Identify the novel based on its opening sentence. (I got 6 / 13)
2. How Bookish are you: I got 6 / 10.
3. Flags of the World: I got 6 / 11.
Hmmmmmm... is there a pattern? I seem to be getting nothing but 6'es?!!

4. Chemistry: I got 9 out of 10!
Whoohoo! I guess getting a degree in Chemistry *does* help me out sometimes ;-p

There are many other quizzes in the following categories:
- Language & Literature
- Animals and Nature
- Geography
- Math and Science
- Sports
- (American) History
- Miscellaneous other stuff

Knock yourselves out! I hope this is handy for ya, especially during those times when there's nothing to do, and you've still got a few hours before you can actually leave that desk of yours and head home/ to the gym / wherever!

Iraq & apathy

I don't pretend to know much about world politics.

But I have a big problem with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, where the U.S. administration kept on and on about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posing a serious threat... only to have the same U.S. administration admit, how many months later, how many unnecessary civilian deaths later, how many millions of dollars better spent elsewhere later, that there were indeed no WMDs found.

I also don't understand how the eye of the U.S. settled on Iraq, when they were supposedly hunting Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 masterminds. They bombed Afghanistan, wrecked it, and the country has yet to recover... then suddenly the eye of Mordor swiveled and set its sight onto Iraq. (Can't you just picture that eye from the LOTR movies? )

I smell a "the end justifies the means" excuse coming up from the U.S. Administration...

... but wait... WHAT "end"???

I stumbled across a blog that provides an excellent inside look at what goes…

Of Urban Legends and Pregnant Men

An ex-colleague of mine sent me one of those e-mails the other day. Has it made its way to your inbox yet? The one about the pregnant man?

I dunno about any copyright issues, so I'm not posting the pix up, but they are pretty cool... there's even one of him on the cover of Time magazine.

I, of course, smelled an urban legend from the first sentence.

On one hand, it's amusing to receive such e-mails... but on the other hand, I can't help but wonder how many people actually BELIEVE everything they receive via e-mail... are so many people so gullible? or am I just better able to weed out inconsistencies in a story? or am I just a bucketful more cynical than most people put together?

Whatever it is... I highly recommend that you bookmark this This is an excellent site to click to as soon as you receive one of those too-fantastic-to-believe e-mails about cookie recipes, spiders under toilet seats, Shell Malaysia's warning about not using handphones at p…

"co*k-a-doodle-doo!" crowed the rooster

I'm dreaming of a white... Chinese New Year! That's right folks... it snowed last night... so I've got a white CNY here in Urbana, Illinois.

Here's wishing my Chinese readers a prosperous rooster year: Gong Xi Fa Chai!

an update on other stuff:

The snow is going to put a dampener on my almost daily walks I had last week... then again last week was unseasonably warm... I'd walk over to a newarby Perkin's, or Taco Bell, etc to "earn" my meal... or at least burn off a bit of the calories I'd be ingesting anyway... :p

The entire household (apartmenthold?) is battling a cold... it's one of those yes-and-no situations, where the virus has obviously slipped thru your body's defenses, and yet your body is still able to fight it... so it's not a full-blown cold: I just have a slight sore throat, plus occasional sneezing, and am generally feeling iccky. Even the cat is sneezing!! :-( And my back kinda twinged at me when I was carrying a load of la…

Memories of the Reader's Digest

This blog being a spinoff of the earlier one about reading:

Ah yes,,, the ubiquitous Reader’s Digest... those pocket-sized book-like magazines... right now I just can't stand reading them anymore: I feel they are made for people with short attention spans. However, they are a great thing to have early in your reading life, or later when you have not much time to spend devouring great long novels...

So how did I come across the RD? Well, my parents had a handful of them when I first started reading... Picked up more here and there - garage/book sales, "donations"... in fact, the most substantial addition was from mom's officemate: thanks to him we more than doubled our collection, including some dating back to the 1950's!

How much of an impact did the RD have on me? Well, I gotta admit, some of my all-time favourite jokes, and general information, come from stuff I read decades ago... in the RD... here are some noteworthy ones:

Likee speechee?
This must have happened …

Another Super Bowl has come and gone

The New England Patriots won their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years, keeping barely ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles 24- 21. The half-time show featured Macca!! Whooohooo!! Yes, after the fiasco of last year’s “wardrobe malfunction” the organizers decided to play it safe and have my favourite Beatle, Paul McCartney, to perform.

It was ok, not outstanding lah….

As much as I enjoy watching American football, I must say that they have chickened out in “toughness” compared to other similar (real) sports. The players are bundled up behind padding and helmets… you have a practically different team for offence and defense… and the numerous timeouts make a 1hr game take 3.5 hrs… compare that to the “real” football (a.k.a. soccer)… it’s the same people running around a huge field for 1.5 hrs… or if you want a better comparison, how about “footy” (a.k.a. rugby) which has more of the skirmishes you see in “american football” sans padding.

Oh, did you know that the winner of the Super Bowl is considered a…

Starting the reading habit

Among so many things that make me “different” than the average Malaysian, one I’d like to highlight today is my voracious appetite for books.

There’s some report out there that looks at the reading rate of nations, where reading does NOT include newspapers (and maybe magazines? I don’t remember). The intention was to see how many read for the pleasure of reading, as opposed to reading to get updated on the news, Malaysia didn’t do too well in that study.

Malaysia’s literacy rate is not too bad (upper 80%/ lower 90%?) for a 3rd world country… but wait, aren’t we insisting that we are NOT 3rd World? Oooookay then… let’s start behaving like 1st Worlders then… so so so many things need to happen to get us there… one no-regrets move is expanding your mind through books.

How did I get started on books? Role-modelling by parents was first: in my early years, I believe both my parents read books regularly (tho now it’s only mom who seems to be picking up books… dad just reads the papers, and g…