Wednesday, August 31, 2005

do u sudoku?

Tip o' the hat to: CosmoBlogger

Ugh!! I am addicted!!

This insiduous collection of nine columns and nine rows, put together into nine 3x3 boxes, filled with numbers 1-9, all of which must appear only once in each row/column/box ...

Different amounts of different numbers are given... it's up to you to fill in the rest... by pure logic... and maybe for the diabolical ones - by trial & error

Sounds simple... but oh boy, it takes quite a bit of brain power, logic, and most importantly to me - a system to jot down possible number combinations...

I first heard about it about a week ago: walked into a bookstore, and there were all these books on Sudoku - wondered what it was, but didn't take it further than that...

Then I saw Cosmo's little article about it...

And I figured, I might as well see what the hoo-ha was all about...

And... well... the rest is history....

Will write more later... it's 50mins past midnight, and I need sleeeeeeeeep!

Monday, August 29, 2005

a punny start to the week

Just got this in the mail, and totally *have* to pass it on!!
Dead Duck

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, your duck Cuddles has passed away."

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure?

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," he replied.

"How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever.

As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few moments later with a cat.

The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly
and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!", she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!!

The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150.00.

I just *l*o*v*e* puns!!


It's been a slow blogging weekend... because I've been kinda tied up exploring the world of sudoku! More about that soon.


Friday, August 26, 2005

... of religion, cadavers and verification

Tip o' the hat to: Aisehman My occasional visit to his site was greatly-rewarded today: I was pointed in the direction of an amazingly well-written article by Karen Armstrong, entitled Holy Scriptures: It is both wrong and dangerous to believe that literal truth can be found in religious texts. (Full article HERE). Please check it out.

For those who don't know of her, she wrote an excellent book entitiled "A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam" (1993) (Amazon link HERE) and explores the 'development' of the God of the three major faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The one time I read it, I only made it through to where she explains how the Holy Trinity concept came about. Will check it, and her other books, out at the library next time i'm there :-)


btw, what *am* I currently reading?

fyi, I'm not going thru what seems like a book a day like I was a month ago (some of my "book reviews" HERE and HERE)... but I *am* messing with two books at the same time right now, teehee!

1. Firstly, I'm slowly making my way through a compilation of fantasy short stories (Legends II): My last 'must read' here is a post-American Gods tale about our friend Shadow by Neil Gaiman. I'd actually borrowed Legends I & II solely for George R. R. Martin's short stories The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. They were ok lah, but set a bit too long (100 years or so) before the events that unfold in his "Song of Ice & Fire" saga. They'll do until book 4 comes out in Oct/Nov '05.

2. Now, THIS I highly recommend, and I'm only at Chapter 2! Ever heard of STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Amazon link HERE) by Mary Roach? She explores the world and history of dead bodies: so far I've 'watched' a seminar on practicing face-lifts on severed heads (that the day before had been the subject of nose-jobs practice)... and also of memorial services conducted by medical students at the end of their gross anatomy lab, encouraging respect for the body that helped them get a good grasp of the inner workings of the human body.

best of all, the writing style is totally appropriate: witty, respectful and macabre at all the right places... check it out!


oh, and I'm taking advantage of a new feature provided by blogger, and added comment verification... it will be an extra step for readers leaving comments, but at least it *should* eliminate the comment-bots.... do tell me it it's too much of a bother, ok?

ok buhbyyyeeeeeee!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lynne's Ribena / Long Island Ice Tea Challenge

A while ago, I got one of those knee-jerk mass-mailed "let's get all riled up and boycott this product" e-mail from an ex-colleague:

The previous topic had been the issue of "non-halal" sausages used at the IKEA store, and we all know how that had been blown totally out of proportion (just because the halal certification had expired doesn't mean they were now using pig intestines! And THINK before blindly passing on messages that don't make sense!!)... as usual ...

This time, the victim was Ribena, due to its alcohol content.

Yes... Ribena... (for those who don't know of Ribena: I suppose it's the equivalent of the ubiquitous Kool Aid, but in a concentrated syrup form. Only one flavour tho - blackberry (i think). It's probably as much a part of the British legacy as Bovril!)

A side note: I dunno how they advertised in the UK or elsewhere, but in Malaysia, soon after they introduced the "Ribenaberry" advertisements (cartoon characters, essentially a round purple-colored berry which is the face, with two small arms and legs jutting out of it), I suppose there must have been some concern for "indecency" ... cos all of a sudden, what I thot were androgynous characters suddenly changed! "Female" ribenaberries sported three tiny (fig?) leaves that were somehow attached to what could have been their boobs & crotch, while of course the male ribenaberries had that one leaf there between their legs. Looked so ridiculous! I think that probably drew more attention to sex/gender than before!

Anyway, I digress... yeah, it seems that there was an uproar among the British Muslim community about 2 months ago, when they somehow discovered or got confirmation that Ribena contained ethanol!

Never mind that its concentration was *o*n*l*y* 0.01% ethanol!

I'm sorry people, but that's nothing!!

To put that 0.01% into perspective... for those who may still have concerns about getting drunk off of Ribena despite a fatwa saying it's ok... I thought of a challenge we could do.

I'll call it Lynne's Ribena / Long Island Ice Tea Challenge

Every day for a week, you fix for yourself and consume 5 large glasses of Ribena, and I'll do the same, but instead of Ribena, I'll make it 5 large glasses of Long Island Ice Teas.

Then we each go through this list, and see how many we can say "YES!" to:

You Know You Drink Too Much When...

  • Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.
  • The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.
  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
  • When you go to donate blood and they ask what proof?
  • You think the Four Basic Food Groups are Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, and Hotties.
  • You have a "happy hour" at home
  • When you are sober, people ask you what's wrong?
  • You spend all night making a board game called Alcohol Land
  • Although you drove home the other night you can't remember how you got home or where you parked your car
  • "Hi ocifer. I'm not under the affluence of incohol."
  • Your favorite drink is ethanol.
  • "Why does everybody think I have a prinking droblem?! - I don't have a prinking droblem!"
  • "I don't have a drinking prob..pleb..prub.. *hic* Pash me another, tarbender."
  • You can spend a whole night holding up walls to prevent their (your) collapse.
  • You instinctively know where the alcohol is in a store you've never been in before
  • Clubs raise their drink prices because you haven't attended in a while
  • You think beer and ramen make a good breakfast
  • You frequently urinate outdoors.
  • When you first wake up and you're afraid you're gonna die and a half-hour later you're afraid you won't.
  • You fall asleep taking a dump.
  • You believe that spilling a beer is alcohol abuse.
  • You go to the john to hurl, but you take your beer with you.
  • You find it's easier to study drunk.
  • You're on a first name basis at the detoxification center.
  • Beer ads make sense.
  • You wake up to the sound of your dog drinking out of the toilet and you're so dry that it sounds mighty thirst quenching.
  • You wake the next morning and start drinking a few of the half empties left sitting around the room.
  • The space on your driver's license that tells your eye color reads "bloodshot".
  • You fall down a flight of steps and DON'T spill a drop of your beer.
  • You mix your cocktails by the litre.
  • You grow a beard because it stops beer that's running down your chin.
  • You put off urinating in hopes of reaching that near orgasmic Zen-like piss.
  • When the bottle says 20 standard drinks but you only get 5.
  • You spell Alcohol with a capital letter out of respect
  • You lose arguments with inanimate objects.
  • You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth
  • Your career won't progress beyond Senator from Massachusettes.
  • 24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence?? - I think not!
  • Two hands and just one mouth... - now THAT'S a drinking problem!
  • "Norm!" is what they say when you enter the bar.
  • You can focus better with one eye closed
  • The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
  • You fall off the floor.
  • You discover in the morning that liquid cleaning supplies have mysteriously disappeared.
  • Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!
  • Beer: it's not just for breakfast anymore.
  • The glass keeps missing your mouth.
  • Vampires get woozy after biting you.
  • At AA meeting you begin: "Hi, my name is... uh..."
  • Your idea of cutting back is less seltzer.
  • You wake up in the bedroom, your underwear is in the bathroom, you fell asleep clothed. - hmm.
  • Every night you're beginning to find your roomate's cat more and more attractive.
  • If you're on a diet, you cut back your food calories to allow for alcohol calories.
  • "Take me drunk, I'm home!"
  • You wake up naked lying in the corner of a bus depot.
  • You drink to get over a hangover.
  • You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends who drink too much.

(Many thanx to Baby Angel who e-mailed me this list!)

.... errrr..... I think you can have ALL the Ribena in the world and not worry about ANY of the above being true, okay? Why not go and worry about how hypocritical so many supposed Muslims (in my experience, in Malaysia) are... can pray 5 times a day, can fast every Monday & Thursday, can cover yourself from head to toe (female), can sport a "wau bulan" mustache/beard/goatee (male), but at work do you actually REALLY do your job, your amanah, what you are being paid to do, to the best of your ability, or do you do just the little you can get away with? Focus on just that one thing, and I tell ya, things will be *so* different!!

Again - I really doubt that ingestion of the 0.01% ethanol in Ribena is what will bar your way to "heaven".....

So chill, enjoy your glass of Ribena, and do some personal introspection, okay?

Cheers! (hic!)

Roll that Grand(y) Cinnamon!

mmmmmmm! had a cinnamon roll at breakfast today...

teringat everyone in the family was a big fan of Grandy's cinnamon rolls at one point in time...

I wonder how many people remember that the Grandy's franchise had hit Malaysia's shores in the early/mid-80's... The one location I know of is at the intersection of what is now the MRR-II and Jalan Ampang... kitty-korner from Ampang Point... Dunno what is in its place now... Its "mirror image" at the end of that block of shophouses was a Shakey's, then a KFC, and now it's a photo studio...

Something that sticks to my mind about this particular establishment was that it had a "walk-thru window" ... Uh-huh, that's right... it wasn't a drive-thru, but you could walk up to that window that opened onto the sidewalk, and you could place your order there instead of having to go in.

Looking back, I wonder what the use was... maybe it helped the smokers who didn't want to / couldn't go without their cancer-stick for the 5 - 10 minutes it would take them to get their food?

There is actually a Grandy's here in town, I'm kinda curious as to what else is actually on their menu... because all I have, apart from cinnamon rolls, is this very. vague. impression. that they. maybe. served. fried. chicken?

Then again... not really important izzit?


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How's your geography?

Yeah, you read that right... how *is* your geography?

Whenever people mention geography, I have two scenes/memories that pop into my mind:

1. I am in Form 1 (equiv to 7th grade?) borrowing a friend's Geography notebook, this friend being in another class and having Geography a day or two before me. Why borrow her notebook? So I can copy the notes in advance! Uh huh... geography class was actually a class of dictation! The teacher would read out, and we had to copy down what she said, then later study (read: memorize) everything that we'd written. Ugh. So I wanted a "free" period during Geography, just for once... didn't work.. turned out my friend's class was just two sentences ahead of mine :-(

2. I am in Form 4 (equiv to 10th grade?), and I *gasp!* had been distracted from that Geography lesson by these birds that were probably building a nest up there in the rafters/ceiling of the classroom, and therefore I was looking up instead of giving my full attention to the front of the class! Oh my, what a crime! I think the poor trainee was trying to assert her authority or something... totally misfired! She called on me, asking me to stand up while accusing me of "daydreaming about my boyfriend" instead of paying attention in class. I was so amazed at the stupidity of it all that I didn't bother even answering her: so I just gave her one of my (in)famous faces that I hope efficiently conveyed the contempt I had for her.

She got flustered, stopped talking.

I sat down.

She said I hadn't been given permission to sit down.

So I stood.

And she continued the lesson, with me standing.

And I continued to look straight at her with this amused smirk on my face.

A few minutes later she asked me to sit. I did, and continued to have this insolent expression on my face, targeted straight at her.

The bell rang, she left the clasroom, and that was the last lesson we had with her... I believe she exchanged classes with another trainee, and we never had her again.

Did I cause that to happen? Nope, she did! :-D

This is one of those *s*a*t*i*s*f*y*i*n*g* memories of my schooldays, btw :-)

On a related note: it was a bit of a shock for me, when I signed up for a Geography class in the U.S. ("Cities of the World") in my freshman year, to find that it was *not* about memorising the capital cities of various countries. I actually learned a lot about how different the (old) cities in Europe are (think the heart of Zurich, with those narrow cobblestone streets barely wide enough for a compact car!), compared to the (recent) cities in the U.S.: sprawling out, in a grid pattern; how the collective psyche of the nation actually can dictate how a city is built, and how it develops... take the U.S. with its seemingly never-ending supply of land... is it any wonder that their cities spread further and further out, hello suburbia!? I never looked at cities in the same way again.

And my opinion of the Malaysian "system" of "education" got lowered even more (thought that would be impossible, can't go any lower, but hey, it *did* get even lower!!). I don't think *anything* I sat through in my 11 years of schooling had any (positive / profound) effect on me...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway... so what brought about this trip down Geography memory lane?

THIS (Go ahead... click and enjoy!)

My results: got a score of 84%, avg error of 84 miles, and a total time of 514 secs.

How did you do? Share lah....

For those who didn't click yet: it's a web-based game testing your knowledge of the 50 U.S. states: you drag and drop one state at a time onto the map, and you'll see how far off you are. It gets progressively easier as you get more of the states on there, of course. My weakness is all those states up there in the North East: so many tiny ones!

But wait, the story doesn't stop there...

Me being me, I wanted to see what else this site had to offer... so I went to its main page ( and was gratified to see so so so many other educational web games! Haven't checked them out yet, but will certainly do so when I have the time.

For those at work, try it out lah when you have that 45mins to pretend to look busy before 5pm rolls around ;-)

Okay, happy exploring, my dear readers! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Now to even it out a little...

Picking on Men

Q: What should you do if you see your ex-husband rolling around in pain on the ground?
A: Shoot him again.

Q: How can you tell if a man is well-hung?
A: When you can barely slip your finger in between his neck and the noose.

Q: Why do little boys whine?
A: Because they are practicing to be men.

Q: How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One - he just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around him, or three - one to screw in the bulb and two to listen to him brag about the screwing part.

Q: What do you call a handcuffed man?
A: Trustworthy.

Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You didn't hold the pillow down long enough.

Q: Why does it take 100,000,000 sperm to fertilize one egg?
A: Because not one will stop and ask directions.

Q: Why do female black widow spiders kill their mates after mating?
A: To stop the snoring before it starts.

Q: Why do men whistle when they are sitting on the toilet?
A: Because it helps them remember which end they need to wipe.

Q: What is the difference between men and women .. ?
A: A woman wants one man to satisfy her every need while a man wants every woman to satisfy his one need.

Q: How does a man keep his youth?
A: By giving her money, furs and diamonds.

Q: How do you keep your husband from reading your email?
A: Rename the folder to 'Instruction Manuals'.


Monday, August 22, 2005

of women, time and money ...

Kinda funny.. I got this in the mail earlier today:

... hmmmm, got this on my b-day...

... from an ex-boss ???

heeheheheheh! no worries, this was in my inbox BEFORE my little poke at my ex-employer and its alleged petty bonus issues *phew!* teehee!

aaaanyway.... I thot the saying was "money is the root of all EVIL"??

Then again... to have the conclusion as "WOMEN = EVIL" would be quite... bad... to say the least... Even this, as it stands, subtly propagates misogyny, does it not? Sure, one could be offended, but I choose to take it humourously, so there. Hopefully noone out there (of my reader(s) at least) is gonna take it seriously either!

Ok that's the "quality" blog for the day... buh-byeeeeeeeee!!


yeah, I turn(ed) 33 today... happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :)

I'm not one to make a big deal out of my birthday, it's just another day, not a big deal, but I do appreciate birthday greetings, I take it as a sign that people actually have paid attention and took note somewhere/somewhen of the date; I'm actually surprised at who actually knows my b-day; got e-mails & sms'es from ex-colleagues I'd never have expected! So, thanx, y'all!! hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! I'll be replying the emails and sms'es in a day or two, ok?

Ended up on a unplanned weekend visit up north, hence the blog-silence... will be responding to the comments etc by fellow bloggers in a day or two, once I'm back in urbania (as opposed to suburbia, teehee!).

geee, just think.... at this time about a year ago I was calling up my bank on an almost daily basis waiting for the company's annual bonus to have been banked into my account before printing out my resignation letter! Aaaaaah, how time flies.... btw, a little bird told me that *this* year, due to a huge amount of resignations expected once the bonus is paid out, the company is delaying bonus payment till OCTOBER??!! If that is true... oh my... as petty as ever.... I am *so* glad I don't have to deal with that crap anymore!

Oh, guess what I got for my birthday? Tickets to see MEAT LOAF in concert in Cleveland Ohio on September 8th 2005. Whoooohoooooo!! It's sort of a 'delayed' gift, but it's fine with me :) Next is to *ugh* plan the trip: what else to see when we're up there (apart from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame... and my obligatory visit to the local Hard Rock Cafe [i *assume* there is one there??!!]). What else is out there??? Cornfields? have those here, teehee!

Okey dokey... catch y'all later!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

... of doors and mates?


I mentioned earlier coming across a blog that's devoted to pix of front doors, and wrote that I hoped to see entries from Malaysia... and yes, one from Cameron highlands was featured today!! Click HERE to see. Now, all you shutterbugs, no need to be a professional maaaah, go out there and take some pix, and submit lah... get more of Malaysia on the map!! Anyone from Terengganu? Kelantan? Penang? Malacca?

And in other news.... this got me shaking my head in amazement... did you know that someone actually wanted to ban the use of "mate" by security guards when addressing visitors to the Parliament House in Australia?

It seems that a notice was issued a few days ago reading "(Security) officers are requested to treat any visitor to Parliament House with respect and courtesy and not address them as 'mate' or use similar colloquialisms." This triggered such an uproar, and became a hot topic of conversation all over, that in the end, "they" folder under pressure, releasing another notice which just reminds guards "to treat everyone in Parliament House with respect and courtesy" and to refrain from using colloquialisms "where these might not be understood or appreciated."

I'm amazed that there should even have existed for a second such a thought to ban something that is truly Australian!

This brought back memories of my one visit to Aussie... there to watch the Aussie (Tennis) Open... them Ozzies and their weird accents... our "A" is their "E" ... when they say "A" we hear "I" !! I know of someone who was trying to find Baggage Carousel "i" - in vain - until he managed to decipher instructions which led him to "Baggage Carousel A."


Hooking up with the wrong guy?

"Ouch… the mother hooked up with the wrong guy, eh?" was my first thought when I saw a news article about...
... an 8-y.o. girl gone missing,,,
... suspected to have been kidnapped by the mom's boyfriend...
... who turned out to be a sex offender...

(was having trouble calling up the article as I blog this.. maybe by the time you read this will have fixed the problem? Click HERE for the article, July 24th 2005.) (It occurs to me that it may never become available: I wonder if it included the kid's name... cos in the next article below, they mention something about them "not normally identify(ing) victims of sexual assault" in news articles.)

Some good news: they have been found... in Mexico! The guy's still in custody of Mexican police, while the kid's been reunited with her family. (Article HERE)

Wonder how the dynamics of that household is gonna be like...

1. jealous of kid because boyfriend chose kid over mom
2. horrified that she could feel jealous of kid / blame kid for what happened
3. devastated because it was her boyfriend who kidnapped kid & probably sexually assaulted her

1. dunno who to trust ever again... after all, it was mom's boyfriend!
2. blames mom for what happened
3. blames self for what happened

I'm sure there's more... that's just all that pops into my head immediately...

ugh... what a mess...

on a related note: this is only useful in the U.S., but still, it's a start... Firstly, did you know that every state in the U.S. is required to develop some procedure for notifying concerned people when a person convicted of certain crimes is released near their homes. Different states have different procedures for making the required disclosures. "Every parent should have the right to know if a dangerous sexual predator moves into their neighborhood".

Among many tools available:

Malaysia has a long way to go to get anywhere close to this kind of disclosure... or enforcement, for that matter!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

poop, blood and kids

Ever been really embarassed by the stink you've left behind in the toilet after a dump?

Ever had to choke back your breakfast/lunch/dinner when walking into a toilet where someone *else* is either taking or has just left a stinky dump?

Well, if a new product is to be believed, stinky poop will soon be a thing of the past! Yeah, stumbled across a mention of a new product called "Whiff"... according to the website "We use underarm deodorant and we brush our teeth to avoid offending others with B.O. and bad breath. And we sure hope everyone else does the same, right?" so they ask for us all to "Take A Whiff" so that "Together, let's create Whiff Nation and make our world smell better!." They are completely serious about it...

... so keep an eye (or nose?) out for this product folks... maybe if they put it in the water we all drink in Malaysia, it may help solve the problem of stinky public toilets of Malaysia? Oh wait, people hardly drink piped-in water, no thanx to the poor water quality... darn!

Anyway,,, of course, thanx to Google, I found some related sites that I would never have known existed related to our poopy bodily function...

I held my breath and dove into one: The with taglines of being your #1 source for your #2 business or The Intellectual Appreciation of Poop Humor.

Found an entry in one of the PoopReport forums where readers are asked for ideas wrt polite messages for a person making stinky dumps to use the air freshener (a poop equivalent to "if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be neat and wipe the seat"). There were some GREAT ideas... do look them up HERE for a good laugh.


on a slightly-related note (bodily functions)... I also stumbled upon a 'feminine hygiene product' that has me quite surprised: never heard of "mooncups" before... here's a blog set-up by someone who wants to spead the word to malaysians (, and here's another website for a similar product (The Keeper). Anyone wanna try it out?


and on a totally different note: the college kids must be back in town already, and bored and therefore getting online since classes don't start till next week: tried for 20mins to dial-up before giving up this morning... even this stint online came about from a half-hearted attempt to check if I could just *get* online!! And I did. And so here's my half-assed (haahahahh!) blog article before I get cut off... next blog may only be in a few days... we'll see....


Monday, August 15, 2005

Planet X?

It's official: a planet has been confirmed beyond Pluto, and has been catalogued as 2003UB313 while awaiting its official name.
I'm no astronomer, but see here for an easy-to-read NASA article.

Is this Planet X? Or Nibiru? (X here as in unknown, not tenth)
Here are Wikipedia entries on Planet X and the tenth planet.

Thanx to this starting point, saw a mention about a Kolbrin "Bible", but there's not much information on it tho it seems to be yet another ancient text, one that explicitly links the Great Flood with the passing by of a deadly comet ("the Destroyer").

Following this trail a bit more, found the website of the person who seems most associated with the Kolbrin: James McCanney. His site is a bit messy (he says he does it all himself, so I suppose that explains it... so hard to navigate! Makes it a bit more difficult to find what it is he's talking about...).
Here's a pro-McCanney book review from MUFON-LA.
Here's an anti-McCanney website: Bad astronomy.

And McCanney refers to the one and only authority and copyright holder for the Kolbrin: the Culdian Trust.

This is all so interesting!! Oh, to be able to surf on something OTHER than dial-up!! aaarrrggghhhh!!

Sensible shoes?

With thanx to Lion3ss, I recently found my shoe type:

You scored as Sensible Flats. You are Sensible Flats. Practical and comfort-oriented, you'd rather go through life without the pain of a pulled arch. Still, you might want to walk on the wild side a litte more.

Sensible Flats




Classic Pumps


Quirky Shoes


Sexy Heels


What Kind of Shoes Are You?
created with

Of course, in reality, it was a rare day that I did not come in to work with my Beatles-esque ankle-high boots *grin!* And when not at work... my Nike sandals! and of course.... tennis shoes!! :)

Sam, *you* should see how you fare in this quiz! :)

Curry Wars!

Many thanx to jeff Ooi's short post linking to an online The Star article about Curry Wars taking place close to where I "live".

The article is HERE, but I've found out the hard way that links to The Star online articles expire after a month or so, so I've also reproduced it here. Happy reading! Malaysia Boleh!!!

Curry War: Paandi vs Paandi


PETALING JAYA: It is hot and spicy, with plenty of massala.

Dubbed the “Curry Feud of the Sri Paandis,” the rivalry between two restaurants with the same name has become a hot topic among the residents in Section 11 here.

The two South Indian food restaurants not only share the same name but their waiters also wear the same purple uniforms.

There is another similarity between their owners – both started their careers in a South Indian Chettinad shop in Brickfields, which also has the same name.

The first Sri Paandi restaurant run by K. Saraswathy started business in December 2000 in the quiet neighbourhood of the University Malaya Medical Centre.

The problem began when another Sri Paandi, owned by David Gnanamuthu, opened for business next door two months ago. And that was when all hell broke loose.

To complicate matters, David's father Chinnakannu Gnanamuthu, 60, has a 10% share in Saraswathy’s restaurant.

As a loyal gesture, she gave the share to Chinnakannu, who was one of the original owners of the first Brickfields outlet.

Chinnakannu hoped that everything would end well with the parties reaching agreement soon.

“There is no use fighting over serving food to the public. They must serve the food with a good heart so that the public will be satisfied.

“I have told them to settle whatever misunderstanding between them,” he added.

But in the meantime, the Sri Paandi vs Sri Paandi battle is brewing, with many customers confused over the same names.

The competition has become so intense that their waiters canvass for customers, some resorting to pulling in people as they walk by.

The daily scene outside the shops – with waiters walking around like sandwich boys with posters claiming to be from the original Sri Paandi outlet – has all trappings of a South Indian melodramatic movie.

One thing’s for sure, both serve the same South Indian Chettinad spicy dishes prepared by cooks from India.

The owners admit the confusion, but said that they hope to reach an agreement soon.

“We are working it out and will resolve the problem and be united again,” said Saraswathy's husband, A. Shinnaiah.

Saraswathy said: “(David) Gnanamuthu must understand that his father is also our partner. We have a long-standing relationship.

“The customers think that our shop has expanded as both restaurants' waiters wear the same purple colour uniform,” Saraswathy said.

David said that he was all for a settlement and was willing to sell his restaurant to Saraswathy.

The Sri Paandi became famous for its South Indian food when it first started operations in Brickfields about 20 years ago.

Yes.... only in Malaysia!! :p

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A short note: robots and crashes...

Back from a weekend trip to mark some kids' birthdays... oh my, but it was a Star Wars fest.. never seen to much Star Wars merchandise in one place (apart form the toy store lah!). It was actually fun playing with really cool lightsabers :D

On another topic.... i feel ... "special" ... i see that I somehow have drawn the (unwanted) attention of "comment bots"!! Three comments in my "Alliterative Anecdotes" are from bots! Grrr... if there are more of them over the next week, I may have to limit comments to registered users only... :( In the meantime, will delete those fake comments when I am next online...

And on another note: noticed the headline on Yahoo news today, and got the chills reading about the airplane crash in Grammatiko, Greece... "A Cypriot plane full of vacationers slammed into a mountainside north of Athens on Sunday after at least one pilot lost consciousness from lack of oxygen, killing all 121 people aboard, more than a third of them children. The cause of Greece's deadliest plane crash appeared to be technical failure — resulting in high-altitude decompression..."

The article states that the two Greek F-16 fighter jets that were dispatched to intercept the plane after 30mins of losing radio contact saw "...the co-pilot slumped over his seat. The captain was not in the cockpit, and oxygen masks dangled inside the cabin... the jet pilots also saw two people possibly trying to take control of the plane; it was unclear if they were crew members or passengers. The plane apparently was on automatic pilot when it crashed."

I'm sure there are lots of articles to read up on, if you wanna know more:
1. Mystery surrounds cause of Cypriot plane crash in Greece - Yahoo! News, Aug 14 2005, 5:46 PM ET.
2. 'No survivors' in Greek air crash - BBC News, Aug 14 Aug 2005, 13:46 GMT.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Alliterative Anecdotes

(Some stuff that happened over the last few weeks)

1. End July: Weather Warnings

The weather was terribly hot all over the world: Switzerland, China and Malaysia all had indicated to me the weather was unusually hot.

Then in the middle of the week, about July 27th, the weather finally broke! Whoooohoooo! But boy did it break!

Around 630pm, noticed very very strong winds outside, rattling the windows. Didn’t think twice about it except to say thanks for the change in weather. Blasted out of tv-watching fest by the bellowing of sirens: hey, aren’t those the tornado warning sirens?

Turned to a local channel, where they were keeping tabs on a major system passing through the area… there had been reports of a tornado having been seen on the eastern outskirts of town, hence the sirens. Tornado watch for the area for another 15 minutes.

If a tornado were to visit, the best we could do would be to hang out in the bathroom with the door closed. So we kinda continued with one eye on tv, one eye at window, all the while hearing the furious beating of rain outside.

The storm abated soon after, to wreak havoc upon other towns sitting in its path to the east of us.

Later, found out that there had NOT been any tornado over at the eastern outskirts of town: funnel clouds, yes; actual tornado, no.

2. 6 & 7 Aug: Workout Weekend

It was a particularly active weekend. My own indoor aerobic workout, followed by racquetball, and swimming. Yeah, the sports complex where we do racquetball has a recreational pool, and we finally dragged our sorry asses over there.

I call it a "recreational pool" cos it's not the pools I'm used to seeing: It's not a boring rectangular thing, so you can’t quite swim laps, but you *can* play pseudo-water basketball, enjoy lots of jets & bubblies, or sliding down the water chute!

The water’s warm too!! There’s even a separate spa, where the water composition is different and the temperature much higher, to relax your body before heading off to the changing rooms.

I think all that exhausted me, though: only today, Thursday, am I able to drag myself to start my indoor aerobic workout again!

3. 8 Aug: Trek of Torture

The day before, had gotten myself a pair of Adidas Slides, which essentially is a pair of slide-on slippers, with the surface of the slippers being riddled with those little prongs; what I call reflexology-type slippers.

I wondered just how far I could walk with them, so on Monday, decided to use them for a short walk to the post office & library.

No problem getting there… but of course, once I’m at the library, I will wanna browse thru their books and DVDs… which involves standing still for a few minutes at a time.

All of a sudden I realize my feet are in PAIN! I don’t think I’m supposed to just stand in these slippers, gotta keep moving! But now that I had been stationary, the harm was done… I could barely walk!

Limped over to a chair, after passing by the young adults section to grab a short book, and proceeded to just sit and read while trying to rest my feet (sans slippers, of course).

Worked for the short term… but by the time I made it to the front desk to check out some DVDs, I was limping again. Made it to the bench just outside the ‘book detectors’ and sat down again.

After perusing a newspaper for about 10 minutes, tried to walk out of the building; made it as far as the bench just outside the door. Rested again.

This is getting ridiculous! But I didn’t wanna go barefoot: there’s always broken glass or something on sidewalks… but I did do a short trek across a parking lot barefoot… but was not gonna cross the road a la chicken feet, so put on those slippers again.

…Limped along.

The pain became kinda bearable, tho my breathing was definitely laboured… Managed to make it all the way back to the apartment, taking it one limping step at a time…

It felt like heaven to take ‘em off… and the carpet felt SO soft after the slippers….

The soles of my feet were riddled with marks of the ‘prongs’…

And my feet felt warm for hours after that… in the end put ‘em on cold/ice to reduce the inflammation.

So yeah, this (didn’t) help keep me off of my exercise till today, I suppose (i.e. not just the swimming’s fault?!).

Lesson learnt: use the slippers for short distances, and KEEP MOVING when wearing them!

~ ~ ~
* T H E * E N D *
~ ~ ~

Riddle-dee-dum, riddle-dee-dee

Ah, it is so nice to have new blogs to visit... I really like having the slowly growing list of blogs registered with LittleNeo... of course there are some hiccups, like half of them are in Spanish or at least non-English... but nvm, it's certainly a start :)

Will also be featuring the effect of Little Neo on traffic to this site.

Anyway... onwards to the topic of riddles (with thanx to truth seeker @ Let's see if you can solve these.....

1.What is broken when you name it?

2.What is it that someone else has to take before you can get it?

3.What is often returned but never borrowed?

4.The maker doesn't want it, the buyer doesn't use it and the user doesn't see it. What is it?

5.How would you rearrange the letters in the words "New Door" to make one word?

6.John is standing behind Mary, and Mary is standing behind John. How is this possible ?

7.What runs all around the yard without moving?





1. silence
2. your photograph
3. thanks
4. a coffin
6. They are standing back to back
7. The fence

how did you do? fyi, I got #1, 3 (favour), 7.
For #6 I speculated that there were TWO Johns, i.e. Mary was in a queue with a John in front of her and a John behind her.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Zen Sarcasm

Got this in an email the other day......

* Z E N * S A R C A S M *

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone. (hear ye, hear ye!)

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

6. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

7. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

8. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

9. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

10. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

11. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. (burrrrrrp!)

12. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

13. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

14. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

16. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

17. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

18. A closed mouth gathers no foot. (LOL! that's fer sure!!)

19. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

20. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

21. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

22. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

23. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

24. We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our butt. Then things get worse.

25. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. (ugh! I cringe to imagine that!)

26. There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

27. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

28. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday...around age 11.

29. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them. (hey! i *am* normal! ah heck, who am i kidding.. :p)

A hazy shade of Malaysia!

Yes, it’s baaaaaaaaack! Numerous e-mails, sms and even a phone call have updated me on the latest bout of white stinky skies to hit the Klang Valley.

As usual, fingers are pointed to Sumateran forest fires, and only when ‘exposed’ were the peat fires near Cyberjaya also acknowledged as the source of the hazy skies.

And as usual, the people in general are clamouring for the government to do something.

And as usual, only when things are bad will the government then ban ‘open burning’: of course, the main offenders continue to flout such laws and rules… heck, who’s gonna bother tracking them down?

And I guess the cloud-seeding exercise will commence again?

Did they ever implement that idea of having high-rise buildings install some sort of sprinkler system on the outside, so that they could sprinkle water into the air and hope to bring the smoke particles down to the ground? I have my doubts that it will be effective, but hey, that never stopped the government before…

And to top it off; everyone attempts to counteract the effect of the haze by wearing surgical masks and such over their nose & mouth. Sorry folks, all that does is give you a psychological boost, I don’t think the dust and smoke particles are actually caught or filtered out by those things!

I know it’s horrible, but really, by the time the haze gets this bad, there’s nothing much that can be done! Which raises the question: what on earth is being done to prevent such a thing? Jeeeeez!

Btw, no-one’s replied yes/no to my question of is this year’s haze worse than the one from 1998? (Hmmm, according to Jeff Ooi, the worst was in 1997. Maybe it overlapped: end ’97 early ’98? I certainly don’t remember the month(s) we were affected by it). From what I’ve read, it’s definitely comparable!

I remember the haze hanging low to the ground… it was not white, but a light yellow color… and it had a smell of, well, smoke. Ugh!

My sympathies to everyone having to put up with breathing in the crap, especially those with asthma and other respiratory diseases: it seems it’s not going away till October?!

Not to rub it in or anything, but boy am I glad I’m halfway across the world from y’all right now!!

Useful reads & pix:
1. Jeff Ooi: Government decides to release API
2. TV Smith's pix: What the fog?
3. DOE's API page (

[Undated image from Google & BBC UK]

Monday, August 08, 2005

20050808#5: Quizzes

Some things from blogthings:

1. My "Outrageous Name" : made with my full name (SASAH)... LOL, outrageous, all right!

Your Outrageous Name Is
Connie Lingus

2. My "Hidden Talent", which is SO like what it felt like at work... so maybe it's not that hidden?

Your Hidden Talent
You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.

3. Does my English Cut The Mustard? ... but but but, I don't like mustard!! Gimmie mayo, or ranch dressing anytime!! (btw : dunno how to get rid of all that blank space before the results table below.. ugh!)

Your English Skills:

Punctuation: 100%

Spelling: 100%

Grammar: 80%

Vocabulary: 80%

(1140pm: okay, i think i'll call it a night... I don't have a schedule to adhere to, but Kosh does! Hope you enjoyed this blogathon of sorts! G'nite!!)

20050808#4: of doors and slaves

okay okay okay, this is a REALLY cheating post:

Still related to some stuff I stumbled across thanx to LittleNeo.

Here's a blog that features photos of front doors. no kidding! there are interesting pictures in there... and anyone back home who's from like Melaka or Terengganu or something I'm sure could submit some excellent pix. check it out here.

And another blog pointed me to this interesting article on slavery and the Brits. Very interesting reading. Check it out here.


(muuuuaaaahahaaahahahahaha! 11:28pm!!)

20050808#3: Questions

I'm featuring this blog on NeoWorx's LittleNeo: it's a service provided by the people who have brought you that cool counter there at the sidebar - the one that tracks visitors by countries... anyway, so LittleNeo features a directory of people who sign-up, and we are encouraged to visit each other's sites.

One of them is To Whom It may Concern (which is where I saw the GuestMap service, btw), and one of the articles asked the following questions:

1] You are given $1,000,000, but here's the catch: You must either a) donate it anonymously to a charity or b) give it to a stranger. Which option would you choose, and why? How would you dispose of the money?

2] If you could have free, unlimited service for the rest of your life from an extremely good chef, chauffeur, landscaper/gardener, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal assistant, which would you choose? Why?

3] Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you? Do you feel that you relate better to people who are older than you, younger than you, or the same age? Why?

4] Would you generally rather be overdressed or underdressed at a party?

5] If you could magically project yourself into the future but NEVER return, would you do it? How about if you could take someone along? Who would you take? How far into the future would you go?

My answers:
1. I'd donate it to a charity. Which in particular, I dunno. One that is known to NOT consume donations for administration costs!

2. I'd go for a masseuse... to have someone massage the tension out of me on a regular basis, for free?? I'd be in heaven!

3. I have a mix of both, tho I think I prefer to be with the younger crowd - they are more open and adventurous, as opposed to the older crowd, who are usually set in their ways. Of course, I am basing this on my exposure at my ex-workplace.

4. Overdressed : so much easier to remove layers than whip out your wand and "accio, clothes!" *grin!*

5. I'm perfectly happy to remain *when* I am right now... this *when* is as good as any: life is what you yourself make it out to be... no need to go hunting for "something more fulfilling / different / whatever"...

anyone wanna share their responses?

for those who didn't get the reference: #4 referred to a Harry Potter spell.

(11:20pm! whoohooooo!! getting better at this speed post thing, LOL!)

20050808#2: Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaam!

From the latest issue of "THIS IS TRUE" for 31 July 2005, the author, Randy Cassingham, noted that he seemed to be getting less spam than usual... his "spam load" was down to only 350 to 450/day... which is still a lot, but is about half of what was headed his way a few weeks ago.

He attributes this:

1. A raid by Spanish police on a spam scam operation in Malaga, where 310 people were arrested. I tried to look up more articles on this, but didn't get anywhere on google.

2. The murder of Vardan Kushnir, described as Russia's "most prolific spammer." Now, THIS i found plenty of articles on. Turns out that the murder was probably a direct result of a robbery, and not, as speculated earlier, a result of someone(s) who wanted out of his spam list!

Some articles for you to read:
1. Sex, not Spam, led to murder (July 27 2005,
2. Russian Media Hails Spammer’s Murder (July 26 2005,

(it's 11:11pm!!! running out of steam already.... probably do a cheating 3rd article and then call it a night!!)

20050808#1: Malaysia Blogger Map

I have a bit of time to kill, so am gonna catch up with some blogs that have been in draft mode for some time. It's August 8th, 1025pm as I start this blogathon of sorts.

Happy reading!!

My first topic: The Malaysia Blogger Map

I think it's a great idea!

This is like a physical representation of let's say the MyCen directory, and much more appealing... This way I can choose to explore some Malaysian blogsites by location (i.e. Penang-based).

Pity the creator is limiting it to physical locations in Malaysia, as opposed to Malaysians all over the world, cos I don't think I'm eligible... after all, I may officially reside in Petaling Jaya, but I consider myself based in the U.S. at the moment. But heck, it's a start. Check out this link if you are interested in the more technical aspects of his quest to create the map on which to plot the Malaysian blogs:

For those who were wondering, I was pointed in this direction by a post by Adam. No I don't know this person, but this is one of the Malaysian blogs I bookmarked sometime during my web-crawling activities :p

btw, today i came across a similar service:'s Guestmap service! Your visitor can indicate where they are from on a map of the world! seems to have LOTS of other services too... aarrggghhh!!! it's sooooo tempting to put lots of these gizmos on my blog (like that daily cartoon service!), but that will start to B(L)OG down my page, I'm sure! boohooooo!
(ugh - finally got done with this at 10:52 pm! let's move on to the next topic, shall we?!)

Of bullies, hackers and extradition...

My attention was drawn to news about Gary McKinnon, a British hacker who faces extradition charges to the U.S. for having pulled off the "biggest military computer hack of all time".

For those who haven’t heard about it, check out the following links
- US-DOJ indicts alleged British Hacker (ZDNet, Nov 12 2002)
- Game Over (Guardian UK, July 9 2005) (kinda long interview with Gary)
- Gary McKinnon: Scapegoat or Public Enemy? (ZDNet, July 15 2005)
- 'World's biggest hacker' fights extradition to US (Guardian UK, July 28 2005)

Things to ramble about:

1. oh so wide open?
This guy was able to waltz in to numerous systems that should have been impenetrable! Oh my… you know, one would think that IT personnel within military institutions should know, more than the average Joe Q Public, all about administrator access, blank passwords, etc. and preventing such hacking from being a reality. It is these incompetent administrators who should be tried and found guilty for enabling the “biggest military computer hack of all time” at NASA, the Pentagon, and numerous military bases!

2. what *did* he see?
He says he was motivated by wanting to find evidence of UFOs within the U.S. military system. He says he found some interesting things like a list of “non-terrestrial officers,” and what he interpreted as names of spaceships. Of course, he admitted he was high on pot most of the time, so I wonder how much of his recollection is accurate… I’m always game for conspiracy theories… after all, the U.S. government *has* been assisting certain firms with reverse-engineered technology from stuff found in the Roswell crash, and what about the whole ‘lone gunman’ official story? Too many secrets exist in every government…

3. it took them *how* long?
Most of the hacking activities happened in end-2001 & early-2002: McKinnon was actually arrested in 2002, but action against him was ‘discontinued’; then all of a sudden in 2005 the U.S. govt wants to extradite him?? Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that the US government has not signed the extradition treaty between USA & UK, so how come they are pushing for extradition?

Current status: case has been postponed to October 2005, to allow defense to prepare their case. Poor kid, wonder what’s gonna happen to him! Will he and his defense team be able to stand up against the U.S. bullies?

For updates, bookmark and check this page regularly:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rocky Horror Picture Show

How many of you have seen this movie?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS).

And of those few who answered 'yes': how many of you just loved the decadence? Tim Curry strutting his stiff in heel, garters, fishnet stockings, bustier, and killer lips singing about being a "sweet transvestite, from the planet Transsexual in Transylvania"! And Susan Sarandon [slut!] getting a (sex) education at the hands of Frank-N-Furter *and* his creation Rocky! Oh, and Meat Loaf *again* ending up as a meal, just like in one of the Tales from the Crypt (What's Cooking, Chumley?)?! and the audience heaping abuse on the narrator / criminologist with no neck...

My thoughts have been filled, both day and night, for the last few days, with this movie... I'm dreaming about Frankie, dammit! And all those songs!!! And those call-out audience participation thingys!!

Huh? what was that about audience participation?

Yeah, did you know that when you go watch RHPS in the theatres, you are NOT expected to just sit and watch, but rather, you participate in the entire thing! Legend has it, in the early days (1975), someone found the dialogue so bad (and no doubt about it - it *is* a cheezy movie!) that he couldn't stand it anymore and shouted a response to the screen. Thus was born the tradition of Audience Participation. It has now expanded into a live show acted out in front just under the screen, mirroring what goes on onscreen... plus call-outs for just about every minute of the film!

There is something so liberating, addictive, and oh so cool about shouting 'asshole!', 'slut!', 'elbow sex', or overriding existing lines (whether dialogue or songs) with stuff like 'don't drink it, frank peed in it!" The movie also calls for lots of props: rice at the wedding scene, throwing pieces of toast in the air when Frank offers a toast (the drink), squirting water pistols to emulate the rain in the scene Brad and Janet make their way from their car to Frank's castle.

Yes Kosh, I am a freak :p

Dunno if I'd ever dress up in character to go see it, tho one of these Halloweens it may just happen, with the right amout of persuasion ? ?

Some noteworthy call-outs:

1. Before the lips appear, singing the opening song, you chant "A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, God said, "Let there be lips"; so there were lips; and they were *good* lips!"

2. Magenta (as she slides down the bannister): "You're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're ALL lucky"
Audience: The bannister's lucky!!!!

3. Frank: I see you shiver in anticip .... (audience: SAY IT!) ... pation!

Yeah. So. This RHPS-frenzy was caused by my renting it from the library: turned out the DVD had an option to play the audience participation soundtrack throughout the movie... oh my, for so many places it was pretty much impossible to make out what they were saying, so so so many voices calling out so many differnt things. So, me being the freak, went online searching from some help... and now I have a hard copy of one version of the audience participation guide. Now I can rest.

For those with a morbid curiosity, here are some sites for the audience participation guides:



* * * * * don't dream it... be it * * * * *

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Dexter and a dead dog ...

Here’s a write-up on two recently-finished books: Btw, I noticed a common theme: They were narrated by people who do not experience emotion; one narrator being autistic, the other a serial killer.

Curious? Read on………

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher decides to track down the killer of a neighbour’s dog, that he found impaled on a garden fork, that he was initially accused of killing. But Christopher does not relate well to fellow humans: while he knows every prime number up to 7,057 and is sitting for A-level Maths when he is only 15 yrs old, he has no real understanding of human emotions. He is autistic.

Yet he takes it upon himself to investigate the murder of Wellington, and my oh my, what he discovers is mind-blowing… among other things, he discovers what REALLY happened to his mother two years ago. He also manages to make his way to London, all by himself, evading capture by policemen. And all throughout, we get an insight to how his brain works, the tangents his minds jumps to, how information overload appears to him…

Most unsettling of all is reading what would be the more emotional scenes of the tale, but since it’s narrated by Christopher who doesn’t understand emotions, we are told just what he sees on the surface; it is up to us to interpret these scenes into what is really going on… and gives us a better understanding of how the world looks (and how incomprehensible it can all be) to Christopher.

Pity it’s so easy to read, though. 220 pages in about 2 hours. I’d recommend it as a great gift for someone, but not to buy for yourself, because it’s too easily read!

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

He’s baaaaaaaack! Yes, the ‘good’ serial killer who only preys on other serial killers has another book out. This time Dexter’s dragged into the world of a serial almost-killer: someone who keeps his victims alive as he surgically removes limbs, tongue, nose, ears, lips, etc while working under a mirror so the victim can watch… ending with just a mewling torso… jeeeez where does the author GET these ideas?? Keep ‘em coming!!

So, Book 2 continues to be narrated by Dexter himself, and once again we are treated to the inner workings of his mind as he is confronted with numerous situations where emotions are required, and he goes through a process of figuring out what to say, since he has no intuition for such things. That he ends up patting someone’s back, saying “There, there…” so awkwardly, is just hilarious!

I like the idea of Dexter finding himself a young protégé, someone to mentor, someone to pass on the Code of Harry, the Harry being Dexter’s stepfather who trained Dexter to put his ‘talent’ to ‘good’ use, the Harry being a cop who taught Dexter how to make sure his victims were ‘right’, the Harry being a cop who taught Dexter who to clean up after himself to make sure he didn’t leave traces that could lead back to him. Screwed-up, ainnit? Just the way I like ‘em!

I’m definitely keeping an eye out for more from this guy.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Chocolate Ahoy!

Last weekend, ended up actually going to the movies; watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Johnny Depp gave a great performance: slightly Michael-Jacksony at first impression, but managed to shake that off pretty early in the movie. Connected to JD's performance was the humour present throughout the movie: certainly a totaly different take than the 'original' movie with Gene Wilder.

In fact, from the little I'd read/heard recently in the buzz, Tim Burton's version may well be much more faithful to the book than the 'original' movie.

This version I think is 100x better. The only thing I miss is the Oompah Loompah's song (the oompah loompah gobbledy goo one) from the original, but I suppose that was created just for that movie. For this current movie, did you know that in the end credits, for the songs sung by the Oompah Loompahs, lyrics were credited to Roald Dahl himself?

Now I'm gonna have to pick up Roald Dahl's book too! *grin!*

btw, this time, Tim Burton certainly has a HIT on his hands (like Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas), certainly better than any of his MISSes (I just could not stand Beetlejuice!).

Monday, August 01, 2005

From "flesh&blood" to "metaphysical meteors"?

Just got done with re-reading (after 6 years?) Alan F Alford's Gods of the New Millennium: Scientific Proof of Flesh & Blood Gods.

It was good to refresh my memory of what I vaguely remembered: that many tales about the 'God' of the Jews/Christians/Muslims are actually about flesh and blood gods that came to Earth via Planet X, and that the tale of Adam and Eve, the unusual longevity of pre- and early post-Flood patriarchs could be attributed to genetic engineering; and oh so many other things! What is put forth in this book is so much more coherently put together than let's say the less coherent claims by Erich von Daniken.

My favourite will remain the author's hypothesis of the Nazca Plains' etchings to be a combination of a god's art, and acts of vandalism by rebelling slaves, who hijacked the god's low-flying laser-equipped aircraft and doodled on the plains.

Makes you smile, doesn't it?

At the end of the book, the author noted that he planned to establish a website related to new developments arising from this book. I don't think I checked it out the last time I made it to the end of the book (I was less-internet-inclined at that time); so I checked it out here:

And I was flabbergasted to see that Alan Alford has essentially totally retracted his thesis of flesh-and-blood gods! Wow... that takes courage! In fact, his website includes a chapter-by-chapter critique of his Gods of the New Millennium book, where in a few places he states that what he wrote was 'pure nonsense.' I find his candor truly amazing!

I don't quite get his new hypothesis though: from what I could make out from the website, he now believes in an 'exploding planet' premise, and the gods previously interpreted to be flesh and blood are actually metaphysical representations of gods; gods who are actually asteroids or meteors that have fallen to Earth due to the exploding planet. Hmmmmm... ooooookaaaaayyyyy........

... pity the local library system doesn't have any of his more recent books :-( It's such an about-turn, I *have* to see for myself what he's pushing now! Grrrrrrr!!! Oh well, maybe a solution will present itself later. In the meantime, well, I got lots of other books to read :D


something to keep you occupied...

Hey, did you hear about the guy who ran in front of a car?
- He got tired.

And what about the guy who ran behind a car?
- He, of course, got exhausted.

heeheheheh :D

Aaaaanyways: nothing exciting to share, despite my almost a week of silence. Have launched into rereading Alan E Alford's Gods of the New Millennium: a comprehensive take on the history of the solar system, earth, humans, and what we now label as 'God.' It's a great read for open-minded people. For those who are too scared to challenge your own faith: don't even bother with this book...

Moving on: came across these sites on the web, and thot I'd share it with y'all... something to keep you occupied when you're done with work, or procrastinating, etc *grin!*

1. A collection of signs collected from all over the world. Some funny, some not, but I'm sure there are gems worth uncovering by surfing through the entire site. I only made it to page 3 :p click here or copy & paste this url into your browser ( Takes a while to load the pix, so don't bother with if you're accessing via dial-up, k?

2. Test your reflexes with the Sheep Dash! Keep your volume low, or switch off your speakers, cos the bleating will bring your office mates to your desk instantaneously, clamouring to know what you are doing. Click here or copy & paste this url into your browser:

have fun!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin