Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Moral police objects to condoms
Well, not to the contraceptives, but to the word itself. The thought police is out in force.
[I]n the more traditional societies, smoking seems to be considered a sign of a woman's emancipation. If a woman smokes then she must have thrown off the yoke of male domination, and saying to her (male) oppressors "I am equal to you in every way". How ironic, that when a woman feels she is empowered to make her own decisions, she makes a decision that weakens her rather than making her strong.Indeed. I'm against smoking, by and by, not because of the damage smokers do to themselves: I couldn't care less how much you harm yourself, it's your life and your body. But smoking harms the people around you, and as you presumably hang around people you care about, family and friends and suchlike, it makes the act of smoking all the more befuddling. No?
Monty and Manuel [the waiter in Fawlty Towers] are both from cultures that are foreign to the majority, yet both are cult heroes. In feeling so affectionate towards them, are we also compensating for our prejudices? In falling in love with the chosen outsider, do we thus make a convenient exception? I've heard people say if all blacks/foreigners/ East Europeans/Indians, etc were like 'him' there'd be no problem.I'm not sure either. Maybe we just like Monty because he's likable. Or maybe it's because he's damn good at his primary job -- bowling left-arm spin -- and as inept as us at others (like fielding and batting; Cricinfo's Andrew Miller made a similar suggestion in an audio feature I did with him here). Whatever the case may be, he's endearing across countries, and I'd taken to him (1, 2, 3) before I'd even seen him bowl. Long may he thrive, and misfield.
So the racism or xenophobia stays intact, while the person chosen as the exception becomes a more than honorary Englishman, whose name is turned from Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, to dear old Monty (with the Panesar pronunciation anglicised). But this may be cynical and pessimistic; perhaps the popular attitude to Panesar humanises and moderates other more paranoid feelings. I'm not sure.
Australian brothel owners want an exemption to anti-smoking laws for sex workers and their clients because, they say, one thing leads to another.Bloody hell. Does that mean I'm a virgin?
"People smoke when they drink, and people smoke when they fornicate," the industry group's William Albon was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.
An earlier plan to trap the pests and ship them to neighbouring states fell apart after these states complained they had enough trouble coping with their own monkeys.I can't make up my mind about which sentence I am more amused by.
Exterminating the animals was not an option are they are worshipped as incarnations of Lord Hanuman, sources said.
There seems ... to be a problem with some of our most cherished beliefs about the world: they are leading us, inexorably, to kill one another. A glance at history, or at the pages of any newspaper, reveals that ideas which divide one group of human beings from another, only to unite them in slaughter, generally have their roots in religion. It seems that if our species ever eradicates itself through war, it will not be because it was written in the stars but because it was written in our books; it is what we do with words like “God” and “paradise” and “sin” in the present that will determine our future.Sam Harris, in "The End of Faith." This particular quote is from the first chapter, which is available here. Do read.
"The versatile actress was heard commenting that just as she is a multi-tasking woman, the biscuit too was similar to her. [sic.]"Darn, I am so swamped with work right now. I could do with a biscuit
Love me or hate meNow watch:
Kiss me or kill me
Oh darling, please do something to me
Do roo roo roo roo roo roo roo
Do roo roo roo roo roo roo roo
Do roo roo roo roo roo roo roo
I believe that the proposed measures [of reservations] will harm the nation’s vital interests. It is often said that caste is a reality in India. I could not agree more. But your government is in the process of making caste the only reality in India. Instead of finding imaginative solutions to allow us to transcend our own despicable history of inequity, your government is ensuring that we remain entrapped in the caste paradigm.Quite. Indeed, measures such as this deepen people's perceptions of caste, as is apparent to anyone witnessing the impassioned demonstrations -- both anti- and pro-reservations -- in India's cities.
We can either move forward and create centres of academic excellence or go along with the demands of identity politics based on caste and community, but we cannot do both.And what of the main proponent of these reservations, Arjun Singh? What does he have to say? Well, nothing. Karan Thapar interviewed him for IBN Live, and all he got was evasion, as Singh ran through a series of familiar argumentative techniques, some of them dissected by Ramanand here. When people in the blogosphere use such evasion, one can simply ignore them and leave them to their self-delusion. But Singh implements policies that affect the lives of millions. We can't ignore him, and he won't engage with us.
When I became engaged several years ago I had several people ask me why I would ever take another person's name. My answer was and always will be: "My maiden name is not my own. It is my father's father's father's name. My first and middle name are not my own either, they were given to me by my parents. What difference does it make whether I keep the patriarchal name I received at birth or I choose to take the legal name of the person I now share an address with? Everyone has been given someone else's name. Wives are the only ones given an option of changing our names or not. Men are saddled with a name which carries all the weight of their fathers since the beginning of the family. Seems to me I am the one with more social options than my love."And just at the time when I begin to wonder how a lady can have a name like 'Shyam,' she explains:
As a post script I feel inclined to say that my real first name is Shyam, however it is not an Indian name. I only mention this because others have been confused and on occasion insulted when they find out I am an American. My parents were "free spirits" and when my father had to join the military to support his pregnant wife he often wrote to her while away. Every letter he signed S.H.Y.A.M. This stood for So Happy You Are Mine. When I was born my mother graced me with that name never having heard it before. It was not until years later, when my circle of friends widened, that I started to hear it as an Indian name.Wow.
Women at a sausage roll factory had their bosses' heads rolling with anger, when they caught them poking fun at the meaty snack while watching a porn film starring men with huge manhoods on computers.The story doesn't have too many specifics, but I'm guessing the bosses were male and were perhaps just a wee bit insecure about their, um, manhoods. After all, even men can have penis envy. What else explains the spam?
I read your post on the matter of USC Lecturer Diana York Blaine. My guiding principal is a belief in the individual, as is yours. I just want to make you aware that we, the alleged USC students, confined the vast majority of our criticism of Doctor Blaine to her bizarre beliefs. We only noted her photos as part of her larger pattern of strange behavior. If she were just some person, and not a faculty member at my university, I wouldn't care at all about her photos. The reason a controversy arose surrounding the photos was because a local Los Angeles television reporter came across the photos and reported on them. We didn't contact the reporter and he didn't contact us prior to the report.Well, I guess for mainstream media the pictures were a far juicier peg to hang the story on than the other stuff, which a wider audience probably couldn't care less about. MSM tends to simplify and dumb down issues, with no space for detail or nuance. Thank FSM for other media.
Our criticisms of Blaine are primarily about her beliefs and her public statements.
Do you see a potential Bollywood romantic storyline in this? A good-hearted-person-having-bad-luck-in-life (John Abraham) steals a purse (to buy medicine for his cripple sister and blind mother), sees the purse owners picture and also reads a sad letter (she has been divorced or left pregnant by a scheming gel-in-the-hair-dude [Salman Khan?] in the purse and falls in love with her(Bipasha Basu?) and after 2 hours of singing, dancing, tears and some laughs, they live happily ever after. Bollywood, here I come! Do you know anyone in Yashraj Films?Actually, as a matter of fact, I do.
At Cannes, gowns and glamour are as important as the cinema on show.No doubt that's why Quentin Tarantino wore that fetching black Versace dress on the opening night.
Cambodia's sacred oxen have forecast a bountiful harvest but thin rains, leading farmers to call on the government to build more irrigation systems and canals.I can present an alternate explanation for that last observation: maybe cows like wine. Hic.
At the annual royal ploughing ceremony in front of Phnom Penh's golden-spired palace, the cows ate lots of rice, beans and corn, suggesting "there will be plenty of crops", court astrologer Kang Ken told the crowds on Tuesday.
However, the beasts, who were also presented with golden bowls of water and wine, refused to drink any water, meaning the war-scarred Southeast Asian nation could suffer a year of drought.
Perhaps the logic behind [the inconsistency] is that the reach of movies in India is far more than books, given the literacy rate, and more so, English literacy. Also, low literacy = low level of awareness = increased likeliness of getting influenced by a devious political mind hoping to take advantage of the situation = more likelihood of communal tension breaking out?Damn it, Shilpa, you've just given them their excuse. Once again, pfaw.
Shubhangi’s brother Kishore Palvankar, who witnessed the incident, said, “Kumbhar was holding a coconut and a few other items in his hand. As soon as the shlokas ended and the veil separating the two dropped, he pulled out a razor and slashed her throat.”So if you, reading this, wish to commit some gruesome crime, blame it on an evil spirit if you're caught. Scream:
Palvankar said the guests were about to lynch Kumbhar, whose family intervened to save him.
“We initially thought he was possessed by an evil spirit and tried our best to free him (from police custody). After all, we didn’t want to break up the marriage,” Palvankar added.
But Rohidas Palvankar, another relative of Shubhangi, said, “As soon as Kumbhar admitted that he had done it deliberately, we called off the wedding.”
I wuz possessed, I heard a stranger's voice speaking from my throat, I was not in control of my body, this evil spirit was, this evil spirit even molested me, with my own hands, ohhh, the horror, the horror!And you know what? There'll be plenty of schmucks who'll believe you.
I personally find her [Blaine's] feminist street cred slightly tarnished by the fact that she has apparently taken her husband's last name. Is there really a credible feminist defense of this practice??Now, all this rhetoric, both by Blaine and against her, seems rather bizarre to me. As I have written before, the guiding principle of my worldview is a belief in individual freedom, that "individuals should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they do not infringe on the same liberty of others." (Quoted from here.) Simply put, if you don't mess with no one, no one should mess with you.
[E]very single male on this campus has the responsibility for stopping rape. Every fraternity brother, every science major, every professor, every one of them. Because they all rape? Of course not. But because only men rape and only men can stop other men from raping.Such logic. Nevertheless, the gentlemen who were peeved by this should have attacked her arguments only. Not her topless pictures.
Another thing you might notice is that if you compare rape to murder, rape is searched more often in the Indian subcontinent.For the first observation, click on 'regions,' for the second, on 'languages.' And in case you think Sudhanshu morbid for the things he searches for, he also sends me this rather interesting result.
And not that it matters, but the French are obsessed with Accidents...
I wish to point out that the trends mentioned in "what we search for" could be false. While its blatantly clear that India has the highest searches on anything involves male-female genitalia, I am not sure if these trends consider the percentage of population while ranking the cities. Sure Delhi is fascinated by rape, but is it possible that there are more people to begin with in Delhi then compared to other cities? I just think when we compare India to any other country, the difference in population is so high that we should not ignore it as a factor. Of course, it can be debated that other advanced cities might have an easier access to the net.Good points. In fact, these results seem to conceal more than they reveal, such as absolute numbers and so on. I'm sure Google will help us get more useful information out of these as time goes by.
The ranking is based on normalized scores (searches that include the keyword as a percentage of the total number of searches from any geographical location), so the argument doesn't hold.
The dispute is between a company in St. Louis that operates fantasy sports leagues over the Internet and the Internet arm of Major League Baseball, which says that anyone using players' names and performance statistics to operate a fantasy league commercially must purchase a license. The St. Louis company counters that it does not need a license because the players are public figures whose statistics are in the public domain.The legal system in the US is relatively modern, but Indian statutes are so primitive that I worry that they may not even be clear on the concepts of 'public domain' and 'intellectual property.' And if MLB wins the US case, that might sway our judges as an international precedent on the issue. The sheer money-power of the BCCI, of course, could be another factor.
Peer companies with similar performances would include other integrated oil companies (verticals which explore, refine and market) and other defence firms (equipment as well as services).Do note that I'm not drawing any conclusions here.
These two industries made the highest contributions to the Republican campaigns of 2000, 2004.
I am surely obsessed with my growing hips. I want them to grow much bigger than they are. And that's the reason I love doing all those things, which will make my hip bigger and bigger. I feel there is nothing wrong in having bigger hips.What she means by "all those things" is, sadly, not specified. The rest of the piece rocks as well.
At least five mobile phones have exploded over the last two months in Brazil, causing anxiety among phone users and making news headlines.Motorola, by and by, has said that "the probable cause of the explosion was that the owners used non-original or low-quality batteries."
The incidents, representing only a fraction of the 89 million phones in circulation in Brazil, all involved Motorola phones.
The Pressure Cooker Temple, is so named because they [the soldiers there] worship the remnants of a pressure cooker that saved the lives of jawans from a heat-seeking missile, fired from the other side, that went straight for the pressure cooker.Well, yes, so their lives were saved. But what about their lunch?