Day by Day Daily Cartoon by Chris Muir

The Mad Scientist... Mwahahahahahahahaha

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bing! Microsoft's done it!

I'm a little slow to get on the bandwagon here, but over the weekend I went out and tried Microsoft's 'new' search engine, Bing. And no turning back - I've now set it as my default search engine on all my browsers, Speed Dials and all.

It really is something else, and far better than the previous Live Search. You get previews, better suggested searches, and the interface has been tweaked to give it a faster feel. Overall, worth a look, and mostly worth the switch.

Must say that Microsoft is slowly getting better at this. Windows 7 seems be what people expected and wanted Vista to be (and Vista is not a bad OS if you stick to the standard scenarios), they're much, much better with trials of their various software products (and even free versions in some cases), and their hardware has always been alright in my books.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some random ramblings

Anime and manga make trannies look good. Guess you can get away with suspension of disbelief when you're the creator of the works in question.

They don't make games like they used to. Nothing beats old-style platformers, side-scrollers and console RPGs - which is why they remake 'em for the newer machines.

Losing weight is hard. 3500 kcals is a pound gained or lost, more or less, but you can eat your way through that in days. Try burning that off in the same amount of time.

President BHOmbastic is a first-class idiot. But he's currently a popular first-class idiot, so we shall have to leave it at that.

Evolutionists and animal wrongs groups should not get along. The one insists that Man is no different from the natural order (although maybe at its pinnacle currently), the other insists Man is a blight on the natural order and should be expunged (or at least severely curtailed).

Animals and even plants use sex as a tool of domination, as a weapon, as a form of play, and as a form of aggression. Being better than them, we humans should know better and use sex as a procreative mechanism alongside a way of showing intimacy. The fact that it can be pleasurable is just a bonus.

Intimacy in friendship can be expressed without sexual meaning and contact. The fact societies seem to be unable of recognising that any more leads to the conclusion that we are in fact degenerating, and not progressing.

By and large, subtitles are a superior solution to dubs, especially if they're soft subs. Plus, you get to learn dribs and drabs of foreign languages while you're at it.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Probably a bad word in the USA. White supremacists, after all, like the KKK, most likely corrupted the meaning of the term, and quite possibly beyond recovery. Weird, when the term 'supreme' simply means 'top', or 'paramount'. The Supreme Court, after all, exists as the highest court of the land, sure - but there are other courts, and it does not mean these courts are powerless, or without honour, or without meaning.

Notwithstanding this, I am not ashamed to to admit that I am a Chinese supremacist. Of possibly the worst kind. It is my sincerely held belief that the Chinese will someday TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

Hang on, though. When I say Chinese, I don't mean 'race' or nationality or governmental structure. No, none of that really matters, an adopted Indian into a Chinese family is a Chinese too, even if he's got darker skin. What I'm talking about is culture and mindset - mind you, an ideal culture and mindset. Not all Chinese will have the same background or the same understanding that I'm putting together here, especially since it only ever really existed in philosophy, but most of us will have an appreciation for these cultural values.

1. Filial piety.
The Chinese people are well known for this. Confucius himself commends honour and reverence towards one's parents - of course, he soon elevates it to ancestor worship which is where we part ways. Showing respect to our parents, taking care of them in their old age as they took care of us in our youth, loving them while they are still here... these are hallmarks of Chinese culture and tradition since time immemorial. Why is it important? Because the old fogeys have a lot to teach us, and the wisdom of the ages is not to be dismissed lightly. A culture that abandons its aged (or leaves them for welfare types to look after) denigrates all the contributions they have made before - and who then would want to sire children as ungrateful as they are?

2. Close-knit family structure.
Your old-time Chinese family was more of a clan structure than anything. Uncles, Aunties, Great-grandmothers, third cousins twice removed, all living in the same family compound as one big (mostly) happy family. Cuts down on the incest potential, due to the Westermarck effect, promotes unity within the clan (which is really, really good if the clan controls half of the area), and you will never really be alone (okay, good and bad, but at least you will always have playmates). In some places, this still exists - the Khoo family in Penang is a really famous example.

3. Fanatically numerical.
Okay, I could have said money-faced, but that's not true. Chinese understand the value of money is not in itself, but what it can do. You will notice that our acquisition of money is for varying reasons, but never as a form of boasting or high score. Our obsession with mathematics is partially at work here, but moreso our need to guarantee worldly security. Singaporeans, for instance, have a 4C saying which marks the financial success of a person; Car, Condo (because in Singapore, much like in Japan, owning an actual house marks you as high-class), Credit card, Cash (and some people are adding Country club to that list). We understand that cash is the real commodity, and it is our buffer, and so you will almost never see old-time Chinese run up obscene amounts of debt if they can help it. Heck, my sister paid off her first car in cash. Alas, gambling defeats many Chinese.

4. Education is King.
Or at least Mandarin-level aristocrat. No, seriously. This can
be (and sometimes is) taken too far, but Chinese kids are harangued at by their parents day and night non-stop to excel academically, even if that means having tuition, the purchase of expensive reference materials, the sadistic homework of 1000 mathematical equations to prove every day... Back in Imperial times, the national examinations was the proof of Chinese meritocracy. A farmer's son, if he applied himself diligently enough, could rise in sufficient rank to become Chief Imperial Advisor or somesuch. Or, you could get your balls chopped off and become a Chief Imperial Eunuch, which is also kinda powerful but the price is too high for most, I suspect.

5. Government: Truly the last resort, Less is Best.
By and large, the common people of China took this one to heart. Government to them meant three things; (a) Taxes and other onerous demands (b) Licences and other bureaucratic nightmares, and (c) the perilous pathway to true power. Unless you were aiming to become a scholar (and hence an Imperial civil servant, and therefore part of the system), you applied for your licences, paid your dues, and kept your head down hoping the Imperial Government took no notice of you. For its part, the Imperial Government acknowledged this. If you are properly licenced (that includes brothels and religious houses, by the way), and you paid your dues properly, by and large it left you alone. Yet at the same time, any citizen of the Empire could beseech justice and be heard. Of course, once you did this, the Magistrate became the plaintiff, and you a mere witness. This was meant to be used as a last resort, when self-arbitration and blood price could not work something out.

You will note that most if not all Asian cultures believe in these principles - shows you how influential China and India were back in the day. You will also note that a particular type of belief system - and political alignment - shares many of these values. I leave the rest as an exercise to the reader.