Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Appreciating and understanding others

This is the period where people forgive each other - though we should do so everyday, every moment of our life.

To forgive, or to ask for forgiveness, in a way is like corrective maintenance. You know, we correct or replace what is wrong.

The better way is preventive maintenance. That is, maintain it before it fails. Or in this context, try not to do stuff - intentionally and unintentionally - that will require you to ask for forgiveness later.

To do a good preventive maintenance, one may require to perform analysis and, in some cases, simulations.

One of the biggest challenge in social life is the interaction between men and women (one of which men usually apologize without knowing exactly what was wrong). Time Out New York did a little simulation to better understand each sex, particularly in the area of bouncing boobs and dangling dicks. Their reporters traded parts to find out how it feels.

And here are the verdicts:

Guys, I’m not moved by your penis plight. Granted, had I been wearing a pair of loose-fitting boxer shorts, I may have had some motion-control issues—it couldn’t be any fun to run or bike with a set of sweaty objects thwacking against your thigh. But dudes, take advantage of the fact that American Apparel has brought back the brief and as far as I can tell, you’ll be golden. I’ll never make fun of your tighty-whities again. —Kate Lowenstein

I experienced no chronic back problems or sore nipples; the problem that plagued me the most was the punching-bag effect that occurred when doing arm curls. Though this was catnip to my perpetually fifth-grade male mentality, had the boobs actually been attached to my chest, the overwhelming feeling would’ve likely been one of pain, not fascination. —Drew Toal

Let's better appreciate and understand others.

Happy Eid, selamat lebaran, mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On investing and porn

Stock market has been performing badly. Wall Street goes banana.

It was the banks. Bear Stearns collapsed, Merril Lynch is about to be acquired, and Lehman filed for bankruptcy.

And now it's the insurers. AIG needs a savior.

Investing looks bleak.

Some people say that I work in a safe industry - consumer products. No matter what, people still need to go on with their life. They need to bathe and wash their hair. And people still make babies too.

But there is another industry whose demand never dies, thus ought to be less volatile than technology or banking: porn.

And we can now invest in porn industry. Adult Entertainment Capital, Inc. went public yesterday in NASDAQ, under ADLE ticker.

MSN Money says the porn stocks are worth watching. With yesterday's closing at $0.0065, you can easily be a shareholder.

An article says that it's a big market, around $57 billion globally. Looks like a huge market that can still be exploited...

A classmate once interviewed with Vivid Entertainment for an internship position in finance. The whole school enjoyed his story about the interview.

Can you imagine the experience of attending ADLE's annual shareholder meeting?

[Read more...]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Politicians are politicians, wherever they are

Bad, or naughty, politicians to be specific.

Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, recently resigned from his post, having pleaded guilty to felony charges last Thursday in a sex scandal.

Why Kwame? Well, I happened to witness his campaign for his first term in 2001. He was the young candidate (31 years old at that time), campaigning against the old opponent (Gill Hill was 70 at that time). He was hip-hop, energetic, and had this 'young' aura - at least in his TV campaign ads - if I remember correctly.

He was exciting.

However, apparently his two terms in the office was full of controversies. Similar to some politicians in this part of the world, but handled differently.

While he must have done some good things for Detroit, but the information in Wikipedia lists mostly his controversies.

A wild party involving strippers at the official residence of mayor.

The murder of one of those exotic dancers.

Personal use of Detroit Police's Harley-Davidson.

Expensive lease of a luxury SUV (by the city) used for his family.

Use of a Civic Fund (created to improve the city of Detroit) for week-long California vacation with his wife, three sons, and babysitter.

And the latest, a sex scandal with his chief of staff, having previously denied the wrongdoing under oath.

The chief of staff, by the way, once was pulled over for speeding. She reacted by saying "Do you know who the f*** I am?" to the traffic officers. She called the Police Chief and the cops were called off.

These sound kind of familiar, doesn't it?

So I'd say, bad politicians are the same everywhere.

The difference is the way they are handled. Of course, some would get away. But in this region, most will get away. Worse, some are well-guarded and keep their positions for long.

[Read more...]

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The top 100 reasons it's great to be a guy

I'm not sure what the original source is, but this has been out there for some time. A bit towards Americans, but nevertheless applies to most guys...

  1. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  2. Movie nudity is virtually always female.
  3. You know stuff about tanks.
  4. A five day vacation requires only one suitcase.
  5. Monday Night Football.
  6. You don't have to monitor your friends sex lives.
  7. Your bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
  8. You can open all your own jars.
  9. Old friends don't give you crap if you've lost or gained weight.
  10. Dry cleaners and haircutter's don't rob you blind.
  11. When clicking through the channel, you don't have to stall on every shot of someone crying.
  12. Your ass is never a factor in a job interview.
  13. All your orgasms are real.
  14. A beer gut does not make you invisible to the opposite sex.
  15. Guys in hockey masks don't attack you.
  16. You don't have to lug a bag of useful stuff around everywhere you go.
  17. You understand why Stripes is funny.
  18. You can go to the bathroom with out a support group.
  19. Your last name stays put.
  20. You can leave a hotel bed unmade.
  21. When your work is criticized, you don't have to panic that everyone secretly hates you.
  22. You can kill your own food.
  23. The garage is all yours.
  24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
  25. You see the humor in Terms of Endearment.
  26. Nobody secretly wonders if you swallow.
  27. You never have to clean the toilet.
  28. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
  29. Sex means never worrying about your reputation.
  30. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  31. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
  32. Your underwear is $10 for a three pack.
  33. The National College Cheerleading Championship
  34. None of your co-workers have the power to make you cry.
  35. You don't have to shave below your neck.
  36. You don't have to curl up next to a hairy ass every nite.
  37. If you're 34 and single nobody notices.
  38. You can write your name in the snow.
  39. You can get into a nontrivial pissing contest.
  40. Everything on your face stays its original color.
  41. Chocolate is just another snack.
  42. You can be president.
  43. You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger seat.
  44. Flowers fix everything.
  45. You never have to worry about other people's feelings.
  46. You get to think about sex 90% of your waking hours.
  47. You can wear a white shirt to a water park.
  48. Three pair of shoes are more than enough.
  49. You can eat a banana in a hardware store.
  50. You can say anything and not worry about what people think.
  51. Foreplay is optional.
  52. Michael Bolton doesn't live in your universe.
  53. Nobody stops telling a good dirty joke when you walk into the room.
  54. You can whip your shirt off on a hot day.
  55. You don't have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is coming by.
  56. You never feel compelled to stop a pal from getting laid.
  57. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
  58. You don't give a rat's ass if someone notices your new haircut.
  59. You can watch a game in silence with you buddy for hours without even thinking (He must be mad at me)
  60. The world is your urinal.
  61. You never misconstrue innocuous statements to mean your lover is about to leave you.
  62. You get to jump up and slap stuff.
  63. Hot wax never comes near your pubic area.
  64. One mood, all the time.
  65. You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
  66. You never have to drive to another gas station because this one's just too skeevy.
  67. You know at least 20 ways to open a beer bottle.
  68. You can sit with your knees apart no matter what you are wearing.
  69. Same work....more pay.
  70. Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
  71. You don't have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch adjustment.
  72. Wedding Dress $2000; Tux rental $100.
  73. You don't care if someone is talking about you behind your back.
  74. With 400 million sperm per shot, you could double the earth's population in 15 tries, at least in theory.
  75. You don't mooch off others' desserts.
  76. If you retain water, it's in a canteen.
  77. The remote is yours and yours alone.
  78. People never glance at your chest when you're talking to them.
  79. ESPN's sports center.
  80. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
  81. Bachelor parties whomp ass over bridal showers.
  82. You have a normal and healthy relationship with your mother.
  83. You can buy condoms without the shopkeeper imagining you naked.
  84. You needn't pretend you're "freshening up" to go to the bathroom.
  85. If you don't call your buddy when you say you will, he won't tell you friends you've changed.
  86. Someday you'll be a dirty old man.
  87. You can rationalize any behavior with the handy phrase "F*#k it!"
  88. If an other guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong buddies.
  89. Princess Di's death was almost just another obituary.
  90. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
  91. You never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you're not in the mood.
  92. You think the idea of punting a small dog is funny.
  93. If something mechanical didn't work, you can bash it with a hammer and throw it across the room.
  94. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
  95. Porn movies are designed with your mind in mind.
  96. You don't have to remember everyone's birthdays and anniversaries.
  97. Not liking a person does not preclude having great sex with them.
  98. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with: "So...notice anything different?"
  99. Baywatch
  100. There is always a game on somewhere.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Marina Mahathir found more nonsense in Malaysia. Unspun added more meats on it.

The victim is now the devil-horn hair clip. (yes, hair clips for children)

This adds to the list of banned 'products' in Malaysia, which, Unspun summarized, include Inul (though she finally got to perform at the KBRI), Avril Lavigne, the sight of women's armpit on TV (what?), and more.

Well, it's not all that bad, actually. If it's an art, it seems people here are more receptive.

Like the recent Sloggi Art for Humanity in Sunway Lagoon. (photos from Bun Virus' flickr)

A bit of hypocrisy, eh? Or simply an irony? But life will be boring otherwise...

More pictures here.

[Read more...]

Monday, September 01, 2008

Living dangerously

No, not the movie/novel (The Year of) Living Dangerously.

It's blogging.
Particularly, blogging against the government.

In Malaysia, you can be jailed and charged. Your home may be raided, and your website can be blocked. Defamation is the keyword.

In Russia, you're dead.

So Malaysians can consider themselves lucky.

P.S. Malaysia Today is now blocked, and has moved to another address.

[Read more...]

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Being an Olympian: what to expect

A lot of practice sessions. Tough ones, to be sure.

But once you get there to compete, and stay in the Olympic Village, the expectations might be different.

Matthew Syed, a former Olympian, shares a story of interaction among athletes in the Olympic Village. A fact which, perhaps, caused some 100,000 high-quality condoms made available at the Village's clinic.

Do you want to be an Olympian? (or just being there in the Olympic Village)

This sex fest was not limited to Barcelona: the same thing happened in Sydney in 2000, my second Olympics as an athlete, and is happening right here in Beijing, where this time I'm a commentator. I spoke to an Aussie table tennis player this week to check out the village vibe and he launched into the breathless patter common to any Olympic debutant: “It is unbelievable in there; everyone is totally crazy once they are out of their competitions. God knows what it is going to be like this weekend. It is like a world within a world.” A British runner (anonymous again: athletes are not supposed to talk to journalists unaccompanied by a PR type, least of all about sex) said: “The swimmers finished earlier in the week and it was like there was an eruption.”

blog it

[Read more...]

Monday, August 25, 2008

On beach volleyball

As a response to Anita's "no problem with men's beach volleyball - for a different reason", watch again the women's beach volleyball final. It had it all: beach, bikini, rain, and women jumping, rolling and hugging each other. What else can a sport fan ask?

Though this is inspired by some other websites, I think I win my case :)

Check out these pictures from FIVB.

[Read more...]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At least

Here I am, waiting for the Olympics closing ceremony and watching Astro reviews how Malaysian athletes performed in the Olympics.

It's been full of "at least".

Like, "At least he broke the national record."
Or, "At least she got the international experience."

Then, the commentators talked about how Lin Dan studied the video of Lee Chong Wei's moves - enabling him to play fast and anticipate most of Chong Wei's shots. Surprised?

Well, at least next time they can consider using video too...

[Read more...]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beijing 2008

I was lucky to get the chance to go to Beijing early this week to see some actions in the Olympics. This was a corporate hospitality program of which I was selected to participate. So I'd like to think it has something to do with the cigar I celebrated last year.

The visit was only three days short, but the schedule was packed. It started with table tennis on the first day, men's beach volleyball and athletics on the second day, and women's diving on the last day.

I brought along my new Sony Alpha SLR camera, and took a lot of pictures. (Yes, some of them were the cheerleaders from the beach volleyball game.)

Here are some of my observations.

Olympic Lane. To anticipate traffic during Olympics, one lane is dedicated as Olympic lane in some streets and highways. Surprisingly (or not?) people are pretty disciplined in keeping this lane only for the Olympic-related vehicles. I was also told that during this period Beijing implements odd-even license plate number to match with the days; that it was quite bad that some offices allow their employees to go to work during the days they can drive. Hey, it's the Olympics after all.

Supporters. When their countries do not play, most supporters will support the better-looking players. At least that's what I observed during the table tennis matches. Tetyana Sorochynska from Ukraine (was playing against Wenling Tan Monfardini from Italy), for example, received full supports from my Indian colleagues.

Chinese-descendant players. Most table tennis players are Chinese-descendant. Whether they represent France, Italy, Canada, Poland, and more.

Men's beach volleyball. My colleagues made fun of me going to see the men's beach volleyball game. Sure, women's beach volleyball would be perfect. But we were definitely entertained by the cheerleaders (the game was of high quality too!) See, men's beach volleyball isn't that bad.

Athletics. Usain Bolt was damn fast, and he really looks enjoying every single moment. That's the way it is!

Foreigners. The city is full of foreigners. Most are corporate guests from the main sponsors, and the athletes and coaches themselves, of course. I met a Texan, quite arrogant, who comes with the U.S. soccer team. He doesn't like to sightsee (though I met him near the Forbidden Palace), only to drink and boom-boom.

English. More people in Beijing, I believe, are able to speak English. Some information booths are trilingual. Cops can clearly explain where to get cabs. Servers can even explain that the yummy Peking duck was cooked with pork oil. (damn it!)

I uploaded some of the pictures to my flickr and facebook.

[Read more...]

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Confused with history

Still with the spirit of independence day, and the fact that I'm home alone and got nothing to do, I was thinking about some heroic stories from Indonesia's independence day history.

One, the only one indeed, that came in mind was the Battle of Aru Sea. It is the one whose diorama I still remember after my visit to the Satria Mandala museum, thanks to Mas Aroengbinang.

It's truly heroic. One of three Indonesia's warships (MTB, motor torpedo boat,-type) decided to let itself to be a target so that the other two could run away from two Dutch destroyers' attack. The ship, KRI Macan Tutul, eventually got hit and sank.

Googling for more information about the incident, however, led me to some variations from the story I learned back in the elementary school. The version in Wikipedia seems to be the most updated one.

It says, the decision was for all ships to return and sail away. KRI Macan Tutul, unfortunately, got a problem and kept making right turn. (Another version is going straight to the two destroyers.)

Holy moly! What's happened? What has really happened?


Well, the heroes are still heroes. They fought for their country, and they deserved to become heroes. Not only the high-ranked officers. But all who contributed - physically, mentally, or with any other means.

But hell, why histories are tweaked? Were they genuine mistakes? Were they versions of the writers (being subjective)?

If a-century-ago histories are not that accurate, what about those from thousands years ago?

Yes, like today's religions.

I guess the truth is out there... we just want to believe...

Other interesting websites that discuss Indonesia's history are Anusapati (check an entry on heroism) and Beni's Overseas Think Tank for Indonesia.

[Read more...]

Independence day spirit and Dara Torres

Dara Torres is the oldest in the U.S. swimming team - and perhaps among all swimmers in the Olympic - competing in her 5th Olympics. Neither the sexiest nor the prettiest athlete (but she posed on Maxim magazine in 2000).

And, umm, she's got short hair too.

What she recently did in the semifinal was quite a topic, given the competitive nature of the event: helping out a rival swimmer.

"Therese's suit ripped when we were getting ready to walk out," Torres said. "I tried to help her with it, tried to do it up, and it ripped again. So I walked out and was trying to get them to hold the race for her. I was saying, 'Her suit's ripped.' And waving my arms around."

A counter argument on this is that what she did actually threw off other swimmers' concentration. Ridiculous argument. I think what she did was based on fairness, or fair play - one that some soccer players just fail to do.

On how this qualifies as an independence day spirit, I'm not sure. (What is independence day spirit, anyway?)

But for the sake of it - her act is a quality that we, as a nation, must possess to move forward. To accomplish what our predecessors dreamed of, and to correct mistakes we did in the past.

The quality of being fair, unselfish, and mindful of others.

We have been an independent nation for 63 years, and we're still fighting over things because our lack of this quality, for crying out loud.

It's been too long. It's the time
now to move on.


[Read more...]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On bullwhip effect

In a supply chain network, (demand) variability increases as orders move upstream. Eventually, the network can oscillate in very large swings as each organization in the supply chain seeks to solve the problem from its own perspective. This phenomenon is known as the bullwhip effect and has been observed across most industries, resulting in increased cost and poorer service.

Among the culprits are demand forecast inaccuracies: everybody in the chain adds a certain percentage to the demand estimates. The result is no visibility of true customer demand.

This phenomenon apparently also applies in life.

Well, how?

It's simply the attempt to impress. Unfortunately, people get inaccurate and unconfirmed information about how to impress. They end up trying many things that they think or assume will work.

This is cascaded down. And further down, with many more assumptions, in the hierarchy. Moving the herds up and down with new assumptions. The swings get bigger each level.

No one wins.

It sucks.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On single-sex school, bikinis and decision-making

Research says single-sex schools help children thrive.

It says boys, particularly, have trouble paying attention in class, and often ignore instructions and generate sloppy work. Among the reasons, the article concludes, are more female teachers (than male teachers), superior female student counterparts (girls read faster and control their emotions better), and unfit educational structure.

An alum of both types of schools myself, I fairly agree with the argument, but am not sure about the details - perhaps because the article refers to U.S. education. (Shoot! There was also literally no girl in most of my Mechanical Engineering classes.)

To me, the boys of single-sex schools can practically say "there is one less thing to worry or think about". Thus they can more freely express their feelings and actions.

Most of which are usually deemed unmannered.

What are other potential advantages? Well, they can benefit through better decision makings.


Well, there's this research that scientifically demonstrated that bikinis make man stupid, that sexy images rob male brain of ability to make wise decisions. The paper is formally titled "Bikinis Instigate Generalized Impatience in Intertemporal Choice".

How will this benefit the students? While there shouldn't be any bikinis at school, I'd say that you never know what's in young men's mind... or what they can imagine. For single-sex school students, at least this imagination part is eliminated or 'constrained'.

The experiments must be like torture to the 358 young men

Read this: "In one test, the men looked at images of women in bikinis or lingerie and at images of landscapes. In another, some men were given T-shirts to handle and assess while others were given bras. Another batch of men was assigned to watch a commercial featuring men running over landscapes while other guys watched a video of “hundreds of young women, dressed in bikinis running across hills, fields and beaches.” (No word on whether they used “Baywatch” slo-mo)."

How valid is this research? If concentrating itself is difficult, let alone making decisions, then the research must be quite valid.

Take an example from my friend, at his previous company.

One of his best technicians was fixing a pump when a female employee with sizeable yet well-proportioned boobs (that's how he explained to me) passed by. Without realizing it, the technician let his fingers cut (but did not require amputation) in the pump. Recordable accident.

In manufacturing environment (in any environment, in fact) it's a big deal. But you know what the technician said?

"It's OK. It's worth it."

[Read more...]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Blogging addiction

Rima lists "20 signs you're a blog addict". From the comments, most, if not all, plead guilty of being addicts.

How bad blogging addiction can be?

None reported so far. But how about this: "At least two cases of phone addiction have been reported in Britain where young people who were obsessed with their phones and became depressed when the number of incoming calls or messages dropped."

Not too far off, perhaps?

If mobile phone addiction can be a good indication, you (we?) may end up in a mental health clinic. Just like these two Spanish kids who were treated in mental clinic.

Two children are learning to live without their mobile phones after becoming so badly addicted to the technology they were admitted to a mental health clinic.

The children, aged 12 and 13, were treated for mobile phone addiction

They were brought in after spending an average of six hours a day on their phones, talking, texting or playing games.

Their parents became concerned that the children, aged 12 and 13, were unable to carry out normal activities without their handsets. They were failing at school and deceiving relatives in an attempt to obtain more money for phone cards.

However, it may take a year to wean them off the "drug", said Dr Maite Utges, director of the Child and Youth Mental Health Centre in Lleida, north-east Spain, where they have been treated for the past three months.

"It is the first time we have used a specific treatment to cure a dependence on the mobile phone," she said.

"They both showed disturbed behaviour and this exhibited itself in failure at school. They both had serious difficulties leading normal lives."

Both children had had their own phones for 18 months and were not controlled by their parents.

"One paid for their phone by getting money from the grandmother and other family members, without explaining what they were going to do with it," said Dr Utges.

At least two cases of phone addiction have been reported in Britain where young people who were obsessed with their phones and became depressed when the number of incoming calls or messages dropped.

[Read more...]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prospectus - friends with benefits

In case you haven't heard, the term friends with benefits refers to two individuals (friends, as the term implies) who mutually and regularly engage in sexual activity without any aspirations of anything more than just sex. How does it compare to the traditional relationship? The prospectus below provides the answer. :)

(Found this on Yes, I Can't See You)

[Read more...]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Roadblocks - preventing crimes or causing traffic jam?

Today's massive traffic jam / flood was pretty bad and pissed off many of my colleagues. It reminded me how annoyed I was with traffic jam resulted from roadblocks.

"Roadblocks part of regular crime prevention" - title of the article below.

clipped from thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Police say the roadblocks around Kuala Lumpur and here on Saturday were part of the normal crime prevention measures.

Several readers had called The Star office in Petaling Jaya on Saturday expressing concern that several roadblocks had been set up around Kuala Lumpur and here, causing traffic jams. Some even questioned whether the roadblocks were in any way related to Sunday's rally organised by the Coalition Against Inflation (Protes) at Stadium Kelana Jaya here.

blog it

I fully agree with the idea of having sensible roadblocks. Like the ones for speeding (which I got caught), the ones for drunk-driving (I assume so if it's done past midnight), or the ones for some unknown reasons - most likely to catch criminals or something.

But I think it's a little too many roadblocks in Malaysia. I doubt the effectiveness to prevent crime (how would it prevent crime from happening?), but for sure they cause traffic jam. Even the Deputy Tourism Minister complained about having it (done just outside KLIA).

On this particular roadblock in KLIA, I experienced it once or twice. Why did it have to be just outside the airport? What were they looking for?

Perhaps positively responding to the Minister appeal, the roadblock was once done on the highway between the airport and KL, causing at least 30-minute jam on the highway. Yeah, I was there as well... *sigh*

[Read more...]

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Drama nation

I don't follow politics - well, except the big events like elections. I'm a skeptic when it comes to politicians (or politician wannabes).

I also don't read newspaper regularly. We don't subscribe to any local paper, but every other week we always get the free Star everyday - because our maid is nice enough to pick up the free paper every time she takes Anya out to wait for her carpool.

Last week Anya was carpooling so we get to read local newspaper everyday. That's when I've really had enough about drama with Malaysian political leaders.

The news are full with crappy drama from the political leaders. Either it's about sodomy, or unresolved murder of a Mongolian model, or racist comment, or missing private investigator (after providing a report, of course), or other things that are shameful enough to occupy first page news for days.

Or maybe they should be on the first page. Because these news involve the number one and the number two, as well as the former number one and the former number two...

[Read more...]

Saturday, July 05, 2008

On In Bruges, Tarantino's movies, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Tera Patrick

I watched In Bruges last week, and enjoyed it. It is said to be a good dark comedy movie - whatever it means - receiving 79% positive reviews in Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie reminds me of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction or True Romance. In comparison, In Bruges uses the word "fuck" (and its derivatives) 126 times (resulting 1.18 "fucks" per minute). That's still better compared to True Romance's 1.86 and Pulp Fiction's 1.58.

I like most of the movies written or directed by Quentin Tarantino. They're quite unusual. I also enjoy other unusual movies like Blair Witch Project, Memento, or Twelve Monkeys (I adore Madeline Stowe, after Winona Ryder). Don't get me wrong, I also like masterpieces like Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers. (oh, I, too, like Tom Hanks.)

Speaking about Tarantino, he is rumored to want to remake Russ Meyers’ 1965 exploitation flick Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Among the stars include Britney Spears, Eva Mendes, and Kim Kardashian. Well, only Eva Mendes has a proven acting experience, but who cares. Throw in Paris Hilton to make it more interesting! I'm sure Tarantino will make something out of them.

Further rumor, however, says that Tarantino wants Tera Patrick in the movie as well. Yes, Tera Patrick the porn star. (doesn't sound too familiar to me though - I know only Asia Carrera, and found out that she has a blog!) Tera was delighted and said: "It would be the hottest remake ever, and I'm honored to be considered."

My opinion remains the same. Tarantino will handle it nicely. Perhaps a role like what Brad Pitt did in True Romance - a cheerful stoner.

[Read more...]

Saturday, June 28, 2008

25 years too old

The Egyptians have a law that limits the age gap between spouses to 25 years.

clipped from news.bbc.co.uk

The Egyptian authorities have banned a 92-year-old man from marrying a 17-year-old girl, the Egyptian al-Akhbar newspaper has reported.

The ministry of justice invoked a law which says the age gap between spouses should not exceed 25 years.

blog it

That means, 17-year old girl can only be married by a man no older than 42 years.

That also means, if Rika Tolentino Kato is an Egyptian, Yusril would've not been allowed to marry her.

The same goes to Woody Allen, Billy Joel, and Rod Stewart.

While Michael Douglas - Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Harrison Ford - Calista Flockhart would be on the border.

However, as in "if there's will, there's a way", there's a catch in this law.

In special cases, the justice ministry does allow foreign men to marry Egyptian women more than 25 years their junior if they deposit a very large sum of money in the name of their wife at the Egyptian National Bank. (Didn't the Indonesian government try to implement something like this before?)

To be fair to the old man, though - if he is 92, he's only allowed to marry a 67-year old. Maybe we should let him make use the money he's earned all his life, lah...

[Read more...]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Next generation soccer: topless

Austria 10 - Germany 5.

Whoa, wait. Didn't Germany beat Austria one-nil?

That's Euro. We're talking about Sexy Soccer, or topless soccer, or whatever you want to call it. It was played on the beach with one football, two goals, and two topless ladies teams.

"The traditional swapping of shirts afterwards was not an option as the six-a-side teams wore nothing but thongs, with the national colours painted on to their bare skin."

Get the idea? Picture to prove?

The players seem to be playing pretty hard...
"We played pretty hard, we even had some injuries, like I for example broke my toe nail," 29-year-old bank employee Doris Fastenmeir told Reuters.

But they're not professional players after all...
"I was supposed to hold the balls but I really have no idea how to do that," said German keeper Jana Bach. "Maybe it is because I am not all that much into soccer. I am more into shoes to be honest."

I'm a big fan of Germany. But after seeing the pictures, I think I'll be just a neutral soccer fan...

This is where all hooligans and bonek united...

Some nice pictures, also here.
Full report from Reuters.

[Read more...]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We love ice cream

Perhaps it's something that runs in my family. No one so far beats my dad, but certainly he's got a couple of contenders.

An old picture from our vacation in Myrtle Beach.

But what are our favorites? Pretty much any kind of ice cream. For sure, certain brands are better than the others.

Häagen-Dazs is definitely among the best, a truly premium brand with premium taste. Unfortunately, it comes with premium price. So, it's restricted to only premium occasions. Our favorite: its fondue (now) and Mint Chip Dazzler.
Oh yeah, high calorie dessert - 1270 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat. But, gosh, it's so good.

I also like Woody ice cream, back way years ago in Indonesia... I think Woody is a local brand, without any permission to use the Woodpecker icon. But for sure, it was among the best back then.

Ben and Jerry's was our favorite when we were in North Carolina. One shop on Chapel Hill's Franklin St. was our favorite during Summer time.

Baskin-Robbins used to be better than they are today, in my opinion. But with 31% off every 31st of the month, it certainly is a good deal, good value for the taste.

There was an ice cream parlor in Blok M (then moved to Pondok Indah), called Rendez-Vous. Again, my parents' favorite. Their sundae is superb!

And of course, soft ice cream -- anywhere, vanilla mixed with chocolate. Dairy Queen, Mc Donald's... My old time favorite is the one in Apotik Melawai on Jalan Melawai.

Yeah, we love ice cream.

[Read more...]

In God We Trust -- 4Real!

Everyone, meet Mr. We Trust, In God We Trust.

Steve Kreuscher from Zion, Illinois, has legally changed his name to "In God We Trust". He says the new name symbolizes the help God gave him during tough times and says he can't wait to begin signing his artwork with the new moniker.

This is the latest from a string of interesting names in the past years. The previous one, I remember 4Real, who was born last year, but finally named Superman. The New Zealand officials ruled against it.

Apparently, before that there have been some interesting names (or name changes), such as Optimus Prime, Jason Megatron Burrows, Metallica Tomaro, Yahoo Serious, Byron Low Tax Looper, Depressed Cupboard Cheesecake, and GoVeg.com.

More about the Transformers guys here.

Some other sites about unusual names: here, here, and here.

[Read more...]

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On armpit sniffing

Just as hair pulling is not enough, there is armpit sniffing... oh wait, it's other people's armpits!!

I wonder how he does that... sneaking or by force? Either way it's so weird, that the guy might as well enjoy being caned...

clipped from www.reuters.com

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Singapore man with a penchant for sniffing women's armpits was sentenced to 14 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane for molesting his victims, a local newspaper reported Friday.

The 36-year-old, who the Straits Times said was mentally unstable, had previous convictions for drug and sex-related offences.

He molested 23 women over the course of 15 months, smelling their armpits and touching them in lifts, staircase landings and their homes, the paper said. He was caught after a housewife reported him to the police.

blog it

[Read more...]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ana Ivanovic and traffic surge

The page Ana and the queens has suddenly become the number one destination of visit in the past few days. I really admire those people who "finally" got into this blog. They must have gone through hundreds of Google pages before it finally shows up.

Yes, Ana Ivanovic has, again, reached the French Open final for the second year in a row - playing today. This time she's the favorite, and, regardless of the result, will be the world's number one by Monday. finally won her first grand slam title, defeating Dinara Safina... with a few screams of "Hadje!"

I also found several good clips of Ana Ivanovic (there are tons of them) - below.

[Read more...]

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dreaming of a better world

Celebrating tennis and Roland Garros.

The crowd loves it... and so do I...

[Read more...]

Thursday, June 05, 2008

R-rated exhibition

Or NC-16, if there's such thing. Admission is free. No one under the age 16 is allowed. No short. No slippers. No photography.

[Read more...]

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza

After sex, that is.

Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza. That's what Dave Zinczenko told Arianna Huffington - which she blogs in "Less Sex, More Fat: Why You Need to Get Some Sleep". She argues against workaholism and sleep loss: less productivity, less job satisfaction, less sex, and more inches around the waist. She ends the post by saying "So do yourself a favor and go to sleep right after sex. Or before sex. Or instead of sex. Just not during sex."

(I, too, question what enough sleep is, support midday nap, want to know the best time to go up, and try to find out how to sleep more to lose weight.)

Anyway, I'm not going to share my sex life. But it's worth it to check out what Melinda Wenner has got to explain, about why guys get sleepy after sex -- as apparently perceived by many ladies.

Towards the end, there's an interesting survey result, that 48% of English men fall asleep during sex...??

Why do guys get sleepy after sex?

(published on Scienceline and She Blinded Me With Science!)
by Melinda Wenner

For many women, the correlation between sex and snoring is one of those annoying facts of life: no matter when passionate encounters occur, men always seem to fall asleep immediately afterwards. Dave Zinczenko, the author of Men, Love and Sex: The Complete User Guide For Women, explained the phenomenon to Huffington Post writer Arianna Huffington this way: “Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza.”

I doubt I am ever going to become a pizza, and I’ll never have the foresight to order one beforehand. So in lieu of a cure, a better explanation will have to do. Although women sometimes feel sleepy after sex, the phenomenon does seem more pronounced in men. What is it, then, that spirals them into the land of nod?

First, the obvious reasons for sex’s somnolent sway: the act frequently takes place at night, in a bed, and is, after all, physically exhausting (often more so for the man than the woman, although this certainly varies). So when sex is over, it’s natural for a guy to feel sleepy.

Secondly, research using positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that in order for a person to reach orgasm, a primary requirement is to let go of “all fear and anxiety.” Doing so also tends to be relaxing and might explain the tendency to snooze.

Then there is the biochemistry of the orgasm itself. Research shows that during ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide (NO), and the hormone prolactin. The release of prolactin is linked to the feeling of sexual satisfaction, and it also mediates the “recovery time” that men are well aware of—the time a guy must wait before “giving it another go.” Studies have also shown that men deficient in prolactin have faster recovery times.

Prolactin levels are naturally higher during sleep, and animals injected with the chemical become tired immediately. This suggests a strong link between prolactin and sleep, so it’s likely that the hormone’s release during orgasm causes men to feel sleepy.

(Side note: prolactin also explains why men are sleepier after intercourse than after masturbation. For unknown reasons, intercourse orgasms release four times more prolactin than masturbatory orgasms, according to a recent study.)

Oxytocin and vasopressin, two other chemicals released during orgasm, are also associated with sleep. Their release frequently accompanies that of melatonin, the primary hormone that regulates our body clocks. Oxytocin is also thought to reduce stress levels, which again could lead to relaxation and sleepiness.

What about the evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness? This is trickier to explain. Evolutionarily speaking, a man’s primary goal is to produce as many offspring as possible, and sleeping doesn’t exactly help in his quest. But perhaps since he cannot immediately run off with another woman anyway—damn that recovery time!—re-energizing himself via sleep may be the best use of his time.

And although there is conflicting information as to whether women feel sleepy after sex, a woman often falls asleep with the man anyway (or uses it for some key cuddling time), which is good news for him: it means she is not off finding another mate. When the man wakes up and she’s still there, he just might be ready to go again.

It’s also possible that sleepiness is just a “side effect” associated with a more evolutionarily important reason for the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. In addition to being associated with sleep, both chemicals are also intimately involved in what is called “pair bonding,” the social attachment human mates commonly share. The release of these brain chemicals during orgasm heightens feelings of bonding and trust between sexual partners, which may partially explain the link between sex and emotional attachment. This bond is favorable should the couple have a baby, as cooperative child rearing maximizes the young one’s chances for survival.

The bottom line is this: there are many potential biochemical and evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness, some direct and some indirect—but no one has yet pinpointed the exact causes. One thing, however, is certain: we females better get used to it, because it doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.

I will leave frustrated American women with one final thought: if you are upset at the ubiquity of the post-sex snoring phenomenon, remember that things could be a lot worse. A recent survey of 10,000 English men revealed that 48 percent actually fall asleep during sex.

Talk about coitus interruptus!

[Read more...]

I suck at golf

I played golf this morning.

For someone who got introduced to golf nearly twelve years ago, I really suck at golf -- though I can always argue this morning's was my only fourth game since moving to Malaysia nearly three years ago - and my clubs are over ten years old.

I've tasted 92 strokes, though I scored 110 more often. I've gotten my birdie, only to be overwhelmed by my triple- and quadruple-bogeys.

I will be the big fan of this website (unfortunately not up today - but check out the About). All and all, I might be an average golfer!

[Read more...]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

2:05 hours (92%) remaining

I've already complained about the performance of my laptop battery. Last year, it was 45 minutes after being fully charged. It had become only 20 minutes in the past few months and made me too busy looking for electrical plug while traveling.

I got it replaced, finally, yesterday. It is 2:05 hours for 92% remaining, as compared 0:18 hours for 100% remaining previously.

Now, I am looking into how to better maintain the battery performance. Especially with the dock I am using at work. The Battery University, again, is helpful with some general information about battery charging. They're so good; they analogize battery to human: "Batteries behave like humans; some live to a great old age, others die early."

Here are some Q&A to maximize battery performance from cradle to grave from the Battery University for Lithium-ion batteries.

How should I prepare my new battery?
Li-ion comes partially charged. You can use the battery right away and charge it when needed.

Can I damage my battery if incorrectly prepared?
No; Li-ion is forgiving to partial and full charge. No priming is needed when new.

Should I use up all battery energy before charging?
No, it is better to recharge more often; avoid frequent full discharges.
Yes, on batteries with a fuel gauge, allow a full discharge once a month to enable reset.

Should I charge my battery partially or fully?
Does not matter. Charging in stages is acceptable. Full charge termination occurs by reading the voltage level and charge current. Charging a full battery is safe and does not cause harm.

- Should I remove the battery from the charger when full?
- Should I remove the AC when my laptop is not in use?
It does not matter. The charger automatically cuts the charge current when the battery is full. A laptop may be connected to the AC when not in use.

Should the battery be kept charged when not in use?
Best to store at 40% charge or 3.75-3.80V/cell open terminal. Cool storage is more important than state-of-charge. Do not fully deplete battery because Li-ion may turn off its protection circuit.

What should I know about chargers?
Charger should apply full charge. Avoid economy chargers that advertise one-hours charge. Fastest full-charge time: 2-3 hours.

[Read more...]

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sex education: solution or problem?

Malaysia is considering sex education in the National Service - I heard this on the radio a couple weeks ago.

clipped from www.cbsnews.com
AP) Malaysia's government is worried that high school graduates may not know enough about sex.

Authorities in the conservative, Muslim-majority nation are considering teaching sex education to teenagers when they undergo national service after leaving school, Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil, director general of the National Service Department, said Wednesday.

blog it

High school graduates may not know enough about sex? Never underestimate teenagers!

The question is "what is sex education?" What is the curriculum? Will knowing more about sex drive up or down the sex activities among teenagers?

I found another article from John J. Macionis interesting.

Most schools today have sex education programs that teach the basics of sexuality. Instructors explain to young people how their bodies grow and change, how reproduction occurs, and how to avoid pregnancy by using birth control or abstaining from sex.

Half of U.S. teenage boys report having sex by the time they reach sixteen, and half of girls report doing so by seventeen. These numbers are much the same in most high-income nations; what accounts for the higher U.S. teen pregnancy rate is less use of contraceptives. "Sex ed" program, then seem to make sense. But critics point out that as the number of sex education programs has expanded, the level of teenage sexual activity has actually gone up. This trend seems to suggest that sex education may not be discouraging sex among youngsters and, maybe, that learning more about sex encourages young people to become sexually active sooner. Critics also say that it is parents who should be instructing their children about sex, since, unlike teachers, parents can also teach their beliefs about what is right and wrong.

But supporters of sex education counter that research does not support the conclusion that sex education makes young people more sexually active. More generally, they argue that it is the larger culture - one that celebrates sexuality - that encourages children to become sexually active. If this is the case, the sensible strategy is to ensure that they understand what they are doing and take reasonable precautions to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

[Read more...]

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Be careful of what you say

At work, we have several required courses that everyone needs to be re-certified every two or three years. One of them is Careful Communication.

It's kind of reminding us on the right use of emails and verbal communication that may result in legal charges. For example, comments or jokes that may be interpreted as racial or sexual harassment.

We should apply it at home as well.

A few weeks ago, I carelessly made a comment about myself: "I think my tummy is getting rounder."

One event led to another. Now I am (was - as of this moment) on 'forced' phase I South Beach diet - at least when I'm home. ;) No carbohydrate is allowed... ouch!

So guys, be careful of what you say.

(on a different note, this probably is the right time to do so - with the price and supply of rice go bananas...)

[Read more...]

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The twenty-first-century campus: where are the men?

I want to hire five management trainees. Through our HR partner, we received 180 resumes, out of which 35 were shortlisted as potential interviewees.

When I went through these resumes, one "unbalance" was apparent: the proportion of female candidates is higher than male candidates.

I may be old-fashioned, though, for having this kind of thought - especially when we focused on getting engineering-background management trainees. My biased reference is the three females we had out of 130+ students in my Mechanical Engineering class (but that was in the twentieth century, quite some time ago!) :)

This is, however, pretty much similar to an article I read in a Sociology textbook by John J. Macionis about the decreasing number of male students in the U.S. universities (or the rise of the number of female students?) In 2000, men accounted for 44% of college students in the U.S.

Some of his interesting discussions:

Out of class, many women soon complained that having so few men on campus hurt their social life; not surprisingly, most of the men felt otherwise about their own social life. (yeah, right... you go boys!)

Some suggest that young men are drawn away from college by the lure of jobs, especially in high technology, a pattern sometimes termed "Bill Gates syndrome".

Anti-intellectual male culture. While young women are drawn to learning and seek to do well in school, young men are more likely to see studying negatively and to dismiss schoolwork as "something for girls".

Or yet a more simple, possible explanation: the male students aren't smart, or impressive, enough to make the shortlist.

[Read more...]

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fitna from our perspective

To go with the flow, I think it doesn't hurt to write some shallow observations about Fitna - the movie. I am not interested in watching this BS, nor do I have empathy for any side. People do BS everyday.

I do, however, observe that the Indonesian government is not that much smarter than the Malaysian government on internet. Or perhaps that the Malaysian government is not as dumb as some bloggers thought, especially after this Indonesian Minister of Information's blunder.

Fitna does have a direct impact to our life - at least that's how Tari and I would like to think so.

Ben's best friend, Sam, has been missing several play-dates. His mother has been, umm, kind of avoiding us.

Based on this limited experience, we concluded that we have been impacted by Fitna. Sam's mom feels unease with us because of that movie, she rather puts a distance. She probably is afraid that we will revenge, somehow, through his boy.

We failed, though, to think what we had done that may cause them avoid us (well, if they do at all - good question to answer). Perhaps it's us, not them.

But hey, there's this guy Wilders to blame on. Everyone else does, so why don't we?

We're just another human being, after all.

[Read more...]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

On being indecisive

"Is it better like this?"
"Or like that?"
"A or B?"
"Left or right?"
"How about the last row?"

I did my eye exam this morning.

I think I drove myself and my doctor crazy.

There's not a moment in my life that I was so indecisive as was this morning.
"Can you show A again?"
"Maybe this one... err... I don't know..."
"I'm sorry, but left looks as sharp as right."

Maybe I was trying too hard.

Like one stand-up comedian said - you don't want to get a 'D' on eye exam, and end up with big, thick, coke-bottle of glasses, with a sign 'I didn't take it seriously'.

[Read more...]

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Which intersection is this?

Nah. It's not Mampang Prapatan :)

We had a trip to Thailand last week - our first time. We went to Bangkok and visited Dudi and Lisa Hermanto in Pattaya. (Don't worry, we don't randomly visit any bloggers - they're our friends back in the U.S.)

Like I've heard from many people, Bangkok is similar to Jakarta in many ways. That is, Jakarta today, not in the past. The most obvious one is traffic. And the number of motorcycles like the ones in the picture above.

The ability (or the lack of) to speak in English is also somewhat similar. People are mostly extremely polite.

The (what seems to be) sex workers are more visible. I guess, well, they generally look prettier and have longer legs. Though I suspect some are transsexual. (I spent three years schooling in Brawijaya area where Baskom - bakso kumis - and transsexuals popped out after dusk)

Yes, traffic. The home-feeling-factor.

We also stopped by at some warungs.

And tried some fried bugs.

Or not... ;)

And enjoyed the sight of the Reclining Buddha

[Read more...]

Monday, April 07, 2008

On landing and take off

I don't fly often, but I can clearly spot a difference between the practice of the airlines (cabin crews) in the U.S. and Malaysia (and other Asian airlines?) towards turning on mobile phones on (after) landing.

In the U.S., as I observed until 3 years ago, pretty much everyone turns on her cell phones once the airplane touches the ground. And the crew seems to be OK with it. Always.

Here (mostly with Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia), they make it clear that passengers cannot turn their phones on until the engine is turned off. I've seen a cute flight attendant rudely reminded a passenger in one of my Air Asia flights. (She could've done it nicer, but it's an attitude problem, I guess.)

We know that mobile phones can cause electromagnetic interference to airplane devices. I copied a quite comprehensive explanations below from Jamie. She also provides the explanation why we are required to raise the shade and put the seat on vertical position - which is a real pain with Air Asia. (I wonder whether some flight attendants can clearly explain the reasons behind these requirements.)

But the question remains: if we use our phones after the airplane touches the ground, what would be the risk? Will the pilot gets lost and not be able to find the terminal?

Well, on a more serious note, we should comply to the regulation. It's always too late to say "I wish I did that" after an accident happens.

Why do you have to turn of all electronics during take off and landing?

People must not be preoccupied during take-off and landing so that in the event of an emergency, they can clearly hear instructions given by the Flight Attendants.

You are asked not to use any electronic devices, although some may be used after cruising altitude has been reached. Cell phones, wireless computer mouses, etc are banned for the duration of the flight. This is because they pose a risk called electromagnetic interference.

Electromagnetic interference is experienced by all of us on a regular basis. An example of this is if you put a cell phone near the computer, you can hear loud static in the computers speakers every time the phone rings, and the screen may start to shake. This technically should never happen, but the wire to each speaker is acting like an antenna, and it picks up side bands in the audible range. This is not a dire problem -- just a nuisance. But notice how common it is. In an airplane, the same phenomena can cause big trouble.

An airplane contains a number of radios for a variety of tasks. There is a radio that the pilots use to talk to ground control and air traffic control (ATC), a radio that the plane uses to disclose its position to ATC computers, there are radar units used for guidance and weather detection, and so on. All of these radios are transmitting and receiving information at specific frequencies. If someone were to turn on a cell phone, the cell phone would transmit with a great deal of power (up to 3 watts for a single phone). If it happens to create interference that overlaps with radio frequencies the plane is using, then messages between people or computers may be garbled. If one of the wires in the plane has damaged shielding, there is some possibility of the wire picking up the phone's signals just like a computers speakers do. That could create faulty messages between pieces of equipment within the plane. Now imagine what would happen if everyone on the plane were to use electronic devices, and you should be able to fully understand the ban on such devices.

Why on planes take offs and landings you must: open the windows and put the seat on vertical position?

You are asked to raise your shade so that in the event of an accident you can see through the window to help you remain oriented (which way is up, etc.). Because of this, it lets you see what hazards there are outside the plane (fires, debris and such), which would be important during an evacuation. It also serves as a way to let light into the cabin and make it easier for rescuers to see inside.

Upon descent (and also if you are taking off at night) they dim the lights to help your eyes adjust to the darkness, so if anything happens and it goes dark, you're not suddenly blinded while dashing for the exits. It makes the emergency path/exit lights more visible, as these might be the only lights you see in an emergency. As with the shades, it allows you to see outside for orientation, because with the cabin lights burning brightly, the glare would make it impossible.

The seats have to be in upright position for safety reasons. In case of an accident:
*it makes it easier for passengers to exit their seats
*passengers must have easy access to emergency exits (something they wouldn't have if seats are reclined)
*it allows passengers to assume the "crash" position if need be
*reclined seat backs could kill or seriously injure the passenger behind if it should come unbolted, or if the passenger behind it is thrown forward.

[Read more...]

Saturday, April 05, 2008


And in this crazy life
And through these crazy times
It's you, it's you
You make me sing
You're every line
You're every word
You're everything

(Michael Bublé)

It's Tari's birthday today - happy birthday, hon!

[Read more...]

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Onion: naked woman picture gains popularity on internet

1. This was copied and pasted from last week's article on the Onion
2. There is a real naked picture in the original article - don't click it at work (The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age)
3. Again, this is from the Onion; don't join this group

Naked Woman Picture Gains Popularity On Internet

SAN FRANCISCO—According to leading web experts, a photo of an unidentified naked woman has caused an online sensation after appearing on the Internet sometime last week.

The inexplicably popular photograph, which features the woman exposing both breasts as well as providing an unobstructed view of her vagina, has been visited an estimated 750,000 times since it was first discovered two months ago.

"For some reason, people cannot seem to get enough of the naked woman picture," said Michael Vianna, a web analyst for Comstar Market Research who has been closely following the trend. "Though the image displays no discernible function or real-world application, it continues to enjoy immense popularity with Internet users. It is utterly perplexing."

Vianna, who closely examined the photograph over several days in an attempt to understand its appeal, said that the nude-lady photo falls completely outside typical uses for the Internet, like checking e-mail or accessing helpful information such as tax laws and driving directions. Even more unusual, the photo contains no information regarding the woman's acting or modeling career, her possible relevance to American history, or name.

"This image contains no encrypted data or practical content of any kind," Vianna said. "Even more baffling is that, in terms of web traffic, this seemingly pointless image has vastly surpassed websites as informative and indispensable as WebMD.com and Yahoo! News."

"If only she were wearing a T-shirt with some slogan on it or standing in front of a national monument, perhaps then we could begin to understand this enigmatic image," Vianna continued. "In the end, however, it is simply a picture of an unclothed female approximately 20 to 30 years of age posed with her breasts and vagina clearly visible."

According to Vianna's research, there are no significant patterns relating to the viewing behavior of those accessing the picture except that the majority of the traffic usually comes late at night. And, though web-usage reports indicate that the naked woman picture interests people of all ages, income brackets, and ethnic backgrounds, there is no evidence that the photo has ever been shared with viewers' family members or coworkers, or featured in a CNN.com photojournalism slide show.

"It appears as if every one of yesterday's 27,430 viewers accessed this specific portrait independently of one another, and may even have searched for it intentionally," Vianna said. "What could have driven them all to seek out this particular photo of an anonymous, undressed woman? We may never know."

The unaccountable popularity of outwardly useless Internet content such as the naked woman picture is not unheard of. According to freelance web consultant Joseph Ziarko, these Internet "memes" are difficult to explain, as there are no factors to dictate why something as nonfunctional as a 6 x 9" digital capture of a well-endowed, tan-skinned woman lightly moistened by either sweat or beach water would interest so many people.

"No one really understands why these things catch on," Ziarko said. "Like the Hamster Dance website from a few years back or the recent interest in LOLCats, there is some intangible quality about this photo that thousands of otherwise-normal people find captivating. Maybe the fact that it is in such sharp focus."

Though interest in the photo currently remains high, Ziarko predicted that the Internet-using public will soon tire of the naked woman picture once the web is saturated with images from imitators attempting to duplicate its popularity.

"By next month, the Internet could be home to literally hundreds of pictures of naked women," Ziarko said. "There's simply no way the trend can sustain itself. People will very quickly get bored with the constant barrage of bare breasts and vaginas."

Many experts agree with Ziarko, but others in the field have suggested that the picture could spark a lucrative industry in which images of naked women are licensed to decorate promotional gas-station soda cups.

[Read more...]