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 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 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...]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Animal minds

I'm a fan of National Geographic magazine, and found the March 2008 issue interesting.

The main articule of this issue is Animal Minds - that animals are smarter than we think. It goes like this on the cover: Animal Minds - Birds, Apes, Dolphins, and a Dog with a World-Class Vocabulary.

It features the following animals:

Uek the crow: solves problems and creates and uses tools

Azy the orangutan: shows cognitive complexity and flexibility rivaling that of chimps; the species maintains cultural traditions in the wild. The article says: "In the wild, orangutans keep innovative cultural traditions: Some groups construct foraging tools for extracting insects from tree holes; others use leaves as rain hats or napkins, wad them up as pillows, or line their hands with them when climbing a spiky tree. And in rare instances orangutans will twist leaves into bundles and cradle them like dolls."

Alex the parrot: counted; knew colors; shapes, and sizes had basic grasp of the abstract concept of zero.

Betsie the (Border Collie) dog: retains an ever growing vocabulary that rivals a toddlers.

JB the octopus: has distinct personality, uses tools, recognizes individuals.

Kanzi the bonobo (ape): acquired language spontaneously; makes tools at level of early humans.

Psychobird the jay: recalls the past, plans for the future.

And, uh, I also learned that the capital of Bhutan is Thimphu.

[Read more...]

Monday, March 24, 2008

This week's red


Red is this week.
Dedicated to Mascherano, Bennett, and the little red devil.

[Read more...]

Sunday, March 23, 2008

On love

Bumped into this while browsing Yahoo! Most Emailed Photos:

A couple kiss. A new study published in Evolution and Biology reports that people who are in love with their partners are less attracted to other people.

Two things came into mind.

One, it's good to see that people keep challenging the status quo or public predominant beliefs. I am pretty sure that most people would have thought this as 'fact' even before the study was conducted. But these guys go out and challenge (or prove) it. Seriously, I mean it, and I appreciate it.

Two, it proves that my friend, back in high school, was wrong - that love does, indeed, exist in real life. His theory was that love exists only in songs and movies (he was single and, probably, desperate at that time).

[Read more...]

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the way...

"On the way!"

Arguably the number one response given when one is caught being late or about to being late. Whether he is really on the way, or even not yet on the way.

And sometimes it comes with supporting "evidence", like "the traffic is surprisingly bad today!"

From friends going to a gathering, to husband picking up wife. From suppliers delivering "just-in-time" packaging materials, to colleagues coming to a business meeting.

Even recently, delivery from our cafeteria, less than 5 minutes walking, was on the way for 15 minutes (and after the second phone call to check).

I guess it is more OK (or less not-OK) to use excuses or reasons that are a little dramatic for being late. But to give expectation that one will be on time when he knows that he will be late, is pure lying and not acceptable.

Why would not tell the truth?

"Geez, I haven't left home yet. I'm still blogging" (Positively dead husband!)
"Some of our warehouse personnel did not show up at work. Your delivery will be late." (Not a competent supplier)

Because the truth hurts? But it seems to be just a matter of being scolded early or later.

At least, then, we can start a meeting on-time with modified agenda if we know someone is coming late. We can start order the appetizers. And many other good things...

[Read more...]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

When you grow up

Most people spend a lot of time to prepare for the future, to anticipate what might happen, and to plan for a better tomorrow.

We review FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis), develop what-if scenarios, and plan our exit strategies.

In personal life, we question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" We ask the question until even we are a grown up. We keep asking it, set a new goal, and work towards it.

But, what if, by as young as five years old, we know what we will be when we grow up?

Or at least we know whether we will be a criminal.

"Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to Britain's most senior police forensics expert." - an article from Guardian News.

Doesn't it suck to know that you will grow up to be a criminal? I think this can even increase the number of criminals. If I am told that I will become a criminal. I will damn sure make myself a good one.

It's like doing self assessment for strengths or talents. Instead of "you are good at dealing with numbers", you get "you are good at stealing others' properties."


"The best way to predict the future is to invent it," said Alan Kay (I thought it was Fox Mulder saying it)

Imagine if we go ahead with this DNA database, it will only time until we try to invent the future - creating the people. Making all today's movies into reality.

[Read more...]

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Last week I got pulled over on a police roadblock for speeding on a 80 km/h highway.

I think I drove at a little over 90 km/h. The second time in about six months at exactly the same place - just in front of the National Science Center in Mont Kiara / Damansara Heights area. I don't learn, I guess. But I have my reasons to rant about it.

First, it's a pretty straight three-lane highway with medium or low average traffic density. The limit should be at least 90 km/h. Nah. I'll never win with such argument.

Second, the traffic police should focus on other more important or critical violations (well, from my perspective). Like the Mat Rempit (illegal street racers) on the Penchala Link. It's extremely dangerous to other drivers, and is very noisy! Or double parking at Desa Sri Hartamas - just around the corner. (the double parking is horrendous - I'll try to take a picture of it)

Third, it was at 12:30 AM. I was on my way home from work. They didn't even check for DUI. They should focus on other more important or critical violations... oh, I've said it up there.

Most important of all, the only evidence the cop had was a piece of paper with handwritten notes of license plate number and the "speed". Mine was written 93. I didn't challenge, because I knew I was at fault, it was late, and I didn't know how Malaysian cops would react if challenged. I told him to write the ticket and not to bother to ask anything.

Handwritten note... it's a bit fishy, isn't it?

The previous pulling over was similar, though I asked the police how they knew how fast I was driving. He said they had camera.

I know there's no permanent traffic camera; I drive on the highway twice a day.

A non-permanent camera? Like what a friend said, that she saw someone squatting with camera on the road side. If so, how would the cameraman (radar-man), or the assistant, communicate the "catch" to the police? Handphone or walkie-talkie, I guess.

This also means that the distance has to be quite far between the radar and the roadblock. And also means the police don't really have any hard evidence (except the handwriting) at the time of pulling over.

So, I'd like to know two things.

One, what would happen if I insist that I don't drive over the speed limit.

Two, if there is, indeed a camera or radar that captures the speed and license plate, why would the police need a roadblock? Can't they just send the speeding ticket directly? (they did to me sometime ago, on the same highway but opposite direction.)

Or perhaps that way they can ask for bribes - like what they did on my first pulling over?

[Read more...]

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The day after election

It's the day after the general election. The day we were advised not to go out due to many rumors of post election "activities".

The incumbent, Barisan Nasional (BN) or National Front, is losing their 2/3 parliament majority they have had since 1974. It also looks as their popular vote will hit the rock bottom at low 50's. The last time this happened was in 1969, followed by some riots.

I start to think that I got a well-thought advice.

The oppositions - DAP (Democratic Action Party), PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia), and PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) - won in five states, as compared to only one state in the last election.

(... I don't know why I put the parties' logos here...)

[Read more...]