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."

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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)

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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

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*

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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...

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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.

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