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Thursday, February 26, 2004

64% Feminine ?

Just took the gender identity test down at Emode. Here is the result -

Siddhi, you're 64% feminine


Actually, on second thoughts, maybe thats not so surprising after all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Rorschach Test

Took the ink blot test over at Emode (thanks stale). This test is really good. Very very accurate, at least in my case.

Anyway, this is what it says -

Siddhi, your subconscious mind is driven most by Curiosity

This means you are full of questions about life, people, and the potential of your future. You spend more time than others envisioning the possibilities of your life — things that others are too afraid to consider.

Your curiosity burns with an almost physical need to know and do more. It's only through new experiences that you feel a greater understanding of yourself or the world — which ultimately is the greatest way for you to feel satisfied.

It is possible that the underlying reason for your drive towards curiosity is a deeply rooted fear of boredom. That means that you are probably more susceptible than others to feel like you're falling into a rut when life slows down into a comfortable routine.

You need to make sure you have stimulation in your life — that makes you feel like you're innovating or being exposed to the ideas and experiences that truly inspire you.

With such a strong orientation towards curiosity, you're also prone to a rebellious quality that shows up when you feel you are just going through the motions, and are unable to really influence the world around you. But interestingly enough, your drive towards novel experiences also indicates an openness others don't have, but wish they did.

Unconsciously, your curiosity presses you to learn more, experience more, and get the most out of life.

This is all so true, its absolutely scary.


Yesterday went down to a neighbourhood shop to buy some New Zealand cheese. This stuff is interesting because you dont get these in your regular supermarket. They had a nice selection of cheeses. In the end, I bought about 160g of goats milk blue cheese. It has an interesting taste. Its slightly salty towards the center, but as you go towards the rind, the taste becomes less salty and stronger, probably influenced by the mold and the rind. It's similar to the other blue cheese that I've had in the past, but much more creamy, probably influenced by the goats milk. Nice combination.

I'm thinking of having some of this along with tea, as suggested in this article. Right now I'm thinking of having it with some earl gray tea that I have lying around, which should impart a flowery taste that should go well with the creaminess. I'm not sure if it will be strong enough for blue cheese. A better match might be a more bitter tea, but I dont have any with me right now.

Results of the experiment coming soon.


Recently been playing the 'opposite' game that comes with the Nokia 8250 (yes, yes, I'm still in the dinosaur age). This game is basically just Reversi, but they call it 'opposite' on the phone. Probably some copyright issue in naming the game or something.

Anyway, I finally beat the game on the hardest difficulty (level 6). It was pretty close, with me winning 34-30. I played pretty much the best I have ever played on that game, an almost perfect first half, then started losing out, but hung on in the end. Before this, my highest level win was only level 4. Considering that I have spent quite a while learning the various strategies, I must say that I'm a satisfied soul, although seasoned Reversi players would probably have no problem at all in winning at level 6.

Achievement of the day - Beating the computer at 'Opposite' on the Nokia 8250 at Level 6

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Didn't know that Cowboy Neal had a blog up. I guess most people know who he is, but in case you dont, I should redirect you to this site.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

[Now Playing - Advance Wars (GBA)]

Added some more blog links to the nav bar on the left.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

[Weather - Drizzling]

A photograph I took during the Expressions UK fashion show that was held on 25 August, 2003. This show was part of Singapore Fashion Week 2003.

Monday, February 09, 2004

[Now Watching - Dreamspaces (BBC World)]

This photo shows the Cenotaph, a world war memorial. The memorial was built to commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. It was unveiled on the 31st of March 1922 by the Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor). After the Second World War, the momument was modified to also honour soldiers who died in World War II. The photo shows the WWI insciption. The WWII inscription is on the opposite side of the memorial.

In the background, you can see the Esplanade (The two spiky domes).

This photo was taken by me sometime in July 2003.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Religious conflicts

[Weather - Cool & Clear]

From a discussion with a friend. He was saying that a lot of conflict has been caused in the name of religion, therefore religion is a problem to society and should be abolished.

My reply is that many conflicts have also been caused based on the colour of a persons skin. Does that mean we should invent something that makes everyones skin colourless ? Sounds absurd ? Yes, because the obvious thing is to leave the skin colour as it is, and teach people to be accepting towards people of other skin colours. Same way with religion, we should leave religion as it is, and teach people to live with people of other religions. The solution is not to get rid of religion.

I have heard many times that if we didnt have religion, all our problems would go away. Not so. A person who wants to cause conflict will find a reason to do so. If its was not religion, it would have been skin colour or language or the length of a persons hair. There are any number of ways to differentiate people. So abolishing religion would not have prevented any conflict. There would have been another reason given for the conflict.

"The cause of racism is not having a skin, but the it is the work of man and similarly the cause of religious conflict is not the religion, but the work of man. So leave religion alone and cure the person."

Thursday, February 05, 2004

War on drugs ?

[Now Listening to - Aphex Twin - Powerpill Pacman]

Just finished seeing Taboo: Drugs (Episode 1), on the National Geographic channel. Its also running today on National Geographic India, so catch it fast if you can. Otherwise catch the replay on the 20 February. Don't miss it, its a really good documentary.

Important Note: The following is my own opinion, based on what I have read. It may or may not be factually correct. I strongly urge the reader to research the topic on her/his own and come to her/his own conclusions.

It is my opinion that the conservatives, by refusing to talk openly about drugs have done nothing but hurt their position. Blanket statements like "Say no to drugs" are completely naive and are nothing more than an intimidating tactic to get people away from drugs. By refusing information it looks suspiciously as though some important information is being hidden. Drugs range from the relatively mild marijuana all the way to pure heroin and crack cocaine. We cannot equally apply the same standard across the board to all drugs.

A couple of years back, while doing my PGDIT, I read the book The Doors of Perception/ Heaven and Hell. Its actually two books which were originally published seperately. In it the author (Aldous Huxley) writes about his experiences with the drug mescalin, which occurs in nature and has been used for centuries by local tribes.

There is some literature which talks about the benefits of certain drugs, especially conscious altering drugs. Why do the conservatives not address these issues properly and openly, in a proper environment ? No, instead of that, they give blanket statements in the media about the terrible effects of drugs, without ever going into specific details. Which drugs ? What exactly are these effects ? What about the benefits ?

Take marijuana for instance. On 29th January 2004, marijuana was reclassified down in the UK from a Class B drug to a Class C drug. They acknowledge, that although still illegal, it is "substantially less harmful than amphetamines, and less likely than alcohol and tobacco to lead to health problems". For so long, the British government followed the US and other Asian countries in following a blanket zero tolerance policy regarding all drugs. What has changed ? It is simply that they are facing the facts, namely all drugs are not created equal. Many European countries have already come to similar conclusions. In many of these countries, an open, honest discussion is now becoming possible. Why does the non-european world lag behind ? And what about an open discussion regarding conscious altering drugs ?

While I have no intention of using any of this stuff in the near future, what is important is to understand that the standard media message that we have got stuffed into our head - that all drugs are harmful - does not give the whole picture. It is nothing but new age propaganda. Throw it out of your head, and do your own research.

This is my method - Before you use any drug, read the research thoroughly. Be aware that many government funded researches are forced by the government into saying that drug usage is extremely harmful. At the same time, many extreme liberals do not present the whole picture either. Thats what makes it so confusing. There is very little information availble that is true and still tells the entire story. Thats the risk factor. Just make sure that you are not pressurised either way. Your parents may pressurise you to stay away. You friends may pressurise you to go ahead. Dont listen to either of them. Make up your own mind. If, after reading all the research, you have the slightest doubt, then stay away. But if you still feel 100% comfortable, then go right ahead.

A starting point -

New Scientist - Marijuana Special Report (The links on the right hand side of the page are the special report links, links on the left are latest news links)

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


[Weather - Sunny]

Guerrilla Gardening (via nofi) - Guerrilla gardening is the art of using a piece of land which you do not own to grow something.

If you dont want to take over some unused land, but have no land in which to do it, then try Container Gardening or Square Foot Gardening.

Looks very interesting. I might try out square foot gardening sometime.
[Now Listening to - Agatsuma Hiromitsu - Beams]

There are a bunch of things that are bloody hard to find in Singapore. I cannot imagine why it is so difficult to get these :

Shaving cream (not saving foam or shaving gel, but shaving cream)
Shaving brush (made from actual animal hair, not that synthetic crap)
Original anime (not bootlegs or pirated anime).

It seems that the whole country buys only pirated anime. Original anime sellers are nowhere to be seen, though pirated anime is around everywhere. More about this later.

Meanwhile I'm listening to some music by Agatsuma Hiromitsu. He plays the tsugaru-jamisen, a traditional three stringed japanese instrument. I like the sound of it. I looked around for his album, but it does not seem to be around, but I haven't tried too hard yet. Hopefully it should be around in one of the CD shops.

One of the big problems in singapore is that there are a number of big chain stores, all of which cater to the mass mainstream. If your tastes diverge even a little, you are out of luck. This seems to apply to almost everything - computer games, music, anime and even shaving cream. Then your only hope lies with the few stores that cater out of the mainstream - provided they exist and you know about them.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

[Now Listening to - Republic Of Korea Top Radio (K-Pop)]

Google came up with a really nice logo today to commemorate the birthday of Gaston Julia. Although probably not as well known as Mandelbrot (in fact, even the google logo seems to have a Mandelbrot set around the G), but still well known for describing the Julia set.
[Now Watching - Super Bowl XXXVIII]

Just finished watching the replay of Super Bowl XXXVIII. What an amazing game. The momentum fluctuated throughout, and after a scoreless first quarter, the game simply exploded. The game was close throughout, and never became one sided. I feel sorry for the Panthers, they played a great game, but lost it at the very end.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Anomalous Motion Illusion

[Now Playing - Advance Wars (GBA)]

This stuff is totally freaky. Anomalous Motion Illusion. If you like it, check out more illusions at Akiyoshi's illusion pages

Sunday, February 01, 2004

[Weather - Heavy Rain]

Its raining again. Every time I make plans to get out of the house it rains. The same thing happened last week and the week before that. Will it stop raining pleaseeee ?
[Now Listening to - Mandolin Srinivas - Gananayakam]

This photo was taken when I was in Bintan for 3 days in December. My room was overlooking the poolside restaurant. The air conditioner was really cold, so the windows were all fogged up on the outside. However, the center of a window was clear for some reason, and I took this photo through the window. The fogging of the window around the edges combined with the fact that the restaurant light was pretty much the only light in the vicinity gives this photo the high contrast look.

Best of british blogs

[Now Listening to - Mandolin Srinivas - Gananayakam]

The UK newspaper The Guardian has just released the awards list for the best for british blogs. Check out the blog for best use of photography, its really nice. Also do check out the surprise winner for best writing.