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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lady Gaga is a 200 pound toddler - manager...

  • Lady Gaga is a '200-pound toddler' - manager
    "Lady Gaga is a 200-pound toddler" - manager...

The eccentric popstar's manager Troy Carter was asked at the Music Matters conference in Singapore if he believes his client has made it in music yet and bluntly replied "no" before calling her a "200-pound toddler".
He said: "As big as she has become, globally, she is still a developing act. So we have to treat her as a developing act. She has to spend time in a market. We look at it as an investment
"She's a 200-pound toddler. The truth is, and it's the reason why when we come to Singapore, we are going to be in Singapore for little over a week. It was important not to come into a market and play really quick and leave and go to another market. It's about diving deep with the fanbase and spending time in the local territories.
"I don't feel as if she's made it yet. You ask me this in 25 years and it might be a different answer. We've got a long way to go. She's on the edge as well."
Troy also revealed if the record label had their way Gaga would release more albums but he wants her to build her brand and focus on touring extensively with each album, even visiting regions such as India where they won't make any money.

Black Caviar wins world record 22nd race at Royal Ascot...

Australian wonder mare, Black Caviar (in pink) wins a world record 22nd consecutive race at Royal Ascot in England,winning the Jubilee Stakes. It was her first and only race outside of Australia.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Origins of writing systems...

Origins of Writing Systems
Mythological Origins
Among many ancient societies, writing held a extremely special and important role. Often writing is so revered that myths and deities were drawn up to explain its divine origin.
In ancient Egypt, for example, the invention of writing is attributed to the god Thoth (Dhwty in Egyptian), who was not only the scribe and historian of the gods but also kept the calendar and invented art and science. In some Egyptian myths, Thoth is also portrayed as the creator of speech and possessing the power to transform speech into material objects. This ties in closely with the Egyptian belief that in order for a person to achieve immortality his or her name must be spoken or inscribed somewhere forever.
In Mesopotamia, among the Sumerians the god Enlil was the creator of writing. Later during Assyrian, and Babylonian periods, the god Nabu was credited as the inventor of writing and scribe of the gods. And similar to Thoth, Mesopotamian scribal gods also exhibit the power of creation via divine speech.
Among the Maya, the supreme deity Itzamna was a shaman and sorceror as well as the creator of the world. (In fact, the root of his name, "itz", can be roughly translated as "magical substance, usually secreted by some object, that sustains the gods"). Itzamna was also responsible for the creation of writing and time-keeping. Strangely enough, though, Itzamna isn't a scribal god. This duty falls on usually a pair of monkey gods as depicted on many Maya pots and is also preserved in the highland Maya epic "Popol Vuh". Still, in one rare case, the scribe is a "rabbit".
In China, the invention of writing was not attributed to a deity but instead to a ancient sage named Ts'ang Chieh, who was a minister in the court of the legendary Huang Ti (Yellow Emperor). While not divine, this invention occurred in mythological times, and served as a communication tool between heaven (realm of gods and ancestors) and earth (realm of humans), as demonstrated by the inscribed oracle bones used for divination during historical times.
Whether as a medium to communicate with the gods, or as a magical or supernatural power, writing cleared possesed a divine nature in these ancient cultures. Hence, writing became not only a way to extend memory but also a tool for the elite to justify their rule upon the common, illiterate people.
Monogenesis? Evolution?!
Jumping ahead in time to the 19th century, we come to a time when social sciences went askew. Overzealous and Eurocentric (I'm using euphemisms here), scholars held that writing was invented only once in Mesopotamia, and all subsequent writing systems were offshoot of this original. They claim that Chinese and Indus writing were evolved from Middle Eastern prototypes, and they completely treated Maya not as a writing system but as a purely calendrical and mnemonic system.
Worse is the fact that they started to abuse Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. They separate writing systems into functional types, which is still valid and scientific. However, they assigned "evolved-ness" to each group, with alphabet being the most evolved, and inherently the best system. Logographic systems like Chinese are considered primitive, archaic, and much inferior, and syllabic systems fall somewhere in between. Their rationale is that alphabets have a small number of signs (easy on your memory) and allow the writer to specify every phonetic value in the language down to the most minute detail.
The biggest problem with the monogenesis of writing system and its subsequence diffusion is obviously that of culturally tinted views. It easily placed Europe as the pinnacle of civilization, relegated the rest of the world to the "primitive" and "unevolved" nature of all other continents of the world, and helped to justify Europe's imperialistic age.
This theory started to break down when the evidence for the indigenous origin of Chinese became very strong with the discovery of the oracle bones and the lack of any earlier text in the vast space between the Iranian plateau and the Yellow River. Another blow was the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs which revealed a writing system just as sophisticated as anyone found in the Old World. The stage is set for a modern view of how writing came about.
Modern Day Views
Nowadays there is more-or-less consensus on a few points concerning the origin of writing. First of all, writing was invented independently in at least three places, Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica. Recent discoveries might also provide evidence that writing was invented in Egypt and Indus independently of Mesopotamia.
Furthermore, the concept of "evolved-ness" prevalent in the monogenesis theory is refuted in the modern view. No type of writing system is superior or inferior to another, as the type is often dependent on the language they represent. For example, the syllabary works perfectly fine in Japanese because it can reproduce all Japanese words, but it wouldn't work with English because the English language has a lot of consonant clusters that a syllabary will have trouble to spell out. The pretense that the alphabet is more "efficient" is also flawed. Yes, the number of letters is smaller, but when you read a sentence in English, do you really spell individual letters to form a word? The answer is no. You scan the entire word as if it is a logogram.
And finally, writing system is not a marker of civilization. There are many major urban cultures in the world did not employ writing such as the Andean cultures (Moche, Chimu, Inca, etc), but that didn't prevent them from building impressive states and empires whose complexity rivals those in Old World.

Acknowledgements: Kathswords bcuk

Thursday, June 21, 2012

blog.co.uk bloggers are going to boycott the site next Monday as a protest against spammers and sploggers...

Some blog.co.uk are protesting against spammers and sploggers  and will boycott the site next Monday. The problem on blogging sites are usually the Admins. They can delete the accounts of spammers and sploggers, but cannot do much against those who infiltrate comment sections of blogs.

All bloggers should take action against spammers and sploggers when they identify and see them in action. many good, in fact excellent, community blogsites have been ruined by the infiltration by these vermin. Send a message to your Admin and quickly delete comments made on your blogs.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I am only a cat...

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: A cat named 'Trouillord Back For Good' is groomed prior too being exhibited at the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy's Supreme Cat Show held in the NEC on November 20, 2010 in Birmingham, England. The one-day Supreme Cat Show is one of the largest cat fancy competitions in Europe with 1196 cats being exhibited. This year's show is celebrating 100 years of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy; exhibitors are aiming to have their cat named as the show's 'Supreme Exhibit' from the winners of the individual categories of: Persian, Semi-Longhair, British, Foreign, Burmese, Oriental and Siamese. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I'm only a cat and I stay in my place...
Up there on your chair, on your bed or your face!

I'm only a cat, and I don't finick much...
I'm happy with cream and anchovies and such!

I'm only a cat, and we'll get along fine...
As long as you know I'm not yours...you're all mine!

Author Unknown

Thank you Charlotte...
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Man flu is a fact...

Man flu is a fact...
If anyone has ever lived with a man, you may have been unfortunate enough to see that stoic male turn into a sniffling mess drowning in a pool of tissues at the turn of seasons.
We've all laughed or sighed "here we go again" at the dreaded man-flu that can take down fit men at the first sign of a sneeze.
But, this extreme cold or "man-flu" does exist, according to a national survey by GlaxoSmithKline, which questioned more than 900 people.
A clear majority 98 per cent of women and 79 per cent of men agree that men demand more sympathy when they have a cold.
Men who have contracted the "man-flu" also suffer increased symptoms of "moaning, complaining and [are] in need of more attention".
The survey revealed that women took four days to recover from the flu, while men took longer.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

I must go down to the seas again - David's last great voyage...

  • 400px-Oil_platform_P-51_(Brazil)220px-CMA_CGM_Balzac
    B)They say there are two things you can guarantee in this life - taxes and death. Many of us have had deaths in the family, parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members. The worst thing would be to lose a child - thank God that never happens. As i mentioned in a previous post, I have just lost my eldest living brother. He died of cancer a week ago today, June 6 2012. I had known he needed an operation, but not the details. He refused an operation four years ago - and in the intervening period has had holidays in Germany where his daughter lives, and an extensive trip to Bangkok in Thailand, where he lived and was based for many years.
    I called Dave "the old man of the sea". That is what I wrote on his casket. Many of our family members also wrote on the casket. He will be cremated when the funeral directer sends his next batch to the crematorium.
    I actually didn't see much of Dave over the years. Our extended family has lived in Christchurch, earthquake devastated Christchurch. I was born and raised there and left at 20 years of age to do my own thing, but sadly never got to Australia or anywhere else for that matter, ending up in Wellington, getting married and raising a family there, after a couple of years around Auckland and the Waikato. I saw him 15 months ago in Christchurch when our young brother died there - just days after that killer earthquake took the lives of over 180 people, many of whom were visitors and overseas students.
    So it was back to Christchurch on Friday, just days after a huge snowfall enveloped the southern city. God, it was freezing on Friday night, but surprisingly mild the next day. We actually sat out in the sun after the funeral service at the Buddhist Temple on the outskirts of the city, and the meal afterwards. David was a Buddhist having been married in Thailand and converting to Buddhism there. There was no English service, but the family didn't mind at all - that was the way the old fellow wanted it. He was older than I am, and I'm not telling you just how old - over seventy.
    The "old man of the sea" ran away and joined a ship while visiting my mother and stepfather on the Scilly Isles off Cornwall. He voyaged all over the world, working for a number of shipping companies and lines. He eventually gained his Masters ticket and skippered supply vessels to oilrigs in Indonesia and elsewhere. He loved Singapore and Thailand and southeast asia in general and became a fluent speaker. He actually ran into another of our late brothers who was working on one of the oilrigs he serviced. How incredible was that? He knew Bob was working out there somewhere, but had just lost touch of him for a short while.
    Bob actually died of double pneumonia in Bangkok about four years ago. We have a theory he may have contracted legionaires disease from a hotel cooling system. Of, course, we will never kno for sure.
    So "the old man of the sea" has gone on his final voyage to meet three of our brothers, parents and grandparents. Quite a character this quiet laidback old seadog who sailed the seven seas.

  • The following is in memory of 'Master Mariner' David Richard Petterson

  • Sea Fever
    by John Masefield
    I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip’s over

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Enjoy Friday Funnies #17 this week...


Enjoy  Friday   Funnies #17...

Friday has come around again and its time for a bit of humour. This week it is Friday Funnies #17...


North Pole Inner Earth Expedition...

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    North Pole Inner Earth Expedition...

    :?:North Pole Inner Earth Expedition: Click the links and read all about it.
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    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Queen Elizabeth 11 and President George W Bush...

    A 4 x 7 segment mosaic of Buckingham Palace, L...
    A 4 x 7 segment mosaic of Buckingham Palace, London. Taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 85mm f/1.8 at f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200s exposures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...
    Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth realms) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    English: President George W. Bush toasts Her M...
    English: President George W. Bush toasts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom following welcoming remarks, during the State Dinner in her honor at the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      Someone thought it a good idea  this week-end - to post the following version of an 'Old Chestnut'....

    Which version do you know...?

    A friend sent me this version this morning....;)

    "At Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One and President Bush strode to a warm but dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II. They rode in a silver 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they boarded an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white horses. As they rode toward Buckingham Palace, each looking to their side and waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well. This was indeed a glorious display of pageantry and dignity. Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering, eye-smarting blast of flatulence, and the coach immediately filled with noxious fumes.

    Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation. She turned to Mr. Bush and explained, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a Queen cannot control."

    George W., ever the Texas gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."
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