Monday, May 27, 2013

China, Stop Raping the Planet's Seas

Apart from being a voracious burglar, China is also a big liar. China has been under-reporting what it’s taking from the world’s seas.

The number it presented to the UN Food and Agriculuture Organization over the last decade was 368,000 tonnes annually. A recent European Parliament report puts the number at 4.6 million tonnes—around 12.5 times more than what China reported.

And Africa is the main harvesting field for chinese fishermen. Africa loses 3.1 million tonnes of aquatic products annually—and up to 2.5 million tonnes of that is likely to be illegal.

China, stop raping the planet's seas.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pick Thy Husband and Quench Thy Thirst On His Sperm

Desperation often pushes us to do things we do not normally do. For example cannibalize dead comrades during war time or eat your own feces when you're trapped in an inhospitable environment.

And that's exactly what a female picture-winged fly does; expels and then gobble up male sperm to quench its thirst. But only the sperms of males deemed unfit to father her offspring.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Necrophilic Frog Rhinella proboscidea

Sex is an important aspect of evolution. But exactly how important is it? Well, for a small Amazonian frog called Rhinella proboscidea, to the point of copulating with a dead partner. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Research Is A Dangerous Business

When people talk about risk at work, they normally mean the risk of getting fired, losing a business deal, and probably encountering some minor accidents like electrocution while charging their electronics. 

Unlike these risks, the risks you encounter during research are far more unpredictable because you work with unpredictable subjects; the weather (climate scientists), wild animals (zoologists), chemicals (chemists), and sometimes, the product of your own research (physicists). Even in social sciences, the research is often far more dangerous than your average nine-to-five job.
One particular technique in psychology, called participant observation, involves taking part in the activities of those you want to study. For example, if you wish to study the drug cartel, you would need to actually get your hands dirty. Sociologist Mick Bloor, a professor at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences once ended up in a bar fight while studying male prostitution in Glasgow. Lorraine Dowler from the Pennsylvania State University was forced to flee when her interviewee became the target of a street-level assassination attempt. Social scientist Frank Burton woke up one morning to find a submachine gun pointed at him. The body of Ken Pryce was found washed up on a Caribbean beach after investigating criminology in Jamaica.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Post GE-13

I haven't been blogging a lot in recent months because of, well, business.

Anyway the Malaysia 13th General Election (abbreviated as GE-13 henceforth) has proven to be the most controversial GE ever. There were alleged blackouts, phantom voters and extra bags of votes disappearing. I was really angry the night the result was out because I felt my virgin vote was brutally raped by a dark, unseen force. And despite losing out on popular votes, Prime Minister Najib still managed to grab more seats than the opposition party and thus formed the government.
Gerrymandering at its best. Congratulations. Maybe one day we should emulate the U.S and Taiwan, whereby the president is chosen by its people. Then we'll see how good Najib really is.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

General Election 2013--My Take

Barrack Obama loves the internet. It's his favorite weapon, and also his deadliest. 

During the run-up to his campaign in 2008, he deployed a group of internet-savvy data crunchers to collect and assess vital information about the public, to attack and to defend, and to promote his campaign.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Grim Confession of A Movie Maker

I should have anticipated this shouldn't I?

I recently made a general-election related video for a group of friends, but it was not at all smooth-sailing. Far from it.

It all started when the leader of the group proposed to write a song to urge young, indecisive Malaysians to go home and vote. I was basically excluded from the conversation until a day before recording. It turned out that some pro video makers weren't actually interested and so I was called in.


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