Scottish slang of the day — BRAW

Clearly, I mean the Scottish definition, which is

Unintelligible, yet somehow mysteriously compelling, Scots word for grand, fine, super, etc

It’s not particularly funny, unless you’re Scottish and you live in Xiamen and when you go for a walk along Xiahe Lu and reach

Times Braw Habitation Piazza

… then it’ll make you (well, Neil) laugh.

A lack of charity

My colleague, who has signed up for the Oxygen Deficit 10k with me, is collecting sponsorship signatures for his participation. I have not asked for any sponsorship*.

Here’s why, if there could possibly could be any new readers to this site. In 2004, I signed up for the Xiamen International Marathon. I was training hard and managed to do a half marathon one Sunday morning. I was all ready to run my first marathon. I’d decided to go for sponsorship, and had arranged sponsors to donate to a Community Health charity my uncle and aunt volunteer with.

Then I went to Scotland for ten days about three weeks before the marathon and caught a cold, which turned into a bout of bronchitis. I was sick for over a month. I could just about catch my breath and not wheeze like mad on the day of the marathon.

Needless to say, I didn’t run that day. And so I’ve decided that I won’t do sponsorships any more (I’m a bit superstitious in the Murphy’s Law department), and I will do my best to join charity runs and donate that way (i.e. paying my entry fee).

* If I did, however, I would go for donations to either St Andrew’s Hospice or the the Scottish SPCA.

A Singaporean Malay tells his fellow Malays to stop whining and prove all the racists wrong

“Racism, like any other obstacle in life, can either work against you or in your favor. What does not kill you will make you stronger. The Jews and the Malaysian Chinese have recognized these very well and have worked it towards their advantage by shining instead of whining. Will Singapore Malays do the same?” — Ridzwan.Com (via Tomorrow)

It’s true that people shouldn’t have to put up with racist remarks and discrimination, and those supporting a level playing field (note: NOT affirmative action*) should act. What he is advocating is for Singaporean Malays (and perhaps other minority groups, race-based or otherwise) to stop complaining and doing little else.

If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, do something about it, don’t sit back and expect the government to try and enforce racial equality! Write to SNEF, to your MP, to the minister for community development. If you’ve been rejected for a job because of your race, find one where no one cares what colour you are. You can work positively in the face of discrimination and get through it — you just have to make the effort.

* IMHO, affirmative action just sets the minority apart even more.

Great timing, weather deity

weather forecast for today

The weather has been — in a word — absolute shite. As it’s being unseasonably mild (I guess the US must be getting all of it, since it’s moving east, I wonder if it’ll finally get us), what should be snow is rain. Rain. Every day. High winds. 70mph winds at times.

Today is the first nice day in a while. And most of us are at work. We won’t get out of the office until the sun has set, and the weather is forecast to be shite again for the rest of the week.

Nothing says Holy Fuck like overhearing someone use the toilet then walk straight out without going near the taps

There was something in the news last week over this dispute whether or not the health service in the UK should have splashed the cash on a campaign promoting hand washing. The SNP says it’s a waste, they should have spent the money on combating MRSA. Look here, if people don’t wash their hands at all after going to the toilet, what hope have we when it comes to keeping hospitals clean?

Does not endear Apple to me

Apple seems like a very unpleasant corporation. Sending cease and desists to people writing about a Windows Mobile skin mimicking the Apple mobile phone interface? There’s also a post on BoingBoing about how Apple’s DRM is really, really bad for competition (and the consumer).

The Apple iPhone may be pretty, but it sounds like the most expensive phone purchase you’ll ever make (in dollars and future upgrades). It’s so amazing that people can rail against Microsoft for monopoly practices and also embrace the iPod that has effectively made them a captive audience.

Not that I’m speaking specifically to anyone, but I know you’re out there.