The glass is half-full

As much as I do complain (Singaporeans really got the best out of the British colonisation) about various things on life in Scotland, there’s one thing I cannot every deny. The place is damned pretty at times.

Even when traffic is slow on the motorway, the view of sky above always puts me in a good mood. There are big-ass fluffy clouds — they and the sky are all different colours at sunrise (when I’m driving) and sunset (when I’m driving). I’ve never liked salmon pink before, but when it’s streaking across the sky it looks like a pretty exciting, compared to the rest of the time when it’s nerdy and old-fashioned and reminds me of old ladies.

The sunset

The above is not a picture of the sky from any motorway; it’s just an example of the sky. In case you haven’t seen the sky before. That could be the case if you’ve been living in a cave and never left. Or under a rock.

Trembly noses and ruminations abound

Go-ahead signalled for animal-human embryos:

Two teams of British researchers have applied for permission to create “cybrid” embryos that would be around 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent rabbit, cow, pig, sheep or goat to produce embryonic stem cells – the body’s building blocks that grow into all other types of cells.

Dr Calum MacKellar of the Scottish Council on Scottish Bioethics, said: “Millions of people in the UK would see the creation of animal-human embryo combinations as the creation of very profound ethical problems. These are not just a pile of cells, but have a special moral status as a human person.”

human cybrid embryo

I, for one, welcome the possibility of future humans with long, furry ears.

Why in Deity’s name should this be a burden on taxpayers

Some things I just don’t understand. IVF on the NHS?

Mr Shapps, Tory MP for Welwyn and Hatfield, said: “A woman’s chances of ever conceiving a baby through IVF are largely dependent on her postcode and the level of debt within her primary care trust.

“The rules are complex, unequal and sometimes just downright unfair.”

A couple on BBC 1 this morning have been trying for EIGHT YEARS, spent all their money on private IVF treatment, and are now asking the PUBLIC to pay for more? I dunno, I might be way out of left field here, but if they haven’t conceived successfully after eight years with IVF assistance, they might not be able to have children the biological way.

Ever considered adoption?

IVF is not primary or emergency health care. It is ELECTIVE. Why the fuck should the public pay for it? If you are determined to conceive a child but you can’t afford to pay for IVF treatment, maybe you won’t be able to pay to raise this child you hope to have. If you can afford IVF but don’t want to pay for it, you should just fuck off.

Another human face on the Israel-Palestine conflict

An Israeli Jew falls in love and marries a Palestinian Muslim: “I feel like a refugee. The moment I decided not to be part of the mainstream I was told that I was not a part of my country anymore.” — Star-crossed lovers quit West Bank

The Palestinian husband has not yet been given permission to leave and join his wife in Europe. This is rather sad. These people just want to live a normal life, but because they are from opposing sides, they are outcasts in both their communities.

Harry Potter’s all growed up

Daniel RadcliffeOh.

Wow.

Slurp.

I’ve seen the photo of him butt-naked (with the NSFW bits censored) somewhere else. But this photo is much more flattering.

Hubba hubba.

I don’t really have anything of value to say, I just wanted to save this picture so I can look at his torso at my leisure any time in the future.

Helloooooooooo, nurse!

I never said I was consistent

So. Barring my application or the response going astray in the post, I’ve signed up for a 6K charity run supporting St Andrew’s Hospice in Lanarkshire. I could set up a page soliciting further donations, but I think I’ll be getting one in hard copy, and there are a few causes I really want to support as well, so my online efforts are going toward Alzheimer’s Research Trust.


Donate and support my tortoiseness

I know, I know, six kilometres isn’t much (especially if you consider this). However! However! I have decided to attempt joining a short-distance (sub-10K) run every single calendar month from March*, and at the moment, I’m sorted till June. So that’s loads of low-level fundraising opportunities. And ongoing motivation to keep me training. Assuming my hip doesn’t give out on me — my knees haven’t given me problems (fingers crossed) since I started taking glucosamine supplements and wearing my braces.

* There is, However! A ten-kilometre run in May.

Oh boo bloody hoo

Inmates in Barlinnie prison are sometimes issued ill-fitting (and stained) underpants.

The overcrowded Glasgow jail is the only one in Scotland to ban prisoners from wearing their own clothing.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with inmates taking responsibility for their own underpants, unless there’s some sort of suicide or security risk attached to elastic and cotton / nylon. I was listening to BBC Radio Scotland this morning, and I agree that those who aren’t serious offenders (the ones who are jailed for failing to pay fines amounting to under £300) shouldn’t really be incarcerated. I say put them to work, at an hourly rate to pay off said fine. Nothing a little Corrective Work Order can’t fix.

You’ve gotta read the last line of the article:

Barlinnie governor Bill McKinlay said a working group had been set up to consider complaints over prison underwear.

AKA, how to waste yet more time in justifying one’s jobs. Or, is there a risk of riot over unsuitable pants? Are the prisoners in Barlinnie such big girls’ blouses that underpants are such a major concern? HA!

Surely going commando is the sign of epic hardness.

Don’t buy from pet stores — rescue an animal instead

I thought the practice only occurred in China, but ‘puppy farms’ in Ireland (North and Republic of) breed dogs in poor conditions, leading to sick puppies who may have to be put down soon after purchase. Apparently there is a rising demand for pedigree canines, which is leading to more people buying puppies from disreputable dealers.

There are so many unwanted animals; maybe it’s not as bad in Scotland as it is in Singapore, but the number of animals in shelters just about makes my heart break. I do not see a need to buy a bred animal from a pet store when you could adopt one from a shelter.

A run down on the holiday where I got loads done in only six days

Yes. It’s been pretty quiet round these parts, hasn’t it?

If I’ve been on holiday and haven’t bothered to update, it means I HAVE HAD A GREAT TIME.

Food

Prawn noodles from Adam Road Food Centre were ordered the night I arrived as the BBQ seafood stall wasn’t open. Mum had also bought loads of chwee kueh (steamed rice cakes with preserved turnip garnish) for breakfast, and myself and the cats enjoyed the ba kwa (barbecued pork slices) very much. My aunt was cool and cooked kiam chye ar (duck and salted vegetable soup) for the annual Reunion Dinner (also starring were fried Hokkien noodles, fish my aunt and uncle had caught off Bedok jetty the night before, rojak, and the inevitable raw fish salad).

Michel contemplates his good fortune

I got another of my food requests at my grandfather’s house during Chinese New Year — steamed pomfret, Teochew-style. There was something I didn’t ‘order’ as I’d completely forgotten about it, but the ba kueh (stubby rice noodle cakes) was fan-fucking-tastic.

Then, of course, there’s the food I like and Neil loves and I ate and took pictures to piss him off. Barbecue stingray with sambal, plus baby kai lan with garlic at Newton. We even got some fried rice to go with it.

stingray and kai lan

On my last day, we grabbed breakfast at Farrer Court hawker centre, Neil’s favourite place for roti prata. I got two plain pratas and the requisite vegetable curry.

prata with curry

I ate loads of other stuff, but these were the highlights.

Sights

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, I reverted to my childhood behaviour (i.e. going to my mother every five minutes with proclamations of extreme boredom) and persuaded my mum to take me to the River Hongbao, as nothing else was open. Chinese New Year is probably the only time you’ll see Chinese Singaporeans THROWING MONEY AT A TREE.

Money tree

I also finally watched I Not Stupid (not bad) and I Not Stupid 2 (bad). Mum had wanted to watch Just Follow Law, Jack Neo’s satire on the Singaporean civil service. It wasn’t a satire at all, it kinda sucked. It was like a weak channel 8 sitcom that’s been stretched to feature-length. The acting wasn’t bad, but the story was shite.

We did also see Miss Potter (and I could hear my aunt whispering to my mum regarding its historical accuracy — we checked Wikipedia afterward), a light and pleasing flick. And my aunt was not at all keen on Notes on a Scandal (although she used my grandfather as an excuse — not his type of film at all, apparently). ‘Twas good.

I managed to run so many errands, because being a grown-up means you get up early, go out and do stuff in the morning, inhale lunch, take a NAP in the arvo, then head out for a feast at dinnertime. Bussorah Street was visited TWICE, and I got most of my pressies there. Brian has already used the slingshot I bought him and I hereby apologise to his neighbours for his behaviour on Saturday night / Sunday morning, although I wasn’t there.

Finally, here’s a picture of Doug and Ruthven.

Doug Monkey and Ruthven

Ruthven’s a present for Baby G. If Doug had fingers, you would see that he’s doing the bunny ears thing behind Ruthven’s head.