And that was my primary school-level attempt at writing something in Chinese. I know it’s not good, but I’m trying to make sure I at least keep reading and writing. I don’t want to spend another three years in China to brush up my language skills!
I’ve decided to combine the exercise data for October and November, because the charts look so pathetic and lonely and naked on their own. Not that they look much better together, but it gives the impression that things aren’t quite as bad. And really, I may not go running much, but I do walk a lot.
My main problem is that I don’t feel settled in yet. I need to get into a routine — when I was in Singapore, I was at the track at least three times a week, because I had this routine with my mum. At the moment, I’m not even 100% sure where we will definitely be living if one of us should get a job that requires relocation, so I don’t want to sign up for a membership at the gym. In fact, I would much rather run outdoors, but I’m an Asian from a tropical country, so running outdoors in winter is not my cup of tea at all.
And it is cold and rainy right now. Where I occasionally visit now, the open plan gymnasium / aquatic centre, is reasonably warm and humid, which means that it’s more like Singapore and there won’t be a shock to my lungs when we go back on vacation and I want to go running on the track.
And something else I’ve noticed — I go a bit pigeon-toed, especially on my right foot, when I start feeling a little tired during a run. I thought it was quite cute and all that, but I’ve also been suffering from pain in my hip (at the joint) after running. Last night I decided to try something when I noticed myself going pigeon-toed: I forced my right foot to point straight forward. I immediately noticed a difference in how the joint in my hip felt. Today it’s still a little sore, but nowhere as much as it was last week. Result! Although I’m not exactly sure what the cause is (as in, how it makes my hip hurt), but I have always had an issue with my right leg and hip.
But it’s better than nothing: “… aren’t the despoilers of tropical rainforests simply holding the world to ransom by demanding payment for something they shouldn’t be doing in the first place?” — A ransom worth paying, Economist.com
There was a documentary on the BBC last night, Monkeys, Rats and Me, a programme on animal testing. I’m a bleeding heart at the best and worst of times, I like to hold on to my ideals and dream of a better world, if only, if only. Watching the animal activists’ antics, however, left me cold.
It’s fair enough that people want to demonstrate against animal testing. They should have the right to be heard, to gather, and shout this, that, and the other. I would probably join in, EXCEPT that I also know people in these groups value animals’ lives so much that they don’t value their own species’ in turn. NOTHING can justify vandalism and sending letter bombs and putting scientists on hit lists. All that tells me is that these people who participate in ‘direct action’ have a completely warped sense of morality.
Do you think I want to come down on the side of scientists who test on, then put down animals? Fuck no! But I look at these crazy, unreasonable protesters who want to shut down anyone who disagrees with them, and I start to think, Who’s more open-minded here? Who is more likely to discuss differing opinions with calm and reason?
Medical science has advanced to a stage that many things don’t need to be tested on animals any more, true. We still don’t know so much, though. I think it’s very clear that Tipu Aziz (one of the scientists willing to be identified on the programme, the other was Colin Blakemore, there was also a female but I forget if she was named) and his colleagues wouldn’t do their experiments on animals if they could avoid it, but they simply feel they have no choice. And the best they can do is make the experience for animals as painless and comfortable as possible. Labs wouldn’t test on subjects if there was strong and recurring evidence that it was useless — it would make no financial sense. It sucks to high heaven that animal testing has to be done, but it does. That’s the practical reality.
Very few drugs on the market today would exist if it weren’t for some form of animal testing, IMHO (directly or indirectly). If an anti-vivisectionist or someone close to them was dying and only a procedure such as Prof Aziz’s could save them, I do highly doubt they would say no. When it comes down to it, we have a survival instinct, and it’s Do All It Takes.
Which leads me to my next point. We have the fortune of being self-aware, sentient, whatever (I did read some Peter Singer at university, in my philosophy classes). And the law of the jungle says, Kill or be killed. It’s natural to use our abilities and technology to get ahead, even (and especially) if it means killing those judged to be more vulnerable than us.
Animal rights activists say other animals have every right to exist as much as we do. Sure, I agree 100 percent. Has anyone seen a nature documentary lately? Has anyone seen the one about puffins on Craigleath? Gulls are killing the puffins — not to eat them, but to ROB them of the fish they catch. I think what humans, a species of animal, do when it comes to animal experiments (i.e. something necessary to survival), is an extension of that.
So there’ve been words because next year is 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade in the UK. There are people unhappy that the government has not issued a full apology, although they’ve said it was profoundly shameful and they express “deep sorrow that it could ever have happened…”
From Esther Stanford, secretary of Rendezvous for Victory campaign:
“What is now required is a dialogue about how we repair the legacies of enslavement, and we’re talking about educational repairs, we’re talking about economic repairs, family repairs, cultural repairs, repairs of every kind that we need to recreate and sustain ourselves – it will cost.”
If there are people who need reparations from countries that benefited from the African slave trade, it’s the people of Africa who live in violent, impoverished conditions. Those who live in countries like the UK are generally better off, IMHO. It’s probably going to be quite unpopular and very un-PC to say this, but when it comes to African descendants in the UK and US, when does it stop? When does self-victimisation stop and personal responsibility for individual circumstances start?
There are many examples of African descendants (or other races that have been disadvantaged) who have done well. And I’ve seen many people just perpetuate their own cycle of poverty by whining that they’re being treated prejudicially and SHOULD get a better start and make no real effort on their own.
I think there is certainly a lot of racism going on, between all different races — it’s human nature. What makes a difference is how we choose to act. I do think that if we keep harping on about race, people can’t help framing things in a racial context, for good or bad. And I think the huge task is to teach history and social studies in an objective manner as possible, and not treat race, minority, diaspora, or whatever, as such a defining characteristic. I don’t care what colour anyone is, as long as they try to live a good life and treat people the way they want to be treated. And that’s all that should matter between you and I.
Advertisers have found that, increasingly, children and teens are influencing the buying decisions in their households — from cars to computers and family vacations. According to 360 Youth, an umbrella organization for various youth marketing groups, tweens represent $51 billion worth of annual spending power on their own from gifts and allowance, and also have a great deal of say about the additional $170 billion spent directly on them each year.
It’s really quite scary. I remember agitating for a PAGER when I was 17 years old, and that was a huge deal to me. Kids are getting mobile phones while in PRIMARY SCHOOL — where the hell are they spending their time that their parents would need to reach them via mobile? When I was that age, it was either home, school, or playing in the neighbourhood. It’s really sad that young children have these expectations put on them by their peers. I know we all did, but the stakes appear to have gone up exponentially.
And the advertisers target these children to get them to badger their parents until they relent so the kid will leave them alone. Too many kids are too spoiled.
“While seated on a bicycle, the external genital nerve and artery are directly compressed. It is possible that chronic compression of the female genital area may lead to compromised blood flow and nerve injury due to disruption of the blood-nerve barrier.”
Gah. So, cost of maintaining a bike in Scotland + possible decreased genital sensation = I’m gonna keep running as my form of exercise.
I’m firmly into monogamy and I’ve heard about orgy parties, but this is new to me: “A police spokesman confirmed that swinging is not illegal as long as it is done behind closed doors, is consensual and no money changes hands.” — Swingers swap sex partners in prudish Singapore