24 August, 2005

delayed links (i)

With the connectivity problem resolved, we return to daily linking.

Kelvin at Plum Blossoms takes a look at the controversy surrounding Miss Hong Kong and plastic surgery.

Tracy_ip_profilethumbWhatever the truth may be (my guess is that no, she hasn’t been under
the knife for cosmetic purposes), I’ve become quite tolerant of Asian
actresses getting cosmetic surgery. Mainly because it’s so hard to
tell. Take, for example, Niki Chow,
who also faces similar rumours. Personally, I distinctively remember
thinking that she’s not all that hot when she first appeared on the
scene. Now I think she looks great. It appears that perhaps it’s not my
taste that’s been changing.

As Kelvin notes, diet and exercise can change a lot. With that we can expect some positive change to come out of Malaysia’s National Slimming Service Program.:

SlimmingThe biggest joke of all is that the Malaysian National Service isn’t
providing any military training at all. Heck, the trainees aren’t even
given the chance to handle weapons! All that pretty army uniforms and
they don’t even get to hold a gun. What the hell, right? I wonder why
the Ministry of Defence is running the program ‘cos all these "racial
integration" and "character building" exercises seem more like the
Education Ministry’s job.
There are military drills. Its just that at most, the
trainees are taught to climb ropes, do monkey bars, and run. But geez,
what are these kids gonna do if Malaysia came under attack? Throw
sticks at them?

As well as self improvement for humans, AsiaPundit is also interested in the betterment of our robotic friends. Boing Boing brings us news that the Japanese have built a robot that has a serious advantage over the average Dalek.

DaneelR Daneel, a humanoid robot, can stand up after falling over by kicking
up its legs and rocking onto its feet. Developed at the University of
Tokyo, the 60kg robot was named after an Isaac Asimov character.

But in spite of robotic advances, we are not even close to obtaining Terminator-style killer robots. As the Flea notes, this robotic assault on Junichiro Koizumi is pretty lame.

While there is competition brewing between China and India, it’s worth noting that the two emerging powers have many areas where they can cooperate: resource development, seeking calm in Nepal, and covering up bird flu outbreaks.

Further in the spirit of regional co-operation, the Barbarian Envoy has a great roundup of opinion on the ongoing Sino-Russian wargames. In other military non-military news, the PLA’s aircaft carrier floating casino is getting a paint job.

The Lost Nomad brings us this happy story about a Korean airline’s safety procedures.

SojubabyLast January, aboard a flight from Sydney to
Incheon, a 36 year old housewife who suffered from depression hanged
herself in one of the bathrooms at the rear of the plane. The crew
quickly discovered the body and did everything they could to avoid any
commotion or disturbance among the other passengers.
But two months later, when the same aircraft touched down in
Washington D.C., the smoke detector in that bathroom went off. Crew
went to check but found no one there. Some of the crew recalled the
suicide two months earlier and were scared stiff. Another two months on
the crew was assigned to the same plane once again, and they decided to
bring some soju — traditional Korean liquor — and sprinkle it in the
bathroom to appease the vengeful spirit.

Soju appeases vengeful spirits?  See, you can learn something new every day.

Silly Nomad, you’ve been in Korea long enough to know that soju does not appease evil spirits. Soju is an evil spirit. I’ve had lots of the stuff and dealt with hangovers so bad they required exorcisms.

Aside from missile-related exports, how does North Korea earn hard currency? Sometimes they just print it.:

Authorities said they seized $4.4 million in high-quality fake $100 bills,
more than 1 billion counterfeit cigarettes worth $42 million, and
ecstasy, methamphetamine and Viagra worth hundreds of thousands of
dollars. Some of the cigarettes were made in China, said acting
assistant Attorney General John Richter.

Singapore’s talk radio is still limited what is allowed on government-regulated stations, and interviews with opposition leaders - unsurprisingly - do not feature prominently. But they haven’t yet regulated online talk show Pilot n’ Jo.

A look at a work-based prison rehabilitation program in Singapore. Mr Wang is impressed, but Stephen wants to know if the prisoners are getting paid. Personally I think being put to work in a call center qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.

Female inmates at a Singapore prison are working 12-hour shifts
as telephone call-center operators and telemarketers in a state
campaign to rehabilitate lawbreakers, an official said on Wednesday.

In what seems to be an annual event, a coup in Myanmar.

A Japanese bureaucrat protests "I’m a woman in a man’s body." The police retort, "you are a man in a woman’s changing room."

Whilst taking a day off work last week, a 41-year-old government
official in konan, Shiga Prefecture, was arrested for trespassing in a
women’s changing room at a local leisure facility.
Kameda was dressed as a woman when he was apprehended, but in his
defence he told the police, “I know I am a man, but I want to live as a
woman.” How this information will affect the bureaucrat’s case is
unknown, but Kameda-san may well have gotten away with his changing
room misdemeanour had he managed to curtail his cross-dressing
activities a little more.
It turns out that before his capture,
the 41-year-old had been for a swim. Yet as innocuous as such an
activity may sound, rather surprisingly Kameda chose to wear a
decidedly un-government like bikini.

by @ 6:55 pm. Filed under Culture, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Web/Tech, North Korea

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