Sunday, 28 April 2013

Sex, Death & The Meaning of Life (BBC Richard Dawkins on Youtube)

Episode 1:

Bro told me about this video today, that he had coincidentally found while browsing Youtube. He watched an episode (he didn't know there were 3 episodes) and described it to me.

I'm not sure which episode he watched but not episode 1.

He said the interviewers (in the episode he watched) said the same thing as I said.  That Ricky Gervais said what gets you up in the morning is anything that you feel you need to get up for. People you love, doing gardening...  things that are meaningful to you.

Bro said when he heard what people said in the video, he thought, "How come it sounds so cowish?".  (Cowish refers to me)

In our discussions sometimes, we have also talked about the meaning of life and religion.  Personally, I have also wondered what would happen if religion was erased.

So, this BBC show is interesting. I've tried reading Richard Dawkins book in the past, about his Big Bang Theory and other stuff, but considered the style too boring.

Now in this video, I see him "in person".  He posits that Science and Evolutionary behavior will work better than Religion in guiding us to being better (more civilised, advanced etc..).

I just finished watching Episode 1:

Richard Dawkins says that other people tell him:
"If we don't believe God is watching over us, we abandon morality". 

My thought:   It's a very simplistic and unthinking comment by people who say that. It is a mistake to equate "god" with morality.

Moreover, religion is evil. Read the book God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.

Also, religious people are actually no better than non-religious people.

Here Richard Dawkins also finds out that "not only does religion fail to stop people sinning, it also forces them to live a lie.".

The only difference between religious and non-religious people is the guilt that non-religious people are made to feel when it comes to "sin" such as sex and masturbation which are in fact inevitable biological processes.

Societies use religion to pressure people, in essence blackmailing them, in doing what the society wants rather than for the genuine good of the individual. The individual is then forced to live a lie in order to protect himself/herself and loved ones.

Actually, I don't get why that adulterous man got married and then went back to his old ways. If he wanted to play, why get married? It's not like he's going to change after marriage. He probably thought he would, but he didn't and he "broke down" because he couldn't change himself.

To "change" himself, he had to contract it out to "God".  In essence, absolving himself of the responsibility of doing it himself, which means he's basically just an irresponsible man. What's there to feel guilty for?

After contracting it out to "god", he is "cured/fixed" and can give seminars. -.-   An irresponsible man giving seminars to other irresponsible men. He should be feeling guilty for that.

Secondly: That gay man says,  "... a measure of respect for homosexuals. I thought if I was very lucky, I could stop the police impersonating gays in order to pick people up in public lavatories and then prosecute them".

My question is: If those gay men weren't loose/promiscuous in the first place, would the police have succeeded in picking them up?

I think Richard Dawkins is too naively optimistic. Even if we are getting "more civilised" as religion declines.

He says, "We now live in a rational age". Really? He needs to read the article in Discover magazine on the secret that only a few evolutionary scientists know: Our brains have shrunk and how much stupidier we are getting. Not even the geneticists know this and were surprised when presented with the information.

Richard Dawkins should also watch the movie Idiocracy.

Previously, bro and I had discussed a few times about whether humans would be better in the future. Will mankind one day reach the Picard stage? (Picard of the 24th century Star Trek the Next Generation Starship Enterprise).

Bro remained adamant that we would not; I was optimistic that given time, humans would be better.

Bro said, "Look around you. People are not getting better, but worse.". He is of the opinion that it will degenerate rather than improve.

Because I look forward to a brighter future, I hope humans will become better. It is only a little sad that we won't be there to see it. But Bro said he wouldn't want to be there because that's the time when things will be much worse than the present.

We have had this argument/debate a few times already and no conclusion could be drawn.

While I believe religion is not necessary, I could not come up with a solution or alternative to replace it. In this video, Dawkins has provided me the solution:   Our innate evolutionary traits such as empathy, and what we feel is right and wrong will serve as our guide.

Bro is of the opinion that humans need religion otherwise they would feel hopeless. To know that there is no meaning, no higher purpose than just to live and die would shatter them.

When we were talked about the Venus Project  as Bro described it to me (when I wished money was abolished), he was of the opinion that there must be some form of control/replacement otherwise all hell would break loose.  Bro thinks the idea won't work (but I think it will depending on how it's handled).

I am of the same opinion as Dawkins that not all hell would break loose, because we are not simply animals. We are animals but have control and freedom of choice over ourselves as compared to other animals that do not have such a luxury.

I believe in a self-governance which Bro thinks will not work. In my opinion, we don't need religion to tell us what is right and wrong. Parents only need to teach and discipline their kids the right way: empathy, consideration, observation. It has nothing to do with religion.

In the video, the black man used his belief in his religion to discipline the boys. He said without this religion, where is the power?

The power, is actually, in you and in everyone. There is no need to invoke something "greater" to subdue the "weak". What that black man is doing works on the boys, keeping them in control, but I think Dawkins knows but cannot say, that the method is actually wrong.

I am of the same opinion that it's wrong, but Bro said it's the only thing that works in such a place. Whatever works. We cannot say they are stupid (though actually, I think it was useless for Dawkins to talk to black people with their obviously fixed religious mentality).

I think it's only a person who can see on either side of a fine line, that can see that it's wrong. Sensitive perception. I am a little surprised that Dawkins could see it. It must have been hard for him to talk to that black man. Antagonizing especially when the man broke in while Dawkins was in the middle of talking.

Credit goes to Dawkins who didn't even fold his arms across his chest.  A very accepting man.

Later at night. 10:08 pm

Bro: (in his room) Can it be he's too smart?
Me:  Hm? (in my room across his, surfing skincare Taiwan website)
Bro: That's why he asks what's the meaning of Life.
Me: Because he's an astronomer. When he looks up at the beauty of the stars, he thinks what's the meaning. When he looks up at the stars, then looks back down, he thinks.
Bro: So. The moral of the story is: Don't look up. Is it? (he chuckles. I smile and type this gem). 

Earlier before this above:

Bro:  He's "Sir", you know? He's knighted.
Me: (in the toilet in the master bedroom) Yah lah, "Sir".  Sir Richard Dawkins. Now I remember he's knighted. Knighted for dryness.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Kim Robinson versus La Coco Hair Salon (SG) Review

Freshest report as of now. Unique review of these 2 hair salons. This post is best viewed with a computer/laptop, not mobile phone.

The same printout of a haircut (6 color photos on 1 sheet) of Lee Min Ho's best hairstyle during his Beijing concert "My Everything" was shown to these 2 hair salons.

Kim Robinson                              Versus                      La Coco

Date of haircut: 7 Feb 2013                                         4 Apr 2013 
Time:  5.30 pm                                                              4.30 pm

Price: $138                                                                    Price: $53.50 

Stylist: Eric Lim                                                             Stylist: Soo Bin
Haircutting Skill: Definitely knows hair                 Haircutting Skill: Not so good

Wet Cut                                                                             Dry Cut

Hairwasher (Male smoker): Bad (+reeked of smoke)        Hairwasher (Female): Weak
Massage service: Super Bad                                           Massage service: None

Service on haircutting floor: Flawless          Service on haircutting floor: Good

Front desk service: Newbie-ish.          Front desk Korean man: Unfriendly, proud

Drinks offered: Yes                                                            Drinks offered: No
Snacks offered: No                                                             Snacks offered: No

Waiting time:  Immediate 1st time, walk-in
2nd time free touch up 15~20 mins waiting, with appt                 Immediate, walk-in

Number of visits: Twice (2nd time free touch-up)         Number of visits: 1

Stylists were randomly assigned to me.


First of all, it's only common sense that all salons should do dry cuts. In the past, I used to wonder why salons cut hair when wet. As a child, my mom used to cut my hair dry and she said wet hair clumps and is difficult to cut properly.

Wet hair will become a shorter length when dried.  Stylists have to take note and make allowance for the length differences and design deviation when doing wet cuts, otherwise the result during wet cut will become inaccurate.

Kim Robinson:  The back end was the smoothest cut I have ever had. Eric really knows how to cut following the natural lay of the hair in that area. The hair lies down smoothly at the back end.

He also knows when to stop cutting.

However. I had wanted the back end to be shaped towards a V at the center, and he was not able to achieve that. Instead, the back end looked undecided, but he said it would "grow" into a V.  It didn't.

He was also unable to create the "waves" along the hair at the front like in the printout photos. He said it was a styling effect, even though it looked not merely a styling effect but a method of cutting.

He was unable to produce the different lengths of hair at the front. Neither could he create cuts that would enhance volume. 

At the start, he had suggested I perm my hair, but didn't give me a reason.  I declined since I know from reviews that perms take much more cash than imagined and I don't want my already fine hair to be ruined.

The return visit was 10 days later. This was a free touch-up. Reason was the back end looked very undecided and the front part looked too long without any bounce or different lengths.

There was about 20 mins waiting time as Eric was attending to a long-haired woman.

The result = the touch-up made the front part a little too short and still without the different lengths that would give it some definition and volume. The back was untouched as he didn't see any problem there, even though that's the part I came to get fixed because it didn't look like what I wanted. Overall, it looked a little unbalanced.

Will I be going back?  $138 that lasts just 2~3 weeks, and not perfectly satisfied. No.
If it were less steep, I might consider trying their other stylists.



La Coco:  Soo Bin provided attentive service. But she started to panic and hurry when another customer waiting for her showed up a few minutes into my haircut.

Before this, at the start, when she saw the printout I showed her, she suggested that I perm my hair to create the volume and waves. The perm would cost $120 on top of $50 for the haircut. A hair treatment would be added in if I took the perm because the perm is "chemicals" that would damage the hair.

At first I said I only brought $60, because that's what the front desk man said when I called to ask. But she didn't understand and waited for me to consider getting a perm. So I said "next time" after she mentioned chemicals and needing treatment.

She looked disappointed and said without a perm, creating volume would be difficult.

I was thinking, if she's good, she would be able to create volume without resorting to perm. I know this because I have watched Celia at Reds salon do this for me (amazing just watching her).

I told Soo Bin to try creating the look without perm, prepared that if it was bad, I would just go to QB to get it fixed.

At first,  she tried making conversation but was inadequate in expressing herself in English. Neither could I speak Korean.

My recommendation for customers who don't know Korean =  learn a few words essential to conveying what you want done. 

Despite her care in trying to understand what I wanted, she still misunderstood.

I had wanted different lengths to the front part, and gestured with scissoring my fingers but she still lifted my hair in her fingers and cut straight across.

At QB, the stylists know this style of cutting different lengths. So, I am surprised Soo Bin and Eric don't know this technique. I think stylists should pick up techniques from one another across different salons, rather than just study at a school or work at a few salons.

Certain stylists have their own special technique and it would be good if other stylists also know it, although it would not be beneficial to the stylist who came up with it (no longer unique or his/her trademark).

For the sides, I said "thinner" and gestured the pointed sharp look. But Soo Bin must have thought it's "shorter" and cut the sides too short.

The back end, she understood that cutting too short would produce a stick-up effect on my hair. An observation also made by Eric. But even then, she cut the back end rather too short. It sticks up now.

For the back upper portion, she succeeded Eric in creating volume, simply by cutting the bottom end flatter and layering upwards in shorter lengths so that the upper part now has a fuller form. This is what I have been trying to get Eric to do, but he didn't get what I mean.

While I am pleased with the back volume, the front and sides and back end are too short. Although I had requested shorter hair and supervised it, the outcome was an expected disappointment.

Will I be going back? No. Not satisfied.

There was a reviewer who said he switched to other salons because of communication problems with La Coco's stylists.


At first, I actually wanted to try the $20 salon at Basement of Marine Square. It's something like QB but they do washing and styling. Can't recall the name.

Then I was considering Kenaris and Jiwon.

With the negative reviews for Kenaris, I haven't been able to bring myself to try, although I stood outside their salon recently. I remember the reviewer who said the result was very bad compared to a previous time even though it was the same stylist.

For Jiwon... maybe next time.


Previous post = Town Council, RC & Stupidity

Town Council, RC & Stupidity

4 Apr Thurs

This morning started out poorly, having to talk to imbeciles right after I woke.  1 West Coast town council woman and 1 Indian man.

Town council woman introduced Indian man as "RC" (Residents' Committee) and "in-charge-of". His name, I didn't waste my memory space trying to remember.  Her own name, she didn't have the courtesy to introduce.

What I remember is his and her stupidity.  No wonder Singapore is in such a bad shape, with such people in management positions.

The Singapore Town Council don't even have automated reply. After e-mailing my feedback, I received no reply for a few days.

When I finally saw the town council woman who came within my vicinity this morning, she said she received it but "we are thinking how to reply". 

Don't you think there should be an e-mail reply first that says: "Thank you for your feedback. We will review it and reply in X working days" ? 

Even Giant supermarket has this. An automated reply is sent first and then as promised, a lady replies within the stated number of working days and handles the matter with speed, effectiveness and professionalism.

A supermarket can do that, but the Singapore Town Council can't ?

During our talk this morning,  my target was the town council woman, but the Indian man stuck himself in.

However, when I talked to him, he wasn't even listening.  His moustache and hair were unkempt. He wasn't paying attention.  He kept getting confused between Indonesians and Filipinos.  Likely, alcohol consumption does its job better than he does his.

When the town council woman finally replied to my e-mail later the same day, accompanied by the prominent number of "CC" addresses, she didn't even have the courtesy to address it to my name, even though she knows it.  Just a blank "Hi" at the start, without any accompanying comma or name.  None of the people I correspond with ever does that.

A very poor, unprofessional and insincere reply in which she merely repeated this morning's content, without a single reference to the person she is addressing to in the e-mail.  How rude. How uneducated. How sloppy.

Why bother replying when the matter had already been settled this morning? = Nothing can be done.

When she finally replies, it's just for record sake. That's why it's just an impersonal regurgitation that is circulated to all other imbeciles in the network.

Had I known what a waste of my time it would be, I wouldn't have bothered e-mailing.

I suspect she only came this morning because my e-mail "moved" her. The focus of the matter had been left unattended to for weeks and would likely have stayed that way for a while longer.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

07-Ghost (Anime)

2009 anime. So it's pretty "old".

But fabulous (just ignore the "God" bits)! I can't believe they didn't make a sequel!! The ending is just so obviously going to have a sequel. So where is it??

Fav characters: "Bishop" (Porn reading and smoking) Frau and the Mermaid.

Lovely couple actually, although they aren't a couple. Pity. ^_^  Mermaid runs from Frau actually, coz he's into porn mags...

I watched this anime because... I was looking for anime. Animecrazy had a list of what's popular.

Then I checked the seiyuus list and found that my fav Sho Hayami is in it! In fact, I realized when I watched that he's not just in it, but the main bad guy!! SEXYyyyy!! Love him when he's bad. I don't know any good roles he's done. It's always been bad, I think, since the first time I noticed his voice as my fav insane (not quite) Muraki in Descendents of Darkness.

I Love Sho Hayami even if he isn't handsome in his bio :( His voice is just sooooo insanely SEXYYYyyy!!!  If he speaks like that into my ear... I'll just explode!!

I love sexyyyy Frau in 07 Ghost!!

25 episodes (compared to the 13 episodes of the 2013 anime so far). Makes me think that I'm correct in thinking that past anime could afford to have many more episodes than now. The latest anime of 2013 are more CGI glossy, but they are only 13 episodes each.

I'm just done with all 25 episodes of 07 Ghost. 1.25 a.m.. 4 Apr Thursday. Wish they had a sequel. Would love to know the adventures of Frau and Teito next.

Oh no, wait. Sho Hayami was the voice of that recorder in ... K project (a 2013 anime), as a former King. That should be a "good" character role, even though he didn't actually make an appearance.

Hmm... now which anime to watch next...?

Oh, I watched 07-Ghost @ animecrazy. But Ep 24 was bad towards the end (it just hung with audio but no visual movement). So, for that episode, I went to Youtube which actually has plenty of episodes there, except they are in parts which is annoying.

Incidentally... there are unexplained issues in 07-Ghost: Why does Frau have Ayanami's scythe? Is Ayanami Verloren? And why does Frau think that Teito will eventually kill him? Frau said he would be happy to die by Teito's hands.

The military should have shot the stupid nun exactly at the point when she stood up and said, "We must be grateful that He allows everyone, including the clergy and you soldiers to live on this planet".  After her, they should have shot the other 2 nuns next.