Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taxi Reform in Dubai

Finally, RTA and the Taxi Agency came to their senses. Taxi woes account for much of the griping in Dubai, right behind cost of housing and traffic. Due to the sub-par public transport and the great difficulty people have to go through to get a driving licence here. When Salik was implemented on Maktoum Bridge, I saw my taxi fare to visit my cousin or sister across the creek jump by a third. And that's if I got a taxi; they are notorious for asking your destination before letting you in, so they can avoid traffic or take passengers to some far-off uptown area.

Well now it's bye-bye Salik for taxi passengers, and taxis will also be alloted exclusively for old town zones that would normally elicit grunts of displeasure from cabbies. Now if they could just take it a little further and eliminate Salik charges for large buses and motorcycles, as these actually improve the traffic situation. But for what they're doing so far, good show!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Adorable Spotted Owl Plush

I had a little afternoon out today - watched The Duchess (pretty good movie, especially good performance by Keira Knightley) after a Chinese brunch, and did a bit of shopping and ambling after. That's when I came across this little artifact of teh cyute. I don't normally buy plush unless it has some cultural relevance, but this was too much to pass up.

And it has a wee Christmas scarf. Awww.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

eHarmony's Gay Shakedown

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Online dating service eHarmony has agreed to create a new website for gays and lesbians as part of a settlement with a gay man in New Jersey, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said on Wednesday.

The website will provide a dating service with "male seeking a male" or "female seeking a female" options, the Attorney General's office said in a statement.

eHarmony said it will launch the new same-sex dating site, named "Compatible Partners," by March 31.

The settlement was the result of a discrimination complaint filed by Eric McKinley against eHarmony in 2005, which will be dismissed under the settlement agreement.

eHarmony was founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren and had ties with the influential religious conservative group Focus on the Family.

The New Jersey complaint is not the only legal action to be brought against eHarmony for failing to provide a same-sex option.

Oh, puhleez. Regardless of what excuses and misanalogies the militant gay rights activists come up with (they're just homophobic evangelicals, can't deny me burger at McD's cuz I'm gay), anyone can see this is as silly as demanding the eucharist at a mosque, or as Michelle Malkin put it, asking for steaks at a vegetarian restaurant. Maybe straight-oriented adult entertainment websites and clubs will now also be forced to cater to the gay community? Come on! eHarmony's a private business, it has a particular business model it's good at, and now it have been arm-twisted into overhauling to accomodate the sensitivities of the oversensitive. Does McKinley think he's helping convince straight people to support more reasonable gay rights on issues like Prop 8 with frivolous and logic-defying torts like this? His auxiliary list of demands is even sillier, by the way. The only silver lining is that a few gay folks have sensibly voiced dissent at these unproductive scare tactics.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sexual Harrassment to Encourage Breeding,-Russian-judge-rules.html

The unnamed executive, a 22-year-old from St Petersburg, had been hoping to become only the third woman in Russia's history to bring a successful sexual harassment action against a male employer. She alleged she had been locked out of her office after she refused to have intimate relations with her 47-year-old boss.


The judge said he threw out the case not through lack of evidence but because the employer had acted gallantly rather than criminally. "If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children," the judge ruled.

Since Soviet times, sexual harassment in Russia has become an accepted part of life in the office, work place and university lecture room. According to a recent survey, 100 per cent of female professionals said they had been subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses, 32 per cent said they had had intercourse with them at least once and another seven per cent claimed to have been raped.


This has got to be one of the dumbest and most misogynistic judges of our times. It's like saying that without theft and extortion, there can be no economic growth. The disheartening harrassment and rape rates are also not surprising; Russia is still fairly lawless on the level of human rights, misogynistic socially, and economically backward so that women have few options but to surrender to lusty male superiors in order to secure their livelihood. Given stats like that and men like him, no wonder Russia has a low birth rate (both due to abortion and birth control); what women would ever want to carry his child?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

American Boy by Estelle

This one has a catchy funkiness, and Estelle has an unusual mellow voice.



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Genre: Comedy
14-year-old Georgia Nicholson fantasizes about having a perfect snog session with the dreamiest new lad at school, even taking special lessons (only to learn that she is a natural). Despite having to contend with the snotty school man-eater, and despite having a nose she believes to be "the size of Jupiter", she manages to capture his admiration solely with her enthusiasm and wit (and some contrived set-ups for "accidental" rendevous situations). But her obsession with him threatens to make her as fake and malicious as her nemesis, as she attempts to selfishly use both her friends and his friends to try and get closer to him. To make things worse, she may have to move to New Zealand (the land of "sheep and hobbits"), her parents appear to be drifting apart, and her 15th birthday party might well end up "beyond the valley of losers".

Based on the books from the "Confessions of Georgia Nicolson" series, this movie from Gurinder Chadha (of Bend It Like Beckham fame) illustrates the theme of female teen angst with witty school-day neologisms, esoteric adolescent rituals and awkward social situations. Not quite the height of hilarity, but still a very interesting and often very funny look at coming of age, peer pressure and self-confidence issues in Britain's high schools.

90's Love Jam: Saving Forever For You by Shanice