Friday, January 30, 2004

Marketing Speak 101: Say What?

Today's case study is Pixar Giving Disney the Boot.

What Disney Management Said:
Tom Staggs, Disney sevp/cfo, said Disney management could not accept Pixar's final offer because it would have cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars it is already entitled to under the existing agreement, while not providing sufficient incremental returns on new collaborations to justify the changes to the existing deal.

What They Really Meant:
"You asked for--WHAT!?"

What Steve Said:
"After 10 months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we're moving on," said Pixar's CEO, Steve Jobs. "We've had a great run together -- one of the most successful in Hollywood history -- and it's a shame that Disney won't be participating in Pixar's future successes."

What He Really Meant:
"We're through with you and your lousy deals!"

What Eisner Said:
"We have had a fantastic partnership with Pixar and wish Steve Jobs and the wonderfully creative team there, led by John Lasseter, much success in the future," said Disney's CEO Michael Eisner. "Although we would have enjoyed continuing our successful collaboration under mutually acceptable terms, Pixar understandably has chosen to go its own way to grow as an independent company."

What He Really Meant:
"Your loss."

What the Media said:
The split also offers a further hurdle for Eisner as he tries to steer his struggling media conglomerate into a full turnaround. Eisner is already dealing with uncertain economics in the TV and theme parks businesses, along with a pair of dissident shareholders seeking to portray the executive as overpaid and unresponsive to shareholder needs.

What the Media Meant:
Someone's in deep doodoo...

What Roy Disney and Stanley Gold said:
Roy Disney and ally Stanley Gold, who both resigned from the Disney board late last year and called for Chief Executive and Chairman Michael Eisner to step down, placed the blame on Eisner. "More than a year ago, we warned the Disney board that we believed Michael Eisner was mismanaging the Pixar partnership and expressed our concern that the relationship was in jeopardy," they said.

What They Really Meant:
"We told you so!"

What Warner Bros. Said:
A Warner Bros. spokesperson told CNN, "We would love to be in business with Pixar. They are a great company."

What They Really Meant:
"But we don't want to look too eager."

(Thanks to Veriyanta.)

Spiritual Fitness Corp. Presents...

...Diet Holy Water.

Worth quoting:

Of the thousands of bottles that we have sold, we have only had a handful of returns, and no one has gone to hell.


The immortal badge of Vampire Investigative BureauMeet the FVZA. Federal Vampire & Zombie Agency. Which is, and I quote, "responsible for controlling the nation's vampire and zombie populations while overseeing scientific research into the undead." With Dr. Hugo Pecos,(1) as the Director.

Worth quoting:
(on requirements for Vampire Investigative Bureau's agents)
* To be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling.
* To be generally intelligent and free from any bodily complaint.
But of course. Otherwise there would've been famous last words such as...

"Ah, excuse me, is this the castle of Lord, uhm, Da-ri--no, that's not it. Da-ra-coo-e-la? Err, what are you doing with my neck?"

Or, "My... what big fangs you have."


1: On an interesting note, the letters of his name can be rearranged into "Cop Goes Uh!"

Sounds Like A Potential Guest For "Oprah"

Men who breastfeed.


How about playing internet tennis?


Ah. The ever sweet sensation of achievement. Alluringly satisfying, yet short-lived. Like reaching the peak of Himalaya. Feeling on top of the world. But only for five minutes. Because if you don't climb down soon, you'll become a part of the mountain. Forever.

Maybe this is why we seldom read headlines such as, "Copywriters conquered Himalaya!" We battled terrains, cheated death, and finally reached the top.

"What?" one of us would shout. "This is it!? I've had more satisfaction defeating crazy deadlines."

We'd have been sore campers. IF we survived. I mean, climbers can apply as copywriters, and their experiences may count as a plus. But if there was ever an open recruitment for climbers. I bet they wouldn't appreciate "can stay sleepless for two days straight with only a diet of pizzas and sodas" or "having the ego of all the mountains on earth combined."


"Giving presentation without making eye contacts is like kissing a mirror. You can get all hot about it, but nobody else will.”(1)

1: Unless you’re sexy and naked. But I digress.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Is That Your Natural Moustache...

...or are you just happy to see me?


This summer, if you want to wear something that sends out the polite message of, say, "Eat me!" This is your clothing of choice!

Legal Case Or Overreacting?

You decide: vs

A 17-year-old student in Victoria was sued by Microsoft for copyright infringements. "Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add 'soft' to the end of it," said Rowe. He never expected the giant corporation would sue. "I didn't think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me," Rowe added.

Worth quoting:

Rowe registered the name in August. In November, he received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers, Smart & Biggar(1), informing him he was committing copyright infringement.
So, what did the young computer techie do when Smart and Biggar(2) lawyers were indeed coming after him? He stood his ground. "It's not their name. It's my name. I just think it's kind of funny that they'd go after a 17-year-old," Rowe said.

1: Suggested tagline: "Smart and big companies hire Smart and Biggar lawyers."
2: A philosophical question: If the partners' names were Tonny Dumb and Jackie Dumbar, would the company be called "Dumb & Dumbar"?


During my internet research for "PowerPoint Presentation Techniques," I stumbled upon a relieving fact. I'm not alone. There's a large number of people who already knew that Microsoft PowerPoint is responsible for the increasing amounts of bad presentations nowadays.

"It is?" you prolly ask.

Here's a satire look at it. Lured by the simplicity of its templates and wizards, too many people simply fill the pages up with bulleted text. Instead of conveying a story, which is what a presentation is all about.

The use of PowerPoint has spreaded so wide, that I once read (in 1999) that a mother used PowerPoint to her children to make them do house chores. The children had nightmares about it. And there's even a complaint about a bad hotel done in one. “It’s like alcohol in the hands of a drunk,” said Bill Wheless, an executive trainer and coach in Greenville, S.C., who occasionally has to restrain clients from an overzealous use of PowerPoint. “What we need is moderation.”

It's all good. As long as we don't forget the main point: Presentation is about conveying a message, or a story. Not about indexed items that can only be comprehended by the presenter. And not about complicated charts with objects as visible as bacteria.

For those interested in learning further, Seth Godin's Really Bad PowerPoint (And How to Avoid It) is a good way to start. And here, if you're interested in the ongoing debate, PowerPoint: Yay or Nay?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Not A Good Native American Name

Dancing with Cats.

Vicky and Tiger are reaching for the stars!Want to share a strong bond with Kitty? Try dancing with her.

I figure that's what MONPA (Museum of Non-Primate Art) is trying to say. Although their actual words are "preserve the movements, marks and sounds of non-primate species and consider them, without prejudice, as modes of aesthetic communication, in the hope of gaining new insights into our world."

But as a former cat owner, I wouldn't care. I would've just wanted the excuse to play with my cats.

The practice of dancing with cats dates way back from 1692. An ancient nursery rhyme was said to be a supporting evidence to that fact.

Hey diddle diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed to see such craft
And the dish ran away with the spoon
There's another theory that the person who wrote this was drunk. But let's not digress.

The actual practice of dancing with cats isn't as grand as ballroom dancing to the same tune or getting jiggy in the dancefloor. Although pictures such as this suggests otherwise. What they call "dancing with cats" is "moving synchronistically for a brief period of time."

Worth quoting:
Before we can begin dancing with our cats, we must first make contact with them
A philosophical question: How does one extend arms and says, in cat language, "We come in peace"?

So what is so wonderful about moving synchronistically with your cat? Dance therapist, Heather Busch wrote, "Once they've danced with their cat you often find they'll speak of feeling that their cat is now a far more significant part of their world and some say they've entered into a kind of spiritual partnership with it." Or if that's too grand, you can just accept that dancing with your cat makes you feel great. She agreed that whenever we do something in unison with another being, we feel stimulated. But she believed that there's something quite profound that happens to people who dance with their cat. "They appear to be affected both physically and emotionally. They talk of feeling alive for the first time and claim they become more out going, assertive and generous," she said.

(The above picture of Miami's Vicky and Tiger belongs to Heather Busch.)


1) Choose your cat partner wisely. Do NOT, for example, pick one with too much attitude.
2) For music selection, stay away from any slow or romantic music. You may end up browsing this site.

Worth quoting:
(on selecting partner) "What's important is that you're happy, not their facial hair or how many legs he's got.."

(disclaimer) "...MarryYourPet is in no way responsible for anything nasty occurring. If your marriage breaks down or he wees on your best rug, it's entirely your own problem."


Do not give in to the temptation of camouflaging your electric sockets. Better eyesight doesn't come with age.


Never make your pet bird drink Kratingdaeng (a caffeinated energy drink). Or Viagra.
--Sudi (a coworker and former bird owner)


Promises made while being intoxicated are only true if you're sober enough to record it on tape.


When the car service person says, "I guarantee," prepare to return the next day.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Spamfighter 101: Garbage In, Garbage Poetry Out

Tired of getting spam mails that manage to sneak through your filters? Don't fret. Simply recycle your spam mails into laughters! Join the garbage (or spam) poetry composing. Instead of opening up your mailbox with frowns, receive your spams with grins.

Spam poetry is not a new thing. Bloggers such as Kristin Thomas and Paulette have done it for some time.

Q: How does one write garbage poetry?
A: Just take different parts (a word, a sentence, the subject title, etc) from spam mails. Then rearrange them together to form a poem. That's it.

Q: What if there are typos?
A: Let them be. They're the spammers' typos. Not yours.

Q: How do YOU write one?
A: Since I don't bother to read spam mails, I just copied their subject titles and rearranged them. Without changing anything. Good enough for me.

Q: Can I see it?
A: Sure. Here's my first entry for Garbage Poetry...

What's new?

Never Repay Your Debt
It was too big
Earn Your Degree Online
It was about time.
Meet singles in your area!
It IS Time Ladies

Become a Travel Agent from Home
They were overpaid
Share your mood with someone today
Size does matter, women tell

Pull up some popcorn and watch your Free DVD
Your love life will never be better
~Woommmen froliiccking with there horze
Kids Love this art stuff


This Timely-Procrastinator is currently on level 11.


My partner and I witnessed these dialogues while queueing for the 17.20 train ticket.(1)
A Guy: For what time are you selling these tickets?
(There was already a big sign on the counter that said: "15:50. No seats left. Standing tickets only.")
Ticket Lady: The Three-fifty-pm train. But there are no seats left. So you can only buy standing tickets.(2)

(The Guy left. Then came in Another Guy.)

Another Guy: What time does this train depart?
Ticket Lady: Maybe about six. But we only have standing tickets.
Another Guy: Are there seats available?(3)

(Not long before Another Guy was replaced by Yet Another Guy.)

Yet Another Guy: How come the train doesn't depart yet?
Ticket Lady: It will. About six pm. But you'll need to buy the standing tickets.
Yet Another Guy: How on earth can we stand?(4)

1: At 17.34. This demonstrated how lenient Indonesians are towards schedule. Which makes us tied with the Americans at 2-2 in the Cool War.
2: The Fool's suggested answer: "Oh, we only sell these tickets during happy times, to illiterate customers."
3: The Fool's suggested answer: "No. All of the seats are already married."
4: The Fool's suggested answer: "The key is balance. You put your right foot on your left. And your left foot on a huge, tattoed man's butt. That same man will balance your mouth with your brain."

Friday, January 23, 2004

Could've Been A Good Boys Band

Giant Microbes' Health Dolls. Featuring The Flu, Sore Throat, The Stomach Ache, and The Common Cold.

Why a boys band? Because they're cute (to some people). They can't sing. And too much exposure makes you sick.

Still at the same site, this product deserves a Nobel prize for being able to combine "Ebola" and "Love" in the same description.


The company called Perdue Chickens made a fatal error during advertising their franchise in Spain. Their english slogan "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken" was translated too literally. So instead, the Spanish version said, "It takes a sexually excited man to make a chick sensual."

Frank Perdue wasn't the only one having that problem. In Chinese, Colonel Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken's slogan "Finger Lickin' Good" came out as "eat your fingers off."

On a side note, "It takes a sexually excited man to eat your fingers off" may be a successful slogan for selling chickens in Indonesia. Because
1) It contains the word "sex." And,
2) It has no meaning.

(Thanks to Donald W. Hendon and David Schronce)


Women 'Should Stay Single to Stay Sane'

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Update: A Note From One Who Pays Attention To His Roots

Responding to "Deadlines are not new to humans. Even back in the stone age, we already had it. Enforced by ruthless, carnivorous beings called T-Rexes. When 'deadlines were coming' humans stopped blogging on their cave's walls, moved out, and got busy."

Yes, but of course there will be some cavemen who were thrill by the sheer risk-taking act of waiting until the last second to complete the task before the deadline.

This adrenaline addicts will wait until they were inside the t-rex mouth to run and getaway.

Of course some of them didn't make it but the ones that survive will have a long fulfilling life, live to the fullest and a souvenir of their own leg bones to remember it by.

These survivors my friends, were the one that went off to Nusantara Island and become our ancestors.

We are after all the descendants of risk-taker people who defy DEADLINES and you should TOO ISMAN!


I wanted to join the cheering, but I'll have to retrieve my leg bone first.


For the next few days, blogging will be light because there exists worldly matters such as "deadlines," which technically means "things that stop you from goofing off."

Deadlines are not new to humans. Even back in the stone age, we already had it. Enforced by ruthless, carnivorous beings called T-Rexes. When "deadlines were coming" humans stopped blogging on their cave's walls, moved out, and got busy. Unless they wanted to be dinners.

These enforcers also exist in our time. Although now, we call them "Evil Bosses." (Good Bosses are already tamed.) The difference is, they're omnivorous. So they'll eat your shirts as well.

A hearty Gong Xi Fa Cai to those who celebrate the Chinese New Year!


Musashi and Karate Kid wannabes, click here.
Man who catches flies with chopstick can accomplish anything
--Mr. Miyagi (played by Pat Morita)
...anything except deadlines, that is.


Wise is a [wo]man, whose office located higher than the third floor, and decides against eating beans for lunch.


There will always be a person who farts in a crowded elevator.


The water element runs strong today. If you have flu, it is always a good advice to wipe your nose first before kissing your spouse.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Thank God Britain Is Not In...

...The Cool War!

Simply for the reason that their monarch will kick our presidents' butts.

How come, you ask? Because their Queen reads Harry Potter!

The Complete Clueless Moron's Guide To Robbery

Chapter II: Planning

1. First and foremost: Make sure the bank is not closed.

2. Leave your wallet at home. You won't need either your ID or that VISA card at where you're going. Especially, if you're the type of guy who tends to leave your wallet at the scene of crime.

3. Wear a disguise that doesn't attract undue attention. In particular, do NOT dress as a vampire. Or as a chicken.

4. No. Shaving cream is not a good disguise, either.

5. But more importantly, DO wear something. Attempting robbery while being naked won't impress your victims much. Remember Shania Twain.

6. Bring your own getaway car. Do NOT hire a cab.

Chapter III: Demand Notes

1. Do learn to spell correctly before trying to write a demand note.

2. Do NOT write your demand note on the back of your own cheque.

3. Last but not least: Do NOT return to the crime scene to pick up the demand note.

Chapter XII: Living the Life on the Run

1. In the case of a gunfight: Aim the gun first. Then shoot.

2. Do NOT turn yourself in just because you feel sick that the cops always failed to get you.

Appendix A: Burglary as a Side Job

1. Do pick a valuable target with little risk. Do NOT, for example, steal a teddy bear from the police station.

2. Do use a fail-safe method of entry. Specifically, do NOT hide in a package and try to post yourself into a house.

3. Do NOT celebrate your success by drinking and sleeping at the scene of crime.

(Thanks to

Monday, January 19, 2004

Science Update

Remember the mutated fishes that glow in the dark and change color on detecting pollution? (Under the subheading "Wasteland Survival Tip.") With the current advance in science, now scientists are also able to make them two-headed.

Worth quoting:

Huang hopes the research results will be used to develop drugs to cure muscular dystrophy(1)
Sure. That'll make a good ER scene, "Sir. We have good and bad news. The good news is, you no longer have a muscular disease. The bad news is, well... I guess you've met Fred.(2) Your new head."

1: A type of muscle diseases that are marked by weakness and wasting of selected muscles. Usually, the affected muscle fibers degenerate and are replaced by fatty tissue. Somehow, that sounds like a good excuse for having a pot-belly. "I'm not lazy! I'm just suffering from a muscular dystrophy. Burp!"
2: Or Jane, for a female head.

Valentine's Gift Guide Update

Fancy to find more things that could make your partner feel special? Try the Mental Patient Sale.

Worth quoting:

(for Palm Pilot Urinator)
It is Totally Portable, and comes complete with it's OWN supply of Urine!!

Friday, January 16, 2004

Caption Writing Madness #1

Q: What's caption writing?
A: It's a part of copywriting where you write a text underneath a picture that explains the situation.

Q: Where's the fun in that?
A: A lot actually. The fun lies in discovering other circumstances that we haven't figured already. Some pictures are already funny. So the caption adds little to the humor. Adding a caption that transforms a simple picture into a humorous situation, now that's an art.

Q: Whoa! Can I join? Huh, can I, can I?
A: Sure thing. I'll give credits to people who can come up with great captions. Meaning, captions without credits are mine.

Q: Can I caption it in Bahasa?
A: Of course you can. But I'll only credit humorous ones.

Q: Can I contribute a picture?
A: Only by permission from the original owner. The safest way is to contribute your own pic.

This week's pic was taken by and belongs to Onang Mertoyono.

No way jose

  • "I thought cats are supposed to be supporrrrrrtive."

  • Bahkan di kalangan kucing pun ada OSPEK

  • "I think I've seen this scene on a James Bond movie somewhere."

  • "Lend you a hand? But I only have paws, see?"

  • "Who's your daddy!?"

  • "Now, say it! I am a nice, friendly cat. Not a fish-eating monster. Fish are our friends, not food." (Submitted by pip.)

  • "Gigi kamu kalo diliat dari atas jelek banget deh...." (Submitted by roi.)

  • "Cat's First Commandment: If a cat slaps you on one cheek, offers the other side...and wait until they later hang on to their paws." (Thanks to enda.)

  • "Well, why don't you give me your spouse number in case anything happens to you." (Submitted by pip.)

  • Friskies Direct Marketer: "What's that? You don't like Whiskas anymore? Good." (Thanks to donna.)

  • Signs of too many watching Lord of the Rings DVD #1: Even your cats start immitating the castle storming scene (Thanks to Lei.)

  • "Oh, now you want some help. You've never needed it before when you finished off my share of lunch..." (Thanks to emil.)

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Fool's Valentine Gift Guide For Guys

Valentine's Day is less than a month away. For guys who are in pursuit of the perfect gift for their partners, here's a quick tip: Get your aspirins now! Because you know, that the "perfect gift" means "something that your partner can only find on her own, but she wants you to do it without her help. Because, well, seeing you sweating out in desperation is part of the Valentine fun."

But do NOT despair! During my busy schedule, I've stumbled upon several items that would be a great substitute. Presents that would make their eyes pop out in surprise!(1) Gifts that would exceed their expectations!(2) And here they are...

1. Fetus Soap on a Rope

The son you never had!A perfect gift to bring out the maternal self in your partner. This red, transparant soap looks exactly like a fetus. Combined with the rope and you get a personal mini baby, ready for shower.

Caution: It'll turn really ugly after several uses.

Testimonials worth quoting:

Fetus soap has been the son Timmy could never be. Fetus soap doesn't come home at 3 am drunk and smelling like booze.... Fetus soap even does the dishes!!
--Jaime Hamoud - Saint Davids, PA

I love the way my fetus soap looks while hanging in the shower. When the sun catches it just right, it glows! I recomend every one purchase some. Besides, he needs the money.
-- The seller's mom - somewhere in Florida
2. Life Gem

Life Gem: Remember to die first.What's more impressive and long lasting than a diamond? How about your carbon on a diamond? Yes. Life Gem can preserve carbon from a dead person and combine it with a diamond or other gem of your choice. Giving you that bond that lasts forever!

Caution: You might have to kill yourself (or your partner) first.
Warning: There are histories of partners who refused to be killed. May need some redirection in life.

Worth quoting:
You do NOT need to send the deceased to our location in Chicago.
But of course... what if the post office marks it as "Return to Sender"? And how do you explain it to the postperson anyway? "Uhm, how many stamps does it take to ship a dead body?"

3. Heartstart Defibrillators(3)

Defibrillator sounds more like an Evil Villain nameAs demonstrated in ER. This is the home version device that can send you electric jolts in thousands of volts.

What better way to show your romantic side by saying, "If my heart's ever stopped. It's because of you. So you shall be the one to restart it ag--BARRROOOOM!--AAAAAARRRGH! Not now, you idiot!"

The use of defibrillators has become increasingly popular. Especially to historical dramatic moments. Such as the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
(The seven dwarfs mourn around the coffin of glass, inside of which is the stiffened Snow White.)

Prince: What happened?
Dwarfs: We don't know.
Prince: Oh, what wretched curse laid at this fair princess? If I may try to bring her back to life?
Dwarfs: With your kiss?
Prince: (opens the coffin) No, with this defibrillator. (attaching the electro paddles to Snow White's chest) CLEAR!


Snow White: Oh, heavens, where am I?
Dwarfs: (shout in joy)

4. A Star

Do not hesitate! Like a wise (and a very dead) man said, "Aim for the star!" Give your partner the very best: her very own named star.

Stars have been fascinating humans for centuries. Inspired millions of songs, poems, films, or anything you can think of. Plus, they could grant some wishes.

Caution: No shipping and wrapping available. Keep away from children. Swallowing may cause indigestion.

A star is the best present there is. The trick lies, however, in finding it before it ruins the mood.
Guy: Happy Valentine's Day, Love. And there's your present... A star!
Girl: What star?
Guy: That one! You see, a bit to the left of that reddish star which has twin star right above those ninth star from the upper right star just above the horizons. Can't you see it?
Girl: You mean the one near that looks like the constellation of horse kicking somebody in the rear?
Guy: No, no, no, see that constellation that looks like Godzilla is having a stomach ache?
Girl: Uhm... yes?
Guy: Now see that one dot right next to the left eye?
Girl: Uh huh.
Guy: That's it! What do you think?
Girl: ...Do they have a refund?
Final Warning: Choosing one that goes supernova may not prove to be romantic.
Guy: (singing) When you wish upon a staaaaar....

When you wish upon a star...
(the star brightens and vanishes)

Girl: (skeptic) ...hope it won't explode afaaaaaar.
(Submitted by pip.)

1: For many reasons.
2: Because, let's face it, they expect you to fail anyway.
3: The Defibrillator sounds like a comic book's Evil Villain.

(Thanks to Dino Turino Setiawan for the links.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Fool's Thought Of The Day: Time As A Commodity

Dion's post has a point: Time is a limited commodity. Everyone has their shares. And we can't create more of it. Because of that, too many people have regrets about not using time effectively. The idea and fantasy of building a time machine bloomed because of the same reason. On the other hand, there are those who believe that either they have nothing to do, or their lifes suck so bad that time doesn't matter.

Am I the only one who sees the connection here? If time is a limited commodity, like gold, platinum, or fossil fuels, then why not trade it off? I think scientist should focus on making time-trading possible, instead of pursuing other unreliable inventions such as time-traveling machines (you change something, you create a parallel universe. Too many complications).

You don't have enough time? Buy some. Life sucks? Sell all the time you had. And enjoy the last hour spending your new wealth. Last second regrets? Buy back a few days. Solution to everyone.

Philosophical Questions of The Day: If that happens, will there be a black market for time? Or will time-trading be much like stock exchange? Because let's face it... the value of a person's time differs from another's. A single second of Bill Gates, for example, worths US$300. So, theoretically, he'll have to spend a LOT more greenbucks if he wishes to buy another people's time than, let's say... isman, who'll prolly get an extra couple of hours for free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Another Coolness Point For America

For scoring a few positions at The Top 10 Urinals of The World.

The Cool War aside, check out rank #8, urinals at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, where urinating is a part of the art. Or rank #7, urinals of the International Space Station that looks like a medium-sized vacuum tube. One should think twice before trying to "flush." Because, looking at the picture, this looks like a Deadly Threat to me.

Bank Robber: (points his gun) What's the safe combination!
Clerk: I have no idea. Only the manager knows it.
Bank Robber: Tell me or I'll force you...
Clerk: I told you, I don't know!
Bank Robber: ...(producing something from his bag) to use THIS urinal!
Clerk: 2-4-3-8-6-8-2-1-1
Worth quoting:
Rank #10: (not in America, but in Kabul, Afghanistan)
It serves as an important relay station for ISAF military communication...
You have a great view over the eastern part of Kabul and the minefield directly below you while urinating...
An urinal that serves as a relay station. How cool is that? Imagine the army got a message.
Radio: (static) I've..(static)!
Commander: What does it say?
Radio operator: I don't know, someone must be urinating.
Back to The Cool War... Indonesia actually has several unique urinals. The frogger of Tamani Cafe', for example. Or the free-for-all-comparison-between-men at Bandung's The Peak, where you get to urinate in front of a large reflective glass. But those aren't nearly enough. We are forced to surrender another point.

We are tied at 2-2. And there's still plenty of time. Anything could happen.
Side Note: I can do CSS!

Finally managed to convert the tables into floating objects. They're supposed to load faster than tables. I also adjusted the line height to increase readibility. Thanks for the tip, Nda. However, I had a hard time making the floatutorial submenus float right, so I left them as that (no pun intended). Hope that explains the change. Lemme know what you think.

Monday, January 12, 2004

FAQ Depot: Providing True Answers To Made-Up Questions

Today's topic: Oxymoron

I got several mails which asked about these so-called oxymorons. So I'll provide the answers here. However, since I have more answers than questions, so I'll resort to the Indonesian Journalistic Code #977, Article B, Under the Heading "Infotainment": Make some up!

Q: Do oxymorons have four legs?
A: No.

Q: What do oxymorons eat?
A: Brain cels. So I guess, you're safe.

Q: What IS an oxymoron exactly?
A: Glad you asked. The term "oxymoron" comes from the greek oxus (literally: sharp) and morus (literally: fool).

Q: Isn't that a contradictory in terms?
A: Exactly. Many people use oxymorons as a form of intellectual humor. Usually the comedy lies in knowing that people use it regularly. Or an intellectual attack on a certain party by insinuating the opposite of its adjective.

Q: Any examples?
A: Stand up comedian George Carlin, for example, said in many of his acts, "Military Intelligence is a contradictory in terms." He also popularized "Jumbo Shrimp." A lot of women also suggested "Male Intellect" is an oxymoron.

Q: What did the men do about it?
A: They countered with the oxymoron "Female Drivers."

Q: Isn't that, like, gender stereotyping?
A: It is. If you paid more attention, a lot of humor involves stereotyping of many kinds. Racial, gender, cultural, etc. But that's a different issue.

Q: When I come in contact with an oxymoron, what should I do?
A: Firstly: Don't panic! And keep your distance. An active oxymoron will hypnotize people around it, making them think of it as a usual, harmless term. But if you know better, then you're still safe. Report immediately to the Oxymoron Squad Headquarter, with yahooid: a_scriptwriter.

Q: What's your current Top Nine Oxymorons?
A: Here they are...

9. Unbiased Opinion
8. Victimless Crime
7. Forced Relaxation (Found at January 4th, 2004)
6. Friendly Fire
5. Military Intelligence
4. Government Organization
3. Pretty Ugly
2. Peacemaker Missile
1. Microsoft Works

Q: Hey, isn't the correct plural form for oxymoron is oxymora?
A: It is. However, due to excess usage, oxymorons is also a (socially) acceptable use of plural.

Q: Wait, wait, wait! So do oxymorons only apply to terms?
A: No. As I mentioned earlier, it applies to larger uses of comedy: statements, dialogs, one-liners, and even a three-part comedy.

Q: Any examples?
A: There are a lot in this site. Some of my favorites are...
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
--Mark Twain

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
--Benjamin Disraeli

Samuel Goldwyn: What kind of dancing does Martha Graham do?
Associate: Modern dancing.
Samuel Goldwyn: I don't want her then, modern dancing is so old fashioned.
(Thanks to a better-informed reader named pip.)

Crack-Those-Windows-With-Your-Voice Records Co.

If Frank Sinatra were a Jakartan and still among us. We would've seen him singing this...(1)


And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I drove a car that's full.
I've traveled each and ev'ry highway;
But now, much more than this,
I've to do it the BusWay.

Traffic, I've had enough;
But then again, enough to mention.
I drove the way I had to drive
And saw it through without explosion.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But now, much more than this,
I've to do it the BusWay.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When the jam was more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I drove tall;
And did it my way.

I've honked, I've shouted and cried.
I've had my fill; my share of cursing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a BusWay,
"No, oh no not me,
I did it my way".

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not his car, then he has naught.
To ride the things he truly feels;
And not the bus of one who kneels.
The law insists I take the blows -
And do it the BusWay.
1: Edited from My Way lyrics taken from here.
2: Inspired by umar's post.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Ways To Handle...

...Indonesian Shoppers

Place a "wrong line tax" on these ignorant shoppers, say about 1000%.
(Thanks to Umar.)

The Dave Barryan Way: by using trapdoors on the "8 Items or Less" counters.

Indonesian shopper #1: More than eight items? Oh, come on, the line's empty anywa--AAAAIEEEEEAEEEEE!
Use a series of booming alarm system that points at the culprit with spotlights and pointers.
Indonesian shopper #2: Hi there, Beautiful. Mind if you get me a smok--TWEEOOOWEEEEOOOOWEEEEEOOO! (panics) Oh, okay, no problem. I'll just cut the line in this next 8 Items or Less counter, then---AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!

Indonesian Shoppers trait #4:
Those who define "queue in line" as "be as close as humanly possible with the next person ahead." Which explains why Indonesian shoppers make a "line" look more like a "mushroom."
(Thanks to Lei.)

How to Handle Them:
The Indiana Jonesian way: Employing side-swinging guillotines in either sides of the line.
Indonesian shopper #3: Let's just stand here besides the guy. Who knows, maybe we can cut a line without nobody noticing us and our trolley with 3484 items.

WHOOOOOOSH! (guillotine's swinging too close to comfort)

Indonesian shopper #3: .....
Indonesian shopper #4:On second thought... maybe we should go to the rear of the line like everybody else.
Indonesian shopper #3: Yeah, I hear the view's great there.

Friday, January 09, 2004

The Competition Is Fierce!

With a sudden streak of chauvinism,(1) Indonesia reclaims the lead! First, donna reminded us about The Geeky vs Cool issue. Which means, Indonesia scores one for "More Advanced Bill of Rights." In particular the 11th Amendment: Freedom to be Geeky. (Update: Try the Geeky Test to find out what America thinks are Sure Geeky Points. Warning: Exhaustively long list of items involved).

And Indonesia's on a roll, by scoring another vital point! Because, like enda said, we have a "Higher Time Frame Tolerance."

Case #1: Higher Education

A: Shouldn't you, like, graduate, by now?
B: Relax, they won't kick me out of college for another three years.
A: Good. More time to study, then.
B: (chuckle) Hey, if I only wanted to study I would've graduated in the first place.
Case #2: Work Punctuality
C: Holy crapola! The Bigwigs meeting's started ten minutes ago!
D: Aw, God! We're half an hour from the office! We're ruined!
E: No--wait! Didn't you set your clock faster? Everybody does. You must too!
C: You're RIGHT! I did set it fifteen minutes faster!
D: We're saved!
E: Let's celebrate!
All: YEAH!
(All stops at the nearest cafe' for drinks)
This left the current standing 2-1 for Indonesia! Hooray! However, The Cool War is just starting. There are plenty of possibilities of America returning to the throne. Especially since, like umar eloquently explained in his post: They're crazy.

1: And a lot of Thank-God-It's-Friday (TGIF) office productivity.

The Cool War Begins!

This is it! For an entire year, starting from the date of this post, I'll be dedicating myself(1) to discover evidences that will conclude The Ultimate Question of All Time:

Which is cooler: The Republic of Indonesia or the United States of America?

Let's start from the Head of the Country. I hate to admit it, but Indonesia loses in this departement. Because the American President writes poems!

Worth quoting:

Lady, I'm your night in shining armor.
So America is now leading with 1 - 0. Dear Readers, you can also participate! Send the addresses or other supporting (2) evidences to! (Remove "KILLSPAM.") Especially to Indonesians out there. We're currently one behind--but no worries! We still have 366 days until January, 9th 2005. So start gathering materials! Our country needs YOU!

Another Philosophical Question of the Day: How does a "night" wear a shining armor?

1: By sacrificing my precious time when I can't find anything better to do than lying down while sticking my tongue out.
2: Read: "Intended to make fun of either one."

Wasteland Survival Tip

Buy a glowing mutant fish.

It's a cheap way to provide both alertness and entertainment. Especially if you live in places that have land-walking snakehead fish monsters. Too much polution outside? The fishes would glow. And if you have nothing to do at home, then you can just close all the curtains and watch them all day. Because they look best glowing in the dark.

(Thanks to Gregg Easterbrook)

How do the fishes work anyway? Here's an article from NUS.
Worth quoting:

The team is also working towards producing fish that give off a different coloured glow depending on water temperatures.
Pollution and temperature indicator. Imagine having that new breed of fish in Jakarta. We want to get out today, we just put the aquarium outside for a while.
"Hey how safe is it today?"
"Wait a minute, I'll check the fish."
"So does it glow?"
"Uhmm, well, worse than that. It died."
"Oh... we shouldn't go out, then."
Philosophical question of the day: If a cat grabbed a glowing fish and ate it, will it glow in its stomach?

Thursday, January 08, 2004

You Want Fries With That Wedding Vow?

I can't believe it. I once joked about it. I knew it was going to happen one day. But still, it struck me when it came up: Drive-Through Wedding Services.

Worth quoting:

At the Rev. Al Holm's drive-through espresso place, you can get a latte, a mocha or a husband.
(Thanks to Dino Turino Setiawan)

I'm torn between two issues. On one hand, I find marriage procedures and celebrations in Indonesia as way too much hassle. I know because my partner and I have gone through this. We enjoyed the festivities, of course. And we had some fun in preparing things. But even now, we've seen too many needless things. Too many unnecessary things to prepare. Too many strangers to invite. Too many customs to follow. Especially ones that involve the bride wearing ornamental hats the height of Monas. These things make many people hesitant in choosing the life of marriage.

On the other hand, I don't fancy procedures so simple that they can allow Impulse Wedding. Unlike lots of thrown jokes, marriage is not a decision you made after drinking too many wines or beers. Because you can't get drunk all the time (although that doesn't stop people from trying, such as our DPR members). At one time you'll get sober. Just like Britney Spears.

Mourning Corner

I mourn the loss of another good comedian, Bob Monkhouse.

I knew little about Bob, since his shows had a hard time reaching the other side of the world, to Indonesia. (Especially being a country that defines "comedians" as people who think they're funny, shout at each other, and call names.) But just from reading samples of his jokes, I knew. It's another loss not to know him sooner.

And he has answers. Because humor works best when it rings some truth in it. Here's one of my favourites. One that answers roi's current pessimism toward politics and politicians.

"How can we expect a politician to believe in the wisdom of the people when he knows it was the people who voted him in?"
--Bob Monkhouse
May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

How To Recognize [An] Indonesian Shopper[s]

People that queue in an "8 Items or Less!" counter, with 181 Pepsi Blues and 377 packs of instant noodles by saying, "They're only 2 items!"

(Thanks to Umar for reminding about it with his post.)
Updated Based on Comments

"Way-too-busy" people who deliberately persuade the cashier for a pack of cigarettes without a care in the world that there's a line forming behind them since 1978. Suspected of being the same people who cut the line of cars in a gas station with their bikes. Their national motto: "No time, no decency."
(Thanks to Umar.)

The elderly ladies who carry about 2,941 unidentified items in their trolley, completely oblivious to the "8 Items or Less" sign, as if it was written in Swahili morse code. Better known as The Trolley Ladies. I bet they make a good evil race in computer game Warcraft 4: Battle of the Groceries! Featuring Humans, Orcs, and the Trolley Ladies from Hell. You think orcs are vicious? Try fighting the Trolley Ladies over some fresh eggs.
(Thanks to Donna.)

Reasons To Live In Indonesia #7

You can walk around town wearing this and actually be considered cool. While in a country such as the US of A, people might beat you up for being a geek.

(Thanks to Dino Turino Setiawan.)

Other cool-to-wear-in-Indonesia-only geek shirts:
- Gamer
- Obey Gravity It's the LAW!
- Resistance is Futile
- I see fragged people

And here's another thought on US Geekiness=Coolness in Indonesia.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

What History Didn't Teach Us

Remember how we were taught at school about Christopher Columbus, who "discovered" America? You may already know that he was trying to reach India. He just made a wrong turn. Maybe, being a guy, he didn't ask for directions. What's worse, he thought America was indeed, the Indian continent.

Columbus: (jumping at the beach) At last! Land! (grabbing some sand)
Native American Chief: (appears from nowhere) And none too soon, my friend. We've grown tired of waiting that we decided to connect to internet and learn English from
Columbus: You have internet connection in India?
Native American Chief: No. But fortunately, this is America.
Columbus: Sorry chief, but you're mistaken. This must be the Indian continent. We've sailed months for India through storms, hunger, thirst, and lots of sea sickness. And we've lost lots of our crew during the voyage. So this has got to be India!
Native American Chief: We sympathize with your failure to reason. But that doesn't change the fact that this is America.
Columbus: Well, we have these long sticks that shoot thunder and can drill more holes into your body than a thousand knives.

(long pause)

Native American Chief: (donning a white cloth) Welcome to India, Sahib.
Some people rebuke this theory, saying that it was Norse (Viking) sailors who found the continent first. Which is like fighting over who created electricity: Einstein or The Wright Brothers. Because neither Columbus nor the Norse sailors found America. The Native Americans did. It's just plain colonialism to assume the Explorer of the New World's authority. Thus banning natives as savages and started making yourself at home.

Would us Indonesians appreciate being told that a Spain colonist discovered Indonesia? Or that The East India Company (VOC) brought civilization to us? Then how come we keep teaching our children the European Colonization point of view? We should teach history as it is. Not how it should be. We already have marketing communication schools for that.

Contemplative Corner

Aside of simple baby naming method, Native Americans are also known for their timeless wisdoms.

...everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.
--Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket]
Ironically, now Native Americans only exist in small conservations. Metaphorically speaking, so does all of us. So does all of us.

Monday, January 05, 2004

On Journalism Cont'd

On one side, we've got several cases of Clueless, Insensitive Reporters, who get so nervous during interviews, they've never realized the stupidity of their questions.

But the other side is more confusing: People actually answer those questions. In a serious manner. No snappy answers. No "speak softly and carry a big, nasty, reporter-killer stick."

So when the reporter asked a flood-victim, "Did this flood affect how well you slept?"

The victim replied with a straight face, "Yes. It did." He wasn't bitter. He wasn't sarcastic. He figured it was a logical thing to ask. As if it was the most relevant thing to ask in such occassion. Somebody screamed, "Help! My house is completely drowned!" And we simply asked, "But did you sleep well?" "Like a baby!" "Good for you!"

Maybe many Indonesians are basically too gentle in nature. Or we're just plain thick. There could be two cars crashing each other. The drivers immediately clashed into a verbal brawl. Then one of them swore, "Your mother wears army boots!"

The other would shoot his eyes in disbelief. "I didn't know you're that close to my mother. Why didn't you say so earlier? Forget about it, then. It's only a dent. So, would you like to come for dinner?"

Typo Of The Week

An article in West Java's Pikiran Rakyat (3 January 2004, page 17) mentioned about Inul Daratista's wish of bearing a child. Near the end of the article, it tried to say, "...Which is why, in this year of 2004, Inul plans to focus herself more on the program to have a child."

So where's the typo? In the original abomentioned sentence, the article should've printed "anak" (Bahasa for "child"). But instead, it came up with "akal" (literally, "brain").

Sunday, January 04, 2004

The Return Of The Blooper King

So, you've watched Return of the King, eh? Feeling proud of yourself? How did you watch it? With an open mouth? Or frowning brows?

If you're the former, shut it with these on-screen mistakes. If you're the latter, why don't you also check them out. Compare how observant you are with the other audience.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Oxymoron Of The Week

Forced Relaxation

If you've looked at the sample routines, you know that this exercise is also eligible as a Deadly Threat.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Indonesian Journalism: Up Close And Not Personal

You can also learn about a culture from its journalism. What and how the media writes. And influences society. Below are excerpts from rough transcript of two TransTV (a nationwide private channel) reporters that went above and beyond the call of duty. (Thanks to my partner in life.)

Reporter #1 was interviewing locals that just had a nasty flood.

Reporter #1: "Did this flood affect how well you slept?"*1

While Reporter #2 was interviewing locals that had recently been homeless, being ushered by the government.
Reporter #2: "Will this affect your New Year's celebration?"*2

Let's just say, they were also above and beyond the call of sensitivity.

*1: The Fool's choices of answers:
a. "Only if you don't breathe underwater."
b. "Of course not. Every now and then, I always love being waken up by 4-foot flood."
c. "No. We use floatable beds."
d. "Har! Only landlubbers would've been bothered by this mere pond!"
e. "No problem! We just attached a pole into our beds, tied the sheets, and pretended we were on the Love Boat."

*2: The Fool's choices of anwers:
a. "No. Just our New Year's Resolution."
b. "Why, yes, of course. We wanted to spend some quite, peaceful, quality time with family. Just watching TV at home, talking about why would anyone want to be on the road with millions others. I guess now, we know at least one reason, huh?"

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Rock And Roll Is A Shape!

Apparently, it is. I don't know what kind of shape. Maybe circular platform with lots of declining curves. But anyway, Music writers and critics, led by James Henke (chief curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) released the list of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock.

I've read the list for a few times, and still can't figure out the reasoning behind the selection. Maybe because the songs decribe traits of Rock and Roll? Because Rock&Roll "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Or maybe because the songs deliver their inner cry? "Like a Virgin" "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"?

Or maybe because they know, it's fun to play sentences with the choice of titles. Well, "Help Me" "Moondance" "Sincerely" "Brown-eyed Girl" because "U Can't Touch This!"

Speaking of "U Can't Touch This," have you ever wondered whatever happened to MC. Hammer? Well, at least now, he could say that he helped Shape Rock and Roll.