Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anglican Nun-Run Hospice Arranges Prostitute for Disabled Man

I heard this weird news from Class 95 in the morning on the drive to work. A man with muscular dystrophy at a hospice run by nuns requested to get laid and had his request granted. I wrongly heard that it was a nun there who decided to let the man have sex with her.

I doubt the people behind Singapore's Make A Wish Foundation would ever grant such a wish to a terminally-ill patient.

The actual news was about a man suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a British hospice requesting to have sex with a prostitute.

And his request was granted. It's a controversy because the hospice is run by Anglican nuns.
LifeSite, 29th January, 2007
“It’s not our job to make moral decisions for our guests” says nun
By Peter J. Smith

OXFORD, United Kingdom, January 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A British hospice for the disabled run by an Anglican nun had arranged for a disabled man to have sex with a prostitute as part of its works of mercy.

According to the UK’s The Daily Telegraph, the Douglas hospice in Oxford actively cooperated to find a prostitute or “sex worker” for 22-year-old Nick Wallis, a patient suffering Duchenne muscular dystrophy, after the young man asked the staff for help in finding sexual intercourse.

Wallis told the Telegraph that he had wanted to hire a prostitute for sex for two years since he despaired of having “an intimate and loving relationship with a woman” on account of his disability.

"I had hoped to form a relationship when I went to university, but it didn't happen,” Wallis told the Telegraph. “I had to recognise that if was to experience sex I would have to pay for it out of my savings. My mind was made up before I discussed it with anyone else."

The Douglas House hospice staff - departing from Christian principles teaching that sexual intercourse is an expression of married love between a man and a woman - then sought out the advice of attorneys, the clergy, and health care professionals with the full knowledge of its foundress, Anglican Sister Frances Dominica, in order to accomplish his goal.

With the support and cooperation of both hospice staff and his parents, Wallis related to the Telegraph that a “very pleasant and very understanding” prostitute visited his home in Northhampton for an experience he admitted “was not emotionally fulfilling”.

Unfortunately, Sister Frances, foundress of Douglas House and its associated hospice for children, Helen House, sees no contradiction in her presumed Christian principles and abetting a practice long regarded in Christian civilization as degrading the sacred dignity of women and a social scourge.

"I know that some people will say 'You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?' But we are here for all faiths and none," said Sister Frances.

"It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."

However, Sr. Frances’ statements to the Telegraph are seen by orthodox, believing Christians as a non-concern for Wallis’ or any disabled person’s spiritual well-being. The tradition is that since prostitution is a serious offense against Christian teaching and against natural law cause and effect principles, it could not be of any real benefit to anyone and would actually be harmful.

Nick Wallis’ story is now part of a BBC documentary series about life inside Douglas House and its hospice for children, Helen House, and can be seen on The Children of Helen House, BBC2, 10pm Tuesday.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Taiwan Parliament Fights

Parliamentary proceedings can be perceived as boring in civilised societies like Singapore where the members use only their mouths to express themselves. Hence some MPs can be caught dozing off every now and then. I suppose Taiwan's parliament might be the most entertaining in the world where the members regularly let their fists and feet do the talking as well. In the heat of their arguments, they would throw chairs at, punch, kick and slap their opponents. In America, we have WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). In Taiwan, we have TPE (not Tampines Expressway, but Taiwan Parliament Entertainment).

The Associated Press, Saturday, 20th January, 2007
"Taiwan Legislature Dissolves Into Chaos "Taiwan Legislature Dissolves Into Chaos"
The Associated Press
Friday, January 19, 2007; 9:20 AM
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A ruling party lawmaker threw a shoe at the speaker of Taiwan's legislature on Friday and assorted colleagues pushed and shoved each other, throwing the final day of the winter legislative session into chaos.
The scenes were reminiscent of past Taiwanese legislative brawls, and represented another low point in the island's sometimes stormy transition from dictatorship to democracy.
Friday's trouble erupted when dozens of lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party stormed the speaker's dais to prevent voting on a proposal to change the composition of the Central Election Commission.
The commission is responsible for administering elections on the island of 23 million people and is generally considered nonpartisan.
Opposition Nationalists responded to the DPP's move by rushing forward to protect speaker Wang Jin-pyng, one of the Nationalists' senior members.
DPP lawmaker Wang Shu-huei flung a shoe at the speaker, but it struck the face of a lawmaker next to him.
Another legislator threw the shoe back at Wang Shu-huei and ripped up a DPP political placard. Earlier, a DPP lawmaker grabbed a Nationalist by the jacket collar and tried to push him down against a desk, while dozens of legislators pushed and shoved in the background.
Taiwan's Legislature has a reputation for violent incidents ever since the dismantling of martial law in 1987.
Friday's brawls followed a motion by the opposition _ which holds a slim majority at the 219-seat Legislature _ asking for the Central Election Commission to be selected according to the parties' electoral strength.
At present, members of the commission are nominated by the government and approved by the president.
The opposition called the commission's impartiality into question amid months of legal wrangling following President Chen Shui-bian's narrow victory in the 2004 presidential election.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

F1 Racing In Singapore

This is exciting! F1 racing is coming to Singapore! The roar of the F1 engines in Singapore's downtown can definitely be heard far, far away. Wonder if it can be heard in Changi and Tuas. People at East Coast park should have no problem hearing it since the sounds can travel unblocked over the seawater.
TODAY, Monday, 15th January, 2007
Proposal for F1 street race at night past familiar landmarks

Ian De Cotta
IT IS 7pm on a Sunday in September next year. They have lined up in
formation - the magnificent scarlet Ferraris, the gleaming silver
McClaren-Mercedes, the playful blue and yellow Renaults - all straining at
the leash in front off Marina Bay. One by one, the five red starter lights
go off and those powerful engines roar to life.
At 300kmh, led by world champion Fernando Alonso, they fly in a blur past
the Esplanade and City Hall, around Swissotel The Stamford and into Suntec
City. Before you know it, they are back beneath the Benjamin Sheares
Bridge and on their next lap.
If all goes to plan and Formula 1 (F1) supremo Bernie Ecclestone reaches
an understanding with one of the Singaporean groups that have offered to
host a Grand Prix here in 2008, something akin to this scenario could come
alive on our roads.
This newspaper revealed last week that Formula One Management company's
talks with hotel and property tycoon Ong Beng Seng and ONE°15 luxury
marina club developer Arthur Tay are at an advanced stage.
Today has now managed to obtain details of the street circuit proposed by
world-famous designer Hermann Tilke - and it promises to advertise
Singapore in the most flattering light possible.
The circuit takes in the most seductive stretch of Singapore's skyline,
including a slew of skyscrapers, the Victoria Memorial Hall, the Raffles
Hotel and the Singapore Flyer. The start-finish line of the 4.8-km track
could be in front of the grandstand being built for National Day.
The novelty factor goes up several notches as the race will be a night
race - perhaps the first in the world for a street circuit.
Some night races are held in the United States, but they take place on
oval stadium tracks. Street tracks, themselves, are a rarity with Monaco
providing the only other one on the Formula 1 calendar. A night race on a
street circuit is almost unheard of and it will provide drivers a unique
technical challenge.
The timing could also help viewers in Europe and the US tune in at a more
comfortable hour.
While a final decision is still pending, the Ministry of Trade and
Industry has confirmed that talks are in progress.
"We are constantly on the lookout for investors and event organisers who
wish to bring major events, such as the F1 Grand Prix, to Singapore.
Several parties have expressed an interest in bringing F1 to Singapore and
discussions are ongoing," a ministry spokesperson said in an email reply
to Today.
Be prepared for some inconveniences, though.
While the proposed circuit could come as a windfall to hotels along the
route - including Marina Mandarin, Conrad, Ritz-Carlton, Pan Pacific,
Raffles and Swissotel, where guests could check in for the race - public
roads to the heart of the city may have to be closed for the event.
In Monaco, for example, the circuit closes to general traffic three hours
before the race and opens 30 minutes after it is over.
The closures may be limited to two one-hour practice sessions on Friday,
another practice session and the qualifiers on Saturday, and race day on
Many areas along the route will still be accessible by MRT, or via the
underground link from City Hall station.
Weighed against that is a global audience of 350 million catching a
glimpse of the Singapore skyline and revenues that could touch US$100
million ($154 million).
Let's hear those engines roar.

When my colleague first read the above headline, he wrongly thought that the speed limit for motorists here will be raised to 300km/h! Ha, ha, ha...! :D Still not as good as Germany's Autobahn

where there's no speed limit on certain stretches, heh?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How to pass your driving test at first try

People in Singapore always lament how expensive and hard it is to pass a driving test here.

The reason why most people learning to drive can't drive well is because of lack of practice. Booking a car and a driving instructor to have sufficient practice to hone one's driving skills can cost a lot of money. Most people spend at least $1k plus to $2k plus and above just to get a class 3 driving license. People who pass only at their 3rd or 4th attempt can chalk up to $4k to $5k in learning costs.

Given enough practice, anyone learning to drive would be able to pass their driving test fairly easily at first try.

It's easy for a rich man's son to practice his driving and parking if his father lives in a mansion with tons of space for him to learn driving.

For the ordinary folks out there not born with a silver spoon in their mouth can resort to other means like getting someone else (a family member or a a friend) with a driving license, to rent a car and let him learn and practise his driving.

Of course learning to drive through such a means is not legal. But it's not that easy to get caught either if you go to some obscure corner of the island

to practise your driving and parking.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cry Wolf

Do you slow down on the expressway when you see on the EMAS (Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System) signboard displaying this message: "TRAFFIC POLICE OPS PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY"?

So far, all the times when i see this message on the expressways, i don't see any traffic police (Subaru WRX) parked on the expressway shoulder, looking for cars that exceed the speed limit. In fact, i only see the TP's Surbaru WRX when the message is not displayed.

Remember the story of The Boy who Cried Wolf from Aesop's Fables?

The Boy Who Cried Wolf, also known as The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf, is a fable by Aesop. The protagonist of the fable is a bored shepherd boy who entertained himself by calling out "wolf". Nearby villagers who came to his rescue found that the alarms were false and that they'd wasted their time. When the boy was actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers did not believe his cries for help and his flock perished (in some versions when the villagers ignore him the wolf kills him). The moral is stated at the end of the fable as:

Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed.
The English idiom "to cry wolf", derived from the fable, refers to the act of persistently raising the alarm about a non-existent threat, with the implication that the person who cried wolf would not be taken seriously should a real emergency take place.

On the TV series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Cardassian Garak has a different understanding of the story, suggesting its message is "Never tell the same lie twice". On the Simpsons episode "Marge Gets a Job", Bart Simpson indeed tells not one but several different lies to avoid taking a test, only to literally be attacked by a wolf and, subsequently, not believed.

A cynical interpretation is also possible: Do not lie too often, and do not tell lies just for your own amusement; save lies for when they are urgently required.