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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Guess where I'm going -vvv

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Yiheng made
12:13 PM


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Monday, October 29, 2007
斷袖之癖 -vww

With all the debate going on about 377A, it seems appropriate for me to share something I learnt recently about the Chinese phrase "斷袖之癖" (literally quirk of sleeve cutting). 斷袖之癖 is a term used to describe homosexuals and has its origins in the Han Dynasty.

Emperor Ai (漢哀帝) of the Han Dynasty had a gay lover Dong Xian. As the story goes, Emperor Ai and Dong Xian were napping in the same bed. When Emperor Ai awakened, he found Dong Xian asleep on his sleeve. Emperor Ai then cut off his sleeve to avoid disturbing the sleeping Dong Xian. Hence the term.

Throughout history, tales such as this often gets imported, exported and modified. It is not uncommon to find similar stories set in different contexts. There is another famous story that shares the structure of this one.

It is about a person who found his cat asleep on his sleeve. In order to leave for prayer without disturbing the cat, he cut his sleeve off. The name of the cat was Muezza. The person was none other than the Prophet Muhammad.

p.s. For someone who is anti-homosexuals (quote "Allah curses the one who does the actions (homosexual practices) of the people of Lut"), the association is rather ironic.

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Yiheng made
12:05 PM


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Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tough PSLE -vvw

Occasionally, parents write to the newspaper en masse, complaining about how tough the PSLE papers are in that particular year, especially the math exam. This year is one of those years.

I always find it amusing when parents do that. They seem to think that if the exam is tough, students will score lower and find it harder to get into a good school. Apparently, it doesn't matter that everyone else (i.e. the competition) does as badly in the exam.

Parents simply prefer artificially inflated PSLE scores even if it does nothing to help their children. Perhaps it's so that they can show off to other parents how high their kids scored in the PSLE. And if the student can't get into a good school, they can always blame it on luck. "See the high PSLE score? Our son is clearly qualified. He's just unlucky." The high PSLE score is really about making the parents feel good about themselves and their offspring.

But if you really want the high PSLE score so badly, don't complain when your child is taking the PSLE, you should complain the year before that. Each year of massive complaints is usually followed by a year of easy PSLE. Take 1993 for example, the year I had my PSLE. In 1992, everyone complained how the PSLE was particularly difficult that year. So in 1993, they made it easy. Yes, some people would still say the PSLE was tough in 1993 but hey, someone in the cohort managed to score 292, no top student from any other year even came close.

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Yiheng made
10:17 AM


You know what upsets people? not getting As. I don't understand why schools have to give out B and C or even F grades to students. It just makes them feel miserable and bad about themselves. They should give everybody As. Once you eliminate all basis of comparison, everybody will feel happy about themselves
By Blogger Soqcrates, at 3:13 PM  

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Friday, October 26, 2007
Taxi Incentives -vvw

Due to work reasons, I have taken more taxi rides in October than in any typical year. Most of these rides are between my workplace and home. One thing I noticed from all these rides is that the price and route varies by quite a large extent.

Some of the routes are ridiculously roundabout. I can only conclude that these cab drivers are either dishonest or at best incompetent. For the case of dishonest drivers, the incentive to take a longer route is usually profit. The longer the route, the higher the fare.

Since I am currently reading Freakonomics, which has a whole chapter on incentives, I naturally wondered if calculating fare based on route (which affects distance and time) is one of the major factors contributing to unethical behaviours in taxi drivers.

Suppose that the cab fare is constant given a set of parameters (start point, destination and time of day), would it not be in the interest of the taxi driver to choose the most economical route (in terms of time spent and the amount of diesel used)? Of course, it would not be easy to determine how much a particular trip should cost. If the price is placed too high, taxis will avoid plying this route altogether.

Perhaps we could adopt a free market approach instead? It is usually rather efficient, no? Every person who wants to take a cab places a bid for his trip (maybe through the phone) and let the market forces work it out. As an added bonus, this would also solve the problem of taxi drivers not stopping for passengers just to get the on-call charge. Unfortunately, the drawback is confusion.

This entry is not intended to be an in-depth examination of the problem but rather, to point out that there seriously is a problem and to suggest some directions we can consider taking in solving the issue.

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Yiheng made
11:05 PM


the free market approach assumes perfect knowledge of the traffic conditions, which may not be be perfect i.e jams, wet weather
and perfect knowledge would be too hard to implement
the difference in route is probably due to what cab drivers think is either 1) the shortest route(spatial) 2)the fastest route (temporal)
and these 2 usually differ, sometimes by a lot
and something to point out. actually cab drivers don't like long journeys; true they earn more from you, but in the long run, it means they pick up less passengers. if your journey was say, half an hour and they earned 20 bucks from you, it would have been better for them to make two 10 min trips and earn 15 bucks(assumption), something that a cab driver told me

By Blogger bOb™, at 4:54 PM  

I must be damn unlucky then, the routes were both longer and slower.
By Anonymous yiheng, at 10:38 PM  

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Sunday, October 21, 2007
Depreciating Asset -vvx

This Craigslist ad posted by a gold digger and the response by a banker has been around the internet for a while. I'm posting it here in case you haven't read the funny exchange yet.

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy.

I’m not from New York . I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

* Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms
* What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings
* Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?
* Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?
* Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?
* How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

PostingID: 432279810


Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful”
as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way.
Classic “pump and dump.”

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know

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Yiheng made
4:11 PM


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Saturday, October 20, 2007
So difficult to catch a show in China -vvv vvz

A few days ago, I chanced upon an interview on Channel News Asia. The person being interviewed was none other than 杨丽萍, goddess of dance. My first thoughts were "Whoa! Why is she on TV? Is she coming to Singapore?! Need to go check it out asap!". I was rather excited because having missed the opportunity to catch her 《云南映象》 show, I was hoping I could catch any of her shows before she retires from stage.

As it turns out, I had no such luck. Nope, she's not coming to Singapore. But she has a new show this year; it's the next big thing after 《云南映象》 and it's called 《藏谜》. It opens in Chengdu, which happens to be where I'm going in November! But alas, I am 3 months late. Anyway, I doubt I can get my hands on any tickets since ticketing information is so sparse on the internet! Why the heck is China still using telephone booking system?!

Supposedly, after their performance tour, the 《藏谜》 team will be permanently based in a specially built theatre at Jiuzhaigou. Maybe I'll have better luck when I go to Jiuzhaigou next time. Until then, the best I can get are these YouTube clips.

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Yiheng made
4:47 PM


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Saturday, October 13, 2007
Days in Isolation -vvv

September has been an exciting month for me. A friend of mine was in town for a few days as part of his month-long vacation tour of Asia. There was much that I wanted to write about, such as the free Cantonese opera at the Esplanade, the greedy koi fish at the Fullerton and the cute zoo keeper who talked to us at the Zoo's proboscis monkey enclosure. But due to a combination of procrastination and work, those adventures will never make it to this blog.

October will be a busy month at work for me. Instead of going to the office, I am down at site everyday now. It's a rather depressing place, which is all I can say about it. And I did so much overtime there that I missed two of the free events of the Esplanade's Da:ns Festival 2007. Interestingly, I saw a number of familiar faces from my days in Khatib, some commissioned officers and some warrant officers. Surprisingly, some of the warrant officers recognized me even though I was never directly under them in the chain of command.

Anyway, I will be spending another two more weeks in that god-forsaken place. After that, to China I go!

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Yiheng made
10:16 AM


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Sunday, October 07, 2007
Incorporating Hadouken in Salsa! -vvx

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Yiheng made
10:25 PM


So WEIRD!!! (x_x)
By Blogger fEatHeRs, at 10:50 PM  

seems fun alrite. ( ^-^)

By Anonymous Wengyi, at 12:55 AM  

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Previous Posts

Swing Along 2009 -vvv

FF13 -vvx

YGBSM -vvw

Tibetan Song -vvx

Unfortunate Side Effects -vwv

Memorable News -vwv

Five Golden Flowers -vvz

Art Appreciation in Singapore -vvw

Openmindedness -vvx


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