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November 2011
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January 2012

Tech heavy

Nikon Rumors:

Expect 2012 to start with a bang and may as well be Nikon's best year in terms of new product releases (D4, D800, D7000 replacement and maybe even D300s replacement). I will be at the PMA 2012 show and will have a coverage of the new Nikon products.

Yeah, 2012 will be filled with a lot of new products. I'm waiting for:

  1. Nikon's "even" generation digital cameras. It has been over four years since they released the D3.
  2. Intel's introduction of Thunderbolt for PCs. Right now, only Apple and some Sony computers have this new port.
  3. Larger, faster, cheaper SSDs.
  4. Bigger, brighter, lighter monitors.

A bit too zealous

An Australian convert to Islam wants sharia now!

No smoking! No drinking! No gambling! No music! And so on.

Other Muslims are miffed. See, right now, they're weak in numbers. So, tactically, they have to play nice. The optimal time to take off the mask is when you're in the double digits percentage wise. However, this guy didn't get the memo.

Being haunted

Some dark humor from an ex-muslim:

Someone has commented on my last post that why don’t I share it with my parents instead of writing about it on the blog? I think either that guy is mentally challenged or he is just a sadist who wants to read about yet another honor killing in the Muslim world.


The only reason I am writing this blog is because I need to release my pent up frustrations and this is the only way I can do it, an anonymous blog. None of you can understand my predicament unless and until you also happen to be an ex-Muslim. Even now, I get nightmares every night where I am either fasting or praying or circumambulating around that black square object in Mecca.

I understand.

My nightmares put me in Saudi Arabia where I have to write a test but I don't know what to write. Getting a failing mark meant getting a beating later. So, the feeling is of terror -- the thought of being slapped, pushed, punched, beaten with a stick all come back from my earlier "education".

Test no. 2025

It's the fourth day and the last wicket partnership is putting the Aussie top order to shame. Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Clarke and Haddin scored a combined 23 runs in the second innings. Pattinson, a bowler, in only his third match has scored more runs!

I hope Tendulkar scores a century to win this match for India. He has scored the most runs, the most centuries and earlier this year he won the World Cup. The only big achievement is to win a series against the Australians in Australia. Let's see if the legend rises to the challenge.

Dang. The Indians got spanked in their second innings. Ponting scored 122 runs in the match which also turned out to be the margin of victory.

Coddled monsters

Vox Popoli links to reactions of various adults who received a Christmas gift not to their liking.

In my family the idea of gift-giving did not exist. We didn't even celebrate birthdays till my father caved in from pressure from all my siblings. Even then, on our birthdays, we would get around $50 as a gift. With my extended family it was worse. Most of my cousins don't know their exact birth day. Why? They never celebrate it. What's the point of knowing your own birthday when it's an insignificant date?

So, it's quite something to see pampered, spoiled brats who've grown up in one of the freest and richest societies in history to throw a hissy fit when they don't get their precious iPhone.

Americans getting poorer

PJ Media:

The essay below is excerpted from the December 2011 issue of Stansberry’s Investment Advisory. Its author, Porter Stansberry, examines the question of whether America is growing richer or poorer based on an analysis of its per-capita gross domestic product (GDP). Said simply, is our economy growing faster than our population? As individuals, are we becoming more affluent? Or is the economic pie, measured on a per-person basis, growing smaller? It’s a hard question to answer, and this article provides Porter Stansberry’s insight.

I was stunned by the level of credit card debt of older Americans.

Our endowment

A Christmas Rumination by Francis W. Porretto:

A good man -- take my word for it -- has succumbed to the Problem of Pain: the inability to believe that a benevolent Deity would have created a universe that permits so much evil and suffering. I had to grapple with that one myself before I could confidently return to faith. It's a nasty one, for one giant reason: the severe difficulty we limited ones have in contemplating the nature of God and the Divine Plan.

The heart of the thing is the nature of free will under the veil of Time. We are temporal creatures. Alone among the living species, we experience the passage of time, in which we sequence the events of our lives and concoct theories about why this happened instead of that. Because our wills are free, we are capable of taking many paths forward from any point in time and circumstance. The scope of our decision making is limited only by our nature.

Our nature is defined by the laws of the universe that gave rise to us. God decreed those laws and made them self-enforcing. But they don't constrain our wills. We are free to choose what ends we will pursue: pleasure or pain; profit or loss; stasis or dynamism; good or evil. Freedom of the will is God's original gift to Mankind: the one that distinguishes us from all the lower orders...and perhaps from some of the higher ones, as well.

A woman at my workplace went to India with her daughter. One day they decided to visit a temple. The level of poverty and misery there made the daughter tear up. She couldn't handle such a scene. She asked her mother, "How can God allow this?" The mother, to my surprise, didn't have any answer. She largely agreed with the idea that suffering means that a good God doesn't exist which basically means God doesn't exist.

I've not believed that. Even, after viewing the horrors of Islam in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, my belief in a Powerful Architect hasn't diminished. If anything the existence of evil strengthens the basis of His existence for it means that we truly are free -- free to be good or bad, free to be kind or inflict pain.

Burqa rage

Daily Mail:

Nassim Mimoune, 24, had already been expelled from the delivery room for branding the midwife a 'rapist' as she carried out an intimate examination of his wife.

The nurse removed the niqab to check up on the wife.

He smashed open the locked door and hit the woman in the face, demanding she replace the full Islamic face veil.


What are Muslims scared of?

Tambi Dude emailed me this link today:

Sajeel Ahmed, 18, of Khushab was accused of making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a first information report (FIR) registered under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which carries the death penalty. The complainant is his classmate Waqas Nadeem, who said that Sajeel had tried to convert other students and made remarks that hurt their religious sentiments.

The history of Islam, starting with Muhammad himself, is filled with wars, slavery and conversions of subjugated populations with the aid of the jizya. Yet, here's a man who is using mere rhetoric to convince some people and his punishment from the hands of Muslims will likely be death.

Sajeel’s father Hakim Jameel was accused of describing his son as a Muslim in his school admission form, an offence under Section 298-C of the PPC with a penalty of up to three years in prison. The complainant in the case is Qari Saeed Ahmed, who submitted that “the Muslims of Khushab are worried about the increasing number and activities of Qadianis [Ahmadis] in the city”.

That's right. A father, who belongs to a tiny sect in Islam, describes his son as a Muslim. He can be put behind bars for three years!

They can't handle the truth


Free speech and religious liberty are two of America's most cherished protections. But if the Organization of Islamic Cooperation gets its way, that could change not only in the United States, but around the world.

The Muslim group is pushing a United Nations resolution that would criminalize criticism of religions.

How cute. They hide behind all religions instead of coming out and stating that they don't want a bad word said about Islam.

Frank Gaffney, president of the American Center for Security Policy, didn't mince words against the group -- likening the OIC to a "multi-national Muslim mafia."

"It is 57 states and Palestine that have come together to promote what is fundamentally the agenda that is known as Sharia," he explained.

Link via Infidels are cool.

No music for you!


A kindergarten student in Saint-Michel will be allowed to wear a noise-reducing headset in class, because her parents' say their religious beliefs don't allow the five-year-old girl to listen to music.

Though music is an integral part of the kindergarten program, the principal of Bienville School decided to grant the accommodation request made by a Muslim family and allow their daughter to block out music at school.

Robert Spencer:

Noting that Islamic law forbids musical instruments and music itself except in some strictly defined circumstances will bring you swift charges of "ignorance" and "Islamophobia." I guess this devout Muslim family is actually made up of ignorant Islamophobes.

Soon, art, science, religious studies, etc. will also get the chop.

It cannot be fixed

David French: When Is $16 Trillion Not Enough?

A commenter there writes:

She [Megan McArdle] cites the example of a friend from a middle-class background who had a child at 17 with her 30-year-old drug-dealing boyfriend who went to prison, and now lives on public benefits and minimum-wage jobs. McArdle says there is nothing that can be done with this woman; she refuses all help to rejoin the middle class. She made her choices in life despite having solid role models and generous resources available to her.

One wonders, however, why her friend chose this path? I bet that she was attracted to the drug dealer because pop culture nowadays glorifies such lifestyles. Not only do we exalt single mothers and drug use, but our culture bitterly mocks and tears down the hallmarks of bourgeois life, such as marriage, steady employment, thrift, and moderation. We can't assume that a constant assault on middle-class values won't have an effect.

Link via Instapundit.

Jewish, perhaps?

Daily Mail via Vlad Tepes:

A jealous husband is facing life in prison after chopping off his wife's fingers because she began studying for a degree without his permission.

100 points if you can guess his religious views:

Mr Islam, who is a migrant worker in the United Arab Emirates, had warned his wife there would 'severe consequences' if she did not give up her studies.

The mythical patriarchy

Perhaps the most asinine belief of feminists is that men and women are not different. We are simply born with dissimilar sex organs. The inequalities we see among the genders is the result of the oppressive societal structure that refuses to die and continues to keep women down.

In other words, there is rampant discrimination against women. That explains their low numbers at the apex of STEM fields. Just take a look at the Fields Medal which is a prize awarded to those who've made major contributions to mathematics. It's awarded every four years. To date, fifty two people have won the award.

Guess how many women have earned the award. Hint: The number is not positive.

I don't see discrimination here or rather I don't see any proof of discrimination. A large majority of women are not interested in doing research in mathematics. Therefore, in a free society, one won't see women mathematicians on, er, top.

However, feminists and equality fetishists are very uncomfortable with biological differences. It seems that they can't let go of the "women are victims" narrative.

Anyway, check out this video for some "old fashioned" research into the differences between men and women. Password: hjernevask. Link via Heuristics, a commenter at Alpha Game.

Making better Muslims

The Daily Mail via Vlad Tepes:

Forty-five students, among them young children, were discovered held in chains in a basement when police raided an Islamic seminary in Pakistan last night. The male students, some said to be as young as 12 but appearing even younger, were found in what amounted to a dungeon at the Madrassa Zakarya in the Sohrab Goth district of Karachi.

Obviously, this is a nefarious Jewish plot to make the Taliban look bad.

'The madrassa officials claim that they had chained those students because they were drug addicts and they wanted to rehabilitate them and make them better Muslims,' he added.

Of course.

D4 in 2012

The D3 / D3S killer will soon be announced. Nikon rumors has got the details.

I'm surprised by the 16.2 MP. I was thinking a minimum 18 MP. Anyway, given their recent history, this sensor will produce some mighty clean pics even at high ISOs. The rumored 36 MP beast, the Nikon D800, makes more sense now. Pros will get the D4 because of its superior photo capturing ability and the MP lovin' crowd will get the D800.

The problem? Price. Both cameras will be north of $4,000.

Feminists support oppression

The National Post:

The Supreme Court must decide whether women may keep their faces covered in court. Or rather whether Muslim women can, but other women can’t.

Of course. Muslims don't have to follow our inferior, man-made rules.

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) – a bastion of feminist activists – argued that the alleged victim should be allowed to wear the veil if her religion demands it, stating that forcing a Muslim woman to uncover her face while testifying “could very well be seen and experienced as an act of racial, religious and gendered domination.”

Why are feminists so dumb?

What's interesting is that Tarek Fatah doesn't support this silly exception.

“[Muslim women] should be treated like any other woman and receive the same protections.” Fatah also objected to the Charter being a vehicle for gender inequality: “The covered female face is a reminder to the wearer that she is not free and to the observer, that she is a possession.”

One has to work very hard to be dumber than a Muslim.

Smashing continued!

Run scoring machine:

Virender Sehwag has blasted his way into the cricketing history books often enough during his captivating career. He has written entire chapters about fast scoring. He has helped his country to the top of the Test rankings, and to World Cup glory. He has set new benchmarks in the illustrious athletic discipline of most-slowly-trudged singles. Now he has clattered the highest ever one-day international innings, becoming the second (a) human being and (b) stocky Indian wizard to score an ODI double-hundred. Of all great batsmen, he has arguably been the easiest to dismiss, but the hardest to contain.

So true. A few months ago, he was sent to England while not fully fit. He scored 0 and 0 in the two innings of his first Test match. He completely failed. But we know what he's capable of as he showed the world yesterday.


Sehwag breaks the little master's record. Last year, Tendulkar scored 200 runs. Today, Sehwag scored 219 -- the highest score in the history of ODI cricket. Such a feat tells us two things:

  1. Sehwag is super awesome.
  2. West Indies have had a great fall from their glory days of the 1980s and 90s.

Oh, and Sehwag made it look easy:

Today will be a day for superlatives, and you could be excused for getting carried away and comparing this to Usain Bolt starting to celebrate in the last 10m and still smashing the 100m record at the 2008 Olympics. That Sehwag didn't seem to have to stretch himself might make you think so. Two hundred and nineteen might seem small the day he bats out 50 overs in good batting conditions.

I think that Tendulkar is the greater and more consistent batsman. However, he can't match Sehwag's appetite for epic hundreds.

America is broke

Vox Day:

In 2000, it would have been possible to cut government spending by 15 percent, and that would have sufficed to keep it in line with tax receipts. In 2007, it would have been possible to cut it by 25 percent, and that would have been enough to prevent the debt spiral from getting worse. Due to vast increase in spending that led to the doubling of federal debt since 2008, it is now necessary to cut federal spending in half simply to keep the situation from getting worse.

ODI no. 3222

Crushed again:

Bangladesh had an opportunity to end a losing streak against Pakistan that has lasted 12 years, but the visiting spinners were good enough to put the target of 178 far out of their reach. The track was tailored to suit Bangladesh's strength - spin - but it backfired since they didn't have the batsmen capable of sticking it out long enough to entertain thoughts of earning a consolation win.

Pakistan, India and Bangladesh were one nation before 1947. Yet, the most consistent and impressive bowlers keep on originating from Pakistan. Right now, Pakistan seems to have the most potent bowling attack in the world. The series against England will be interesting.

Egypt will burn

I've mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood quite a few times on this blog. It's basically al-Qaeda with a smiley face. Its core mission is simple: sharia.

Recently, Michael Coren talked to Tarek Fatah who was just stunned at how so many in the West are utterly ignorant about the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It's not shocking to me. Globally Muslims in large numbers -- often majorities -- support sharia and war against the non-Muslims but still far too many Westerners refuse to see the true face of Islam.

Planet of the Woolies?

Holy Schnikes via HardOCP:

Scientists have been trying to clone woolly mammoths for years, but now they're really close. So close that in five years you may see herds of this gigantic beast—one of the favorite extinct prehistoric animals of the all-time.

Scientists from Japan's Kinki University and the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum have discovered well preserved marrow in a thigh bone discovered in Siberia, buried under the permafrost. The marrow is in such good condition that its cells' DNA could be used to replace the nuclei of elephant egg cells. This will allow scientist to create mammoth embryos.

I don't why but after reading that I instantly imagined a full-scale war between woolly mammoths and skynet. Perhaps, Cameron and Spielberg could get together and come up with a movie ...

Understanding sexuality

One of the dumbest ideas paraded around is: Men and women are the same. The "differences" we see among them are imposed by the larger society.

Growing up with many sisters and brothers and then living in four countries has shown me otherwise. One of the biggest differences between males and females is in what they deeply desire. Those who're into the equality myth simply don't comprehend the complexity inherent in us.

Byron via Susan Walsh:

There are girls that I know who also get into a dark place from being alone, too, but they are hungry for a stable relationship, not sex, & in fact one night stands & friends with benefits seem to make them more, rather than less unhappy. The irony of that being, of course, that pretty much any woman reading this page right now could walk up to the nearest bar tonight & get the thing that men crave more than anything for nothing, with no work whatsoever. But they don’t, because that isn’t what they want.

Well said.

Pakistani WMD

Tambi Dude emailed me this link.

I found a, er, better one.

A controversial Pakistani actress has been forced to deny posing naked for the India edition of FHM sporting a tattoo of the initials 'ISI' on her arm.

Veena Malik appears topless on the front of the December issue of FHM India, sparking outrage among conservatives in Pakistan - both for her nudity and the reference to Pakistan's intelligence agency.

The image does look plastic-y and photoshopped. For instance, the right leg and hip line up awkwardly.

Though, what really bugs me is the text formatting around Veena. Did FHM India use a monkey on acid for that?

Squeezed supply

Tom's News:

On Thursday in its financial outlook for the December quarter, Western Digital gave an update on its Thailand flood recovery effort, reporting that production of hard drives finally resumed this week in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand, just one week ahead of internal schedules.

Before the floods, the price of a two terabyte drive from Western Digital was $70-80. I checked the price last week: $190-200.