Watch the North Koreans mourn

The respected leader comrade Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) whom the Korean and world people hold in high esteem is revered today as the greatest leader of the working class who with extradordinary wisdom,outstanding ablity of leadership and lofty communist virtues,has been devoting all his life to the sacred cause of the revolution for the independence of the working masses.

Watch the masses cry at the first minute:

Death of the Father of the Socialist Homeland (1/3)

Great Leader Kim Il Sung (1912-1994)

During the long period since he embarked on the road of revolution at an early age,the great leader comrade Kim Il Sung led the unprecedently arduous and complex Korean revolution to victory and made a great contribution to the world revolution.

“The revolutionary peoples, communists and revolutionaries of all the world are calling Comrade Kim Il Sung, the great Leader of the 40 million Korean people, ‘an outstanding strategist of the international revolutionary movement,’ ‘the leader of the liberation movement of the whole world,’ ‘a distinguished leader of the tricontinental peoples’ and ‘a symbol of anti-imperialist struggle.’ They speak of him with boundless respect and veneration.

What is the meaning of “lorem ipsum”

What does the placeholder or filler text “lorem ipsum” mean?

Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…

— De finibus bonorum et malorum (a treatise on the theory of ethics written in 45 BC)

And so it means “There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain…” More from StraightDope.

What, actually, are figs?

I just found a new reason to dislike figs from the market. I don’t like them in the first place but they tend to come with the mixed nuts that I have as snacks. I bought the one with figs before realizing how hard to chew they are. Anyway, spoiler, figs have wasp:

Figs are not actually fruits but a mass of inverted flowers and seeds that are pollinated by a species of tiny symbiotic wasps. The male fig flower is the only place where the female wasp can lay her eggs, at the bottom of a narrow opening in the fruit that she shimmies her way through. The baby wasps mature inside the fig into males that have sharp teeth but no wings and females ready to fly. They mate, the males chew through the special fig pollen holders and drop them down to the females, chew holes in the skin of the fig to let the females out, and then die. The females, armed with the pollen, fly off in search of new male figs to lay her eggs in. In the process some of the female wasps land on female figs that don’t have the special egg receptacle but trick the female into shimmying inside. As the female wasp slides through the narrow passage in the fig her wings are ripped off (egg laying is a one-way mission) and while she is unsuccessful in laying her eggs, she successfully pollinates the female flower. The female flower then ripens into the fig that you can get at the supermarket, digesting the trapped wasp inside with specialized enzymes! (Source: ScienceBlogs)

A related video:

NATURE | The Queen of Trees | Wasps Inside the Fig | PBS

This is one part of nature that I am amazed about — that two species so different can be made so interdependent to each other. It almost seemed like perfect engineering.

Integrated resorts to stop shuttle service

Singapore’s only two casino decided that offering shuttle buses is a good idea. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports of Singapore (MCYS) wasn’t too pleased and mandate all shuttle bus services to the integrated resorts cease operation:

MCYS to take action with Casino Regulatory Authority on shuttle services

SINGAPORE : The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports has said it would take action with the Casino Regulatory Authority to stop the shuttle services provided by Integrated Resort operators.

On Wednesday, the ministry said it was investigating the free shuttle services provided by the IRs to ensure they were not encouraging Singaporeans to visit the casinos.

As of Thursday afternoon, demand for the shuttle service was still strong.

Some passengers even had to wait for the next bus.

Passengers at the Bishan and Bedok pick-up points told Channel NewsAsia the shuttle service made it convenient for them to get to Sentosa.

Of the 10 people our news team approached, two were headed for the casino.

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports had said the integrated resorts operators “will not be allowed to target the local market or provide incentives in any form for Singaporeans to patronise the casinos”. (Source: ChannelNewsAsia)

The MCYS reemphasizes that the casino operators cannot target the local market or provide incentives in any form to Singaporeans. Is this a case of too much intervention from our government? Also not all who are going to the integrated resorts may be there to gamble.

Parents worry over the wrong things

According to NPR parents are worrying over the wrong things.

These are the top 5 things parents are worrying about according to Christie Barnes, mother of four and author of The Paranoid Parents Guide:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers
  5. Drugs

But how do children really get hurt or killed?

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning

And the explanation?

Why such a big discrepancy between worries and reality? Barnes says parents fixate on rare events because they internalize horrific stories they hear on the news or from a friend without stopping to think about the odds the same thing could happen to their children.

Read more at NPR.

Thoughts on migrating to EC2

One thing that I notice with Amazon EC2 when trying out their micro instances in Singapore (Asia Pacific) is that the round trip takes approximately 250 ms from United States. This made me reconsidered a little about having my instance hosted in the Asia Pacific region since a majority of my visitors remain to be US-based.

I originally planned to use Amazon EC2′s micro instance to do just host a few blogs. Most of my images from the blogs are hosted at Amazon S3 already and I felt like moving everything over to Amazon’s US East facility (North Virginia).

Amazon EC2 offering is slightly cheaper than Rackspace Cloud’s similar offering and is quite attractive. A huge plus would be that I can host it in Singapore but then that’s probably benefiting just me. I can probably blog faster if it is hosted in Singapore but, to be honest, I wouldn’t really want to blog more than my current rate.

Recently Rackspace had some issues with my host machine and my server instance kept freezing up over a month. I didn’t suspect it could be an issue on their side and up the memory in my instance to 1024 MB. When that didn’t help, I almost wanted to migrate to another host — Linode. Now there’s Amazon’s micro instance I’m really spoilt for choice.