Friday, September 01, 2017

Breath Diet

So apparently there's this new fad going around called the Breath Diet.


Basically, by breathing vigorously in a specific position for 5 minutes a day, you can lose weight. The founder realised this method works for weight loss by accident when he was doing these exercises for his back pain. I have so many problems with this. Let me list them for you: 1. It claims the increased intake of oxygen will lead to increased burning of fat. This is bloody pseudo-science. Science has shown that the only effective way to burning fat is through med to high-intensity exercise. 2. Correlation vs causation Assuming he is telling the truth, there is zero evidence that the breathing was what led to his weight loss. Just because two things happened at the same time does not necessarily mean one thing caused the other. If I started losing weight around the same time I start being extra creepy around women, does that mean being creepy helps people lose weight? 3. He is an actor. Why the hell would anyone look to an actor for health tips?? I don't understand why people love to follow health advice from celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow is another one, although I am very ok with her advising women on how to have anal sex, that's perfectly fine). It's as dumb as letting a politician advise you on whether climate change is real and no one does that do they?

4. Why 5 minutes?
How did he come up with the magic number of 5 minutes? Why not 10? Or 2 minutes? I did not see any explanation for this number. 1. Counter-argument 1: People have apparently tried it and it works If a million people try it (apparently he sold a million books or videos in Japan), some of them will lose weight, but it might not mean they lost weight because of this "diet". These people would have lost weight either way even without doing this diet, but because the weight loss happened while they did this diet, they will then believe this is the reason (correlation, confirmation bias). This is very naive. Let me give you an example. Let's say I was a con man and I start going around the hospitals in Singapore claiming that I have magical powers that can heal the sick. I start praying (fake praying of course) for all the very sick people there. Out of a 1000 people I do this for, there is a pretty decent chance that some of them might get a bit better, and if I am really lucky a few of them might even recover fully. These people would have gotten better even if I didn't visit them but they will remember me praying for them so they will immediately point to me or God as the reason for their recovery. The majority of those who did not get better will ignore the fact that my prayers didn't work because they were no worse off than before. This is what is happening here as well, and this is what is known as confirmation bias. And this is why faith healers are bullshit too.
2. Counter-argument 2: It's only 1 minute a day, it's no harm doing it, what if it works then you benefitted from it. This sounds like an almost valid argument, but here is my counter. If I say to you if you call my name 3 times before you sleep you will be safe from harm because I will watch over you, would you do it? Obviously not, even if it takes minimal effort because it is bloody ridiculous. Ditto with respect to this, I would get the same benefit by praying to God for weight loss. And even if it works, how do I know it is because of the breathing? (see counter-argument 1) If this thing was real, he could provide it by doing a scientific study (I can bet given how popular it is, he will have no issue getting scientists to test his claim). But he will not because he knows it will be debunked as soon as he does it.

I am begging you all who want to believe this nonsense, just think through it logically. And not just this, but also other fads like juice diets that are supposed to detox your body (nonsense), foot pads that drain the toxins out of your body (more nonsense). Stop believing what these celebrities or other people tell you, and listen to doctors and scientists. Rant over. Selamat Hari Raya!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Handmaid's Tale

A couple of things that came to my mind while I was watching A Handmaid's Tale , i am now on episode 5. For those who are not aware of the show, it's about a dystopian future (is there any other type of future in Hollywood?) where due to poor fertility, fertile women are captured and forced to be slaves (ahem handmaids) to rich powerful couples who want a child. No prizes for guessing how they use these women. (Super duper mild spoilers, if you can even call them that)
1. Not a fan of the lead actress , they should have gotten Megan Fox.
2. These are the most covered sex slaves in any show ever made about sex slaves.
3. Asian women must not be very fertile in the future despite having the highest birth rates currently, as I did not see a single Asian handmaid so far. At least they have black handmaids.
4. This would make a really twisted but entertaining porn parody. I am already writing the screenplay in my head.
5. Joseph Fiennes is back!! Haven't seen him since that sex movie with Heather Graham.
6. Gilmore Girl Rory as a handmaid? I am not sure I am cool with that.
7. Why not handmaiden instead of handmaid? What's the difference anyway?
8. Scrabble? Really?
9. It would be awesome to be a man in this future. For women, not so much.
10. It would have been really cool if the handmaids were called that because they had to use their hands to ....you know....
This is a really good show , but super disturbing. Go catch it.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another day , another walk.  Truth be told, I had spent the day in quiet reflection on my actions 2 days ago.  Sure, these old people did not really matter, but does that mean I should have treated them as I did? These thoughts weighed heavily on my mind and slowed me considerably as I trudged along the gravelly path around Bedok Reservoir. Guilt is such a heavy cross to bear, especially when you are speed walking.

And then , out of the corner of my big beautiful eyes, I saw him.  He was barely a blur , but I knew it had to be him. I clenched my fists and waited for him to catch up to me . A minute later, the race was afoot!

As expected he took an early lead but I managed to maintain a quick enough pace that I wasn't that far behind but it was definitely a struggle, considering unlike my adversary I did not benefit from any performance enhancing drugs. Suddenly, and I swear this is true, he turned back to me and said "Indian Stallion? More like Indian Buffalo!! HAHAHA!!".  My nostrils flared at that horrible insult and I walked even faster. My lungs were literally bursting trying to get more air than they ever had to before.  My heart was pumping so fast that blood started oozing out of the pores in my chest .  Yet no matter how much I tried I still couldn't catch up to him.

I knew I could not keep this up without endangering my life, so dejectfully I slowed down, conceding defeat.  But then suddenly a beautiful woman in a white dress ran up alongside me and whispered into my ear. "Don't give up , my lovely Stallion" she said.  I did not know who she was or why she was trying to help me, but I heeded her advice and sped up once more.  If I died doing this, so be it .  There are few worthier causes to die for.

The next few minutes were a blur. I looked down at my feet and they were moving so fast I could barely make them out. I looked up and it was as if time stood still , no one else was moving except me and the old man.  The lady was nowhere to be seen.

Nearing the (imaginary) finish line at the entrance of the park, we were neck to neck .  With my last ounce of energy I thrusted my chest forward. It was enough to beat him. I screamed out in joy and raised my right fist in triumph, while pointing at him with my left index finger. He looked at me quizzically and said something in Chinese that sounded like "Sent Ching Ping" and sped off . I do not know what it means, but if I had to guess it probably means "Great walker, you have bested me and now I shall slink away in shame." .

Mystery woman , whoever you are, thank you.  Also you were kinda hot so I would love to take you out sometime if we ever meet again.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Happy Ever Laughter - Review

I have always been a fan of standup, but I have to admit I haven't gone to that many local ones since I don't really have many friends who like them. I have spent quite a lot of time on youtube watch people like Jimmy Carr,  Louis CK , but my favorite are the Celebrity Roasts where comedians go at each other with some of the most mean and jaw dropping insults. So I was looking forward to watching our local comedians do their thing as well , each one had around 10 mins for their part. Unfortunately the show did not live up to its title.

Firstly the good. Rishi and Kumar were easily the best of the bunch. I preferred Rishi's set because his humor was a bit sharper, he poked fun at the absurdity of MDA's attempts at censorship when the comedians were looking to perform on live TV.  ("MDA chief - We had an internal meeting on "ku ku chao" and we can allow it.") . Kumar did rely on his usual sexual jokes (this time it revolved around how nurses should wear sexy outfits and he came out in such a uniform to hammer the point) but they were still funny. But it felt really short , and ended very abruptly.

The next best performer was a surprise, it was Suhaimi Yusof. I seen him on local TV in the past and I never liked him because he always over-acts and it was annoying,  However, he was surprisingly quite comfortable and laid back on stage and he had this aura of a pakcik telling stories that made him really likeable and relatable. He had some very clever word gags  ("I was a master-debater in school and my mentor was Pa Chu Cheng") that were quite hilarious. And he demonstrated his voice-over ability by imitating Darth Vader, Optimus Prime and Megatron amazingly well.

Fakkah and Dosh were decent, their jokes were mainly around race . Dosh had a few about being mistaken for a Malay that were quite funny. Pretty ok overall. Sharul was ok but not as memorable as the last time I saw her, ditto for Hossan Leong, im struggling to remember any of their jokes now though.

K now the bad. And these were really bad.  The best of the lot , and I am using the word "best" very loosely was Sebastian Tan aka the Broadway Beng. First of all , he was talking way too much in Teochew/Hokkien(?) to the point that I felt I was at the wrong show. Secondly, he just wasn't funny, and worst of all he ended with this pointless medley where the entire joke was him replacing words in famous songs with "gout" which he had recently contracted. I don't know why that's funny.

Fairing slightly worse was Judee Tan. She was playing this linguistically challenged TCM practitioner and was doing this really annoying voice that was incredibly grating and also made it hard to make out what she was saying sometimes.

The worst performance of the night was a toss up between Patricia Mok and Siti K.  Patricia Mok , like Suhaimi was doing her first ever stand-up, but that is the only similarity between them . She was painfully unfunny, with very poor timing and seems to lack an understanding of how punchlines work or even what they are. Siti K had this really horrible idea where she pretended she was an ex-model and was hosting a talk show called Secrets Shhh or something like that.  It was as awkward as it sounds.

So all in all, there were 3 decent ones, 3 ok ones, and 4 really awful ones. I think Patricia is not ready for stand up and it was a mistake to put her up there, she seems woefully out of her depth.  Siti K according to my friend is hilarious in the other plays she seen her in, so maybe she went with the wrong concept. For Judee and Sebastian Tan, i am not a fan of character type of stand ups, because it gets very limiting after a while. All in all , its hard to justify paying 80 over dollars for this kind of caliber, think I might stick to YouTube or those stand up nights at bars.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Not cut out for charity

Conversation I had a week ago.

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Friend: Hi, I am helping out in this charity where they are cooking food and delivering them to the underprivileged. Would you like to help out ?

Me: Sure , why not, sounds like a good cause.  When and where?

Friend: The date is still to be confirmed but you will have to report at around 5 am.  I will let you know soon.

Me: 5 am??  Why poor people eat so early?? 

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Yes, I know, I know, I am going to hell.  I don’t think I will hear back from her.