Alex Santoso's Comments

My mother-in-law saw a car trying to slalom across a road only to hit the side of a large flatbed hauler. The car was crushed, and when she flagged the truck, the driver didn't even realize he had been in an accident! It's all a question of mass and momentum.
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@Mo: cost of shirt = cost of material + cost to make + cost to transport/import + cost of advertisement + profit (of retailer and of clothing line).

You can bet that profit is pretty hefty ;)
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"But aaaaah would walk five hundred miles
And i would walk five hundred more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door"

That's what I was thinking about when I watched the clip!
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Boring? Oh no - it's quite difficult to paint like Vermeer. Quite very difficult. What Janson did was awesome. Unless, of course, you can paint like the Old Masters, popeyeisgood.
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I actually know someone who used to run a cut & sew house in Asia. Her operation was very clean and cool (it's Asia, so that's much preferable than "warm") - it's not a "sweatshop" that you typically see on TV.

Yes, it has rows and rows of sewing machines, but the garment workers are both males and females in almost equal proportions. The workers are friendly, they chit chat though since they're paid per piece, most of them choose to work quietly, focusing on getting as much done as possible.

The factory has an attached building where the workers sleep (They can also live at home, but since many of them come from afar, it makes no sense for them to commute every workday. Instead they go home on the weekends). Beds and bathroom are provided.

When I visited her operation, the factory was cutting and sewing shirts for Calvin Klein. When you go out and buy an expensive shirt, remember this: the cost for cutting and sewing a shirt (including putting on collar and buttons) is about $0.10 per piece. That's right. Ten cents (the clothing line provides the fabric).

She closed down her operation a while ago, because the price of $0.10 per piece turns out to be too high as compared to other cheaper countries like Vietnam. Her employees were very upset - they had lost clean, reliable, and relatively high paying jobs.
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I don't know about milk, but my wife and I started buying eggs from a local farmer at our farmer's market. I couldn't believe the difference in taste (and size). We still occasionally buy eggs at the grocery store (a matter of convenience) but we now prefer the ones from the farmer's market.
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Oh, forgot to add: Talking about "old" Singapore - I have an old timey photo taken of my wife, my mother and I in old Chinese garb. It's one of those fun-touristy thing to do at Clarke Quay. The photographer was deaf/mute and we communicated with hand gestures.

His studio is now long gone - paved away to make ways for whatever unmemorable restaurant/store.
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One of the most interesting books I've ever read was the Singapore Story by Lee Kwan Yew (the first Prime Minister of Singapore and the guy who made the country what it is today).

What I still remember today was his description of how Singapore was behind in Malaysia when both countries gained their independence. Singapore didn't have the natural resources like its larger cousin (not even freshwater - it had to be piped in from Malaysia). But in just a few decades, the tiny country pulled very far ahead.

Mahathir Mohammed, the Prime Minister of Malaysia who was the counterpart of Lee, said this about the reason his country's didn't do so well: The Malays "are lazy and like to find the easy way." (his words, not mine: Source).

Back to Adam's post: I used to visit Singapore quite often - and yes, it is an ultra-modern country. It's far more modern than most American cities, actually. It is also becoming (if it's not already) bland and filled with shopping malls after shopping malls.

I do agree with ughsingapore: the Night Zoo is awesome!
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Randall IS the greatest! A few of these really made me chuckle (magic finger, disappointment/amusement box). Bwahahaha!

Congrats to Shrike who guessed right, though he posted a URL since there's no prize I guess it really doesn't matter ... ;)

Good of Admiral Ackbar to make an appearance!
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Unenforceable? The problem with this sort of law is not that it's completely unenforceable, it's that it can be enforced willy nilly: one officer of the law (or agent of the whatever agency tasked to enforce the law) can apply the law to one small business but not another.
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According to the Handmade Toys Alliance, the law will also require all toys to have a date and batch number stamped. Since this law is retroactive, ALL toys that don't have them are contraband (and how many toys do you see have production batch numbers on them?)

My understanding is that the law applies to both domestic and imported "children's products" (not just limited to toys and clothes). Imported materials have to include a certification of testing.

Natural materials are excluded, so cotton, wood, etc. are exempt from the rulings (but painted stuff still have to comply with the testings).

This is a knee-jerk law due to the lead paint in kids toys from China scare. The law is badly written, and enforcement would be prohibitive.
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WooHoo! 100%.

The water one is kind of like the black swan question, which is like this

- a swan is observed to have white feathers
- all observations so far confirm that all swans have white feathers

People in middle age Europe actually believed that ALL swans are white, until someone noticed that there's a black swan outside of Europe.

It's also the title of the book on the economic collapse by Nassim Taleb.
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