The mysterious 1-18-08 “Cloverfield” trailer, which was shown in theaters as a preview before Transformers.

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents… some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

– HP Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926)

Chris Lake feat Emma Hewitt – Carry Me Away

Down, the water holds me down, it’s like I have no weight
And now, I’m floating with the tide, the sun is on my face
And I hear you talking. I hear you speak, someone’s talking, saying something
But I’m on my own, there’s nothing left to say, it carries me away

And you call out, I can’t hear you, I can’t feel you, no I can’t feel nothing
And you call out, I can’t hear you, no I can’t hear nothing
And you all look the same now
You all look the same now

Now, there’s nothing that I want, to take me from this place
I’m drifting further with the tide that carries me away
And you call out, I can’t hear you, I can’t feel you, no I can’t feel nothing
And you all look the same now
You all look the same now

I know you’re trying hard to reach me
You’ll always feel the cold without me
I know you’re trying hard to reach me
You’ll always feel the cold without me
I know you’re trying hard


Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics
First law: A robot may not, through its actions or inactions, allow a human to come to harm.
Second law: A robot must obey any order given to it, unless in contradiction of the First Law.
Third law: A robot must protect its own existence, unless in contradiction of the First or Second Law.

Barnum’s Law — You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
Named for P. T. Barnum, close to H. L. Mencken quotation.

Benford’s Law of Controversy — Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

Bernard’s Law – When the people own the money, they control the government. When the government owns the money, it controls the people.
Coined by Bernard von NotHaus, monetary architect of the Liberty Dollar.

Brooks’s Law — Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Named after Fred Brooks — author of the well known tome on project management, The Mythical Man-Month.

Callahan’s Law — Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.
Coined by Mike Callahan in Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Series.

Clarke’s Three Laws. Formulated by Arthur C. Clarke.
o First law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
o Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little ways past them into the impossible.
o Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Dilbert Principle — The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.
Coined by Scott Adams, author of the comic strip Dilbert.

Duverger’s Law — Winner-take-all electoral systems tend to create a two party system, while proportional representation tends to create a multiple party system.
Named after Maurice Duverger.

Finagle’s Law — Anything that can go wrong, will — at the worst possible moment.

Fudd’s First Law of Opposition — If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.
Posited by the Firesign Theatre in “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus (1971)”.

Goodhart’s Law — Once an indicator or other surrogate measure is made a target for the purpose of policy, then it will lose the information content that would qualify it to play such a role.
Coined by economist Charles Goodhart.

Gresham’s Law — Bad money drives good money out of circulation.
Coined in 1858 by British economist Henry Dunning Macleod, and named for Sir Thomas Gresham (1519–1579). Earlier stated by others, including Nicolaus Copernicus.

Hanlon’s Razor — Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Named after Robert J. Hanlon, although there is some debate.

Harshaw’s Law — Daughters can use up ten percent more than a man can make in any normal occupation, regardless of the amount.
Coined by Jubal Harshaw in Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.

Herblock’s Law – If you like it, they will stop making it.

Hotelling’s Law — Under some conditions, it is rational for competitors to make their products as nearly identical as possible. Named after Harold Hotelling.

Hutber’s Law — Improvement means deterioration.
Coined by financial journalist Patrick Hutber.

Kerckhoffs’ Principle — In cryptography, a system should be secure even if everything about the system, except for a small piece of information — the key — is public knowledge.
Stated by Auguste Kerckhoffs in the 19th century.

Keynes’s Law — Demand creates its own supply.
Attributed to economist John Maynard Keynes, and contrasted to Say’s law.

Kuta’s Revelation — All forms of religion are based on faith in faith itself as a self-administered psychological placebo.
From the Selfbook (2007).

Ko?akowski’s Law — For any given doctrine that one wants to believe, there is never a shortage of arguments by which to support it.
Polish philosopher Leszek Ko?akowski

Linus’s Law — Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.
Named for Linus Torvalds, initiator of the kernel of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Littlewood’s Law — Individuals can expect miracles to happen to them at the rate of about one per month.
Coined by Professor John Edensor Littlewood.

Locard’s Exchange Principle — With contact between two items, there will be an exchange
Premise of forensics named after Edmond Locard

Metcalfe’s Law — In network theory, the value of a system grows as approximately the square of the number of users of the system.
Framed by Robert Metcalfe.

Moore’s Law — The complexity of an integrated circuit will double in about 24 months.
Stated in 1965, though not as a law, by Gordon E. Moore, later a co-founder of Intel.

Morton’s Fork — A person who lives in luxury and has clearly spent a lot of money must obviously have sufficient income to pay as tax. Alternatively, a person who lives frugally and shows no sign of being wealthy must have substantial savings and can therefore afford to pay it as tax.
Named after John Morton, tax collector for King Henry VII of England.

Murphy’s Law — If anything can go wrong, it will. Alternately, If it can happen, it will happen.
Ascribed to Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr.

Murphy’s Law (alternate) — If there are two ways to do something, and one of them will result in a disaster, an untrained individual will invariably choose the wrong way.
Also ascribed to Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr.

Ockham’s Razor — Explanations should never multiply assumptions without necessity. When two explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is preferable.
Named after William of Ockham. Also known as Occam’s Razor: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.

Orgel’s Rules. Formulated by evolutionary biologist Leslie Orgel.
o First rule: Whenever a spontaneous process is too slow or too inefficient a protein will evolve to speed it up or make it more efficient.
o Second rule: Evolution is cleverer than you are.

Pareto Principle — For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
Named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, but framed by management thinker Joseph M. Juran.

Parkinson’s Law — Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Coined by C. Northcote Parkinson.

Technician’s Corollary — No matter how big the data storage medium, it will soon be filled.

Peter Principle — In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
Coined by Laurence J. Peter.

Pittendreigh’s Law of Planetary Motion — The perception of time passing more quickly has nothing to do with the fact of my own aging process. It’s the fault of the Solar System! The Earth is simply moving around the sun faster every year.

Putt’s Law — Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.
Coined by Archibald Putt.

Reed’s Law — The utility of large networks, particularly social networks, scales exponentially with the size of the network. Named after David P. Reed.

Reilly’s Law — People generally patronize the largest mall in the area.

Rock’s Law — The cost of a semiconductor chip fabrication plant doubles every four years.
Named after Arthur Rock.

Say’s Law — Demand cannot exist without supply.
Often stated as Supply creates its own demand. Attributed to economist Jean-Baptiste Say and contrasted to Keynes’s Law.

Stigler’s Law of Eponymy — No scientific discovery, not even Stigler’s law, is named after its original discoverer.

Strathmann’s Law of Program Management – Nothing is so easy as the job you imagine someone else doing.

Sturgeon’s Law — Nothing is always absolutely so.
Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon.

Wirth’s law — Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.

Zipf’s Law — For many different kinds of things, their frequency is observed to be approximately inversely proportional to their rank order.
Named after George Kingsley Zipf.

Financial adviser's advice on investing: Don't wait

Sunday Times: July 22, 2007
Financial adviser’s advice on investing: Don’t wait
He invests all his earnings, keeping only six months of emergency cash
By Lorna Tan

MR CHONG, WHO HAS ALREADY MADE ENOUGH TO RETIRE, almost did not start the financial advisory firm he co-founded as it was just after the Sept 11 attacks and the then-banker was sitting pretty on several, more secure career opportunities. — PHOTO: MAY LIN LE GOFF

INERTIA is an investor’s worst enemy. It means time wasted and money forgone.
Straightforward advice and hard to argue with, especially as it comes from Mr Joseph Chong, 45, the founder and chief executive of financial advisory firm New Independent.

‘Every year that you delay saving and investing, it becomes worse and worse,’ he says.

He practises what he preaches and ensures that everything he earns is invested, except for three to six months of emergency cash.

He also advises that people should start learning about investing as soon as they start saving. ‘If you don’t do that, the tuition fee becomes a lot heavier. The mistakes made earlier are cheaper.’

As a child, he showed signs of entrepreneurship when he bred fighting fish and sold them for a profit.

Growing up in a family where money was tight, Mr Chong recalls how he was always scrounging around for scholarships. The St Joseph’s Institution student was on one scholarship after another from Secondary 2 until he finished his master’s degree in Germany.

A former Public Service Commission scholarship holder, he worked at the Ministry of Defence for eight years before joining the banking industry.

New Independent was set up in December 2001 with $400,000. It broke even after two years and is enjoying annual revenue growth of 30 per cent. It takes care of wealth management for high net-worth individuals.

He is married with an eight-year-old daughter. His wife, 42, was an investment banker who retired two years ago.

Q What is your approach to money management?

A Sweat at work but sweat one’s assets harder. This is the approach I have adopted since I started work 18 years ago with $2,000 in my bank account. It was already mathematically clear then that just working and saving wouldn’t do it. To be free from the ‘bondage’ of employment, you must invest and compound your money.

Q What financial planning have you done for yourself and your family?

A We have a comprehensive financial plan drafted in accordance with New Independent’s proprietary financial planning system – The NI Concept Plan (a framework which the firm recommends to clients).

Q What about insurance planning?

A This is an integral part of the plan. Generally, except for critical illness cover, all our policies are effectively term insurance plans.

Q When and how did you get interested in investing?

A I can’t quite remember when but I have always been interested in economics, history and mathematics.

Q What’s your investment philosophy?

A I have always believed in the need to diversify globally and across asset classes.

As a survivor of the Asian crisis and the bust, I am now an even more unrepentant believer. Like a predator on the stalk, an investor has to be patient.

I am quite happy to grind out 10 to 12 per cent annually on my globally diversified portfolio while watching for an opportunity to exploit extraordinary value opportunities. My overall portfolio generates about 25 per cent returns annually.

Q What has been a bad investment?

A It was a silly foray into club memberships in Batam. I wrote off the entire initial $12,000.

Q Your best investment to date?

A My best portfolio call was a play on falling interest rates in Singapore as the Asian crisis abated in 1998. A $35,000 basket of property securities tripled to $110,000 in eight weeks. That’s a rate of return not to be repeated in a lifetime.

Q Any other investments?

A I have a 2,300 sq ft investment property on Nathan Road that was acquired in 1998 for $1.61 million.

Q Why did you decide to become your own boss?

A Being my own boss was never a goal that I strove for. It is often a necessary evil in pursuing an idea or a passion.

Over and above risking my own capital, my partner and I cut our pay by 90 per cent initially to conserve cash.

It was especially tempting for us not to start. The terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 had just happened. We had other more secure career opportunities dangling before us and we had young families to take care of.

But we saw what happened in Britain when Mrs Margaret Thatcher created the independent financial advisers industry in the late 1980s and we were convinced we could succeed.

Q Money-wise, what were your growing-up years like?

A I grew up with three sisters. My father was a civil servant and my mother a housewife. The tight money meant there was no budget for holidays.

Q Any retirement plans?

A I am very fortunate that financially I now have the option of retirement. But it is highly unlikely that I will be exercising it any time soon.

I hope to continue for another 25 years until I am 70 if my health permits, because I enjoy the challenge of what I am doing.

Q And your home is.. ?

A Home is a 1,324 sq ft condominium along River Valley Road bought for $1.08 million in 1998.

Q And your car is ..?

A A Toyota Altis.

Haruki Murakami: On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either – must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl – one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you’re drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I’ll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can’t recall the shape of hers – or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.

“Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl,” I tell someone.

“Yeah?” he says. “Good-looking?”

“Not really.”

“Your favorite type, then?”

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember anything about her – the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts.”


“Yeah. Strange.”

“So anyhow,” he says, already bored, “what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?”

“Nah. Just passed her on the street.”

She’s walking east to west, and I west to east. It’s a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and – what I’d really like to do – explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we’d have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

“Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?”

Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.

“Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?”

No, this is just as ridiculous. I’m not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who’s going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. “Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

No, she wouldn’t believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you’re not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I’d probably go to pieces. I’d never recover from the shock. I’m thirty-two, and that’s what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can’t bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She’s written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she’s ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started “Once upon a time” and ended “A sad story, don’t you think?”

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.”

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves – just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don’t you think?

Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.

Top Tips for dealing with In-house Lawyers

Australia – If you work with Australians, don’t worry; you don’t need to know anything about the law – but you must know about the sports results.

US – You have to be ready every hour of the day. They don’t know about time difference – they’ll call you at 3 or 4 am in the morning – they just don’t care about time.

Hong Kong – They have no time. No time for breakfast, no time for lunch, no time for sex. No time.

Singapore – You need to know the best chicken rice restaurant in the area – if you know the best restaurant, then they love you.

China – You have to drink. You have to drink more than them and more than you clients in order to get your job – its very hard I can tell you.

Paul Starr, Mallesons Stephen Jacques
Asian Legal Business, Issue 7.6