Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We live in a dangerous world

I'm making a list of concepts I've been learning in Wikipedia when I should have been writing.

For instance,

1. Hammerspace: in cartoon physics, the mysterious dimension where large objects may be stored behind characters' backs.

2. Lithopedion: aka stone baby; a calcified foetus, the result of an ectopic pregnancy which cannot be reabsorbed by the body. In surgery, a 76 year-old woman had a stone baby removed that was over 50 years old.

3. Simlish : a nonsense language invented by voice actors of the popular computer game, the Sims. Despite its lack of organised grammar, players have attempted to crack this language and codify its laws. The Black-Eyed Peas have recorded songs in this language.

4. Moon Type: a writing system for the blind, an alternative to Braille, reportedly easier to learn for those blinded after birth. It is used by only 400 people, all of whom reside in England.

5. Heterochromia: a condition in which the colour of an individual's irises is different. This may be congenital or acquired, through injury, inflammation, tumours or misuse of eyedrops.

6. Lori and Reba Schapell: craniopagus conjoined twins from Pennsylvania. They share 30% of their brain matter and have distinct personalities: Reba is a trophy-winning bowler, country and western music player and wheelchair designer. Lori is a laundress, and holds Reba's mike.

7. Suncake: 太陽餅, a popular Taiwanese dessert from Taichung and an alternative to mooncakes.

8. Sky Kingdom: Kerajaan Langit, the infamous Teapot Cult of Trengganu. Founded by Ariffin Mohamed aka Ayah Pin in 1973, it emphasised ecumenical dialogue, inter-religious harmony, dream interpretation, and worship of its leader, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Shiva, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. Designated as one of 22 heretical Islamic sects in Malaysia, its commune was demolished in July 2005.

9. Kanzi: a 26 year-old male bonobo ape from Des Moines, probably the non-human animal with the greatest command of human language. Kanzi has demonstrated understanding of over 3,000 human spoken words and communicates by typing via a system of 348 lexigrams. Efforts have been made to allow him to communicate with other linguistically talented apes such as the ASL-speaking gorrilla Koko and the orang-utan Chantek, via Internet chat.

10. Coulrophilia: Sexual attraction to clowns. Nuff said.


R said...

dear yi sheng,
believe it or not, i was a huge fan of the "chao mugger lit" website and i actually did admire ur essays quite abit... and now i find out that u're gay. it makes me smile. i haven't bought "SQ21" yet, but i will. keep writing! :)

Ng Yi-Sheng said...

Oh man! That was so long ago! Nice to hear from you though!

(Buy my poetry book instead leh; I get royalties from that.)