Pat's Sanitarium
Pat's Sanitarium
A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Mein Gott! Another Bona Fide Post! 


Mood: Neck. Pain. Yeargh.
Currently listening to: Dissolved Girl - Massive Attack

Yeah, yeah... i TOLD you i was trying to be consistent... ;)

I don't know why but i'm having a lot of difficulty in turning my head to either side. Possible causes:

1. My strange yoga-like sleeping positions are finally taking its toll on my body. Either that or i had one of those weird dreams of someone 'hacking' into my head without knowing it. Ask Chan.

2. I'm doing my bench presses wrongly (again).

3. Those damned aliens put the rectal probe in the wrong place. Again.

So, anyhow, its been a pretty quiet day as usual. Played truant at uni today though for no real perceivable reason - spent most of my time either in the library reading up on Kim Il-Jong (and therefore Kim Il-Sung to a lesser extent) and hanging out with Leonard at Sunway Pyramid.

God i love libraries with a decent variety of historical-esque books, regardless of topical content. :)

Dammit, i really should have studied history as opposed to Sociology/Psychology/Banking/Computing. The greatest irony probably lies in the fact that my old secondary school friend, history buff, and part-time nemesis (he's English) Andrew Choong actually did end up in Oxford doing just that and what happens? He gets an offer to join the board of one of those traditional English merchant banks.

With a History degree.


In other news it seems that a lot of people will be coming down from overseas in the coming weeks... I mean, there's Chan who'll be stopping over again for one more night before departing to Melbourne, Weerada (an old primary schoolmate - you and Angela have read this blog? Whoa...) who'll be arriving tomorrow, and 'Rubber' Johnny's 'friend who is female and who i must under no circumstances touch' (wtf???) who will be down from England in the near future. Hell, not to mention Alvin's upcoming birthday (where can i buy a kendo stick eh? *snicker*). Busy month in the offing methinks...

So, yeah, anyway i've just finished setting up a new blog account for Leonard (the VERY aptly titled 'Son Of A Cow' blog). He hasn't actually posted anything just yet, but hey, its there for future reference. On a side note, Albert i need your password in order to work on yours - please pass it to me via ICQ or SMS as soon as you can, thanks.

Hrmmm... i'm pretty sure that i'm forgetting to set one more up for someone but for the life of me i can't recall who... although the next mod to do would be Zamil's - his sidebar is woefully lacking in links of any sort. And has anyone read his comments box lately? Apparently his blog's url was put in one of the newspapers! Hows that for publicity, eh? ;)

Come to think of it, what with all the new blog users who frequent this site i think i might actually start posting some code hints/tutorials for their benefit. Like, say, how to post or hotlink a picture (hell, i never realised it but it took Boon like a few months to figure that one out! Sorry dood...) to, say, the less common things which a lazy bastard like yours truly would implement such as... ohhh... how to create clickable links on certain (or multiple) portions of an image for instance. Hrmmm... a weekly help profile... yeah that sounds pretty good. Any other more experienced bloggers out there want to help contribute? ;)

Well, in the meantime, you can either use Blogger's own Knowledge Library or the awesome Mandarin Design (thanks to Sel... i mean 'Ann', for that one) if you want to find some easy searchable tutorials on manipulating your html and so forth in the meantime...

Hrmm... can't think of anything else to say (do i ever actually 'say' anything? *sly wink*) so lets bring on the filla!

Battlefield 2 (aka Desert Combat 2)

This one is mainly for my fellow Desert Combat cybercafe kamaraden/afficionadoes down here in KL... a group which seems to continuously keep growing! Hell, even Joa's keeping up the female demographic at our frequent late night cybercafe events. ;)

Oh, and kudos to Leonard for the heads-up... ;p

So what's in store for us in the near future? Check out what the site says:

  • Online multiplayer action with 100+ players on the PC.
  • All-new gameplay engine brings the immense locations to life complete with realistic physics and dynamic lighting.
  • Maps scale to the number of players engaging in battle for a unique and intense experience every time.
  • Take control of over 30 land, sea, and air vehicles, including tanks, helicopters, hovercraft, fast attack vehicles, and fighter jets.
  • Choose to battle as U.S., Chinese, or Middle East Coalition troops, each with their own unique arsenals.
  • A variety of solider classes to choose from, including Assault, Sniper, Special Ops, Combat Engineer, and Anti-tank units.
  • Join a squad or select the new Commander Mode to assume the strategic role of a battlefield commander directing his forces.
  • New state-of-the-art weapon systems, including heat seeking missiles and laser designated bombs.
  • Material penetration feature makes sure players know the difference between cover and concealment.
  • Character Persistence and Growth. With in-game success, players increase their rank and unlock awards, including new weapons, vehicle decals, medals and more.
  • Earn ranks ranging from Recruit all the way to General.
  • Full in-game community support including, buddy lists, stat tracking, live chat rooms, and in-game clan creation.
  • Voice-over IP supported with USB headset.

Scalable maps? Yup, all the maps are designed for 100+ players(!) so if the number is actually dropped, so is the playing area of the same map - nifty eh? Oh, and it may not be mentioned there but the terrain is apparently mouldable, or rather 'interactable' to a great extent. And... 100 players? With decent gaming? We'll see... In the meantime here's a really insightful interview courtesy of Gamespy.

And have you SEEN the graphics?

Yummy. ;)

Oh, and there are four preview movies of the release... three are available here (registration required) while the other can be found here. Enjoy!

City Alert In Threat To Bush

Now here's an interesting piece thats right off the presses...

The Secret Service clamped down on midtown last night to protect President Bush from a possible assassin armed with a hunting rifle.
Lawrence Ward, 59, left his upstate New York home Wednesday with a .30-30 lever-action hunting rifle in the trunk of his car, telling a neighbor, "I'm not coming back."

Inside his house in Bainbridge was a picture of Bush with the words "Dead Man" spray-painted near it, law enforcement authorities said.

Bush was in town for a fund-raiser at the Sheraton New York before speaking today at the UN General Assembly.

The Secret Service deemed Ward, a software engineer, such a "credible threat" that a three-square-block chunk of midtown was cordoned off.

Secret Service agents and city cops patrolled the area looking for anything suspicious.

Ward's ex-wife, Judith Ward, 59, who lives in Connecticut, told the Secret Service she thinks her former husband "is very dangerous and capable of killing someone and/or committing suicide."

She said Ward "is obsessed with weapons, [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh and the book 'The Dead Zone' - a novel about the stalking and attempted assassination of a presidential candidate," according to a Secret Service document.

The document, reviewed by the Daily News, said Ward sent his ex-wife a CD that mentions killing both Bush and Democratic rival John Kerry.

He also was said to be "obsessed" with his 19-year-old daughter, Priscilla Jane.

Judith Ward told The News she divorced her husband four years ago after 18 years of marriage because "he was a wife-beater and other things I don't want to talk about."

Authorities said Ward has a criminal past dating to 1991, including an indecent sexual proposal charge.

The neighbor in Bainbridge, a community about 40miles northeast of Binghamton, told authorities that Ward "frequently spoke of 'fighting the system' and other anti-government topics."

The neighbor said Ward gave him his house keys and told him to help himself. He then drove off in a blue 1997 Toyota sedan with the New York license plate BRF-6546.

Two days later, the neighbor went into the house, found the photo of Bush and called police.

Hrmm... no surprise really, and i doubt that he has even half a chance of doing what he's set out to do. The real surprise would be if he did, no? *wink*

Seroxat and Prozac 'can make people homicidal'

Great. Just greeeeaaaat...

Evidence that antidepressant drugs like Seroxat and Prozac could make people homicidal is being ignored by the body responsible for regulating medicines in the UK, a leading expert said yesterday.
The charge came from David Healy, an expert on psychiatric drugs from north Wales whose warnings that the drugs could cause suicide prompted a major inquiry. That investigation, by an expert working group of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, led to the entire class of drugs except Prozac being banned last year from use in children.

The expert working group has gone on to look at suicides in adults taking any of the drugs known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). But Dr Healy says that they are overlooking very important data relating to a set of further dangerous side-effects.

Dr Healy, director of the north Wales department of psychological medicine, says he has seen data from the clinical trials that show even some healthy volunteers - people with no illness at all volunteering to take part in the earliest safety trials of the drugs - became unaccountably aggressive. Their reaction is coded as "hostile" which can include homicidal behaviour and serious aggression.

"I think there is very clear evidence for all of the SSRI group of drugs that in addition to making people suicidal, they can make people homicidal or seriously aggressive and the data have been sitting in the MHRA's files on this issue," he said...

...The healthy volunteer trials of the British drug Seroxat took place in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Of the 271 fit and well individuals, three became hostile, compared with none on an inactive placebo - a rate of 1.1%, which although small could translate to very many cases among the 50m worldwide who have taken Seroxat over the last 15 years.

The signal from the healthy volunteer trials is supported by data from trials in children on Seroxat for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and social phobia. Children taking part amounted to 738 on Seroxat and 647 on placebo. Of those, there were 27 hostile events on Seroxat and only four on placebo. Taking the children with OCD alone, those on the drug were 17 times more likely to become aggressive than those on placebo...

...A number of cases where people have argued their aggressive acts were due to one of the SSRI antidepressants have come to court. In the most dramatic, a US jury in 2001 found that GlaxoSmithKline's drug was partly responsible for the murders committed by Donald Schell. After two days on Paxil (as Seroxat is named in the USA), Schell killed his wife, his daughter and his baby granddaughter before shooting himself dead. GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $8m (£4.5m) to the remaining family members.

GlaxoSmithKline last night denied that its drug caused adults to become hostile, although it acknowledged there had been a problem in the children's trials. "There is no compelling evidence from our clinical trials that Seroxat causes hostile behaviour in adults. When you put the results from all the clinical trials together there is no difference between the rates of hostility for adult patients taking Seroxat and the patients taking placebo, or dummy pill. This data has been shared with regulators including the MHRA," said a spokesman.

Riiiiiiight... Y'know, if i recall there was a conspiracy theory out there that discussed some sort of scenario like that above where i think they were talking about the mass prescription of such anti-depressants (50 MILLION people - count 'em) in order to test it as some sort of weapon of mass destruction/control/etc. Or was it about some horrendous corporate cover up? Or just the usual inefficiencies of the modern medical community? Meh. Hrmmm... then again its best not to discount such scenarios as they do, in actuality, occur (logic and history say so - CIA LSD experiments anyone? That one was proven...).

Meh. Just stay away from Prozac or anti-depressant us... waaaaait a minute, i'm on anti-depressants too... oh no... its... *ack*...


Gah. I think i need to sleep now.


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Name: Patrick Pincon
Age: 27
Studied at: Monash
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Nationality: Malaysian/French
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