Monday, December 20, 2010

Looking Desperately For Good News

It looks like December is a month of bad news. Mark Zuckerberg beat Julian Assange as TIME's Person of the Year. There may be credibility in the book account ("The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich) of how the original Facebook idea was stolen from the Winklevoss twins - why else settle so quickly for 1.2 million common shares and pay $20 million in cash? With a networth of $6.9 billion, he should be able to afford fancy lawyers like OJ Simpson's dream team.

Assange's standing could have been smeared by one Swedish woman's accusation of tampering with a pristine prophylactic product. In Norway, the locals told me a joke about their neighboring country in the south. They say Jesus couldn't have been born in Sweden - Mary was a virgin.

Back home, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng is re-elected to the Central Executive Committee. Which means complacency is being rewarded, once again, for more good years. Just what the country needs with the housing bubble on the verge of bursting, and COE soaring towards the $100,000 level. And Malaysia just announced plans to build two 1000MW nuclear power plants by 2021- looks like the arms race is really on. Time to shut up these talkative diplomats at MFA.

The worst news has to come from Hongkong's Consumer Council which claims that potato chips cause cancer. Acrylamide is identified as the carcinogen, which was found in all 90 types of starchy crispy snacks tested (except one). But why pick on potato chips like premier brand Kettle, supposedly containing 3,000 micrograms(mcg) of acrylamide per kilogram, when ordinary biscuits can contain up to 2,100 mcg per kg? One gets suspicious when the highly salted and just as crispy Want Want Rice Cracker is reported to contain only 6 mcg per kg. So are we heading for a potato-rice war as well?

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