If you haven't seen the news, there was a military coup and the military has taken over the government and now controls the country. It sounds more dire than it actually is. I haven't seen much in terms of military presence or actions since I live out of the city center, but from what I've seen on the internet, it sounds pretty serious. The only thing that I've experienced from this coup is that I've been asked not to come into work and that funny enough, I couldn't make any phone calls from my cell phone this morning. Hmmm… I wonder if the military has cut phone lines so the news doesn't spread? They have already removed all the major foreign news networks off the air (i.e. bbc, cnn, etc.) and are playing patriotic songs and images on the tv and radio.
Even though their actions are a little drastic, I can sympathize with them becuase of the corruption by the "caretaker" prime minister and his government. There's this gulf between urban thais and rural thais… the PM has a lot of support from the rural areas because he throws a lot of money at them (but not much action), while the urbanites are constantly being restricted in what they can do and the informaton they receive. Anyway, read more about it on the internet and stay tuned. I'm not sure how this will turn out, but it will be interestng for sure…
(Images from BBC.com: Baht value falls after coup; Generals make official statement of coup d'etat)
Whether Al Gore is using his movie ďAn Inconvenient TruthĒ for his strategy to campaign for the next US presidency is up in the air (he hasnít said that heís running in the next election, and he hasnít completely denied Ė politicians, eh!).† Whatever he decides, go watch this movie.† Not to support his campaign (maybe) but to get educated a little about the whole global warming/climate change issue because it will (or is already) definitely impact your life.† Also when the credits start rolling, donít leave!† If you really care about the planet, your job, your life, your childrenís lives, itíll only take 10 minutes to sit through the credits to see what you can doÖ
I was just taking a stroll through the major shopping district in Bangkok (some of you might know it as Siam Square/Centre/Paragon) and, BAM, there's this huge Nokia sign. Cool, but a little freaky…
Want to know what other people are "feeling"? Click on the We Feel Fine image and find out… Basically they created a computer program that searches every 10minutes for blogs that that has the phrase "I feel" or "I'm feeling"…
'Its an exploration of human emotion in six movements' by information artists
If you have time to kill this weekend, you might want to follow the white rabbit ala The Matrix… a pretty cool and interactive advertising campaign by Volkswagon which will take you through some interesting websites… you can join the adventure at http://www.urbanjunkies.com/adventure/
Or if you don't have the time (for the adventure or to read any books), I would highly recommend the Book A Minute website… It's hilarious! Just pick a book or author you know about and you'll get the gist of the book in a minute (or less). (http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/mindex.htm)
Have a good weekend!
Some people might say that Steve Irwin is a crazy SOB with what he does with animals and that it might not be in their best interests… but for all it's worth, I think Steve Irwin was passionate about his work, animals and saving the environment. Irwin dies on Monday. He died doing the thing that he loved most, being up close and personal with his animal friends.
So intribute to the Crocodile Hunter, here are some quotes from the crazy, yet caring, Australian…
"Crikey, mate. You're far safer dealing with crocodiles and western diamondback rattlesnakes than the executives and the producers and all those sharks in the big MGM building."
"The only animals I'm not comfortable with are parrots, but I'm learning as I go. I'm getting better and better at 'em. I really am."
"You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it'll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it's not even funny."
"I have no fear of losing my life – if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it."
You can find more about Steve Irwin at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Irwin
If you ever want to go to Europe, the first thing I'd recommend you do is check your baggage weight limit. I think ANY flights to Europe will allow you to check in baggages weighing a TOTAL of 20kg (yep, that's the total of the two bags you're allowed to checkin). To make things more confusing, I think you're allowed a maximum limit of 32kg for one bag. So basically, if one of your bags weighs over 32kg, you'll have to repack. In any case, you'll have to pay an excess fee because your bag(s) is over the 20kg limit.
So why do I find this interesting, you ask? Well, I was taking a friend to the airport last night and came across this baggage issue. Ok, so my friend had two HUGE suitcases that were a pain to move around and I knew they would be over the weight limit… when we arrived at the airport and weighed the bags, they came out to be a total of 90kg!!! If you do the math, that means they were 70kg overweight. So when the counter person told us about the 20kg weight limit, we weren't shocked… what shocked us was the fact that the charge came out to be about USD$100… OH, wait a minute, let me move that one decimal place over… yep, that's right, the charge for the excess weight of 70kg was $1000. *ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!
So kids, remember, don't overpack when you're heading to Europe… what I want to know is do they increase this limit in the winter when you'll have the same amount of clothes, but they'll be much heavier because they'll be pants, coats, and all that heavy winter gear?
(ps… probably not the best to have pictures of my friends overstuffed suitcases with his underwear hanging out in this story, so I've spared you the images and included a couple of less riske photos.)
So I've been spending the past week trying to work out all these computer issues at work and at home. First it was red ants finding a home in my computer… don't know why but they just started to find a home in my computer. Luckily I wasn't able to get them out (hopefully all of them) and I'm keeping the bug repellent close by. I read that they are attracted to the electricity – that's nuts if you ask me… would us humans say "hey electricity is fun! Let me stick my hand in this socket"… I don't think so. Anyway, now its the slow internet connections that I have to deal with. (Did I mention that my internet connection at home is a 56k modem – and my apartment cuts off your call after 30minutes).
Maybe I'm a little stressed with a couple of assignments coming up that I have to do for my Masters? Who knows… at least the urban design course is all about drawing and coming up with ideas to an urban problem, which is a nice change from your standard write-a-paper type of course. I had a chance to explore a little around my neighborhood for my course and found out a lot about my area. First, there's a 18-hole golf course across from my apartment (in addition to the driving range new my place)… and second, for the most part all the caddies for the golf course are all women over 35 who all wear florescent green shirts.
Well after what feels like 3 weeks of craziness, I'm slowly getting back to my routine of eat, sleep, work, study, reading… The past week and a bit threw me off my finely-tuned system of getting as much done as possible within a 24-hour period. Not counting my social life (which coincidently enough is almost non-existant), I have two jobs (possibly 3), studying my Masters online and via distance ed, and trying to stay healthy and in shape. So what threw me off this past week and a bit?
Well, it was this rural development tour I went on with the agency that sent me to Thailand. It was the first time to get out of Bangkok and the craziness of urban life so it was a nice change. The one-week tour was basically checking out rural development projects and alternative types of agriculture (i.e. organic) around the Northeast Region of Thailand, aka "Isaan". The tour touched on a whole lot of issues from politics, development, agriculture to just group dynamics, especially when you're bascially living and eating with people you hardly know for a whole week.
All in all the tour was great! We had a chance to see organic farming in action, a herbal hospital (where I was able to get free meds!), a very impressive wat/temple, and met great people from all over Thailand. Oh, did I mention that we were able to see "wildlife"? Yep, with the roaming cows, the firery "mot daengs" (red ants), mosquitos galore, and a spider the size of a small bird, this was definitely an interesting week.
Coca Cola introduced a mid-calorie drink supposedly to be healthier than the original. For all the health nuts out there and for the "trendy" 20-somethings who don't want to b e seen as kids hopped up on caffeine with rotting teeth, I think Coke has found a niche market. I thought the US website was pretty boring – listing all the health benefits of the drink, blah blah blah – so I recommend you to check out the France website which is way cooler! If you understand Francais, good f or you (I'm patting you on the back as we speak)… for those who don't have a clue about French, just click around and experience the website. French culture can take anything mundane and make it slick and cool… The site may take a while to start if you don't have a fast internet connection. http://www.coca-colablak.com/index.jsp