The city of Lopburi om Thailand has allegedly been overrun by gangs of wild macaques, resulting in several "no-go zones" for humans. As one resident told The Guardian: "We live in a cage but the monkeys live outside."
The macaque population in Lopburi has doubled in just three years. The monkeys were frequently fed bananas by tourists, by after the coronavirus lockdowns began and tourism froze up, they were forced to seek alternative nutrition — typically junk food and fizzy drinks stolen from local stores or given them by frightened humans. All that sugar might be making them feistier, however, both for fighting and for fucking.
But my favorite most horrifying dystopian detail comes from France 24 (which is almost identical to the Guardian, except for this paragraph):
An abandoned cinema is the macaques' headquarters -- and cemetery. Dead monkeys are laid to rest by their peers in the projection room in the cinema's rear and any human who enters is attacked.
I can't find many other details about this but wow, what a time to be alive.
Local wildlife authorities plan to embark on a sterilization campaign to help control the population of wild horny sugar junky cinephile monkeys. According to news reports, they aim to fix 500 macaques by Friday, although I couldn't find any details on how they plan to execute this, or whether it involves an epic Boss-level-esque journey into the Great Macaque Movie Theatre Morgue.
Macaque attack: humans try to take back Thai city from monkeys [Agence France-Presse] Read the rest
A soldier in northeast Thailand has killed 'at least' 10 people in a mass shooting, Thai authorities say. Read the rest
This video of Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok was shot in time-lapse but it's clear that people have to shake a leg when a train comes chugging through.
View this post on Instagram
Maeklong Railway Market in Bangkok By @demas . Follow @outofmind #bangkokthailand #railwaystation #foodmarket #trainride #aerialview #transporter
The railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed (Thai: ตลาดร่มหุบ; RTGS: Talat Rom Hup), meaning the "umbrella pulldown market". It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centred on the Maeklong Railway's track. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.
YouTube has a number of ground level videos of the market. Here's one:
Image: Instragram screengrab
[via the New Shelton wet/dry] Read the rest
Vernon Unsworth is one of the rescue divers who helped free the children who'd been stuck in a cave in Thailand; Unsworth made some pointed remarks about the disutility of Elon Musk's proposal to bring the children out in a miniature sub, to which Musk replied by publicly calling Unsworth "pedo guy" and "child rapist" and then daring Unworth to sue him.
Read the rest
Bangkok's family-run Wattana Panich restaurant has been cooking the same pot of beef noodle soup for a very long time. Forty-five years, to be exact.
Every day they simmer the stew -- locally called "neua tune" -- in that big pot, and every night they drain its broth to use in the next day's soup. You'll notice that the pot is encompassed by a dark residue, that's hardened soup that's been accumulating since the early seventies!
Great Big Story shares the tale of the 45-year-old broth:
"Fresh meat like raw sliced beef, tripe and other organs is added daily.... It’s an ancient cooking method that gives the soup a unique flavor and aroma."
(Nag on the Lake, Neatorama) Read the rest
A family-run restaurant in Bangkok has had a the same giant pot of soup simmering for 45 years. When it runs low, they top it off.
From Great Big Story:
It’s a beef noodle soup called neua tuna. It simmers in a giant pot. Fresh meat like raw sliced beef, tripe and other organs is added daily. But any broth leftover is preserved at the end of each day and used in the next day’s soup. It’s an ancient cooking method that gives the soup a unique flavor and aroma.
Image: YouTube/Great Big Story Read the rest
Bangkok, Thailand is now considered one of the top 10 polluted cities in the world, according to Global News. And to combat the problem, Bangkok is attacking the smog with water cannons.
Thai authorities used water cannons on Monday in an effort to combat Bangkok’s air pollution. Masks were also provided after hazardous dust particles reportedly reached an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 180.
Any level above 150 is considered unhealthy and Bangkok ranked in the top 10 of polluted cities worldwide on Monday.
The particles, known as PM 2.5, are a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that can include dust, soot and smoke.
Diesel fumes contributed up to 60 per cent of the pollution while burning rubbish and crops attributed about 35 per cent.
And it appears they've even begun to add sugar-infused water, hoping the added sugar will trap the more dangerous pollutants, even though the sweet water could end up causing mold.
Via Oddity Central:
Read the rest
Thai media reported that in a desperate attempt to bring down critical air pollution levels in Bangkok, local authorities started experimenting with sweetened water, instead of regular one. The idea behind the bizarre pollution-fighting strategy is that by increasing the viscosity of the water using sugar will allow it to trap more dangerous particles when sprayed into the air. However, some experts believe that the unconventional approach could do more harm than good.
Dr. Weerachai Putthawong, a professor of organic chemistry at Kasetsart University, told Workingpoint News that he has serious doubts that the sweetened water will yield better results than regular water.
Thailand's got a reputation with being less than cool with illegal drugs being brought into their country or used within their national borders. Which drugs are legal and which are disallowed changes up from time to time, however. Until the 1930s, medicinal cannabis use was hunky dory with the Thai government. Then it wasn't. Fast forward to 2019 and the wheel of acceptability will have spun around once more: on Christmas Day, the nation decided that, provided it was used for medicinal purposes, dope was dope once again. Given the stringent drug laws typically enforced in Thailand's Southeast Asian neighborhood (sentences of death over a trafficking charge aren't uncommon,) it's a surprising shift in policy.
From The New York Times:
By a vote of 166 to 0, the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly approved legislation this week that would allow the use of cannabis under medical supervision. Thirteen members abstained.
The measure is expected to take effect next year.
“This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people,” the lawmaker who headed the drafting committee, Somchai Sawangkarn, said during a televised session on Tuesday.
Before anyone goes making travel plans, you should know that saying that it's cleared only for prescribed medicinal use isn't just a suggestion. The penalty for recreational use of cannabis in Thailand is still very serious business: those found in possession of 10 kilograms of herb or less can expect to do up to five years in prison. Read the rest
It's been a little over three months since the 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a Thai cave. On Monday, Ellen DeGeneres had all 13 of them, plus a translator, on her show to give their first interview after their frightening incident.
They report that they are all healthy and fine. Ellen had them recount their 10-day-long experience in the cave and discovered that meditation was key in keeping them all calm while they were trapped underground.
And, as is the tradition on the show, they got some surprises, including a visit from the boys' soccer idol, Swedish pro-player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Read the rest
“I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole.”
— Elon Musk, September 4, 2018, to Buzzfeed News. Read the rest
Photographer Barry Kusuma shares this beautiful and relaxing footage of his visit to Thailand's Lake Nong Han, nicknamed the Red Lotus Sea. Read the rest
This behind-the-scenes Australian news documentary looks at how those 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued by divers from that remote cave in Thailand earlier this month. What's interesting is the story is told by the divers who were there.
(reddit) Read the rest
Charlie Chaplin's 1940 movie The Great Dictator features one of the greatest anti-authoritarian speeches of all time, so it's no surprise that Thailand's censorship-crazed king is abusing his country's grotesque lese majeste laws to order Youtube to remove clips of Chaplin's masterpiece. Read the rest
The Bank of International Settlements -- the "central bank for central bankers" -- has released its latest annual report, warning that the looming debt crises in China, Hong Kong and Thailand could precipitate an abrupt collapse, or, as BIS monetary and economic department head Claudio Borio put it, "That end may come to resemble more closely a financial boom gone wrong, just as the latest recession showed, with a vengeance." Read the rest
Immigration police arrested three Chinese nationals in a raid on a rented room in Tambon Ban Mai Nongsai, charging them with work-permit violations and for "online trading of contraband goods." Read the rest
Thailand's insane lese majeste laws make it radioactively illegal to criticize the royal family, reflecting a profound insecurity about the legitimacy of the ruling elites there that can only be satisfied through blanket censorship orders whenever one of the royals does something ridiculous, cruel or both (this happens a lot). Read the rest
On Dec 15, an amendment to Thailand's 2007 Computer Crime Act passed its National Legislative Assembly -- a body appointed by the country's military after the 2014 coup -- unanimously, and in 180 days, the country will have a new internet law that represents a grab bag of the worst provisions of the worst internet laws in the world, bits of the UK's Snooper's Charter, America's Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the dregs of many other failed laws. Read the rest