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:
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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
This entry into a Thai town's annual fireworks competition puts all the pyro I've seen in person to shame -- the fact that it was a homemade, amateur entry is even more impressive. If only this was a thing where I live -- safety third! (via Kottke) Read the rest
MahaNakhon debuted as Thailand's tallest building this week with an unforgettable light show. Read the rest
Late Tuesday in Thailand, two explosions are reported to have killed two people and wounded dozens at a hotel popular with tourists. The car bombs went off minutes apart in Pattani, in Thailand's deep South.
“It was unclear whether the bombs were set off by timers or electrical signal,” the Bangkok Post reported. Read the rest
Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has proposed issuing tracking-chips to all visitors to the country, which would allow the government to monitor the movements of all foreign nationals while in-country, in order to "locate them which will help if there are some tourists who overstay or run away (from police)." Read the rest
Ivealreadyreddit, who's working in Thailand, posted this picture of a tropical centipede cradling her newly hatched babies. Dawwww. Read the rest
Widespread human trafficking is a big part of why Thailand is now one the world’s biggest shrimp providers, an Associated Press investigative series details. Read the rest