Thailand on Tuesday kicks off lavish celebrations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 80th birthday, as the nation heads into elections following a coup that thrust him into the political spotlight.
The king gives his annual address to the nation late Tuesday, one day before his birthday which will be celebrated with a string of sacred royal processions that tens of thousands of Thais are expected to attend.
In his younger days, the king's nationally broadcast speech could last for hours as he addressed political and social issues using parables that were keenly scrutinised for messages but often open to interpretation.
As his health has weakened, the speeches have grown shorter but no less anticipated, especially amid the political turmoil that has surrounded the bloodless coup against prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September last year.
King Bhumibol, who with 61 years on the throne is the world's longest-reigning monarch, usually stays above Thailand's rough and tumble politics. But when General Sonthi Boonyaratglin ousted the billionaire premier Thaksin, he claimed he had led the coup out of respect for the throne. The king was seen as giving his tacit blessing after he met with the military leadership in the wake of the takeover.
Since the coup, King Bhumibol has made repeated calls for national unity, most recently in a speech Sunday at a military parade held for his birthday. "You should strengthen mercy and unity among each other, and you should put national stability and security as your top concerns," he said at the parade. [via ChannelNewsAsia]
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Tuesday called for national unity in a classic birthday-eve speech that covered a wide range of topics including global-warming, the wisdom of buying submarines and his reason for wearing a pink jacket recently.
On a serious note, King Bhumibol used his birthday eve speech to admonish the navy for recently expressing the wish to buy a submarine, noting that submarines were unsuitable for Thailand. The Gulf of Thailand is a notoriously shallow body of water.
The king, known for his sufficiency-economy theories, also encouraged the manufacture of bio-fuel from palm oil, which can be grown domestically, to reduce dependency on imported oil. [via Bangkok Post]
- Rumour has it that one of the partner's in the new bar at the Buakao end of LK Metro is Patrick of U Too Bar and Atlantic Bar fame. If Patrick's involved then it has a better than fair chance of being a success and should bring more mongers to the area. Thai Anxiety have posted that the bar will be 'coyote' style and that's a strong possibility if Patrick's involved. The owners are aiming for a 1st Jan 08 opening. More as we get it.
- Christmas Day to be an alcohol free day
- The parties at the Cherry Bar for this month are:
- 6th December - Kwan's Birthday Party
- 7th December - Bee + Gerry's Wedding Party
- 14th December - Tony's Birthday Party
- 24th December - The Cherry Bar's Christmas Eve Party
- 25th December - Neng's Birthday Party (Plus Christmas Day !)
- 29th December - Pattaya Revealed Party hosted by Ferocious , Gonzo & Friends
- 31st December - The Cherry Bar's New Year's Eve Party
- Thai taxis to raise fares - higher LPG costs cited
- Exports lift Thai Economy - Thailand's economy grew faster than economists expected in the third quarter, the government said Monday, buoyed by exports and a recovery in spending almost a year after a military coup.
The Thai economy expanded 4.9 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 from a year earlier, compared with a revised 4.3 percent gain in the second quarter, the government said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had predicted growth of 4.4 percent.
Thailand has been relying on exports, which account for about 60 percent of the economy, to spur growth. Shipments grew 3.5 percent in the third-quarter, slowing from a 7.6 percent increase in the previous three months. [via The International Herald Tribune]
Ed. That's a surprising achievement given the strength of the Thai Baht.
- The Thai Cabinet on Tuesday gave a green light to a draft agreement on the construction of the third Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River, connecting Thailand's Nakhon Phanom and the Lao province of Khammoune. [via Bangkok Post]
- A new addition to affordable but stylish accommodation in South Pattaya, is opening soon - Nova Platinum Hotel. This trendy boutique hotel is a low-rise building and features a tropical garden with swimming pool, jacuzzi, waterslide and pool bar. [via Travel Blackboard]
- Pattaya Rag has gone the extra mile or should that be inches to ensure your satisfaction, safety and comfort - Condom Depot.com has announced the long awaited winners of the 7th Annual 2008 World's Best Condom Awards. Throughout the year, Condom Depot's condom testers, which consisted of college students, swingers, and 25 couples of various ages, sampled Condom Depot's forty best condoms. Each of the forty condoms was tested and graded based on certain criteria such as comfort, quality, and reliability. [via Reuters.com]
In first place the Crown Skinless Skin Condoms Six Years in A Row! Are These The Best Condoms Ever?
- Characteristics - Thinnest Latex Condom, makes it feel like you are not wearing a condom. They are slightly above average in size for more comfort.
- She Thinks - So thin that she feels closer to her lover. No nasty latex smell makes sex better.
- He Thinks - Bareback feeling seems like your not using a condom. What can be better than that!
- Average Tester Rating - Her: A+, Him: A+
- Condom Stats - Head Width: 1.75", Shaft Width: 1.75", Base Width: 1.75", Length: 7.48", Thickness: 0.018"
In second place the Durex Extra Sensitive Condoms Rated Best Condom by Consumer Reports Three Time Winner
- Characteristics - Durex's thinnest and most sensitive latex condom. Feel closer to your lover.
- She Thinks - "It was hard to tell he was wearing a condom, 2 Thumbs and 2 Toes Up!"
- He Thinks -"Amazing! We all hate having to use a condom, but these goodies don't take away any of the pleasure. In fact, they change the sensation a bit.. they feel just as good, but in a different way."
- Average Tester Rating - Her: A, Him: A+
- Condom Stats - Head Width: 2.125", Shaft Width: 2", Base Width: 2", Length: 7.8", Thickness: 0.019"
In third place the Beyond Seven Condoms Four Time Winner Sheerlon Latex is Super Sensitive for Average Sized Men
- Characteristics - Made of a super thin latex called "Sheerlon". Can be made thinner and stronger than other condoms.
- She Thinks - Very thin.
- He Thinks - The Japanese really make a great condom. Super thin and super strong. Wish they where wider in the head.
- Average Tester Rating - Her: A-, Him: A-
- Condom Stats - Head Width: 1.75", Shaft Width: 1.75", Base Width: 1.75", Length: 7.63", Thickness: 0.019"
You can find the full list of condom reviews at the Condom Depot web site.
- Google promised to add features at a higher pace in the new version of Gmail. The latest addition is label colors: you can now set a different color for each label so you can identify messages easier. Not all Gmail accounts have the new feature, but it will probably be enabled for everyone soon.
- Not another site for downloading mp3's. Well, yes it is but this works so well I just had to give it a mention. It's far simpler for a non techie to find music with Bee Mp3 than with a P2P network but P2P will always be the best source of obscure or 'oldie' material. Bee Mp3 copies the usability and interface of a search engine like Google but limits searches to mp3 songs that can be downloaded from the web.
Bee Mp3 lets you search by album, artist, song or everything. Depending on the search phrase you might very well end up with hundreds of search results. Below the search mask are listings of the World, US and Euro Top 10 and a cloud of the latest 200 searches.
A search or a click on a top 10 song or artist loads the search result page which displays file names, song names, the name of the album, artist and search tags. Hover the mouse pointer over a file name and the bit rate and frequency of the track will be displayed in a pop up window. When you find the bit rate you want, click on the file and a new browser window will open with a player, (in my case Quicktime) to play the selected track. Let the track play through to the end then click on File > Save Page As (or Ctrl+S) to save the played mp3 to your hard disk. The save takes seconds only.
Some search results lead to websites that no longer exist or no longer contain the song in question. That said, every search contained at least one search result that contained a clean copy of the song I wanted.
Please bear in mind that downloading songs using Bee Mp3 might not be entirely legal but often depends on the country you live in.
- The US national debt has now ballooned to about $30,000 for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States... which is why the best thing we can do to lower everyone's share is to keep importing illegal immigrants. (via Jake Novak)
- A family is at the dinner table. The son asks his father, "Dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?"
The father, surprised, answers, "Well, son, a woman goes through three phases. In her 20s,
"Yes, you see them and they make you cry."
This infuriated his wife and daughter, so the daughter said, "Mom, how many kinds of 'willies' are there?"
The mother, surprised, smiles and answers, "Well dear, a man goes through three phases also. In his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree, mighty and hard. In his 30s and 40s, it is like a birch, flexible but reliable. After his 50s, it is like a Christmas tree".
A Christmas tree?"
Yes --- dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration