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About RedQualia

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  1. BMA poised to lower HIV infection by 90% in 2020

    No... The numbers aren't adding up at all. A quick search yields documents indicating that the infection rate was either 6,400 or 7,700 cases in 2016, nationwide. Whether the 77,000 number refers only to Bangkok or is nationwide is ambiguous in the reporting, but it's not believable in either case. Another problem relates to the statement that 1,100 of the new cases are in people age 25 and under. Internationally, that age group appears to have the highest or nearly highest growth rate of infection. Even if the number of new cases reported was actually 7,700 instead of 77,000, the statement that only 1,100 of those new cases are age 25 and below is implausible. I would say wait for new and more accurate numbers to be reported, but that is unlikely to happen.
  2. Always partial to the saying that it doesn't matter who was at fault when you're laying in the road dead. That said, the driver of the white Toyota was going quite fast. Probably twice as fast as the car it's passing, and maybe more. That's a residential/business area... The speed limit there would be at most, 60KPH, and possibly 50KPH these days. The reason for such a low speed limit is because lots of people and motorbikes do exactly what the guy on this (probably underpowered) motorbike was doing when turning right: pull out into the lane of oncoming traffic and accelerate in order to merge into the faster traffic to the left. In some other countries, the person in the Toyota would probably be charged with (negligent) vehicular manslaughter. Mitigating circumstances: the guy on the bike wasn't wearing a helmet, but not sure that would have helped much.
  3. What color is the "solid line?" I mean, as if that mattered... In San Patong, there is a solid yellow line painted through an intersection, with said intersection having a right turn green light arrow thingie. So what does a solid line mean in Thailand, whether yellow, white, or red? What does it mean when you're on a very rural highway between Taphan Hin and Petchabun, come over a very slight rise in the highway, and see a 40KPH sign, complete with the "camera enforced" emblem, in an otherwise 90KPH zone, one house nearby? What does it mean when you're in Kalasin, and the road is clearly painted with "U-Turn OK" arrow, while a small "No U-Turn" sign has been mounted adjacent, and there's a cop trying to give tickets for illegal U-turns? What does it mean when a cop tells you to go the wrong way on the side of Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok? What does it mean when there's a dashed line going across a bridge? Passing OK, you say? What does it mean when some (but not all?) bridges over the river in Bangkok are prohibited to motorbikes and motorcycles (or flyovers, for that matter)? My motorcycle has a lot more power than a good many automobiles. Why am I not permitted to ride on the tollways? What does it mean when plotting your way into and out of Bangkok on a motorcycle is a f r i g g i n' (really, TV?) science project? Does declaring the time honored tradition of motorbikes parking or riding on the sidewalks unlawful somehow improve the flow of Bangkok traffic, and/or make more parking spaces available? What do you mean, motorcycles can't go around Bangkok city buses on the right side? No passengers riding on the rear bench seat in extended cab pickups? Then why the hell did the government allow for extended cab pickups with rear bench seats to be sold in the country for the past several decades? Motorbikes and motorcycles must stay to the left of the road? And hey... There's a motorbike lane! And suddenly, out of the middle of nowhere one dark rainy night, that motorbike lane is interrupted by a bridge abutment? All of which is just to say that roadways in Thailand are typically not thought out. They are, in fact, often quite unsafe (consider 4-6 lane highway 12, swooping through curves in the mountains north of Phetchabun, with nothing but a double yellow line protecting you from oncoming traffic blasting through the curves). And so traffic laws, too, are not thought out. Indeed, they are extremely arbitrary, momentary, commonly misunderstood (do the cops think that a green right turn arrow that comes on sometimes, but is not accompanied by a red right turn arrow (green arrow only) means that people can't turn right even when there is no green arrow? What do the cops think of that solid yellow line painted through an intersection, with a right turn arrow to go with it? What does that solid yellow line teach Thai drivers, licensed or otherwise, aside from the fact that solid yellow lines are meaningless? And especially out on that country road, where the cops have painted over the occasional yellow dashed line with 50KM of solid yellow line through an area of constantly overloaded pickups.), unenforced unless a checkpoint or camera can do the job, and strictly and immediately authoritarian. Personally, I very much prefer "Jai Yen Yen" law enforcement (as opposed to say, US SWAT teams). Failing that, then the country's (increasingly Draconian?) roads, laws and enforcement need to make sense uniformly. That is not the case at present. I'm with the Thai people here... You don't give tickets to people for having to deal with roadways that are discovered to have been poorly designed. You fix the roadways so that tickets are not necessary.
  4. Whatever happened to Mai Bpen Rai and Jai Yen Yen? Foreigners, probably...
  5. Have read a dozen or more books on this subject over the years. The most recent book I've read on this subject is "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters." Author James W Douglas presents a pretty complete review of the matter, and a compelling argument that it was Allen Dulles (with the assistance of a few others) who orchestrated the assassination. Makes a lot of sense... I mean, Bay of Pigs? Kennedy had fired Dulles, and yet, somehow Dulles was in charge of the Warren Commission after JFK's death? Fox guarding the hen house? Certainly, Dulles had plenty of contacts within the mafia. No problem at all for the former director of the CIA to pull it all off. No problem either, for him to coordinate massive efforts at coverup over the years after. Who else could have pulled it all off? You can read the buyer's reviews here, and decide whether you think the book worth buying from whatever seller... https://www.amazon.com/JFK-Unspeakable-Why-Died-Matters/dp/1439193886/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1498239300&sr=8-3&keywords=jfk
  6. I'm guessing because the government makes motorbike riders stay to the left on the roads. Because everyone knows that staying to the left on the road is the SAFEST place for motorbikes! All those car doors opening and people pulling out in traffic in front of you... I'd guess 30-40% of motorbike accidents in Thailand happen because people are told and believe they must stay to the far left on the roadways. Which would mean that the Thai government is responsible for 30-40% of Thailand's motorbike accidents.
  7. I ride a Yamaha MT09. Dunno what top speed might be, but it will do 0-100KPH in about 2.5-2.6 seconds (top speed in first gear is 115KPH) -- about the same as the Kawasaki ZX10R. My Ninja 650 topped out at about 70KPH in first gear, but was every bit as much fun. Yamaha 150 - about 15.x horsepower. Ninja 650 - either 64 or 71 horsepower, depending on how it's measured. A stock MT09 has about 115 horsepower, but mine isn't stock, and I'm guessing produces about 130-135 horsepower. A new ZX10R is reported as producing 204 horsepower, though older ones appear to have produced a bit more. My top speed =might= be about 250KPH. The ZX10R is something over 300KPH, I believe. These things said, instant acceleration is nice, but there aren't many places in Thailand where one could begin to approach the top speed of such bikes, much less "safely." Seems clear to me, at least, that the motorcyclist was at fault. This =is= Thailand, after all, and best not forget that there will be old guys pulling out into traffic slowly without looking, kids without helmets going the right way or the wrong way, 3=5 up on underpowered motorbikes, little old ladies on motorbikes crossing multiple lanes to "merge" into traffic on the other side of the road without looking, ice cream trikes with umbrellas going the wrong way on the side of the road, young guys drinking soda from plastic bags while talking on their mobiles and suddenly deciding to cross three lanes of traffic to make a right turn, and etc and etc and etc. Big bikes are fine, and inherently no more dangerous than smaller ones. In fact, I'm sure they're even safer than the smaller ones, since they have enough power to get you out of trouble now and again when the smaller ones don't. But if you forget where you are, and how the roads and drivers and traffic are here, then there's no one to blame but yourself. Your fault, regardless of the vehicle in question, and regardless of what the other driver may have been doing, and no matter if you're going 5KH or 50KPH or 150KPH. RIP to the motorcyclist here, and I hope he has better luck in the next life.
  8. Naw... Bangkok is its own little world of weirdness, with strange laws singling out motorcyclists apparently, because they're a lower class of people than automobile drivers. Requiring motorbikes to keep to the far left is probably a big reason why motorbike fatalities are so high in Thailand. But too... Motorbikes can't use one or another (or several) bridges? How is that fair or right? Motorbikes can't go on this or that flyover, but must instead plunge down into the crowded intersection below and take ten minutes to navigate an area than should take ten seconds? Why? Motorbikes and motorcycles can't use the toll roads? Why not? Maybe the small ones don't have enough power, but the rest do. The real problem with traffic in Bangkok is that they oversold automobiles, complete with government subsidies for their purchase a few years ago. Now motorcyclists are expected to pay the price? If the folks in Bangkok really want to reduce traffic congestion, then reduce the number of automobiles and trucks on the roadways. Implement odd/even driving days based on license plate numbers, for example. Or, subsidize the replacement of large autos and trucks with motorcycles. You could probably park ten motorbikes in the space of one automobile. Motorbikes and motorcycles are not the problem. Autos and trucks are what's crowding the roadways there, but then too, traffic flow in Bangkok was never designed. The flow was never thought out in any way, so far as i can tell. If they really want to optimize the mess they have, then maybe they should give bonus points to motorcyclists who park and drive on the sidewalks. That way, the people playing with their kids and talking on their cell phones in their cars and trucks will have more room in which to clog the roads while doing nothing. But no need for "laws" that are discriminatory. You don't want motorbikes/motorcycles on this flyover, bridge, or tollway? Fine. Then no autos or trucks on the next flyover, bridge or tollway, and only motorbikes and motorcycles there. Send all the cars and trucks down into that intersection under the flyover. Tell all the car and truck drivers that they can still cross the river by going to some obscure location and loading their vehicles onto some ferry like boat thing. But whatever you do -- keep all that Bangkok weirdness in Bangkok. The rest of the country surely doesn't need it.
  9. "He said that 90 kilometers was too fast but if there was a cap on that speed as well as a campaign to slow motorcyclists down to 60 kilometers an hour that would have a dramatic effect on the figures. "He suggested that arguments that motorcyclists need high speeds to overtake were groundless." Before these yayhoos get to pass any new rules or laws, they need to spend at least six months riding motorbikes around Bangkok, making sure that they do not exceed 60KPH and always stay to the extreme left side of the roads, avoid flyovers, and stay off bridges prohibited to motorbikes, and etc. After those six months, maybe they can try riding a bike from Bangkok to Pattaya, or perhaps Kanchanaburi or up to Nakhon Sawan. Do those things and then we can talk a bit about what laws need to be changed, and whether any new ones are required.
  10. Sounds nice in theory. However, one of my banks always lowballs the exchange rate. Significantly lower than the logo rate. The other bank usually provides an ever so slightly better rate than the logo rate. I won't pretend to understand the mechanics of the matter. Only reporting what I've experienced.
  11. A bit of a late reply, but even so, worth noting that some foreign banks provide better terms than others, and/or, that some provide some really horrible terms for international use. The card may appear great in one's home country, but when used overseas can include the bank's own crappy exchange rate (DCC may offer a substantially better rate), an immediate foreign transaction fee (per transaction), as well as pretty high interest rates that begin to accrue immediately, such that when using some credit cards overseas, the cost will automatically be what? -- 10-20% more than it should be. Too, restaurants and such that cater to foreigners here in Thailand will also often carve out the 7% VAT as well as a 10% service fee to charge separately (restaurants not specifically catering to foreigners often will not do so), so if using a credit card, those fees are also being financed by the bank back home. And it is not uncommon to see Americans also offer a 10-20% tip on top of these costs, because hey -- Americans. So add the cost of any tip to the amount being financed by the bank back home. If the eatery or whatever then also charges 2-4% for credit card use, well... Things can become quite expensive pretty quickly. Personal preference: I generally only use a credit card in Thailand for major purchases at larger shops, and/or for hospital expenses, and etc. The credit cards I use here offer an excellent exchange rate as well as no foreign transaction fees, so I always ask to be billed in Thai Baht. Whether I would agree to an additional surcharge would vary depending on circumstance. I would never use a credit card in a restaurant or for paying for small day to day things. Others might. See list of hidden charges above, though perhaps I missed a few.
  12. You're talking condo and I've no idea of what arrangement you have there -- whether you rent short term, long term, have a lease, own or what. Other posters here are talking routers and what not, and so if you're in a long term situation, that's surely the way to go. But I've run into this problem myself of late at a couple of different hotels. Management gives their guests only one login ID, even when there are two guests. Kinda chickenshot, IMO. In each case, they could have (and should have) given us two login IDs and passwords to use from the browsers we each might have. Reading this thread, though, I've only just remembered that my phone has hotspot capabilities, and I've sometimes used that to allow others to connect to the internet through my phone. I imagine I could do the same in a hotel room so that both my wife and I could have basic browsing and chat capabilities, though I'm not too sure the speed would be enough for anything involving heavy internet traffic. And might work for you as well. Again, any long term solution should probably be dealt with as described by one or another of the above posters. But if a slap-dash approach would be enough to get you over the hump sometimes and if you have a phone offering hotspot support, might be worth a try. My phone (at least) offers encryption and passwords, etc,. for hotspot use. Yours probably does as well, so no worries about neighbors piggybacking onto your connection. Just a thought...
  13. In fact, while I can't tell if it's the same one from the pic, Christian had been trying to sell a motorcycle for the past few weeks. Unsure as to whether he succeeded or not. Trying to sell and actually selling are two very different things.
  14. Disappointed recently when taking a truck load of donations to Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai. There were barricades across the entrance with a sign saying that foreigners had to go to another gate, where they would have to pay admission for entry. "The principle of the thing" applies here as well, only more so. Asking for a donation is one thing. But one should not be forced to pay to worship, or to enter a spiritual house. There are a few other temples, at least, where one must pay to enter... Wat Po, in Bangkok, and Wat Phra That on Doi Suthep come to mind. These temples have very much been reduced to nothing more than tourist attractions. I am disappointed that secretary (the abbot is very old) at Wat Chedi Luang has decided that temple also, is nothing more than a tourist attraction. It seems we will not be visiting there anymore, nor taking donations to that particular temple.
  15. The Similan Islands have certainly gone down hill over the past few decades. Yes... Too many divers out there, but not really their fault so much as the endless line of fishing boats dragging their nets through the waters, scooping up everything and anything, all day, every day. Not so many big fish out there as before. I've no interest in diving there, but really, not much interest in diving anywhere around Thailand. The last time I got on a boat in Pattaya, it was shallow dives only with student divers. One of whom was tremendously excited about having actually seen a fish! (Singular.) Appears one must go pretty far for really good diving in SE Asia these days. Palawan's OK, though there's lots of fishing there as well. Sipadan is worth visiting as well. Perhaps more so, since there's actually conservation going on there. Vietnam? Can only speak to Nha Trang, where lots of fishing boats were anchored in the marine preserve. I saw zero fish there over the course of three days.