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About nisakiman

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  1. Also in the news, another recent poll by NIDA found that the majority of turkeys thought that Christmas was the best time of year, with Thanksgiving running a close second...
  2. Extreme Comfort bouncy flip flops

    Buy local. I've been wearing the Gambol brand flip-flops (thongs) for years (can't remember exactly how much they cost, but less than 200 Baht in Big C - 169 or thereabouts?). They are comfortable, well made, last for ages, come in a huge range of colours and materials (I have some with suede straps, which I think were a bit more expensive than the fabric strap, but not much), and they are cheap. I must have about a dozen pairs in various stages of decrepitude, from almost had-it to almost new. I probably get at least a couple of years wear out of them. Nice soft sole and well designed insole shape.
  3. Changing old $100 bill in BKK?

    I'm not American, so I rarely use Dollars, but I'm intrigued to know why banks and money changers in Thailand won't change old notes. That same thing doesn't apply to Pounds or Euros, as far as I'm aware (although the notes aren't dated), so what is it with US Dollars?
  4. thai chidrens fear of foreigners ????

    And therein lies the rot that has set into our society. The 'precautionary principle'. Wrap 'em in cotton wool. The attitude of "...would you be happy with random adults either from your own country or from other countries approaching and trying to interact with them?" is borne of reading the gutter press and believing every word. According to the papers, there's a paedophile lurking under every bush, and for that reason we shouldn't let our kids talk to anyone, in case they're raging paedophiles. What rot. It's attitudes like that that have created the current 'snowflake' generation, demanding 'safe spaces' and 'trigger warnings'. I've found when in Thailand that kids react well to me, and many times I've had teenage (and younger) girls or boys come up to me and practice their English. It's great. Where I've lived for the past 15 years (Greece), it's the same. There's been no 'Paedophile Panic' whipped up by the gutter press, and kids roam freely. And it's not unusual at all to be sitting in a café and have some kid from another table come and chat. And mum will just look over and ask if he / she is being a nuisance. If not, she'll just go back to her coffee and friend(s) or smartphone and leave me to chat with her kid. No big deal. The kid learns how to deal with strangers, and mum gets five minutes peace. And I say this as the father of four (now adult) kids who were encouraged to interact with other adults. Of course be sensible, but don't be scared. There's a big world out there full of all sorts of people, and kids need to learn how to deal with that.
  5. What is Dihydrogen Monoxide? "Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol. For more detailed information, including precautions, disposal procedures and storage requirements, refer to one of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available for DHMO:" And just to show how easily people are fooled by this sort of chicanery: "Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide. Although his results are preliminary, Zohner believes people need to pay closer attention to the information presented to them regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide. He adds that if more people knew the truth about DHMO then studies like the one he conducted would not be necessary. A similar study conducted by U.S. researchers Patrick K. McCluskey and Matthew Kulick also found that nearly 90 percent of the citizens participating in their study were willing to sign a petition to support an outright ban on the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide in the United States." http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html You make a pertinent point, and one that not many people are aware of. The Anti-Smoker industry likes to portray itself as a latter-day David bravely battling with the Goliath of Big Tobacco, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. TC (Tobacco Control) is awash with money - globally it's a multi-billion dollar business, and so-called 'Big Tobacco' can only look on in envy at the vast funds (and the influence that comes with that level of financial clout) that are available to their nemesis. Not only do TC get vast amounts of taxpayer cash, (plus in the USA they get some $ 600,000,000 a year from the Master Settlement), but also the pharmaceutical companies pour countless millions into the TC coffers because smoking bans are good for business. The global NRT business is worth billions. It's why the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to get e-cigs medicalised, so that they will be the only ones who can afford to get e-cigs through the rigorous (and very expensive) medical approval system. My excerpt above, and the link it came from was written specifically to illustrate how organisations like Tobacco Control manipulate science to suit their agenda. (Do have a read of the whole article - it is all factual and truthful, but completely misleading.) They rely on the fact that people won't question their 'findings' because they are 'experts'. Much of their 'research' which they use to scare gullible people into hating smokers, and to lobby similarly gullible politicians into introducing stupid laws (like the e-cig ban in Thailand) is written exactly in the style of the linked article above, and things presented as hazardous are usually anything but. They always omit to point out the first law of toxicology - that the dose makes the poison. In fact lying by omission is another of their favourite tactics. SECOND-HAND SMOKE IS DANGEROUS if you are in a small, sealed and unventilated room for at least 200 years with someone who smokes 200 cigarettes a day, is the sort of thing, although they tend not to bother to publish the small print. The e-cig ban in Thailand is a product of this kind of legerdemain, where self-proclaimed 'experts' (with an ideological agenda) from TC have submitted 'evidence' like the example above to government ministers who have no scientific knowledge. The ministers look at the gobbledygook in front of them and think "Omigod, these things must be dangerous! Quick, ban them!". And that's it. Job done. Another step towards that utopian 'smoke-free' world the anti-smokers fantasise about. To hell with unforeseen consequences; to hell with collateral damage. The jihad must continue unabated.
  6. Balancing a Hatari Fan Blade - Possible?

    What I did when I had this problem with a fan was to cut a couple of thin strips (5mm wide, about) of some aluminium sheet I had (about 1mm thick) and cut those into pieces about 15 - 20 mm long. I then folded those small strips in half, and started crimping them with a pair of pliers to the webs at the back of the blade hub. It was trial and error, but I guess it didn't take much more than half an hour of jiggling around to get the blade balanced, including all the removing and replacing the blade each time. I quite enjoy little challenges like that. I must be getting old.
  7. That there is collusion between the concessionaires and the government departments concerned I accept, and it doesn't surprise me, but it still doesn't explain why the taxes are so high. If they have the sole concession anyway, it would be in their interests for the endpoint price to be lower, as they would sell far more of their products. They make nothing from the taxes, as that money goes directly to the government. And lower taxes on their products wouldn't affect their grip on the industry if, as you say, they are tight with the government departments that give the concessions. So I'm still baffled as to why wine, and not other alcoholic drinks, attracts such a ridiculously high rate of tax.
  8. So presumably imported Scotch whisky at less than 600 Baht a bottle is considered essential for everyday use? That's comparable to prices in Europe - in fact cheaper than many countries. And there is a Thai whisky industry which is probably larger than the Thai wine industry, which is tiny, so it can't be protectionism. So why has wine been singled out for punitive taxation when whisky has not? As I say, there is no rhyme or reason behind it. It makes no sense at all. If imported whisky was taxed at the same rate, I could see some logic in it, but the way it is is beyond comprehension.
  9. Yes, it seems that all the alcohol laws here are designed to inconvenience and frustrate the normal, average Joe who likes a bit of a tipple, and do nothing to address the actual problem of alcohol abuse. Even the stupid laws about not being able to buy alcohol near schools and between 2 and 5 merely serves to make life difficult for ordinary people, and makes not one iota of difference to alcoholics and/or underage drinkers. They will always find a way, laws or no laws. change.org, anyone? <shrug> Don't hold your breath. The people who come up with these ideas live in a parallel universe. Reality doesn't come into it.
  10. Of course the reason there is all this 'fruit wine' malarkey is because for some unfathomable reason known only to whoever thought of it, wine attracts a punitive rate of tax - I think by the time it gets into your shopping basket, some 430% in tax and duties have been levied. It's utterly ludicrous, and there is no rhyme or reason behind it. As a wine drinker, it's the one thing that that really annoys me when we're in Thailand. You pay 500 Baht, and you get a bottle of garbage. Where I am, that money will buy you a very decent, above average wine. My daily table wine, a locally made Merlot (currently the 2015 vintage, 12% ABV) which is immeasurably better than the 500 Baht stuff, I buy in 10 litre boxes for €18.70, which works out to 55 Baht per bottle. That's a tenth of the price of the garbage bottle in Big C or wherever.
  11. Why on earth are you in favour of banning ads for alcohol? We're not so easily led that seeing an advertisement for beer is going to make us rush out and get hopelessly drunk. It's also not going to make kids borrow their dad's pistol so they can hold up the nearest 7/11 and steal all their Chang. These people who make these laws live in a fantasy world, where no-one has any control over themselves, and the mere sight of a bottle of beer is enough to induce a schizophrenic transformation from Jekyll to Hyde. I mean, really, does the sight of a beer advert make you want to rush out and buy a case of Heineken? Because if so, you have a problem. Christ, up until the nannies of this world got their grubby little hands on the reins of power, we all were exposed to alcohol advertising (and tobacco advertising) all our lives. Are we all alcoholics and smokers? This whole 'banning advertising' is just the infantilisation of adults, and is an insult to our intelligence. The people who instigate this stupidity are professional 'Public Health' tax troughers who rely on lobbying for new bans to keep their jobs; and puritanical zealots (who by definition have psychological problems) who can't bear to think of anyone enjoying life in a way they don't approve of. The whole sorry shambles of 'Public Health' should be swept away, and we should be allowed to get on with our lives as we see fit. The world would be a better place.
  12. I watched a live (pretty sure it was live, anyway. I'm not the football fan, my wife is) international match in Bangkok about six months ago, and they had software to pixellate the flashing banners round the pitch when the Heineken logo started moving across the banner. When the insurance company logo came round, the pixellation disappeared. It was rather disconcerting, because you got players playing on the wing with their head and shoulders pixellated out as they played in front of the beer banner.
  13. That's how they advertise their beer now. All the big name sodas are named the same as the big name beers, so when they advertise the soda, they are also advertising the beer, as everyone is familiar with the brand name. Why else would there be both Singha and Leo brand sodas? It's only fizzy water, probably from the same source. It's quite a clever ploy, actually. Sidesteps the beer advertising ban quite neatly.
  14. 980kg ganja seized in Sakon Nakhon

    All these big busts seem to be as a result of a 'tip-off'. Who on earth is doing the 'tipping-off', and why? The gangs transporting and selling the stuff must have security like a sieve. Or loose tongues after a bottle or two of Lao Khao. I can't imagine that the BiB have a particularly efficient network of undercover agents, somehow.
  15. The strange side effect of tattoos

    The 'lower classes'? My oh my. I guess we can all assume, then, that you are one of the 'higher classes', yes? I'd like to know what your definition of 'lower classes' is. People you feel superior to, perhaps? Your retinue of maids and flunkies? Poor people? People who don't follow the same political path as you? I think the word 'hubris' was invented with people like you in mind.