Today is day three of the movement control order here in Malaysia. It isn’t a complete lockdown but other than food and other essential supply runs it’s pretty much stay home or be fined if you’re stopped at a road block or caught elsewhere without a valid reason to be out. All schools and most businesses are now closed for at least 2 weeks however the supermarkets and wet markets remain open but goods may be limited and lines may be long. In addition to that the borders have been closed to any foreigners looking to enter and to any Malaysians looking to exit.
I considered taking the train and returning to my home in rural Thailand where I’d be as safe as I could be since I don’t have any people within a 100 meters of my house, the population density is very low, and we don’t have many people coming and going, however for the time being I decided to stay at the children’s shelter and continue to help out here. We are trying to keep life as normal, fun, and productive as possible for the 30 or so kids that live here despite the cancelation of most of the usual activities including all trips beyond the front gate.
Luckily we have enough space here for the kids to go outside and play in the morning and in the evening when it isn’t so terribly hot. As for the remainder of the day they use most of it for reading, studying, playing games, screen time, and some daily chores. A while back I downloaded some classic video games onto a few of the computers and got some USB controllers so now a whole new generation of kids are into Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong Country, and some other classic Nintendo games. A couple of kids are even into Thundercats so yesterday I taught them some English while watching an episode.
P.S. It’s sad to see sick and abused chickens crammed into small cages still being brought into the wet market every morning for slaughter in inhumane and unsanitary conditions, no wonder why we keep having these zoonotic disease outbreaks. Moreover it’s sad to see so many irresponsible people still insisting on gathering for parties and prayers during this pandemic. Maybe if more people refrained from eating animals, shaking hands, gathering in large crowds, and flying unnecessarily we might have been able to avoid some of this mess. Now the goal is to keep it from spreading too rapidly and overwhelming the healthcare system so I hope everyone is doing their part to keep themselves safe and from becoming spreaders of the virus. Anyway I hope things get better soon and humanity learns a few lessons in the process.
I agree. The problem is that my idea of what’s my business as an adult human greatly differs from that of most people and I hope yours does too because if everyone broadened the scope of what they considered to be their business and spoke out or lent a hand when needed the world would get a lot better in a lot less time than it would have otherwise.
Last week I told a parent, and onlookers, that it’s 100% wrong, i.e., no gray area and not up for debate, to make a child who is only around 7 or 8 years old wear a niqab whenever she leaves the house as this essentially eliminates the possibility of her interacting with children outside of her cult and communicating with her face in public. I guess her father felt it was time she covered her entire body from head to toe including her face so she wouldn’t be “flaunting her beauty” in public.
We should all speak out when we see child abuse regardless of its form, e.g., an overdone and out-of-control spanking that turns into a beating or when a child is fed so improperly that their health is in jeopardy. I decided to write this after reading an article entitled “Should You Intervene When a Parent Harshly Disciplines a Child in Public?”. My answer is YES. I’ve intervened in overdone and out-of-control child beatings on at least three occasions and I hope the next time you see a child being abused you’ll calmly say something that helps stop it and hopefully reduces the likelihood of a future incident.
Hijab emoji? Does the emoji library also need a burka emoji and a niqab emoji? Instead of creating emoji characters for all the religions, or just those whose adherents ardently request them, why not just stick with human face emoji which now, as they should, come in multiple skin colors. With that said I think those for and against religious emoji should focus on the more pressing issues related to Islam, other religions, and cultural backwardness in general.
The women tweeting for their freedom in Saudi Arabia
When American girls are forced into marriage abroad, the U.S. can do little to rescue them
P.S. I just made a small donation to Tahirih Justice Center which is highly rated on Charity Navigator.
Today is Mid-Autumn Festival which means if you look up into the night sky and you’re lucky enough to have a clear view you’ll see a big bright full moon. This year the festival falls on September 15th however it changes every year and next year it will be on October 4th. Although the date changes from year to year on the Gregorian calendar it’s the same every year on the Chinese lunisolar calendar and falls on the 15th day of the 8th month.
If you’re unfamiliar with this holiday which is celebrated in China, around East Asia, and in Chinese communities around the world it’s kind of like Thanksgiving in the States except that it takes place on the full moon and enjoying the full moon with family and friends is a big part of it. Also instead of turkey the signature food of the event are mooncakes which are little dense cakes that come with a variety of fillings and flavors. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
During my evening walk I passed a strategically placed sobriety checkpoint that was swarming with cops. I saw one guy handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police pickup and I’m guessing the police intend on getting a few more people into the back of that truck before heading back. Considering the prevalence of drunk driving around here I don’t think they’ll have a problem doing so, in fact I think they might need another truck.
The worst is when people come to work drunk… and their job is to drive people around on a motorcycle without helmets. I’ve had a couple encounters in which I gave stern lectures. I’m not writing this to tell anyone how to care for their liver but I am telling everyone: DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE and if you want a few reasons why not to do such an irresponsible thing have at look all these people who are now dead due to a drunk driver. M.A.D.D.
P.S. Although I’ve never consumed alcohol and even if I did I would still never get behind the wheel, one thing I have done a few times in my teens and early twenties is drive throughout the night without sleep and drive during the day after a near-sleepless night. Very dangerous and extremely dumb because no matter how loud the music is when you’re body needs to sleep it will sleep, even if you absolutely refuse to shut your eyes. Luckily I didn’t cause any harm but many others have during periods of micro-sleep or all out naps at the wheel.
‘In the Blink of an Eye’: Dozing While Driving
I just read a news story regarding that sexual assault at the beach. The authorities now have the suspect in custody and surprise surprise he is a Thai man. I say it like that because the couple who told me the story the day it happened were told by their Thai friends, without them even having seen or heard the attacker, that he was a Burmese man to which I replied “bullshit”. I knew odds are it was a Thai guy simply due to the fact that in Thailand there are like 35 Thai guys for every 1 Burmese guy. Scapegoating immigrants is a common tactic used by insecure people everywhere and in the U.S. they even have a presidential candidate who’s made it a major part of his political platform.
Although I dislike the idea of legislating a dress code and infringing upon the personal freedom of individuals to wear what they want, or in the case of hijabs, niqabs, and burqas “want”, I do support banning burqas, niqabs, ski masks, and any other identity-concealing attire in public spaces because arguments regarding the oppressive and divisive nature of the religious clothing in question aside these garments pose a legitimate security concern. Continue reading
As if the roads in Thailand weren’t already dangerous enough today is the second day of Songkran (Thai New Year) a holiday where many people throw water from the side of the road and out of the back of trucks at people driving or walking by and where drunk drivers aren’t hard to find. I try to stay off the road this time of year as the death toll adds up. Right now for the first 3 days of this deadly week it’s at 181 deaths which is 50% higher than last year along with 1,771 injuries. In fact just a few hours ago I saw a truck that crashed off the side of the road with people standing around it.
According to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute Thailand has the second most dangerous roads in the world with 44 deaths per 100,000 and the most dangerous is Namibia with 45. China is 22, the global average is 18, the U.S. is 14, and countries like Canada, France, and Germany are 8, 7, and 6 respectively. Which means you’re over 6 times likely to die on the roads in Thailand than you are in France or Germany. So if you’re in Thailand, particularly during Songkran, please be careful and wherever you are please, please, please don’t drink and drive.
Dear Parents, Grandparents, and anyone else who buys toys for kids can we please stop it with the toy guns because it’s repugnant to give a child a toy gun so they can go around pretending to shoot people. I’m not talking about colorful squirt guns but the kinds of lookalikes that could get you shot in the States. I’m sure you can find a more constructive toy for a child to play with and if not give them a few sticks and rocks as these are much better than a toy gun which is one of the worst toys you could give a child.
It’s bad when people perpetuate customs without independently evaluating them and consciously deciding whether or not they’re worth perpetuating but it’s even worse when people abandon a good custom that they’ve always had only to replace it with something worse. No I’m not talking about how in many parts of East Asia the handshake has become a common greeting, I’m talking about toilets. In East Asia not too long ago most toilets were squat-toilets as opposed to sit-toilets however nowadays in many East Asian shopping centers you may have a hard time finding a squat-toilet because in many public places they’ve been replaced by sit-toilets which are not only unsanitary, particularly in public places, they’re also unhealthy as a sitting position is not the position humans have evolved to go #2 in.
However many locals and the occasional fruit loving foreigner are fighting back by refusing to sit. By politely lifting up the dirty toilet seat with our foot, hoping up on to the toilet to do our business, and leaving our footprints behind as evidence of our peaceful protest we are letting shopping centers know that we want squat-toilets. As for people who can’t squat we already have a solution for that, it’s called the handicapped toilet and it even comes complete with bars to help users get on and off of it. If shopping centers feel that most people would prefer to sit on a dirty toilet seat rather than squat they’re welcome to have half the toilets sitters and the other half squatters. However if they eliminate all of the squatters and think that signs like these will dissuade people from hopping on to the toilet they are wrong.
Depending on which calendar a society uses there are many different New Year’s and in some places more than one is celebrated. Calendars are generally one of three types: lunar, solar, or lunisolar. A lunar calendar is based on the revolution of the moon around the earth, a solar calendar is based on the revolution of the earth around the sun, and a lunisolar calendar is based on the moon’s revolution around the earth but includes a thirteenth month, aka leap month, every two or three years to keep it in sync with the earth’s revolution around the sun.
In lunisolar calendars like the Chinese calendar a leap month is periodically added so the months correspond with the seasons. It takes the moon around 29.5 days to revolve around the earth which means 12 lunar months is around 354 days and since it takes the earth around 365 days to revolve around the sun the months and seasons would drift apart around 11 days each year without this leap month. The New Year’s that takes place on January 1st is according to the Gregorian or Western calendar which is a solar calendar and the New Year’s that takes place today and every year on the new moon between late January and late February is according to the Chinese calendar.
Happy New Year! 新年快樂！
Sheen = new 新
Nee-en = year 年
Kwai Luh = happy 快樂
Sheen Nee-en Kwai Luh! Try it if you encounter a Chinese speaking person this week because unlike the Western New Year Chinese New Year, aka Spring Festival, is a multi-day mega holiday that doesn’t officially conclude until the 15th day which marks the first full moon of the new year and is celebrated as Lantern Festival.
Rather than be abolished I’d like to see the death penalty replaced because it’d be more ethical and beneficial to humanity to test experimental drugs and other treatments on people worthy of the death penalty than it would be to continue doing them on innocent animals like non-human primates who didn’t rape, murder, or maim anyone. However before any jury votes on sentencing someone convicted of a heinous crime or crimes to a punishment like this they should first be required to watch the documentary The Thin Blue Line because if there’s any shred of doubt as to a persons guilt then such harsh punishments must be taken off the table.
Tell Congress to End Chimpanzee Experiments
Ask Airlines to Stop Shipping Monkeys to Be Tortured
It’s wrong to use the term “pilot suicide” to describe the horrific crime that took place in Southern France last week and to describe similar heinous acts.
Pilot Suicide: When a lone pilot intentionally crashes an empty plane in order to kill themselves.
Pilot Murder: When a pilot murders innocent people by intentionally crashing a plane.
Tragedies like this will become much less likely to occur when all airlines and aviation authorities who haven’t done so already mandate that two people be in the cockpit at all times on all passenger flights.
I hope the tragedy of Flight 9525 helps everyone realize how fragile and unpredictable life is and reminds us to be grateful for and make the most of the time we have left on our tainted yet still beautiful planet.
The Illegal Big Cats of Instagram (A video from VICE.)
I watched this while eating breakfast this morning is that it’s correct to blame and necessary to punish the people who poach wild and often endangered animals with little concern of the effects this has on ecosystems, wild populations, and the poor animals themselves. Furthermore most would agree that even more blame and more severe punishments should be dealt to those who are willing to pay for these animals, or animal products, and thus create a demand for them which entices some extremely desperate and/or greedy people to sink so low as to supply it. However far too few people take the next step and follow this trail of immorality to its source and realize the people who are perhaps the most to blame for the plight of these animals and the waste of societies financial resources as seen in this video is very likely to be themselves.
It’s understandable that some people desire a nice house and a nice car however the desire for personal palaces and private car collections isn’t so much a result of a desire of material goods which came at great environmental costs, but rather it’s the result of a desire to achieve the attention and admiration the possession of such goods unfortunately still gains people in our sick society. So not only should the people in this video be frowned upon for how they use their wealth as well as punished for what they do to these animals, a big fat finger should also be pointed at all those Instagram followers and even the reporter herself for fawning over one of his many luxury sports cars or his baby white tiger because that’s exactly why rich and immoral people like this do what they do.
If we as a society see someone driving around in a decadent car, perhaps with their pet Cheetah, we should not say: OMG! So cool! We should say: Wow what a waste of money, they could’ve bought a really nice electric car and still had a few hundred thousand dollars to perhaps invest in renewable energy, versatile non-toxic compostable materials, or maybe desalination and water filtration systems not to mention helping some poor children gain access to clean water, basic nutrition, and an education. If it became not only “not cool” but actually shameful to behave in these immoral and decadent ways our world would become a better place over night. So if you’re one of the well over 300,000 people following people like this on Instagram and other social media sites then please reconsider.
Once people stop encouraging people like this they’ll realize they need to behave in other ways if they want the attention and admiration of society. In essence only when the average person stops aspiring to these types of immoral and decadent lifestyles will those who do have the financial resources to live them stop doing so and start living more responsible lives and find better ways to spend their time and money.
In 1800 there were about 1 billion people on the planet.
It then took around 127 years before the population reached 2 billion.
Can you guess roughly how long it took for humanity to add the last billion?
a.) 127 years b.) 60 years c.) 30 years d.) 12.7 years
If you answered d then you are correct and with over 7.2 billion of us the population is still growing. However what’s more worrying than rapid population growth in a heavily overburdened biosphere where human induced extinctions already occur on a daily basis is the rapid increase in unsustainable consumption which unlike population growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Reuse, Recycle
U.S. and World Population Clock
P.S. Can you name the top five countries according to population size? For the answers check out the bottom of this map that shows country size adjusted according to population size.
Perpetuating such emphasis on getting married and having a baby as if it’s the apex of becoming an adult is extremely backwards. Anyone with the notion of it being selfish not to have children should ask themselves in which day and age their personal reality is constructed upon and whether if in the current day and age having kids brings our species back from the brink of extinction or moves us closer towards it.
Instead of young adults constantly being asked if they’re married or have children I think we’d be moving in the right direction as a species if we started asking adults of all ages things like: “What are you doing or not doing to make the world a better place?”. Instead of seeking to bind someone to a contract or leave behind genes no better than the ones already in circulation, especially when there are already so many orphaned and abused children in the world in desperate need of homes and funding, I seek to leave behind knowledge and a world in better shape than it was yesterday and I hope you do too.