Reducing Motor Cycle Accidents and Fatalities in Thailand

Article prepared and written by David Power.

You can grasp the extent of the problem at Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF) Thailand.

Anything you can do to publicize the problem especially the impact that 100% wearing of helmets would have on reducing deaths and brain injuries, would be great.

The Thai stats would be totally unacceptable in Australia, but Thai’s just live with it. They buy their kids new motorcycles, let them ride on the road with little training and at an age when their peripheral vision has not yet fully developed. It is the same as giving a primary school kid a loaded gun and letting them play with it.

All schools in Thailand need to be encouraged to adopt some sort of motorcycle safety program as the parents seem oblivious to the problem. I think it has something to do with the Buddhist philosophy on fate – “meant to happen”. But if you are not there – it can’t happen.

Why Thai Students Should Study Thai History

I received the following analysis of the crisis in Thailand from a friend of mine who regularly travels through south-east Asia:

“It seems that the Thai’s do not learn from the mistakes made in history because they are not required to study it. What they really need is history to be made a compulsory subject in all schools and also a central marriage registry so that a man cannot have many wives and families in different provinces. This will stop the corruption that exists on both sides of politics. Salaries and incomes are based on an individual only having one family. However, due to poverty, there are many women who are prepared to be the second wife. Corruption money is then needed to support the other families and the ones doing it are those who make the decisions including politicians, police and soldiers. They need a strong leader who can re-organise their society from the ground up.

The government of Thailand is in crisis at the moment. The opposition party has lost the last 9 elections. They have not won an election for 21 years. They were installed by the last military coup until the people told the army what to do with the army’s choice of government by electing Yingluck with an overwhelming majority. The opposition has effectively taken their bat and ball and gone home refusing to play anymore. The country is safe so long as you avoid the hotspots where the protesters are making trouble. If the pro-government crowds ever assemble the crowds will be twice as big. Yingluck has been doing a good job under the circumstances. If the Thais respect democracy they should wait and vote her out at the next election. If you start forming mobs to try and overturn an elected government that was elected by an overwhelming majority, you set the precedent for your own demise :- “Live by the sword – die by the sword.””

Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok Thailand

Do this after replacing the rocker gasket in a 1991 Mazda Astina

After you change the rocker gasket (valve cover gasket) in the Mazda Astina it is important to degrease and high pressure wash the engine. If you fail to do this and the engine remains oily then it not pass inspection for registration. The photo below shows the engine after it has been degreased and high pressure washed.

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Arab Sheik to Buy Coffs Harbour Jetty

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O'Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.

Banana Republic aghast!

The infamous Coffs Harbour Jetty may fall info foreign hands following an announcement today by the El Presidente day of the Banana Republic in Coffs Harbour.

In a hurriedly convened press conference the President shocked reporters with the news that negotiations are well advanced with a wealthy Arab Sheik who has indicated a keen interest in this historical piece of real estate.

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien from a Persian Gulf Emirate has been in Coffs Harbour this week personally supervising negotiations.

Sheik O’Brien told reporters that the Jetty would provide an ideal shipping terminal for the export of life sheep, chickens, rabbits, kangaroos, politicians and women.

“The Australian Government has been obstinate and uncooperative,” he said, “I bargained for more than four months to buy Circular Quay and got nowhere. I just went round and round in circles”.

Confidential information leaked to the press through a crack in the Jetty piers reveals something of the intrigue that has flavoured these unusual negotiations.

The Jetty was put on the market by the Banana Republic Navy for the sum of $250,000. Sheik O’Brien has driven a hard bargain and sort deductions for rust in the cranes ($85,000), pier rot ($62,500), lack of a suitable railway station to go with the train lines ($47,500) and the removal of two dead fishermen from the jetty shed ($54,999.90). The Navy finally excepted of the price of ten cents as reasonable.

The sale of the Jetty will be by private treaty. A suggestion that it should be auctioned was rejected as it was feared that the fall of the hammer would reduce the Jetty to splinters.

Sheik O’Brien has made no secret of the fact that he considers the Jetty a available piece of real estate. “The oil reserves in the old cranes have enormous value,” he said, “In an energy-starved world every drop counts. Australians take a very casual view of oil. They wipe millions of dollars off their dipsticks each year.”

Outspoken on oil.

The Sheik was outspoken on the subject of oil. “We need to explore new untapped resources,” he asserted. “People should plant olive groves throughout Republic to produce olive oil. Furniture castors should be melted down to create castor oil. The philosophy of ‘I’m oil all right mate’ was very laissez-faire”.

Asked if he played any major changes the Sheik she said that he had great visions of what the Jetty could become and these are shown in the sketch below.

Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)
Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)

Research has shown that very few Sheiks own Jetty’s. This fact alone will exalt Sheik O’Brien in the eyes of his pier group.

Australian authorities have show little interest in the rumoured purchase. Rumours have been circulating the BHP are interested in acquiring the iron oxide in the Jetty cranes for smelting purposes.

One of the key factors emerging from the deal is that the Sheik will inherit a 200 kilometre fishing zone around the Jetty this will also include fishing rights in swimming pools and creeks throughout the republic as far west as Thora.

If the Sheik successfully acquires the Jetty that he will enlist his harem to check the piers for banana rot.

Sheik to expand his harem.

The Sheik plans to bring ten of his harem with him to Coffs Harbour. We will set up a desert tent on the Jetty from which he plans to recruit local women as wives. Unsuccessful candidates will be dropped over the side into the sea.

The President would not be drawn into detailed discussions but was quick to rebut the argument that the Jetty had any sentimental value for the people of Coffs Harbour. He merely described it as “an interesting piece of real estate with an ocean view”.

The above article was published in the satirical newspaper “Revolutionary Times – the Newspaper of the Banana Republic” on Thursday 12th June 1980. The Banana Republic was the most successful tourism promotion ever devised by Coffs Harbour and it conceived by Paul McKeon who was Tourism Director in the early 1980’s. The part of the Sheik was played by Keith O’Brien.

Revolutionary Times - The Newspaper of the Banana Republic.  Article published on 12th June 1980.
Revolutionary Times – The Newspaper of the Banana Republic. Article published on 12th June 1980.

How to create a personal newspaper using Twitter.

Twitter is an amazing service used by millions of people throughout the world. Were you aware that you can use Twitter to create your own personalised newspaper? Here are step by step instructions on how to do this:

1. Login to your Twitter Account or create one if you do not have an account.

2. Follow people whose tweets and links suit your needs. Twitter will also suggested people for you to follow. Just click on the #Discover link (shown below) to get the process underway.

Explore using the #Discover Link in the menu bar
Explore using the #Discover Link in the menu bar

3. If you follow a lot of people then you’ll probably need to access your Twitter feed on a daily basis. The screen shot below shows how the Twitter feed appears on an iPad. You can obtain more information about a tweet by clicking on it to open a larger view. You will notice that the view shown below provides a link to a website. Some links in Twitter show photos. The view below shows a web link and when you click this it opens another screen in which the article will load.

View of expanded tweet with web link
View of expanded tweet with web link

4. You may find it difficult to read the text on the newly opened screen because it may be small in size or surrounded by clutter. One way to get around this problem is to install a tool called Instapaper on your tablet, PC or smartphone. Instapaper strips away all the clutter and gives you several options on text size and pagination. You can send the article to Instapaper by clicking on the “Read Later” option that appears when you click on the Share link on the top right hand of the screen which is shown below:

Click on the Read Later option to send the article to Instapaper
Click on the Read Later option to send the article to Instapaper

5. The screenshot below shows you how the iPad Instapaper app displays the content of the article free of clutter and at an appropriate text size. You can delete or save articles within Instapaper for later reference.

Instapaper makes it easy to read the article without the clutter.
Instapaper makes it easy to read the article without the clutter.

Twitter gives you complete control over the content of your newspaper and is, in my opinion, a much better option than paid newspaper subscriptions.

For another perspective on this topic I encourage you to read Peter Kafka’s excellent blog post “Here’s What a Twitter News Service Might Look Like