Thailand

Greener consumption: the using what's available edition

Article: Greener consumption: the using what's available edition

What do you do with stuff when its reached the end of its useful life? Usually we trash it, but there’s probably still some kind of use left in it. From take-out containers to phone booths, here are some product ideas that make use of that “garbage.”

BROKEDOWN PALACE: the definitive guide to Thailand

Article: BROKEDOWN PALACE: the definitive guide to Thailand

Welcome to the Zach Golden’s Guide to Thailand, the definitive companion to a country I’m pretty sure is in Southeast Asia. Despite never having visited Thailand, or as the locals call it, Vietnam, I’m uniquely qualified to write about such a majestic place because I occasionally eat Thai food and once got a massage from a woman I’m pretty sure was Thai (or maybe Korean).

All you really need to know about Thailand is this: if you’re an impressionable, young teen whose post-high school plans involve a summer in Hawaii with your equally impressionable teen friend, but at the last minute you decide to nix that in favor of Thailand where you and aforementioned impressionable friend meet a hunky Australian guy with a generic sounding name who asks you to smuggle some heroin into Hong Kong – don’t. Just don’t do it. Because chances are that hunky Australian guy (all Australian guys are hunky, you’d be hunky too if everything in your country was able to kill you) is in tight with some corrupt motherfuckers in the Thai “legal system” and you’re going to take the fall for being an impressionable young teen/effective drug mule…

Thailand's awe-inspiring soccer team

Article: Thailand's awe-inspiring soccer team

Why Spielberg hasn’t purchased the rights to the story of the Panyee FC soccer club is beyond me. Twenty-five years ago in Koh Panyee, a teensy-weensy fishing village built entirely on stilts off the coast of Thailand, a group of young boys obsessed with soccer decided to stop watching the games on TV and play it for themselves. The only problem was that Koh Panyee has no soil, no ground to speak of at all beyond the elevated wooden slats that make up the cramped little village. So the boys took a cue from their forefathers and built a soccer pitch from scratch from pieces of scrap wood nailed together atop a network of old fishing boats.

Avoiding Fashion Week and dreaming of Eminem

Article: Avoiding Fashion Week and dreaming of Eminem

The man of my dreams—Eminem. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/GETTY IMAGES)
I had this crazy dream like a week ago — two of ‘em actually. The first one was more of a realization. I woke up in the middle of the night and was like, “Damn. I’m gonna be busy next year… So I better get some traveling in!”

The other one, also random — involved Eminem, of all people. I mean, huh? I don’t even listen to or think about him. Must have heard his song somewhere — like the time I was in K-mart and heard a lovely muzak version of Richard Marx’s “Ocean’s Apart.” Had a dream that night that I was at my mom’s dinner table introducing Richard Marx as my fiancĂ©. My mother kept looking at his mullet with a hairy eyeball and my sister leans over and says, “Richard? What’s your last name again?” and as soon as he says “Marx,” I woke up to her mocking laughter in my ears. I didn’t go to K-Mart for a long time after that.

Balloons go Pop!

Article: Balloons go Pop!

Last week people around the world were bombarded with news about balloons. The balloon boy and his attention starved parents were on every channel for what seemed like endless hours. It’s quite sad that other balloon folks, those from the Balloon Art World Challenge, were overlooked by most press outlets. Held in Bangkok, the challenge…

Coastal treasures: 5 marine national parks

Article: Coastal treasures: 5 marine national parks

[caption id="attachment_25533" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ballena Marine National Park, Costa Rica"][/caption]

Last week, King Carl-Gustav of Sweden presided over the ceremonial opening of the country’s first marine national park, Kosterhavet. If you’re like me, you tend to associate the phrase “national park” with mountains, forests, canyons, and even geysers… but countries around the world recognize the value of the coastal and marine ecosystems, and are designating similar protected areas. A quick search yielded these treasures:

ASIA EXTREME: From Bangkok to Brooklyn, and back again: Pen-Ek Ratanaraung

Article: ASIA EXTREME: From Bangkok to Brooklyn, and back again: Pen-Ek Ratanaraung

Though Thailand’s cinematic history extends back to 1923, it’s only been in last ten years or so that Thai films began cropping up in festivals and theaters worldwide. Even at home, directors were mostly churning out populist fare, catering to the masses with low-budget genre productions. In the 1970s there was a brief period of socially critical films, which stemmed from the student uprisings of 1973 and 1976. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that Thai cinema found acceptance and acclaim in the west, and it began when newcomer Pen-Ek Ratanaraung’s debut feature, FUN BAR KARAOKE, had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Considered the birth of New Thai Cinema, it paved the way for a handful of directors working both within genres (Prachya Pinkaew, ONG BAK) and strictly arthouse (Aphichatpong Weerasethakul, SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY). Yet what separates Ratanaraung from most of his peers is the international success he’s found from audiences both high and low.

Twenty social enterprises tackling sustainability in the developing world

Article: Twenty social enterprises tackling sustainability in the developing world

Can business save the world? Those who answer “Yes” don’t just include industry trade groups and chambers of commerce: the SEED Initiative, a joint project of the United Nations’ Environmental Programme and Development Programme, along with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, “identifies, profiles and supports promising, locally-driven, start-up enterprises” in the developing world that are focused on alleviating poverty and managing natural resources more sustainably.