Just as in the last posting, way back in April, flooding continues to remain an issue for Thailand. While it was in the southern area earlier this year, it is presently the central region that is in a crisis state and the water is now moving into Bangkok with the situation worsening by the day.
While in Bangkok last week, I had hoped to go up to Ayutthaya, an ancient city in Thailand, and the former capital of the kingdom, that is littered with places that I could spend hour upon hour checking out. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as the area has been totally evacuated and flood waters have inundated the entire city center and beyond. On the day I was going to set forth, the front page of the Bangkok Post featured this stunning shot.
Visit the Bangkok Post for the latest news updates and information on how you can contribute to relief efforts.
Check out the events of Thai politics via this excellent timeline (2001-2010) created by Wit Pimkanchanapong. It starts with the election of Thaksin Shinawatra as Prime Minister back in 2001 and ends just one week before the assassination of Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawasdipol, commonly known as Seh Daeng, which would lead to the end of three-month-long Red Shirt protest in Bangkok. Campaigns would follow and, in the beginning of July, Thailand elected their first female Prime Minister, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of the former Prime Minister who was ousted nearly five years earlier through a military coup. Clearly things have come full circle around here. Is that a good thing?
In my experience, I have met far too many Thais who possess very little knowledge of geography and historical events around the world. I can even go further to say that many don’t know the same subject matter in regards to their own country. Rather amazing, yet sad, to be honest. The Thai school system fails miserably in these areas. Case and point is the choice of costume at a school parade by students in Chiang Mai, the second largest city in Thailand. Teenagers dressed as Nazi soldiers! Click the link and shake your head in disbelief that this happened in 2011.
The video below was taken while riding on the canal boats of San Seab in Bangkok. A journey which consisted of being thrilled by the fast pace of the boats, the craziness of watching the workers traverse the narrow ledge of the boat, the disgust of the stench of sewage that was present throughout, the unfortunate surprise of being drenched in said sewage from an unexpected wave, the amazement of seeing a local guy fishing in the waters (can’t imagine eating anything out of those waters!) and, I shit you not, the shock of seeing a dead body of a person who hung himself on an overpass! Fucking for real! If you are looking for an adventure in Bangkok, it’s guaranteed to be just around every corner. Just spend 15 baht and ride these canal boats and you’ll never forget it. Holy shit!
Here’s the shitty picture I got. Had just put my camera up after getting drenched and couldn’t get it out in time. Probably better I didn’t get a close up. All the onlookers are on the far left side with the coppers on the bridge.
On the shitty pictures of amazing moments tip, here’s another one. This time it was a more pleasant siting in the water. It was the beautiful Indo-Pacific pink humpback dolphins that live off the waters of Khanom, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Don Sak, Surat Thani. My jaw dropped when I was hanging over the railing of the ferry as we left the port and the pink dolphin jumped out of the water right next to me. Fumbled from my camera and wasn’t able to fire off in time for what might have been an incredible shot. Totally awesome moment!
Watched this a helluva long time ago, but just now posting it. It’s the trailer to the upcoming documentary, Take Me Away Fast, which follows Frank Gossner, of Voodoo Funk, as he journeys around West Africa in search of records. Can’t wait to see the full length feature of this one!
Column Five Media presents “The Value of Data Visualization” for a look into the intersection of data and design. Peep it.
Greenpeace activists and artist John Quigley created Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man in the Arctic Ocean using copper pipes. The incomplete image was done to highlight the effects of climate change. Click here for a few more photos and to read the story.
Ever wanted to be Mikey Dread? Well, now you can! Check out the virtual Mikey Dread site and mash up di dance. Love that the selecta is a lion! Run di riddim! Raaaaaah!
Been a huge fan of the Kashmere Stage Band since 2006 when Now-Again dropped the Texas Thunder Soul anthology. Director Mark Landsman traced the roots of the band and delivered the story of bandleader Conrad O. Johnson with the Thunder Soul documentary. I’ve been watching with anticipation for it to be released ever since the first premiere was held at SXSW back in March in Austin, TX. Now it has arrived! Just gotta hunt down a screen that has it showing!
Check DJ Shadow’s short from the SXSW premiere.
Go for a ride on the International Space Station as it traverses the Earth from over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Awesome!
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38,000 miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage…all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films. Courtesy of Rick Mereki, director and producer; Tim White, director of photography, producer and editor; and Andrew Lees, actor. Move. Learn. Eat.
On the hi-fi while compiling this post is the Willows’ “Send Another Moses”. Original Roots style from Studio One. Extending the vibes with the Brentford Reggae Band’s version on the flip. Massive sounds!
Artist/Designer Lewis Heriz and DJ Hugo Mendez are the founders of Sofrito, a party held in London that is equal parts killer on the eyes, with incredible poster art, and on the ears, with plentiful amounts of tropical sounds from all corners of the globe. Check out the history of the event below and visit here, here, here, here and here for the vibes!
The Mikiphone Pocket Phonograph. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Dope!
Tim Armstrong aka Lint aka Tim Timebomb of Rancid debuts his RockNRoll Theater series. Here’s the trailer to the first episode titled “Dante”. Excited to see the full episode and for more from the series to be delivered our way.
Roger Rivas, boss organist for the Aggrolites, serves up more Skinhead Reggae in this second volume of his Organ Versions series (…grab the first volume here). This time he was working with Mark Morales, L.A.-based record collector, and Jurassic Sound outta Brazil. Hotness!
Roger Rivas – Organ Versions Vol.2; Self-Released, 2011
Learn about the man called Norman Jay MBE and his legendary Good Times Sound System. Ruling supreme on the London scene for 30 years now. Respect!
Strut serves up a tribute to mark the anniversary with this special set. This selecta was known for his broad taste in music and this offering delivers nuff variety. Enjoy!
Norman Jay MBE -Â Presents Good Times 30th Anniversary Edition; Strut, 2011
Part 1, Part 2
Punk rock, drinkin’, chillin’, crusin’ around on motorbikes. That’s the culture of Lexington, Kentucky as documented in Carlos Puga’s Satan Since 2003. Check it out!
Finally! Finally! Finally! It has arrived! Ron Fricke’s Samsara, which I have been anticipating for years, finally debuted on September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival! Future showings are in the works and, while it may take some time for this to grace my eyes, I’m patiently awaiting that wonderful day.
All of the projects he has worked on in the past have had a significant impact on me after viewing them and this one will undoubtedly do the same. Check out a few of the stills below which certainly only represent a true fraction of the beauty that lies in the reels.
This last image of a mandala brought back memories of watching Werner Herzog’s Wheel of Time and recalling one of its more powerful and moving scenes, to me personally of course. I was in awe when watching this and learning for the first time about the Tibetan Buddhist monks who perform prostrations along their entire journey to Bodhgaya, India for the Kalachakra Initiation. Simply remarkable.