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  • LIFE

    Ginger up

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 27/11/2016

    » Regular reader Paul Schiller sent me a photo of a plant growing in a flower pot at his summer home in Khao Lak, Phangnga province. "Do you know this small beauty?" he asked. The plant was a cluster of lance-shaped bright green leaves, with a terminal pendant inflorescence hanging from each stem. What's attractive about the plant was the unusual inflorescence, which comprised of showy, widely spaced purple bracts. From the base of each bract emerged the long, tube-like pedicel of a small yellow flower. The plant's stems and leaves are those characteristically belonging to members of the ginger family.

  • LIFE

    Flowers of flame

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 10/04/2016

    » The Tabebuia rosea, or chompoo panthip, on Kasetsart University's Kamphaeng Saen campus in Nakhon Pathom province caused a traffic jam as it attracted people from far and near last February. The trees were planted on both sides of the road and when they dropped all their leaves, only to be blanketed by flowers all at the same time, they were a sight to behold.

  • LIFE

    Turns for the better

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 11/12/2016

    » Unlike the Philippines, which is battered by no less than 24 typhoons a year, Thailand is hardly hit by typhoons. Thais, therefore, did not know what to expect when Typhoon Gay hit the Gulf of Thailand on Nov 3, 1989. With gale-force winds of 120kph, it killed 529 people, including fishermen and offshore oil rig workers, and rendered 160,000 homeless in the southern provinces of Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

  • LIFE

    Space invaders

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/08/2015

    » What’s in a name? It may not sound funny to you, but I find it amusing how American lawmakers could waste so much time and energy, not to mention taxpayers’ money, deliberating over what to call a fish. Last year, Senator Bill Hoffman of Minnesota was concerned that the name “Asian carp” was “hurtful” and “offensive” to some people so he sought to change the name to “invasive carp”. And guess what, the Minnesota Senate approved the bill.

  • LIFE

    A soulfully festive affair

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/11/2014

    » Today is All Souls' Day, which in the Philippines is the second day of an annual two-day holiday devoted to remembering and praying for the souls of departed family members and loved ones. In the preceding days, tombs are weeded, repainted and spruced up for the big event, when cemeteries come to life as the living visit their dead in droves and bring flowers, light candles and offer prayers on All Saints' Day, which fell yesterday.

  • LIFE

    The price point of contention

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/06/2014

    » I thought I would not mention Chatuchak plant market again for a long while after the article on June 8 about how it seems to be dying a slow but natural death. However, please bear with me just one more time as I set the record straight for a reader who is convinced that rising prices have caused the market’s decline.

  • LIFE

    The heart grows fronder

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 09/02/2014

    » Born into a family of vegetable farmers in Ratchaburi, Nukun Potakarn had not seen a fern until he was 16 years old. When he did, it was love at first sight.

  • LIFE

    Bangkok's boiling streets not best for bird's nest ferns

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/04/2013

    » It's Songkran, the Thai New Year, marked by Buddhist ceremonies and an exodus of people going back to their home provinces to be with their relatives and loved ones. The exodus began on Thursday so Bangkok's usually busy streets are now almost empty of traffic. But if you go out on an errand today expect to be drenched with water, as it has become a tradition for playful people to splash water on passers-by or on one another as part of the merriment. In the provinces especially, pick-ups ply the streets loaded with drums filled with water and youngsters on a water splashing spree, all in the name of fun.

  • LIFE

    Go forth and propagate

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 09/09/2012

    » Fruit trees propagated from seed sometimes do not bear fruit with the same qualities as that of the mother plant. This is due to cross-pollination; the insect that pollinated the flower had transferred pollen from the flower of another tree, producing seeds that either combine the characteristics of both trees, or show the more dominant of the two.

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