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    Thai news stories

    Thailand’s controlled learning

    By jon.b, Created on: 04/07/2016, Last updated on: 14/08/2016

    » Alvin Toffler was one of the first to recognize that knowledge not labour and raw materials, would become the most important economic resource of advanced societies. In Thailand’s case, the word ‘advanced’ can be taken out of the equation. Thailand puts a cap on education, because it doesn’t...

    • yetanother commented : everything and everyone seem to point that same way; and no one in the thai education administration says any different

    • 1 replies, 15,722 views

    Visa / work permit / resident / citizenship / dual passport - what's required

    Family not welcome here

    By jon.b, Created on: 23/04/2016, Last updated on: 04/07/2016

    » You won't feel settled! Thai authorities have no desire / disposition to make a foreigner with a Thai family here feel comfortable. If they did, they would have laws that reflect that. The current visa system doesn’t make a Thai / farang family feel secure. The regulations make that clear. One...

    • IsanEmmet commented : As a Brit with just the UK basic old age pension it is difficult to stay because of the pension income level they insist on, double that I receive from my country. Getting any visa at all on this income is expensive due more to travel and hotel costs than the actual visa price (from rural Buriram). As my own home Government seems to think that 20,000 baht a month is adequate then why does the Thai government want double that, or is it just easy feeding on us farangs, as usual.

    • alim commented : There is a saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" Law is law and you need to respect and observe the law of the country you are in. The present Government has dome the right thing to gather information on foreigners in Thailand, If you are clean and innocent, why worry of providing your personal information but if you cannot trust the Thai officials then you are right not to stay in Thailand. In actual fact Thailand is very relaxed with foreigners.

    • 5 replies, 18,358 views

    Living in Thailand - adjusting + settling in

    Tried Ubur last night

    By jon.b, Created on: 26/01/2016, Last updated on: 03/02/2016

    » Tried it first around 7pm in Sukhumvit / Asoke area and the driver showed up as scheduled. Then used it a second time around 11pm and driver showed up on time. I highly recommend using. No fuss, no hassles. Drivers are much more switched on than the typical cab drivers too. Polite, nice new car(s)...

    • ozopinion commented : Respectfully disagree. Understand your frustration with some cab drivers but don't tar them all with the same brush, some will turn on the meter without issue and take you the right way. We've all had rogue drivers but I would say 80% would be ok, at least in my experience

    • drsmith commented : How much did you pay for Uber compared to a regular taxi?

    • 6 replies, 9,711 views

    Thai airports, trains, buses, public transport

    2nd deadliest roads

    By jon.b, Created on: 26/10/2015, Last updated on: 26/10/2015

    » The World Health Organisation says poor enforcement of laws are one of the reasons Thailand has the second-highest road-fatality rate in the world. The WHO also concluded road fatalities in Thailand were far higher than reported. Do you think are dear government would agree? http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general...

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    Thai environment, energy, safety issues

    No more plastic shopping bags!

    By jon.b, Created on: 17/08/2015, Last updated on: 20/08/2015

    » Thai shopping malls have made a bold move. The Environmental Quality Promotion Dept said 15 shopping chains are participating in the promotion and shoppers must provide their own bags on the 15th of each month. That's right, one day a month!! Such progress! One day a month, no plastic bags...

    • modsquad commented : This fella says plastic bags simply aren’t that big of a problem! Plastic bags ban is no sure bet to help environment When the city council in Austin, Texas passed a single-use plastic shopping bag ban in 2013, it assumed environmental benefits would follow. The calculation was reasonable enough: fewer single-use bags in circulation would mean less waste at city landfills. Two years later, an assessment commissioned by the city finds that the ban is having an unintended effect — people are now throwing away heavy duty reusable plastic bags at an unprecedented rate. The city’s good intentions have proven all too vulnerable to the laws of supply and demand. What’s true for Austin is likely true elsewhere. Plastic bag bans are one of America’s most popular environmental measures of recent years: since San Francisco became the first US city to implement a ban in 2007, more than 100 other US cities have joined the cause. [b:h2028xs5]While it’s been relatively easy to rally consensus around these bans, however, it’s been far harder to achieve significant results.[/b:h2028xs5] Part of the problem is that — despite the world-saving rhetoric that typically promotes and supports plastic bag bans — plastic bags simply aren’t that big of a problem. According to the national data recorded by the EPA in 2013, the weight of single-use plastic shopping bags amounted to around 0.28% of the total municipal solid waste that Americans generate. A more finely tuned litter survey in Fort Worth, Texas (reported in the Austin assessment) found that just 0.12% of the weight of litter in the city (which does not have aban) comes from single-use bags. Nonetheless, as proponents of bag bans rightly point out, weight isn’t the only measure of environmental impact. Single-use plastic bags pose outsized problems in the form of visual pollution on the landscape — South Africans joke that plastic bags are their “national flower,” due to their propensity to hang on branches — and damage and delays at high-tech recycling centres. (Reusable bags usually aren’t eligible for recycling, but when they end up at centres by mistake, they often wrap around and jam moving equipment.) Single-use bags can also pose health hazards to wildlife and livestock — during a recent trip to Dubai, I heard a plastic recycler lament that ranched camels frequently die from ingesting the plastic bags that are constantly catching flight in the desert wind — and even when they do wind up at landfills, they take centuries to decompose. There’s little doubt that targeted bans can mitigate these kinds of effects by cutting down on the use of reusable bags in the first place. In Austin, for example, a post-ban survey found that single-use plastic bags accounted for only 0.03% of the total litter collected in the city in 2015. Assuming the pre-ban rate was closer to the 0.12% in nearby Fort Worth, that marks a roughly 75% reduction of single-use plastic bags in Austin’s landfills. [b:h2028xs5]But, as the Austin assessment pointedly notes, reducing the use of a product that’s harmful to the environment is no guarantee of a positive environmental outcome.[/b:h2028xs5] Among the main environmental benefits of Austin’s ban was supposed to be a reduction in the amount of energy and raw materials used to manufacture the bags. To that end, the city encouraged residents to instead use reusable bags. Those bags have larger carbon footprints, due to the greater energy required to produce their stronger plastics, but the city figured the overall impact would be lower, as consumers got acquainted with the new, more durable product. What the city didn’t foresee is that residents would start treating reusable bags like single-use bags. The volume of reusable plastic bags now turning up at the city’s recycling centres has become “nearly equivalent to the amount of all of the single use bags removed from the recycling stream as a result of the ordinance implemented in 2013”, according to the assessment. And those lightly used bags are landfill-bound, because recycling isn’t any more cost-effective for reusable plastic bags than the single-use variety. Some of these issues could be addressed through the increased use of reusable canvas bags. [b:h2028xs5]But canvas is even more carbon intensive to produce than plastic; studies suggest consumers would need to use a single canvas bag around 130 times before they start achieving any net environmental benefit as compared with a single-use plasticbag. [/b:h2028xs5]And, for some consumers, the higher price for canvas bags may be prohibitive, in any case. Austin deserves to be commended for its candid assessment of what its plastic bag ban has actually accomplished; it’s probably not the only city where a ban has produced unintended environmental consequences. That shouldn’t deter the scores of other cities in the US and elsewhere considering their own plastic bag bans. But it should encourage a more thorough and realistic assessment of what such a ban can actually accomplish, and what damage it might inflict along the way. When it comes to environmental policy, good intentions often aren’t good enough. ©2015 Bloomberg View Adam Minter is an American writer based in Asia, where he covers politics, culture, business and junk. 20/08/15

    • 1 replies, 6,860 views

    Thai news stories

    Booze ban not gonna happen!

    By jon.b, Created on: 28/07/2015, Last updated on: 15/10/2015

    » Soi Cowboy won't stop serving alcohol! The proposed ban on alcohol sales within 300 metres of schools (Cowboy is within this range) would see too big a fallout in tourism. [img:24e7rhtq]http://www.bangkokpost.com/media/content/20150728/1120788.jpg[/img:24e7rhtq]

    • Bernie22 commented : This proposed booze ban is a waste of everybody's time and effort. Yes, alcohol consumption is a problem in Thailand as it is in many countries of the world. But if students wish to obtain alcohol they will do so irrespective of the 300m rule. They may even walk 400m to obtain some. The Thai government needs to think in terms of what may be an effective response to alcohol misuse. A broad public education program within schools and universities might be a good start. That broad public education program might also include a factual/balanced discussion on the dangers of other drugs.

    • faranginkorat commented : Maybe they will close the school.

    • 5 replies, 10,811 views

    Living in Thailand - adjusting + settling in

    Buying merchandise tip

    By jon.b, Created on: 02/07/2015, Last updated on: 18/07/2015

    » Shop assistants always show the most expensive version of an item in the department stores here, without pointing out lower price models. Example, bought a flying fairy toy for the kid. I was shown one, (yes it was certainly pricier for what it was, electric) that was 2500 baht. I knew there was...

    • augratin commented : This is probably true in most places where the salespeople are paid on commission.

    • 1 replies, 4,399 views

    Thai news stories

    Oooh, those Thai girls!

    By jon.b, Created on: 25/06/2015, Last updated on: 25/06/2015

    » Thais now make up the second biggest group of visa overstays in Japan, since the 15-day free visas for Thai citizens was introduced July 1st, 2013. The Japan embassy was quoted as saying many Thais went to Japan on 15-day tourist visa and tried to find work there illegally. These people ended up...

    • 0 replies, 6,120 views

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