… Read the rest
The ocean’s culinary delights look pristine on our tables: peeled, processed and sterile. Now Western consumers are getting a taste of the human drudgery in the dregs of the supply chain.
News reports have surfaced of enslavement in the fisheries of Thailand. Men have reportedly been forced to work at boats for as many as twenty hours a day; disciplined with beatings, sometimes murders; often physically held captive on boats and at ports; and further preyed upon by usurious debts. The industry employs an estimated 650,000, with roughly 270,000 migrants on Thai fishing boats. Many have been trafficked from two poorer, less stable neighbors, Myanmar and Cambodia. Despite widespread reports of abuse and forced labor, regulatory bodies are weak and riddled with corruption, and we may never know how many have been subjected to this ferocious exploitation in order to keep our freezers stocked.
Tag Archives | Thailand
From Coconuts TV comes this look into the lifestyles of Bangkok’s self-described “Mexican gangsters.” The young men say that they picked up the style from YouTube videos, and have now formed their own gang. The members that they interview seem more like cosplayers than hardcore gangbangers to me: “During the day I work in an office. At night I’m a Mexican gangster” sounds pretty similar to “By day I’m Katie the customer service rep. At night I’m a steampunk princess!”
I’m not hatin’, though. Glad these guys are having fun. Wonder what real gangstas think of their Thai admirers?
Former NASA official Paul Milford Muller was found dead in his Thailand home with rope tied around his neck and genitals and surrounded by sex toys and meth. He was also the author of an “erotic thriller”…
… Read the rest
Muller worked for ten years at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, and served on the Apollo Navigation Team.
He wrote three books, including one called Suicide Inc., which he described as a ‘romantic and erotic thriller’. On the cover of the novel is a picture of a noose.
He grew up in Los Angeles and had a PhD in Physics/Astronomy.
Muller had recently joined Twitter and last posted on April 19.
On his bio on his website he states: ‘I write for personal enjoyment and work diligently to share with others. I respect readers and accept that you are the true judges of what we do.
via The Telegraph
A British man has been arrested in Thailand after being found with six foetuses that had been roasted and covered in gold leaf as part of a black magic spirit ritual.
The corpses of the unborn baby boys were found packed in a suitcase in his hotel room in Bangkok’s Chinatown district.
Chow Hok Kuen, 28, who holds a British passport but is of Taiwanese origin, confessed to police that he had bought the foetuses several days earlier for almost £4,000. The source of the foetuses is unclear.
He said he intended to smuggle them to Taiwan where they would be sold for as much as six times what he paid on the internet to people who believe that their possession would bring wealth and good luck.
… Read the rest
The man told police that he was hired by another Taiwanese man, named Kun Yichen, who regularly travelled to Thailand to collect the ritualistic foetuses.
Wired Science Writer Deborah Blum suspects foul play in a spate of poison deaths afflicting mostly young, female, western tourists:
Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands are famous for the sun during the day and beach-side cocktail parties at night. This summer, two Canadian sisters set off for a rite-of-passage trip to the islands’ white sands. They never came back.
Noemi, 25, and Audrey, 20, Belanger were found dead in their hotel room. Their deaths were among the latest in a series of mysterious deaths in Southeast Asia. Over the past few years, nearly a dozen young travelers, mostly Western women, have inexplicably died while traveling in the region.
The deaths have caught the attention of science writer Deborah Blum, who’s written about them in Wired magazine. A poison expert, Blum tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that a popular cocktail may hold a clue…
For those facing a run of bad luck and wanting to start things over, one Thai temple has an unusual solution: "rehearse" death with a mock funeral, including lying down in a coffin. Pram Manee temple in Nakorn Nayok province, 107 km northeast of Bangkok, holds two of the rituals every day: at exactly 9:09 a.m. and 1:09 p.m., since the number nine is believed by Thais to bring good luck. Participants in a recent ritual stood in front of their designated coffins, holding flowers and praying for bad luck to go away, then asked to receive good luck. All had paid 180 baht ($6) for the flowers, a white sheet and "merit set" — a collection of necessities sometimes including toothpaste, toothbrushes and food — to be offered to monks, and the promise of a better life ...
Pheu Thai Party list MP Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Thailand's 28th prime minister by a majority vote in the House of Representatives on Friday morning. A total of 296 MPs voted in support of Ms Yingluck, the country’s first female prime minister, while three Democrat MPs voted against her, with 197 abstentions - including Ms Yingluck, the new speaker and one of his deputies, and most members of the main opposition parties, the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, and the four members of the Rak Thailand Party led by Chuvit Kamolvisit. The three Democrat lawmakers who voted against Ms Yingluck were Boonyod Sukthinthai, Watchara Phetthong and Attaporn Ponlaboot. The four MPs who did not attend the House meeting today were Ratchadaporn Kaewsanit, Khanchit Thapsuwan, Yukol Chanawatpanya and Sathit Pitutaecha, all Democrats.
BANGKOK, Thailand (Wireless Flash) — Dying happy is an actual possibility — that is, if you follow one bizarre ritual. Bangkok-based writer Richard Rubacher is researching a weird, “magical” death ritual for his book-in- progress, Kissing Death.
“Santhara,” an ancient practice that originated in India, is the act of preparing oneself for death by fasting and not having any water. This supposedly releases “magical energy” in the body and purifies the mind and soul so that the person can die in a state of total bliss.
Rubacher says the person experiences joyful hallucinations in the process and falls into a permanently “delightful daze.” Meanwhile, their loved ones gather around and throw farewell parties to celebrate their euphoric exit. Rubacher believes people who choose to go this way die with a smile on their face — literally dying happy.
He’s traveling to India in the coming weeks to film people actively practicing “santhara” for a documentary.… Read the rest