I, Hiropro

I was a tester (paid in t-shirts) for the first color version of the Google logo on i-mode however many years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Gmail is the most important site/service to me, period. Some of the Google Suite is also indispensable. But my all-time favorite is Maps (and Earth).

Nothing else makes me feel quite like I lived through an important technological period than using cutting-edge tools with a huge initial wow factor which I eventually started taking for granted.

So beta testing new Maps features? Yes, please.

Maha Sarakham Police Using Sasumata

This is an interesting video I found on FB, purportedly from this article in the Nation, although I can’t find it there. It’s interesting mainly because the nonlethal weapon sasumata (known as a “man-catcher” in English) was adapted from an an ancient and very deadly samurai weapon of the same name (in Japanese, the English translation of which is “spear-fork”).

Ancient Sasumata (spear-fork)
Modern Sasumata (man-catcher)

 

Text from the Nation article:

Muang Maha Sarakham police demonstrate how to use sticks to subdue a suspect on Tuesday.

A video of Maha Sarakham police using Y-shaped and hooked sticks to subdue a frantic drunken man, which went viral on Monday, was part of a wider strategy, it was revealed.

It is part of Provincial Police Region 4 training to reduce injuries to suspects and arresting police when attempting to subdue knife-wielding or agitated people, said Muang Maha Sarakham precinct superintendent Colonel Chairoj Nakharaj. He said that once a week since last year, each precinct under Provincial Police Region 4 has had a team of four officers trained in how to use three Y-shaped and one hook-shaped stick to subdue suspects. The hook stick is used to pull a suspect off their feet and the Y-shaped sticks are used to hold them down.
Chairoj said the method is used only when deemed appropriate. The incident in the video, which went viral after its was posted on the precinct’s Facebook page, took place on Saturday after police were alerted to a drunken man wielding an object that looked like a long knife wrapped in a cloth at the Maha Sarakham Bus Station.
He was arrested for creating a public disturbance.

Related links:
Sasumata demonstration video at Japanese school (YouTube)
Teachers pin down knife-wielding man with two-pronged ‘man catcher’ (JapanToday article)

 

Tacos de Larb

The ultimate Thai-Mexican fusion:

This was, again, an awesome leftover mashup. Larb made from chicken is fairly uncommon, but I found a local food stand that makes it really well… At 20 baht per bag, I’m happy whenever it’s available. I added some shallots to the mango salsa from the other day, and used up the rest of our taco stuff from last week. Verdict: SPICY MOVE!

Kon-Tiki – The Best Fishing Movie Ever?

I don’t remember the last time I saw this movie, but it must have been around 35 years ago… I can’t believe how good it is. This might be my favorite one-hour movie, and perhaps my favorite documentary, ever. There are just these gems of knowledge and experience spread throughout the whole voyage. Gonna watch the Hollywood remake from a few years ago next.

Bengal Currants (carissa carandas)

Mamuang hau manao ho

I only started commonly seeing these berry-like fruits this year. They seem to be growing in popularity up here in Issan, but I suspect they were brought here from another part of Thailand, where they are apparently have shorter names: Nam daeng and nam phrong.
They are apparently used in India for pickles.

I had started calling these Lao Cherries, but there are a couple other fruits already called that (plus they don’t seem to be from this area), so I finally just looked it up.

So the important thing: Do they taste good?

They taste like vitamin C punched you in the throat. Like the sourest mango and unripe lemon (hence the name? Mamuang = mango; Manao = lemon/lime) in the world are frolicking on your tongue. So naturally, Thais eat them dipped in chili sugar and stupid farang stuff three in their mouth at a time to see if it can be done in a sort of personal stupidity challenge.

So wikicheatia has a long paragraph on names for this fruit which, in the spirit of university plagiarism, I will only only slighty modify before pasting here:
Arduina carandas
Capparis carandas
Carissa salicina
Echites spinosus
Jasminonerium carandas
Jasminonerium salicinum

karonda (Devanagari)
karamardaka (Sanskrit)
kauLi hannu(Kannada)
karavanda(Marathi)
karauna (Maithili)
vakkay (Telugu)
Canta- (Konkani)
maha karamba (Sinhala)
kilaakkaai (Tamil)
karau(n)da (unknown)
karanda (unknown)
karamda (unknown)
kerenda (in Malaya)
karaunda (Malaya/India)
Bengal currant (South India)
Christ’s thorn (South India)
nam phrom (Thailand)
namdaeng (Thailand)
caramba (Philippines)
caranda (Philippines)
caraunda (Philippines)
perunkila (Philippines)
Karja tenga (Assam)
Koromcha(Bengali)

My Kujira Crown in Pattaya in 1979?

I happened to be watching an 8mm home video of a German family visiting Pattaya in the late 70’s and spotted what could very well be my MS-60 Toyota Crown:

It seems to be the right color and model, and these cars were originally used for government bigwigs, so it’s possible that one of them parked it right in front of the Regent Hotel back then. I’m not sure of the number imported back then, but I’ve heard stories of a parking lot filled with old ones out of service. Wish I knew where it was!

Sci-Fi Action Ultraviolence

Nobody is doing it better than OATS STUDIOS right now, and they are currently creating short films to see where demand lies…

Do you prefer aliens enslaving humanity and a last-ditch resistance led by Sigourney Weaver, or horrific mutant undead action in Vietnam? The latter is pretty creepy, but I could see either making it big if the effects stay on par with what they’ve created so far.

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you should check them both out.

And whoever created the propĀ Damasu 950 is a genius.