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An Island of 31 Square Miles

15 years ago, there were rumors of a lone wild man living in the Amazon forest. The rumors were confirmed by sightings and, eventually, contact by Brazilian government officials who determined that he was the last survivor of an uncontacted tribe.

To protect him, they created a 31 square mile sanctuary which was meant to stop the encroachment of land-hungry settlers and loggers.

This is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a while and you can check it out over at Slate: The Most Isolated Man on the Planet

morning light

Nam woke up when it was still dark to go to Bangkok for a meeting. Max stayed at his grandparent’s house. Mina woke at about 6:15, later than usual, and only cried a little bit. I tucked her against my chest and she fell asleep again. She stayed nestled in my arms while the cool morning breeze whispered through the windows.

Sickly Gecko

Yesterday when looking for tools to make a gated baby fence, I found the smallest gecko I’ve ever seen. He was hiding under one of my tool bags and was suffering from some gross mold that had eaten away part of his body. Less than an inch long, the thickest part of his body was about 1/16″. He was too weak to run for very long, so I trapped him on a scrap of paper and put him outside on the window ledge where lazy insects like to congregate. I fear he wasn’t long for this world, so I hope he got a nice last supper.

Spontaneous glass breakage

Well, I’d heard of it before (wpedia link), but never seen it. Didn’t see it happen this time, either, but Nam said this glass pot lid (which was thankfully placed inverted on the pot for storage under the sink – this kept glass from flying around) suddenly exploded when I was in the shower half an hour ago.
The most common theories are installation damage (N/A here), thermal expansion or manufacturing impurities. However, another theory states that it might be caused by an “ultrasonic sound wave at a harmonic of the glass’ resonant frequency.”

Further thoughts on web usage

Facebook has become my outlet for posting the kind of silly stuff I sometimes felt self-conscious about posting here. It’s reeealy easy for me to post on FB in full-on brainfart mode. Cruuuuise control.
Is it just me, or is Facebook comprised of 30% lurkers, 20% game/quiz addicts, 5% people you regret friending at some point, 5% aspiring bloggers


Just thought I’d amend my statement from the other day:
Because, obviously, I am in Thailand, and I am walking.
Also, the only other guy I saw walking on my way home today was an illegal Shan.
I usually walk home from my university’s (Rajabhat Mahasarakham University) campus through another university’s (Maha Sarakham University) secondary campus, and then down a four lane highway to the entrance of our community. People offer me rides all the time, even if they don’t know me. They stop to ask what’s wrong. As in, did my car break down or something? And do I need a lift to the garage? This can be attributed to:

  • The fact that Thai people are really nice
  • Quite a few people that know me are driving the streets (although most of the people that stop don’t know me)
  • When Thais see somebody walking on the side of the road, they automatically think something is wrong

Your ride is a status symbol in any vertical society, but especially so in Thailand. The social pecking order (not related to right of way, et al.) goes something like this:
People in new or VIP cars –> people in new 4 door pickups –> people in new 2 door pickups or new non-VIP cars –> people in classic cars –> people in old (>3 years approx.) cars –> people on motorbikes –> truckers –> people using public transportation –> people on motorized farm vehicles made by Kubota –> people on motorized farm vehicles, non-Kubota –> people riding donkey pushcarts pulled by water buffalo –> people riding in imaginary sidecars –> bicyclists –> skaters –> and finally, the lowly pedestrians who have somehow reverted to bipedal locomotion.
For me to willingly go from the top of that list to the bottom (many car people think I maintain the best ride in town – my wife’s Cefiro A33 Brougham with VQ30, plus my car, the ’71 Crown) and hoof it in the hot sun is simply incomprehensible to the natives. Some people at work were apparently asking why I was walking home the other day, even though I had already explained I just wanted to walk for the exercise. I must make it clear to them I guess: I AM THE WALKING DUDE.
Maybe I should change into running clothes and a sweatband before I start walking every day. Maybe it’s not so wrong to think that there’s something strange about a fat guy in semi-formal attire sweating to death on the side of the road.