Cockroach Reanimation at 2k views

My most popular YouTube vid, by far, is Cockroach Reanimation with Electro-stimulation, which just passed over 200,000 views. The viewing demographic is overwhelmingly 13-17 year old boys who like to point out that the cockroach “isn’t actually coming to life, it’s something about electrical impulses and nerves and something scientific-er than that, (insert insult of choice).”

I have mixed feelings about this vid – it’s brought out all the little Mr. Wizards and smartasses and even one scary guy who requested electrocution of bigger things – but in the end, it’s nice to have a kind of popular YouTube upload that I made with a $1 electronic device and a dead/reanimated (just kidding, kids!) insect:

“…credible and meaningful in foreign cultures.”

The university where I teach, Rajabhat Maha Sarakham, used to be a teacher’s training college. My uni is just one Rajabhat institute of about 40 spread all over Thailand, that were turned into universities by the king with something called the Rajabhat Act in 1995.¬†Therefore, when we clean up, move, or renovate offices and I see asset tags with “teacher’s college” or the like, I know I’ve found something at least 17 years old, and sometimes much older.

The last time somebody cleaned out a storage room on the 3rd floor, above my office on the 2nd floor, a bunch of cool old stuff was put out to be thrown away. I’ve started documenting what I’ve saved, and this is one of my coolest finds:

 

I’d never even heard of the¬†United States Information Agency before, and I can only assume that “U.S. Information Service” was an alternative name for the agency.

———————

Now if I can only find a working 16mm film projector!

Chris Delivery

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being Chris Delivery’s bodyguard (I got the job by looking “ex-yakuza.”) Fortunately, there were no kidnapping or assassination attempts, but he did get jumped by several groups of screaming fans wanting autographs and v sign photos (and, I suspect, a romantic evening under a private mango tree).

The talk he gave at our university was heartfelt and entertaining, and a great success by any measure. Props to my friend, Ajarn Kedsiree Jumpeehom, for setting it up and thanks to Chris for putting on an awesome show.

For a television personality with several shows, books, and other assorted projects known to pretty much everybody in Thailand, Chris is humble and just a generally great guy; he pretty much hates being grouped in with the snobby TV star set and keeps it real. I pretty much flipped when I heard that he personally teaches all of the classes at his English School in Central World (there’s a list of other teachers there so maybe he teaches all of the classes some of the time).

Here’s some shots showing the venue (the Main Hall at Rajabhat Maha Sarakham) and the turnout (around 1,500 at the start by my count, plus many more walk-ins changing with students leaving for classes part way through)

Pre-show meet & greet:

Pictured: Dean Sunee, Aj. Mayuree, Aj. Teera, Aj. Kedsiree, Chris Delivery

 

Almost go time:

Gauging crowds by counting rows, but sorely needing a wider lens:

Gauging crowds with the motorcycle index:

Gauging crowds with the broken toilet index:

After we reached Khon Kaen Airport, my detail ended by safely escorting the principal to the secure area, and I immediately proceeded to the airport shop to acquire a cold six-pack. All members of the escort team proceeded to the nearest McDonalds and many freshly-constructed McRibs were consumed the way Buddha intended them to be, with a freezing can of Leo. All in all, it was a great day, even if I did crash my goddamn car to start it off.

Random Links 11/22/2010

The Burger Lab: Revisiting the Myth of The 12-Year Old McDonald’s Burger That Just Won’t Rot
We all assumed it was due to preservatives/additives/salt content, but this experiment tries to determine the real reason with a control – homemade burgers.

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving
BEST ILLUSTRATIONS EVAAAR!!

Grandma’s Superhero Therapy
Interesting background story, but the curtains in the sandwich photo sealed it for me.

The Shadow Scholar: The man who writes your students’ papers
I felt like this in high school; I wrote around fifteen entrance exam essays for various universities with 100% success rate (and then didn’t make it into a UC myself due to a missing physics credit – I’m just a bad Amerasian).

dominant eye

Max can play with his legos and blocks all day when he’s in the mood. He actually prefers clay sculpting, drawing, and painting, but legos are great once in a while. Unfortunately, all he has is a cheapo set that doesn’t fit together too well (too loose), but I’m saving up to buy him a big bucket of the real thing.

Friday finality

I think I’ve finally got this blog up and running the way it should be, so I feel great.

Woke up this morning, went to buy a traditional Isan breakfast of sticky rice and skewered BBQ pork, as well as some fried doughballs and a bag of rice porridge. Brought it all back home, got Max ready, and took him to school. Found a roadside vendor selling fresh durian and had him break down a small (~.75 kgs whole) one for Nam – she loves them (I merely tolerate them). Came home again to Mina babbling and scooting around madly on her baby walker. It’s been a perfect start for the day.