Thailand: Thai Writing System

The Thai written script is awe-inspiring from an artistic standpoint, filled with elegant characters. Once you learn to spot Thai script, it is very easy to distinguish from other Asian writing forms because of the small circular stroke terminals on many of the symbols. That is its most characteristic feature, and a truly beautiful quality. More on this later, though… … Read More

Geo-Joint: Volcan Paricutin

Farmers know their fate is tied to the natural cycles of rain, heat, cold, and insect invasion. They know their soil type limits the crops they can hope to grow, and that birds and varmints may take a bite out of their harvest. Nature is a kind of frenemy, but there are rules a farmer can expect to operate within—until … Read More

Thailand: Thai Language

There are an estimated 50 million Thai speakers worldwide. 85% of this population lives in Thailand, while the remaining 15% is found in smaller communities spread around the world. Sometimes referred to as Siamese, it is considered part of the Tai language family, which also includes Lao, the national language of Laos, the Shan language from Myanmar, and Zhuan, a … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Golden Gate Bridge

Though it’s hard to imagine when looking at it now, San Francisco was once empty hills, undeveloped beaches, and open wetlands. Its protective bay made the place a natural for the safe mooring of explorers’ ships, and eventually a small town developed. As we know, the discovery of gold in the mountains east of the city led to explosive growth … Read More

Thailand: Wat Pho: What You Need To Know

This week, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what you need to know to get the most from your visit. A FEW THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WAT PHOConnector.Dress AppropriatelyOf course, being a temple, make sure you are dressed respectably, with shoulders and knees covered, wearing shoes that can easily slip on and off. Of course, being a temple, make … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Sky on Fire – Catatumbo Lightning

Lightning can, and does, strike in the same place—not only twice, but many, many times. Of course, it helps if that place is the tip of a skyscraper in the Midwest. Tall, especially metallic objects, will provide the shortest and most attractive path for a charged cloud to let loose its abundance of electrical energy. Electrical and broadcast towers are … Read More

Thailand: Wat Pho

The city’s largest reclining Buddha, measuring 150 feet long. The largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand—over a thousand. The national headquarters for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine—including Thai massage.I recommend that if you are going to visit any temple in Bangkok, let this be the one. I recommend that if you are going to visit any … Read More

Geo-Joint: Pelagic Pyrosomes Present to the Playa

Source: Wikimedia: EncMstr (CC 4.0) You never know what you’ll find at the beach. Just about anything man-made can wash up, and you’ll always find the local shells and kelp. When the currents sometimes wander a little off course and the winds take odd turns, unexpected items can roll in with the waves. Recently, Pacific Coast beachwalkers from Oregon north to … Read More

Thailand: The Bathroom Talk

Now, you should be warned, I am not afraid to get real with you on this blog. My mission is to give you an in-depth look at Thai life, and in this case, address one of the most frequent questions I get the first time someone’s “gotta go”: How does this work? What do I do? In the US, it’s … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Spring Break-up

Source: Wikipedia: Northwest Boreal LCC (CC 2.0) It’s that time of year again, when the sun has crossed over the equator, and spring is bringing everything in the Northern Hemisphere to life. The storms abate, the temperatures rise, and if you live where it’s cold enough in winter, you see the snow and ice begin to melt away. If you … Read More