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Fiftieth Anniversary of James Bond Film You Only Live Twice

Jun 19, 2017 | 0 comments


There are several interesting aspects regarding this event - the author first visited Japan about fifty years ago, lived there in the early seventies and has developed a new fondness for spending a bit of R&R in Japan. Ian Fleming had a close connection with Japan based on the people, his love for sushi and sake, and spent considerable time with a yakuza gang boss who was subsequently murdered. The yakuza tie is a coincidental bit as the author also spent some time with a yakuza gang boss at The Siam Hotel in Bangkok. You might not recognize a yakuza...

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An Oil Mess in Myanmar

Jun 12, 2017 | 0 comments


For those of us who are conservationists, environmentalists and just happen to be in the oil industry to fund these passions, there is an awful situation in Myanmar that was brought to the attention of the world by Adam Dean's article entitled Drilling for a Dream in Myanmar. It included his striking photography and was in a recent edition of The New York Times. However, first we need to review a bit of history of the oil industry in Burma which is now known as Myanmar.Early British explorers found oil there in 1795 from hand-dug oil wells and exported the...

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Ranger Uniforms in Cambodian Elephant Preserve

Jun 12, 2017 | 0 comments


In our blog of April 24, 1917, Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) in Cambodia, we commented on our efforts to assist The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in their support of the Wildlife Alliance and the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia’s Cardamom National Park wildlife protection program. The proceeds of our purchase of actual ranger jackets resulted in the presentation of new uniforms to the rangers as shown below. Each purchase of a jacket from The Elephant Story will result in further uniform supplies to the rangers. The ranger shown here looks pretty happy with his new clothes. The water-resistant...

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Baan Bat Alms Bowls

Jun 05, 2017 | 0 comments


In previous blogs, we have discussed the Thai concept of making merit (tham boon) by offering sustenance to Buddhist monks in the morning to provide their nourishment and other needs for the day. Lay Buddhists offer the food to pay their respect to Buddhist monks. Therefore, an alms bowl (bat) is a very significant possession for a Buddhist monk. In a small village in Bangkok, the Baan Bat (home of the alms bowl) community continues to make alms bowls as they have for over 300 years. Moreover, the technique is much the same over this period utilizing the ancient method...

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Myanmar-Ground Zero for Asian Elephant Conservation (Part 2 of 2)

May 29, 2017 | 0 comments


After one year in office, the NLD under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi does not get high marks, despite the fact that Suu Kyi is worthy of sainthood after some 20 years of house arrest following a trip from the UK to visit her ailing mother. On the other hand, the political strength of the NLD is severely crippled as the military still retains veto power over most anything the NLD might choose to do. Further, a disillusioned, very low voter turnout at the recent by-elections evidences the difficulties Aung San Suu Kyi faces in turning around the...

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