Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Philosophy Football

The latest press release from those nice folks at www.philosophyfootball.com:

OUT today the brand new Hope not Hate for London T-shirt at www.philosophyfootball.com

The shirt raises valuable funds for community-led campaigns against the BNP organised by Searchlight magazine. Details from www.hopenothate.org.uk/london

Whether or not you're a Londoner the threat that the BNP may get elected to the Greater London Assembly on 1 May is a frightening prospect. And this is a very real threat. The GLA elections use proprtinal representation, the BNP only need 5%, they consistently do better than this in local elections, have a strong base in Barking already and are expected to pick up many UKIP votes who in 2004 had two members elected to the GLA when the vote coincided with Euro elections, damaging the BNP vote. If the BNP succeed in getting elected this would be their most significant breakthrough yet, by mobilising and maximising the vote for all other parties a broad-based Hope not Hate campaign stands the best chance of stopping the BNP.

Wear the shirt combining one of London's most well-known symbols with our sunshine beacon of hope. Special campaign low-price just £14.99 from www.philosophyfootball.com

Monday, February 04, 2008

Those naughty Thais

What to make of this story, from the interesting "First Post" internet newspaper:

Drug scares are a regular occurrence in Thailand. In the 1980s, the great fear was 'China white' heroin. In the 1990s, methamphetamine came along. Now there is a new drug on the Siamese streets - and it is truly bizarre.

The narcotic is known colloquially as '4 x 100'. The name comes from its four main ingredients: Coca-Cola, cough syrup, boiled kratom leaves, and crushed-up coils of mosquito repellent.

Three of these ingredients can be found in the average supermarket. Kratom is an endemic local weed with properties similar to marijuana: you can buy it anywhere in Thailand, for a few baht.

No one knows who first concocted this extraordinary mix. But everyone agrees that 4 x 100 comes from the country's roiled, insurgent south, where bored Muslim youths - forbidden alcohol by their religion - experimented with various substances, to see what could make them high. Somehow they hit on the 4 x 100 combination.

The resulting brew is drunk very quickly: because it tastes much as it sounds. The effect is like a slow-burning, hallucinogenic opiate. The user is stupefied, but then becomes agitated - as the dreams and visions kick in.

With an ailing king worshipped as a demi-god, refugee crisis on its border with the Burmese, and low-level insurgency burning away in the Muslim south, is Thailand's future further imperiled now by its bored youth?