Newley Purnell's home on the web since 2001

Month: September 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

Now up: My Quartz story on Thailand’s questionable economic policies

Think rice, rubber, and cars. The story is here.

Self-Promotion: My Story is on the Site’s ‘Most Popular’ List

2013 09 22 nyer

I’m delighted that my recent story, which I mentioned earlier, has made it to the site’s “most popular” list; the piece has been shared one thousand times on Facebook and has been Tweeted sixty times.

The list is visible on the right side of the home page, pictured above.

‘Warning: Trains Arrive on Time’

An entertaining headline and story from The Bangkok Post today:

Rail passengers in Phitsanulok are being warned that trains stopping there will be more punctual during the 45-day track maintenance period for the far northern railway, and should ensure they arrive at the station on time so they don’t miss their train.

Saksing Wongsanguansodsri, chief ticket officer at Phitsanulok station, said trains will no longer be up to two hours late, as in the past, because the south-bound service would now leave from Sila-art station in Uttaradit, which is only about 100km away, and not Chiang Mai, which is 362km distant.

9 Links

Some Thailand-related, some not:

  1. Indian Miss America resonates as symbol of change — The AP
  2. The Five Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done —
  3. The Twitter of Tomorrow —
  4. Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Lays Out His Plan For The Future Of Media — TechCrunch
  5. Bribespot: Fighting Corruption in Thailand One Click at a Time — VOA
  6. A Most Dangerous Journey: The Full StoryWSJ/Southeast Asia Real Time
  7. Instapaper on the Kindle Paperwhite — David Smith
  8. How Alan Hansen and Match of the Day slipped from hip to horribleThe Guardian
  9. Video embedded above and on YouTube here: “Fantasista animation – Maradona vs England” (Via)

(Previous link round-ups are available via the links tag.)

My Story on a Red Bull Heir and Inequality in Thailand

2013 09 13 nyer

Up now over at a story I wrote about a Red Bull heir, a hit-and-run, and what the data reveals about income distribution here in Thailand.

The Thai Air Logo Paint Job, Crisis Communications, and Social Media

A couple of Tweets I appended to my last post:

A WSJ Southeast Asia Real Time post explains that such logo masking was once more common. But that was before social media:

A common practice by airlines trying to reduce negative publicity about accidents – masking their company logo on a plane involved in a mishap – is proving ineffective in the social-media age, when passengers and onlookers can snap photos and put out unflattering comments to a global audience within minutes of an incident.


It is now not considered best practice in the airline community to do this,” said John Bailey, the managing director of Icon International, a communications firm that also advises airlines on crisis management.

He pointed out that passengers and airport visitors commonly have smartphones with cameras, marking quite a different world than two decades ago when airlines commonly masked their logos on damaged planes.

“The environment has changed, and the challenge for airlines is infinitely more complicated. If an accident happens in a visible and populated area, the airline can’t hope to match the speed of response of eyewitnesses and survivors,” said Mr. Bailey, who previously worked with the International Air Transport Association.

Update: Thai Airways Logo Paint Job Makes Headlines

An update to my previous post

Update two: September 10 — see Tweets embedded at the end of this post. Star Alliance said last night that “painting over of logos” is not Star Alliance policy. And an emailed statement from Thai Airways shortly thereafter confirmed this.

The AP on last night’s accident:

A Thai Airways Airbus 330-300 skidded off the runway while landing at Bangkok’s main airport after its landing gear malfunctioned, the airline said Monday. Thirteen people were injured while evacuating the plane.

After the accident, workers on a crane blacked out the Thai Airways logo on the tail and body of the aircraft, as part of an effort to protect the airline’s image according to Star Alliance guidelines, an official said. It was the second mishap in less than two weeks for Thailand’s national carrier.


Thai Airways official Smud Poom-On said that “blurring the logo” after an accident was a recommendation from Star Alliance known as the “crisis communication rule,” meant to protect the image of both the airline and other members of Star Alliance.

Then came a Business Insider post, accompanied by Reuters photos, with the headline:

Airline Awkwardly Blacks Out Logo From Jet That Skidded Off The Runway

Click through to see the pics.

Elsewhere, The Guardian has a video, embedded below.

There’s more from The Independent.

Meanwhile, the WSJ has a story putting the accident into perspective:

Two Chinese nationals were hospitalized Monday afternoon after a Thai Airways International PCL THAI.TH +7.69% airliner skidded off the runway on landing at Bangkok’s international airport, in the flag carrier’s most serious mishap in over a decade.


Thai Airways said the A330 aircraft in April underwent a comprehensive maintenance check, which occurs once every five years. It also said the captain in command of the Sunday flight had over 14 years of flying experience. Hours after the incident, Thai Airways applied black paint on parts of the jet to cover the airline name, logo, and registration number, a move the airline said was done according to international practices following an accident.

Indeed, as I Tweeted earlier:

Update 2:


Thai Airways Plane Veers Off Suvarnabhumi Runway; 13 Injured

2013 09 09 thai airways

  • Happened late last night (Sunday night), Bangkok Post reports.
  • Flight TG679, from Guangzhou.
  • Nose gear collapsed; plane slid off runway
  • At least 13 injured
  • Delays expected today (Monday) at Suvarnabhumi airport

The Bangkok Post reports:

A Thai Airways International flight from China veered off the runway as it arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport Sunday, and the airline said at least 13 people were injured in the rough landing.

Authorities at the airport said they could not clear the accident, and flight delays were likely Monday.


THAI president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said the airline had not moved the aircraft from the runway, which was blocked as of Monday morning. There was no need to switch flights to Don Mueang airport, as Suvarnabhumi could manage the situation.

However, some delays are expected for both inbound and outbound flights using the airport on Monday, he said.

The Nation has a story and some photos.

For more, you can see the Thai Airways Twitter feed:

And Richard Barrow has also been Tweeting some images and other information.

Note that Thai Airways says 14 were injured; Bangkok Post says “at least 13”; Nation says 13.

Programming Note: I’m Back in Bangkok..

…and after a year in the U.S., experiencing, once again, Thailand’s glorious tropical heat. (And it’s not even hot season.)

The temps here remind me of this May 2012 Tweet and photo from Annelie (@a_nnelie):

Sometimes that’s truly how it feels here, especially when you’re coming from cooler climes.

Thailand Rubber Farmers’ Protests Continue

Reuters reports today:

Thailand faced pressure on Friday to end a two-week protest by rubber farmers after violent overnight clashes between riot police and a group of protesters who hurled rocks and bottles filled with an acidic liquid.

Police fired tear gas to disperse a group of protesters in Prachuap Khiri Khan province on a main road from Bangkok to the southern beach resort region of Phuket. At least 21 policemen were injured, authorities said.

“Acid and rocks were thrown at police, leaving one officer with a serious injury. Orders were issued to use teargas after a group of youths, who were not part of the protest, fired at police,” Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok said on Friday.

For more, see stories from The AP, AFP, Al Jazeera, and The Bangkok Post.

And for an interesting look at Thailand’s rubber market, see this Bangkok Pundit post:

One thing that has surprised BP regarding the recent protests by rubber farmers is when analyzing the issue that little coverage is given to the actual rubber market. Successive governments have provided price support/subsidies for rice and rubber, but in slightly different forms. BP views there is a key reason for this and that is the markets for rice and rubber are quite different. This issue seems to be glossed over. One big difference is the existence of synthetic rubber.

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