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Hi friends, thanks for reading Newley’s Notes.
A huge story this week here in Asia has been the death of Thailand’s king, Bhumibol Adulyadej (an issue I’ve been following closely given the years we lived in Bangkok). Some of our WSJ stories have looked at the potential economic impact on Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which has already been struggling; and the beginning of the funeral process:
Tens of thousands of people, many dressed in black and weeping, knelt in the streets of Thailand’s capital Friday as a convoy carried the body of King Bhumibol Adulyadej to the city’s Grand Palace from the hospital where he died the day before.
It was the beginning of a funeral process that could take months or even years to complete. The government has declared a one-year mourning period for King Bhumibol, who was 88 and reigned for 70 years.
In the short term, 64-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will become the country’s next monarch after he has taken time to grieve for his father, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has said.
As for the crown prince, the BBC is reporting today that government officials say he wants his coronation to be held off for a year or more.
“He said at this time everyone is sad, he is still sad, so every side should wait until we pass this sad time.”
FIVE ITEMS THAT ARE WORTH YOUR TIME THIS WEEK:
1) The new iPhone 7 takes some pretty badass photos. As this detailed blog post points out, the gadget’s dual-camera system allows for “Portrait Mode,” which is Apple-speak for depth effect. That’s he ability to achieve the kind of depth of field usually only possible with fancier cameras.
2) There are way more galaxies in our universe than previously believed. Bad news, if you’re already feeling cosmically insignificant: As The Guardian reports: “There are a dizzying 2 trillion galaxies in the universe, up to 20 times more than previously thought, astronomers reported on Thursday.” (I like this comment on story: "They’ll have to change the Monty Python Universe song again! <–video NSFW: galactically graphic depiction.)
3) "Was was the worst year in history? Slate posed that question to several authors and academics. 1914, the year World War I began, gets a lot of votes.
4) Lil Wayne gave an amazing interview to the NYT. My favorite of the rapper’s responses:
With this book, were you worried about revisiting a difficult time?
I haven’t read it, and I don’t plan on reading it. I’m not one of those people who revisit things. I don’t remember [expletive]. I could meet the president and forget it. Of course I thought it was because I smoke too much. But somebody told me: “The reason why you don’t remember things is that it’s not the same for you as it is everybody else. Because you are it.”
5) A guy put together a map of global airport WiFi passwords. It’s pretty impressive.
Have a great week, and let me know what’s new in your world.
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- In This Week’s Newley’s Notes: Alibaba in SE Asia; Social VC in Vietnam; ‘Pet Sounds’ Turns 50; Self-Elevating Chopsticks