California - 2010 in San Francisco

Journal Entries

February 24, 2010 - San Francisco, California

My time spent in California has been researching the American culture and what constitutes an American culture. Again, as in the last time I was here during the Fall of 2006 and the Spring of 2007, I have been listening to KPFA radio and many editorials:
Earthquake in Haiti
Opinions of president Obama
Howard Zinn, - People's History of the United States
Iris Chang - "The Rape of NanKing"
David Swanson - Lets Try Democracy
Tea Party Movement
Glenn Grenwald - "Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics"

The job market is on everyones mind and I can see a contraction of new job openings. All the teaching positions I had the last time I was here have vanished and there is a freeze on hiring new teachers in the ESL field. However, the Singularity University in Moffett Field California headed by Ray Kurzweil and the newsletter editor Amara Angelica provide new ways at looking at the the new developments in technology. Digital technologies are changing people lives with how they use these technologies with Apple Corp. coming out with the new iPAD and the ever increasing use of the iPOD and iPHONE. It is with all these new digital technologies that I have begun and extensive research project on Learning in the Digital Age. I will be teaching in the Language Institute at Bangkok University in June where I hope to create a learning lab to develop lesson plans using these digital tools for learning.
The completion of the International Space Station was a high light in February with the addition of the Tranquility node so the occupants can now see out of a seven port window allowing a panoramic view of Earth below and the stary heaven above.

The watching of the TV series Heroes, Season #1 and #2, has been highly entertaining. It's as if this series is a portent of things to come. Will genetic anomalies start occuring within the human genetic structure giving humans special powers as we continure into the 21st century? Will our intelligence increase? Heroes presents many strange posibilities showing how these new powers can be used for the betterment of humankind as well as their destructive capabilities.

May 20, 2010 - Rangsit, Thailand

From April 10th until now the escalation of violence has run its course leaving over 50 dead and thousands wounded as Bangkok continues to burn as the city was set to fire as the angry protestors took one last hit against their perception of the Thai empire. I witnessed the April 10th assult leaving many dead and was even caught being locked inside the BTS station nar Silom Road. If you were traveling in Bangkok it was very easy to have your itinerary interupted.
But now a more serious mood hovers over the land of smiles. The Prime Minister says he will get the country back to normal. Everyone sure hopes for that but its obvious some very deep wounds have been inflicted on far too many people to make this an easy solution to what are the under lying problems beseting Thailand.
Every news outlet has tried its best to portray what is happening in Thailand but evrytime they do the response is that outsiders don't understand our country. Comments such as how the military showed understanding and did not use aggression to oust the protestors is the hallmark of behavior portrayed by Thai leaders.
I teach at Bangkok University (Rangsit Campus) and the entire facility is closed and has been for over a week. What runs through the students minds is my concern. Would basic education in Political Science be helpful for the next generation to solve their political problems? At the moment the city of Bangkok is smoldering and there is an emotional shock wave that has traveled around the globe. How could the land of smiles end up like this?

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