Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Online games based on films, cartoons and video games

Just a quick reminder to anyone who's interested that you can play hundreds of fantastic free online games based on films, cartoons, TV shows and video games at these great sites:

The Cartoons, Movies and TV Online Games Site
(Flash online games based on Star Trek, Star Wars, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety, Taz, Scooby-Doo, Flintstones, Tom and Jerry, Hong Kong Phooey, Wacky Races, SpongeBob SqaurePants, Avatar the Last Airbender, Naruto, Ben 10, Garfield, Power Rangers, Transformers, Ninja Turtles, Matrix, Hellboy, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Harry Potter, Simpsons, Futurama, South Park, Betty Boop and many more)

The Disney and Pixar Online Games Site
(Flash online games based on Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia, Lion King, Lilo and Stitch, Bolt, Princess and the Frog, Disney Princess, Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear, Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, Incredibles, Cars, Lightning McQueen, Ratatouille, WALL-E, UP and many more)

The Shrek, Ice Age and Other CG Movies Online Games Site
(Flash online games based on Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs Aliens, Flushed Away, Shark Tale, Ice Age, Horton, Robots, Happy Feet, Astro Boy and many more)

The Mario, Sonic, Nintendo and Sega Online Games Site
(Flash online games based on Super Mario, Luigi, Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Super Smash Bros, Pokemon, Kirby, Legend of Zelda and Megaman)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thailand political unrest, April 2010 - another update

(This follows on from my recent posts on this subject which you can read here and here.)

I am very sad to have to report that last night there was some extremely serious trouble in Bangkok. Unfortunately 19 people died and over 800 were injured when fighting broke out between the "Red Shirt" anti-government protestors and the Thai military who were trying to disperse them from one of the areas of central Bangkok where they had gathered in great numbers.

There still seems to be no end in sight to this increasingly violent political unrest as neither side appears to be willing to back down. The "Red Shirts" are demanding that the current government (which they believe is an undemocratic and corrupt military-backed puppet of the Thai rich elite) be disolved and that new fair democratic elections be held immediately.

But there is no sign of that happening - the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, is refusing to give in to their demands. So, despite the tragic events of last night, there are still many thousands of protestors on the streets of Bangkok, which of course means there could be more serious fighting again at any time.

It is a very sad time now for my country, and clearly despite what all of us thought before, it is no longer safe for any foreign tourists to be in Bangkok. However, the rest of Thailand is still very safe, although I don't suppose many tourists will be coming here now. Oh dear me.

If you are a foreigner currently staying in Thailand, I recommend that you check the internet for the latest news before you decide what to do and where to go next. That way you can be sure you have the most up-to-date information. There are internet cafes in almost every town and city in Thailand, and if you have a Thai SIM card for your mobile phone, you should be able to use the GPRS/EDGE or WAP mobile phone internet easily enough, normally for around 1 Baht per minute. (And if you don't have a Thai SIM, again almost every town and city has mobile phone shops that sell them quite cheaply.)

Update on April 14, 2010 at 1:50 PM: Sadly, the official death toll from Saturday night's violence has now risen to 23, because 4 people seriously injured in the clashes have since died in hospital.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thailand political unrest, April 2010 - an update

Further to my post a few days ago about the ongoing political protests here in thailand, specifically in Bangkok, here is a very interesting and well-written news article regarding the situation from yesterday's New York Times:

Thai Protesters Refuse to Leave Central Bangkok District

Published: April 5, 2010

BANGKOK — Convoys of anti-government protesters coursed through Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon while thousands more demonstrators remained in the commercial heart of the city, where they continued to defy government orders to disperse.

Crowds of protesters steadily pushed back lines of unarmed soldiers in an attempt to make their way into the important commercial and tourist district of Sukhumvit in central Bangkok. It was nearly a festive atmosphere, with the protesters, known as red shirts, hugging and shaking hands with smiling soldiers.

“There’s no need to be afraid,” an army officer told the crowds through a bullhorn.

He then handed the bullhorn to a protest leader who shouted to the soldiers, “Join us!”

It was a scene of some camaraderie, and in recent days there has been talk in the capital of “watermelon soldiers” — green on the outside, red on the inside.

But there have been political and economic consequences to the ongoing protests as well. Many shopping malls were closed for a third day, and 43 bank branches in Thailand’s capital were shut as the economic toll of the protests rose.

On the outskirts of Bangkok, protesters broke into the Election Commission building, demanding the acceleration of an investigation into charges that a large Thai company made a multimillion-dollar payment to the governing Democrat Party. The group left after securing an agreement that results would be released on April 20, more than a week earlier than scheduled.

Protest leaders have kept the city on edge for the past three weeks with unpredictable processions of motorcycles and pickup trucks. They say they want to highlight double standards that benefit the elite at the expense of the poor.

Business groups said the protests had caused tens of millions of dollars in lost business over the past two days, not counting damage to the tourism industry and the country’s image.

So far, the government has not used force against the protesters. On Monday, it sought a court order to make protesters leave the commercial area and prevent them from entering other busy neighborhoods in Bangkok. The court turned down the order, however, saying the government already had such power under the Internal Security Act, which the government has invoked.

The protests stem from a 2006 military coup that removed Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon turned prime minister, after which the political party he led and a successor party were dissolved by the courts. Mr. Thaksin, who is overseas and has been sentenced in absentia on corruption charges, is still very popular in rural areas.

In theory, the Democrat Party of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva could itself face dissolution if it is found guilty of accepting the illegal donation. Protesters describe it as a test case for the fairness of the system.

Publicly, the protest leaders, who claim to represent the prai, or lower-class Thais, are maintaining a hard line, demanding that Mr. Abhisit dissolve Parliament and call new elections.

“It is necessary for us to stage a fight this way,” Nattawut Saikua, a protest leader, was quoted as saying in the Thai news media. “The current situation is too severe to be treated with painkillers. It has reached a state where surgery is required.”

But with the Thai New Year, a major holiday, next week, the endgame for the protesters is unclear. The cheering bystanders who greeted the protesters when they first began their protests appear to have thinned, though they have not disappeared.

Suthichai Yoon, a well-known Thai columnist, wrote Monday that the red shirts were alienating Bangkok residents by paralyzing the shopping district.

“If the reason for the blockade is to invite people in Bangkok to join their cause of demanding that the prime minister dissolve Parliament, then there isn’t any need to do something this extreme as to cause the pulse of the city’s business center to come to a halt,” Mr. Suthichai said.

For myself, I wish to apologise to anyone and everyone who is adversely affected by these protests. But please try to understand that there is so much corruption here in the Thai governmental system that in fact it is much more newsworthy when someone is found NOT TO BE CORRUPT than when someone is found to be corrupt! Really!! So these protests are a good thing, at least in so far as they are highlighting to all Thai people, and all the watching world, just how bad this corruption problem is.

Mario and Sonic free game downloads (additional info)

The MarioSonicGames.com website now has 9 fantastic free Flash games that have been specially made for the site. You can download them and use them in your own web space or site if you wish, or download them and play them on your computer without the further need of an internet connection (.zip compressed files):

Newest game:

  Sonic the Hedgehog: Super Sonic Pinball

(View it and play it online here: Super Sonic Pinball Online)

Other games:

  Super Mario Bros.: Mario Matchit

(View it and play it online here: Mario Matchit Online)

  Super Mario Bros.: Paper Mario World

(View it and play it online here: Paper Mario World Online)

  Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Matchit

(View it and play it online here: Sonic Matchit Online)

  Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Sky Chase

(View it and play it online here: Sonic Sky Chase Online)

  Sonic Sky Chase (2nd Version)

(View it and play it online here: Sonic Sky Chase (2nd Version) Online)

  Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's Whack-A-Nik

(View it and play it online here: Amy's Whack-A-Nik Online)

  Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Abstracta

(View it and play it online here: Sonic Abstracta Online)

  Super Mario Bros.: Super Shy Guy Universe

(View it and play it online here: Super Shy Guy Universe PSP Online)

To use the downloads and play the games, click on any of the links above, then select "Save" for the .zip compressed file that will be downloaded, and select a folder on your computer to save the .zip file into. Once the .zip file has downloaded successfully, unzip it and then you can play the game by double-clicking on the .htm file that was unzipped. (Note that the .htm file is an offline webpage that runs the .swf file which is the actual Flash game - you don't need an active internet connection to run it.)

To use the games in your own website, simply upload the .htm webpage files (which you may want to modify to your own site's style first) and the .swf Flash game files to your webspace, link to the .htm files from you site's home page, and you and your visitors can then play the games in your site. Enjoy! :-)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thailand political unrest, April 2010

If you are coming to Thailand any time soon you should check with your travel agent/tour arranger, and/or search Google for the latest news updates, before coming to Bangkok, because there are now some much more serious problems concerning the ongoing political protests.

The protestors known as the "Red Shirts" (who represent the majority of Thai people, specifically the rural poor) are planning to expand their protests out into the popular business and tourist areas of Bangkok soon, in order to further press their demands for immediate and fair democratic elections.

While this increased action will probably be applauded by a great many Thai people, it will of course have unfortunate consequences for foreigners wishing to enjoy famous places in Bangkok such as Silom/Patpong, the Siam shopping areas, the Pratunam/Chit Lom shopping areas and Sukhumvit/Nana.