Vogue Thailand

Spotted a couple months ago while riding Bangkok’s BTS (skytrain). It took some time for this to percolate to YouTube but glad that it’s here…

Vogue’s new ads marking the magazine’s debut into Thailand … Eye catching.

Now that Vogue is here, the launch video is equally well produced.

As always, leave your comments below.

Facebook Security? Not if you’re from the Philippines ….

I’m paranoid. I cover the pin-pad when entering my code at the ATM. I look over my shoulder when I’m signing into websites in public locations and promptly change passwords thereafter. I only use public washrooms… if there’s nobody else inside.

Recently facebook launched a code generator to complement their SMS code verification system.

What? Oh ya … In English.

If you opt in, facebook has a feature where, if you sign in from an unknown computer, phone, tablet or whatever, they’ll send an SMS to your verified mobile phone number that you must enter in tandem with your username and password.

It’s a great security tool for those that may inadvertently disclose their password to someone … or a phishing site — without the code, your password is useless.

Unless, of course, they have your phone … (but that’s a different story)
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Thai Chicken Wing Challenge

I’ve been enamored with chicken wings since a very young age. I blame my mother. She had a way with chicken wings that could sway even the most devout raw vegan – her cooking is magic.

Later, as I developed into an adult, I encountered cheap chicken wing nights throughout the Calgary night scene. 5¢, 10¢ and sometimes the supremely overpriced 25¢ wings.

I became an aficionado – winglets, drumettes, suicide wings, Buffalo wings, Durkee’s (now Frank’s) hot sauce, salt and pepper, breaded, naked, Thai and more. For me, the spicier, the better.

Then one day, I met my match. On a field trip to Blaine, Washington, I convinced my friend, Ray, to indulge with me in the ‘Stupid Challenge’ at a place called the Hot Spot.

Those aren't just hot wings.. They're stupid hot wings!

100km from home, challenged to eat three measly chicken wings amped up on hot sauce rated at 10,000,000 Scoville units? Sure. Sounds like an intelligent decision.
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Raj’s tips for conquering Jet Lag

Update 5/20/2014 – airfarewatchdog has posted a nice article on what to eat before flying … also a good read (link at the end)

Update 12/28/2012 – On a recent trip aboard Emirates’ A380 to Hong Kong, I came across some additional tips which I’ve cited at the end of this article. Enjoy!

You’re a globetrotter. One day it’s breakfast in Prague and then on to lunch in London. You hop timezones, Tokyo, Toronto and back to Timbuktu in a matter of days.

Now if only you could lay the smackdown on that pesky Jet Lag.

Fear not, single serving friend! Follow my tips (below) and you’ll be on the ground, up and running, with no downtime.

As a world traveller, I find myself hopping large distances and needing to be switched on upon arrival. I practice yoga wherever I am as part of my daily regimen, which, for me, helps.

Here’s a few rules to follow that’ll help you never have to refer the words ‘Jet Lag’ ever again:

1) be fit wherever you go – break a sweat every day, your body will thank you

I’m a hot yoga fan. It’s pretty easy in most cities around the world to go out, stretch and break a sweat. This is way better than sitting idle in your hotel room watching whatever programming they have in store.

2) when you get on a plane, set your watch for your destination

You are now living the date and time of where you’re going, not where you left.

3) do not eat your meals at the plane-prescribed times – eat for your destination

Airlines are notorious for giving people meals based on departure. What’s worse is they feed you an insane amount of carbs, too! Yes, people get hungry and irritable if they’re not fed carbs but you are the exception.

More tips, after the jump … 
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The Yakuza gang, Samurai gang and the “Ano-ne” gang are faced off in the auction of the century. Swords are sharpened, bombs are ticking and missiles are locked.

Who will be the victor? Who will take home the coveted Onori seaweed snacks?

(BTW – a good synopsis of the commercial is available HERE on Bulsuk’s blog…)

… and this is precisely why I think Oishi Group in Thailand rocks. When I first used to frequent Oishi Group restaurants, I thought the company was run by an insane Japanese expat with either shady underworld connections (Yakuza) or at least an irreverence not really accepted in the day-to-day business culture of Japan.

I’ve never seen a Kaiten-style Shabu Shabu, or a Yakiniku buffet in Japan, but they’ve done it all and pushed a number of boundaries when it comes to Japanese fare or flare — the above commercial is just an example, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
(… more after the jump,)
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Commandments for Entrepreneurs by Ashok Rao

It’s almost been a year since I saw Ashok Rao, Global Chairman of TiE, present at the Four Seasons here in Vancouver and I’m surprised to see that he hasn’t received the press he deserves.

TiE Global Chairman Ashok Rao and Raj Taneja

During his presentation to TiE members in Vancouver, he outlined a number of commandments… or he referred to as Ashokisms. Every Entrepreneur ought to think about this, so here we go!

  1. Care passionately
  2. Be Intellectually Ruthless
  3. Don’t drink your own whiskey, don’t shave Superman
  4. Hire Trust, the price of Betrayal is Expensive
  5. Delegate everything, but never delegate Success
  6. Those who got you there, don’t get you out of there
  7. The best deals are made at the point of indifference
  8. A deal delayed is a deal betrayed
  9. Get 100% better by improving 1% in 100 areas
  10. Track your mistakes – not your successes
  11. During doldrums, precipitate a crisis and manage it
  12. You can go faster sometimes – by slowing down
  13. Don’t push the river, let it flow
  14. Indecision is like being pecked to death by blunt ducks
  15. If it feels wrong – IT IS!

So what does it all mean? Attendees of Ashok’s event certainly got a really good breakdown of each.  He’s certainly been around the block enough to give good advice – and the hope is that other people can glean some form of wisdom from the words above.

But, of course, it’s all contextual … and so, for those reading this, feel free to post a comment and ask a question. Ashok himself may even respond!


OMG?! You had to lie to become my facebook friend? #FAIL

I don’t think I need to remind people that what you say online will potentially stick with you forever, but it’s enjoyable to make fun of the occasional person who fails to remember this caveat.

If you can’t stand behind what you’ve been recorded as saying, chances are,  you’ll be called on it. Call this one my submission for the Online Darwin Awards…

Background: I have a fairly strict facebook friends policy – if I don’t know you or I haven’t met you at least once, I’m not going to accept your friend request. I’m online mostly to learn, communicate, and share stories / information with like minded people, not to amass a list of people that I can shamelessly market to. (enter the promoter-douchebag type)…

It was in May that my assistant announced to me one of the friend requests I recently received was from a Robbie Fullhouse who said he knew me from attending events put on by Full House Entertainment.

What you say online ... will stick with you - potentially forever

Quite likely, I mused, and asked my assistant to accept his request only after ensuring that he was aware of my preference for  NOT  receiving event invitations…

What you say online ... will stick with you - potentially forever

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Poutine in Bangkok?

First thought… you gotta be kidding me… Hit rewind, it’s April, I’m sitting on the patio of Q Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok and one of the Canadian expats sitting next to me says, hey.. they have Poutine here.

What’s Poutine, you ask?

Alright – for those who haven’t caught onto the sensation yet, Poutine is a Canadian dish which I would probably vote as our National dish, given the opportunity – french fries, topped with cheese curds and gravy, making for a cheesy, gravy-drenched delight – it’s absolutely delicious. So delicious that it’s even starting to catch on down the West Coast. Poutine is available everywhere in Canada has been gaining acclaim down the West Coast of the US in Portland, Seattle and even Los Angeles.

Dunn's Famous Poutine Festival! #FTW

Dunn's Famous - a Montreal-based smoked meat sandwich chain holds an annual Poutine festival where you can try all six of their Poutine varieties at once

If you really want to find out more about Poutine, try Wikipedia, HERE, or  maybe this guy’s site, HERE.

So back to Bangkok – I was literally astonished to hear that they’ve got Poutine here – I absolutely HAD to have some.

Think … the owners of one of the most popular and respected nightclubs in Bangkok, Andrew and David, sourced out gravy from Les Rôtisseries StHubert in Montreal and created their own Poutine. That’s kinda nuts, no? And not to be outdone, they added a Thai twist to the dish by adding Sai Oooah (Northern Thai) Sausage as a topping.

Voila! Poutine in Thailand!

Poutine in Bangkok with Sai Ooah (Isaan) Sausage at Q Bar courtesy Randy

… it was delectable to say the least. Well balanced and a great combination. If you’re ever in Thailand, do not pass go, don’t collect $200 … go straight to Q Bar and check it out.

Interesting tidbit: St. Hubert’s gravy is regarded as being vegetarian. Although it hasn’t been confirmed if the gravy is vegetarian or vegan, minus the sausage, a great number of vegetarian-minded folks could enjoy this dish. Happy dining!

How do you post photos to facebook by email?

One great feature about facebook is they allow you to post via email. Until recently, you could get your (*secret) personal publishing address at www.facebook.com/mobile.

To the dissapointment of at least one person it’s no longer possible to get this address from the previously-cited page, nor is it even possible to get this address from a normal browser on your PC anymore.

Why would you want to post by email? Actually, the fact that Google Plus or G+ or whatever they call themselves doesn’t allow you to post by email means they’re currently excluded from the content I generate. I realized a long time ago that my facebook friends and twitter followers are different people and that some people on facebook don’t have twitter and vice versa. It’s been easy for me to cross-post content to both networks, especially photos I take and caption and push out to the world using email posting addresses.

Maybe Google will figure it out one day but until then, facebook and twitter are the most important places for me to post info.

Enter the iPhone or iPad…

Hey! Where's that facebook personal publishing address?  Hey! Where's that facebook personal publishing address?

Thankfully, if you’re using a browser that doesn’t support photo uploads, you can still get the facebook personal publishing address – simply navigate to the touch or mobile version of the facebook site at touch.facebook.com or m.facebook.com with your iPhone or iPhone and hit the photo button. Voila! Your personal publishing address … which you should keep secret, since anyone can post to your wall/timeline with the address.

If you ever change your facebook password, you’ll have to go to this page again as the address changes every time you update your password. Happy posting!

What’s your Japanese name, b*tch!?

Facebook is always full of little localization/location-sensitive tricks. I started to take notice a few years ago on a trip to Mexico when I was asked if I’d like to change my language to Spanish. At the time, it appeared that facebook used Geotargeting to figure out where in the world you were. They still do this and also have an arsenal of methodologies they test to make it easier for people to connect to you.

  • What’s your Japanese name?

One of the languages I’ve put on my facebook profile is Nihongo, or Japanese. This prompted facebook to ask me if I had a Japanese name, which undoubtedly would make it easier for Japanese users to connect with me on facebook, if I were of Japanese descent.

Facebook Asks: Do you have a Japanese name? Facebook Asks: Do you have a Japanese name?

  • One-time use QR codes

On a recent trip to Japan, I noticed several things popped up in the sidebar while communicating on facebook. One of the things that stuck out was a one-time QR code that allowed me to log in on my Japanese mobile phone

  • What Train Station is nearest to you?

On that same recent trip, after changing my current home location to Tokyo, Japan, facebook asked what train station was closest to me.

Facebook Asks: What's your Train Station Facebook Asks: What's your Train Station
Facebook Asks: What's your Train Station  Facebook Asks: What's your Train Station
  • Questions about residence

Facebook is also curious about where you live. Especially for serving up ads. Again, while traveling, I noted that facebook asked me where I lived in order for them to serve up ads relevant to me. ‘Have you moved to Singapore?’ is what came up last time I opened up facebook in China – I was using a proxy server in Singapore to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

So why is this all important? facebook is already looking to the future – where the bulk of Internet users will not be in North America and likely won’t even speak English. As it stands, more that 75% of users are outside the United States.

Find out more on facebook’s own statistics page, HERE.