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Saturday, January 25, 2014


For reasons I cannot appreciate, my Bonbons postings draw an increased volume of readership.  These have nothing to do with candy, as to the right (this cannabis is merely 0% THC hemp).  Here are a few more:
So why not a Saturday Bonbons?
  • In a WIN/Gallup International survey conducted last month, can you believe that the countries named as the greatest threat to world peace were:
    • 4%   Iran
    • 4%   Israel
    • 5%   Afghanistan
    • 6%   China
    • 8%   Pakistan
    • 24% USA
Shocking?  Not really, for the world doesn't really like us.  Let me say, though, that a personal poll I took when visiting Southeast Asia (primarily Vietnam and Cambodia, but also Thailand) two years ago was somewhat surprising.  I asked, how would you would rate the U.S., Japan, China and Russia on trust and like.  The results:
  • #1  USA
  • #2 Japan:  although the citizens still mostly hate Japan because of World War II
  • #3  Russia:  they are just not liked
  • #4  China:  there is a fear of being taken over
Here is the latest Pew Research Center poll comparing the U.S. and China:

  • Airline fatalities reached an all-time low last year.  Mind you, 265 died, but there were 31 million flights.  During the past decade, there were an average of 720 fatalities/year.  Safest airline?  Quantas hasn't had a death since 1951.  However, flying per mile is almost 10 times safer than driving.  Each year around 1.3 million are killed in traffic.  The white countries are the worst:
  • I saw a headline in the morning paper this morning;
          Justices help nuns skirt law's contraception requirements

          So I thought, why are nuns using contraception.  What it was was that the Supreme Court yesterday allowed the Little Sisters of the Poor to avoid filling Obamacare contraception requests with a written request.
  • Did you know that the Vietnamese New Year, or Tet (Remember the War and the Tet Offensive?), is always celebrated on the same day as the Chinese New Year (although it is called the Spring Festival in China), which will be on January 31 (the year of the Horse--next year will be a Sheep, on February 19)?  Yes, this is also the Year of the Horse in Vietnam.  Everything is based on the Moon, and the new year celebration can actually last up to 15 days, with China this year officially having a holiday until February 6.  Some details:
    • People go home, so trains and planes and highways can be a mess.  Many establishments here and there actually close, like small restaurants.  The "tourist" ones are taken up by advanced reservations from those who live there.  
    • Thus be careful when you travel to China, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea and Singapore during these days.  Here is a traveler's survival guide for these holidays, but note that this article was for 2012.  
    • South Korea is a little different.  They celebrate both January 1 and have the equivalent of a three day weekend during this period.  
    • If you must travel by train, try going the opposite way:  trains are filled, and tickets are very expensive, going out of big cities at the beginning, and then returning home at the end.  Don't buy a standing ticket if you are joining the masses.  Oh, yes, smoking is allowed.  
    • Unlike Hawaii now, fireworks are part of the local culture.

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