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Anti-Tobacco Efforts Skyrocket After Thailand Introduces Ink Made From Diseased Smokers’ Lungs

For Thailand’s new anti-smoking campaign, the medium is literally the message

image via vimeo screen capture

Smoking is unquestionably awful for you. It fills your lungs with chemicals, causes cancer, and can lead to heart disease, emphysema, and even strokes. Slightly less certain, though, is the most effective method for quitting cigarettes, once you’ve become hooked.

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Female Monks Challenge Buddhism’s Misogynistic Tendencies

Long relegated to being the handmaidens of the more revered male monks, devout Thai women are now establishing their own religious order

Dhammananda. Picture by Gakuro via Wikimedia commons

Many in the Thai state, clergy, and mainstream population are in a tizzy over one woman named Dhammananda. As a Bhikkuni, a Theravada Buddhist nun, she’s raised hackles for much of the past decade by attempting to reestablish the Bhikkuni lineage in Thailand. Although these nuns exist elsewhere in the world, Thai Buddhists have denied women’s ability to take the same monastic vows as men for ages. This spiritual embargo is just one egregious example of the ways in which Buddhism, theoretically an egalitarian faith, gets bogged down in a mire of misogyny and cultural mores from region to region, failing to live up to its noblest values. But Dhammananda, who was ordained in Sri Lanka by more woman-positive Theravada monks in 2003, now operates an all-nun temple a couple of hours outside of Bangkok and helps to ordain other women. She is, in Thailand, the avatar of an emergent Buddhist feminism, using the logic and tools of her faith to push for equal spiritual rights and access for women in her nation and beyond.

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Could Giant Rats Eliminate Land Mines in Thailand?

A Tanzania-based nonprofit that trains rats to sniff out land mines is seeking to expand to Thailand.

Across the world, African giant-pouched rats are replacing dogs as man’s best friend. For 11 years, Tanzania-based nonprofit APOPO has trained rats to sniff out hidden land mines or life-threatening tuberculosis. Now, APOPO wants to bring its "HeroRATs" from Africa to Asia.

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