Thai floods: Think of 50 million whales

Thai floods: Think of 50 million whales

A series of short animations explaining the current the flood situation using simple language and featuring a cute pod of 50 million blue whales has become a big hit on youtube.

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Thai floods: Think of 50 million whales

A series of short animations explaining the current flood situation using simple language and featuring a cute pod of 50 million blue whales has become a big hit on youtube.

The first episode alone has been viewed almost 700,000 times and the other three episodes are popular as well.

The man who came up with idea for the animations is Kriangkrai Vachiratamtorn, the founder of the animators' group Roo Su Flood (Know, Fight, Flood).

He said he was frustrated with the generally unhelpful and confusing information and misinformation being released to the public by the government and other agencies.

'''We are not only being flooded by floodwaters, but also by information,'' said Mr Kriangkrai.

''There is a lot of information which is useless and which is mixed in with people's attitudes. I personally want information which really means something to me. And that's when I thought it was time to communicate about the flooding in a way that is helpful and easy to understand.''

Mr Kriangkrai is a graduate in mass communications, and a film director. He had the video-making skills, but not the scientific background to produce such a video.

The group sought the help of Thai PBS TV station and experts to come up with the video, which explains the causes of the flooding.

One challenge was how to convey the concept of the massive amount of floodwaters flowing towards Bangkok.

Mr Kriangkrai said they came up with several ideas before settling on a blue whale as their messenger.

''I think a whale can help people visualise something big, and if a whale was in their house, they would immediately understand the problems they are facing.

Calculating that the amount of water hovering above Bangkok is the equivalent of 50 million blue whales trying to make their way into the Gulf of Thailand, the young animators have come up with a humorous – and highly informative take – on the problems the whales have navigating canals, rivers and urban settings.

The audio is in Thai, but there are very good English language subtitles. You can see the first episode here and there are links to the others.

Adapted from a story in Sunday's Bangkok Post by Piyaporn Wongruang.

animation – a film or cartoon using a series of drawings that are shown quickly one after another so that they look as if they are moving ภาพเคลื่อนไหวได้, ภาพการ์ตูนที่เคลื่อนไหวได้
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
situation – all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place  สถานการณ์
cute – pretty and attractive น่ารัก
pod – a small group of sea animals, such as dolphins or whales, swimming together ฝูงสัตว์น้ำ (ที่เลี้ยงลูกด้วยนม)
episode – one of the single parts into which a story is divided, especially when it is broadcast on the television or radio ตอน
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
founder - a person who establishes an institution, business, or organization ผู้ก่อตั้ง
frustrated – feeling annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something ผิดหวัง,ท้อแท้ใจมาก, หงุดหงิดใจ
misinformation – wrong information about something การให้ข้อมูลผิดๆ
release – to make known to the public เปิดเผย, ให้ข่าว, ปล่อยข่าว
the public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
attitude – someone’s opinions or feelings about something, especially as shown by their behaviour ทัศนคติ, ลักษณะท่าทาง
graduate – a person who has a university degree ผู้รับปริญญา, ผู้สำเร็จการศึกษา
mass communications – the study or the mass media, especially newspapers, television, radio, magazines วารสารศาสตร์
sought (past tense of seek) – asked for something, or to tried to get somethingพยายามได้มา
expert – someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
challenge – something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
convey – to communicate something; to express a thought, feeling or idea so that it is understood by other people สื่อไปถึง, สื่อสาร
concept – a principle or idea ความคิด
massive – very large ใหญ่มหาศาล
settle – to decide or arrange something ตัดสินใจ
messenger - a person (or thing) who delivers information to people  ผู้ส่งสาส์น, ผู้ส่งข่าว
visualise - to form a picture of someone or something in your mind, in order to imagine or remember them จินตนาการ
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
calculate – to discover a number or amount using  mathematics คำนวน
hover – to stay in one place in the air บินฉวัดเฉวียน,บินร่อน
equivalent – the same as   เท่าเทียมกันกับ
humorous – funny and entertaining; showing a sense of humour  ตลก,ขบขัน
take – the particular opinion or idea that somebody has about something
navigate – to find and follow a path through a difficult place หาเส้นทาง
urban – connected with towns and cities เขตเมือง
audio – sound เสียง
subtitle – a translation or written description of what people are saying in a film or video, that appears at the bottom of the screen คำบรรยายที่เขียนไว้ข้างล่างในภาพยนตร์

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