HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Is space exploration worth the billions spent?

3 P by 4 P Exhibition at Gong Dee Studio

‘Variations on America’ featuring John Ferguson and Teresa Seidl

Three Rotary clubs assist Mae Saap village near Samuung

The Viola Lovers

Is space exploration worth the billions spent?

How much did it cost to show the moon is not green cheese?

Autsadaporn Kamthai

An @ The Bar discussion on ‘Space Exploration: Is It Worth It?’ was held by the British Council on November 23.

Academic speakers included Prof Chris Moss from the Liverpool John Moors University, UK; Anita Heward, UK Goes to the Planets Programme co-ordinator; Assoc Prof Boonraksa Soonthornthum, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Chiang Mai University, and Dr Busaba Kramer of the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre.

(From left) Prof Chris Moss, Anita Heward, Assoc Prof Boonraksa Soonthornthum and Dr Busaba Kramer discussing the value of space exploration.

“Space exploration consumes much money, but it is worth it as it gives rise to many developments in associated science fields like chemistry and physics,” said Assoc Prof Boonraksa.

Dr Busaba said space exploration was worth the money as it could boost the intellectual capacity of mankind. “Teaching of earth science and astronomy has been included in the syllabus for Thai students from 1st to 12th Grade, and that will provide them basic knowledge of astronomy,” Dr Busaba said.

Space exploration for satellite development was beneficial for developing countries in their communication system and education use, said Prof Moss. China and India were examples of countries which have made use of satellite networks to help people at grassroots like in fishery fields.

The @ The Bar discussions are initiated by the British Council as an opportunity for both scientists and non-scientists to engage in informal discussions on various scientific topics.

3 P by 4 P Exhibition at Gong Dee Studio

Marion Vogt

Throughout December, Gong Dee Studio in Soi Nimmanhaemin 1 is presenting a very special exhibition. The 3 P, meaning paintings, prints and photos are from 4 P, which means four artists.

Mysterious, exiting, and
artistic, the skyline of Seattle.

For Suvin Vajrasthira, art started as a hobby, and he is now actively involved in preserving Thai culture which can be seen in each of his photos and paintings. They are filled with details, show fun, astonishment or sentiment while at the same time, they reflect normal daily movements which we all take for granted.

The second of the “P’s” is Prasart Saejung well known for his photos which have been published in many magazines around the country.

A large variety of art at the 3
P exhibition at Gong Dee Studio.

Gunthapatana Phan sangiam, the third “P” is from Chiang Mai, a photographer who studied Graphic Design in USA. His photos are of Seattle, Mysterious, romantic and artistic.

The final “P” is Na-Chanak Siemmai exhibiting paintings and prints from the south.

Gong Dee Studio is open every day. More information at 0 5322 2230.

‘Variations on America’ featuring John Ferguson and Teresa Seidl

Staff reporters

American Voices will return to Chiang Mai with a recital program on December 16 at 7 p.m. at the Convention Center of Chiang Mai University.

Founder of American Voices, artistic director and pianist John Ferguson. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

The concert is entitled ‘Variations on America’ and will feature a program of Traditional American songs, Broadway and American Opera as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (arranged for solo piano) and Ragtime compositions by Eubie Blake, Zez Confrey and Scott Joplin. The performers are soprano, Teresa Seidl and the founder of American Voices, the Artistic Director and pianist John Ferguson.

It promises to be a feast for the ears as both John Ferguson and Teresa Seidl are high class professionals. Teresa Seidl, an accomplished concert singer, has performed with Berlin Radio Symphony, the BBC and Cracow Philharmonic, and with the Bamberger Symphony and the Hamburg Symphony.

American Voices has just issued a new CD, American Voices Around the World, featuring highlights from their live concerts and festivals in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Burma. This CD will be available at the concert on Thursday, December 16, 2004.

If you would like to attend, please call one of the CMU offices listed below for a free invitation. International Relations, Office of the President of Chiang Mai University: 053 943 665 or the Faculty of Fine Arts, CMU, 053 944 805.

Three Rotary clubs assist Mae Saap village near Samuung

Annelie Hendriks

The Rotary Clubs of Chiangmai South, Mae Chan Chiangrai and Phra Pinklao-Thonburi Bangkok visited Mae Saap, a small village in the hills, one hour drive from Samuung, with unusual Loy Krathong gifts.

Distribution of clothes and blankets.

Mae Saap is a poor Karen village, consisting of 47 families. A truck full of blankets, medical kits, food, stationery, toys, clothes, shoes, spectacles and snacks followed the Rotarians in five 4WD vehicles.

It was a very happy Loy Krathong day for the villagers especially for the children. Each child received a bag with suitable goodies. The bigger articles were distributed among the families.

Aroy maak.

All the funds for the donations were raised for the 100 years of Rotary International celebration. The Centennial year celebrations taking place all over the Rotary world during this 100 year Anniversary offers many opportunities for service to the clubs, the communities, and to Rotary. The three Rotary clubs of Bangkok and the northern region took this occasion in true Rotary spirit to ‘Lend a Hand’ in planning, preparing and doing to make their Centennial a truly memorable occasion.

The Viola Lovers

Chulalongkorn University Viola Ensemble concert a great success

Paul Schoenkopf

The Viola Lovers (C.U. Viola Ensemble) from Chulalongkorn University had their debut in July at Chulalongkorn University’s Recital Hall in Bangkok. The concert was sponsored by Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Keow, Chiang Mai.

The Chulalongkorn University Viola Ensemble consists of 24 outstanding violinists in the country, a double bass player, and a percussionist, and this latest performance was a concert to familiarize people with the viola.

Asst. Prof. Choochart Pitaksakorn, artist in residence and music director of Chulalongkorn University, conducted and played the viola.

The first half of the concert was all western classical composers such as Bach, Schumann and Beethoven. There was one number, “Home Sweet Home” by Farmer that was variations of a theme and very innovative. I thought that the musicians were excellent but they could have picked some other pieces that were more dynamic.

The second half of the concert was excellent. Two numbers by HM the King, one traditional Thai number and one Lanna folk song were played, as well as a medley of American country songs.

It sounded almost as if the ensemble needed the first half of the concert to get ‘in the mood’. The 600 people in the audience and conductor became more and more enthusiastic during the second half. So much so, that they performed three encores consisting mostly of compositions by HM the King.