Your Health & Happiness: Sex education to be more effective for the young
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The Ministry of Education has decided to provide activities
to prevent and help to solve the AIDS problem. For quite some time now teachers
have been encouraged to help students in education institutes and communities
with sex education.
with their certificates after the seminar at Wanliya Resort in Mae Sai, Chiang
Nevertheless, some difficulties occur, especially to make
teenagers and university students from 15-24 years understand the necessity for
protection. This is also partly due to social mores that presumes that the
discussion of sex to be unacceptable, which is put forward as one of the
reasons which led to the ongoing AIDS problem.
Finally the Ministry of Education has realized the necessity
to get Thai youths to take sex education seriously and learn that AIDS can be
prevented. New curricula, visual aids, and training are now in the process of
improvement to give youngsters knowledge to prevent the problem.
The Education Service Center in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai decided to
start activities to reach the target group in the far north. A training course
was held at the new Wanliya Resort in Mae Sai near the border of Burma and the
participants went home proudly carrying their certificates. Hopefully the
knowledge will stick.
The Doctor's Consultation: Mammograms and BSE
by Dr. Iain Corness
Screening for breast cancer is still a subject that seems
to be controversial, though honestly, I do not know why. The sensationalist
press feeds on fear, and by instilling fear into women about breast cancer
will always sell a few more papers. It is not so long ago that one of the
international news magazines had a front cover story on breast cancer
screening, with the inference being that it was probably all a waste of time.
Despite mammograms and suchlike, there were cases that escaped detection until
it was too late and other such negative predictions. Was it all then a waste
of resources and money?
Ladies, let me assure you that it is none of those.
Unfortunately, the cancer detection story is one that suffers from a problem
which can be associated with an inexact science. Since we can put men on the
moon, clone sheep (and even rabbits in Chonburi, apparently) and other
incredible facts, we should then be able to diagnose human conditions with
pin-point accuracy. Unfortunately wrong!
Diagnosis and detection are “real time” arts, not
sciences, even though we would like them to be. Sure, we use “science” as
a tool, but that is all it is. A tool to help us see the problem. Just like we
can use a telescope to see things at a distance - even if we can’t see the
object, that doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t there. The telescope was facing
the wrong way; the object was behind not in front.
There has been a bit of that thinking with mammograms of
late. A lady has three annual clear mammograms and then finds she has advanced
breast cancer during year number four. Was the testing useless?
Again I ask you to look at the “real time” situation.
So today cancer was found. When did it “start” to grow? This week, this
month, this year? The answer depends upon the type of the cancer. Some fast
growing cancers would be impossible to pick up, even if the person had monthly
mammograms. The slow growing variety can be picked up years ahead.
Unfortunately mammography cannot be a 100 percent indicator - we are not that
good - yet. But it is still one of the best diagnostic procedures we have. And
it is better than nothing.
Likewise, Breast Self Examination (BSE) has its detractors
as well as its proponents. Sure, a lot depends upon how well the woman carries
out this self testing, but again, surely it is better to look than to carry on
in blissful innocence?
I do not believe the doomsayers who would tell you that the
outcome is just the same. Breast cancer is like all cancers - the sooner you
find it, the sooner you can deal with it and the earlier treatment is
administered, the better the outcome. In fact, did you know that studies from
the American National Cancer Institute show that 96 percent of women whose
breast cancer is detected early live 5 or more years after treatment? This is
called a 96 percent five year survival rate, one of the ways we measure the
severity of life threatening cancers. If it were a 10 percent figure - in
other words, after 5 years only 10 percent of the people were still alive,
then I would probably also feel that predictive testing was not all that
worthwhile. But it is not that bleak an outcome - 96 percent are still alive
and many go on for many, many years.
Ladies, talk with your doctor regarding breast screening,
and ignore sensationalism in the popular press!
I’ve been reading your articles for a couple of years. I like they way
you handle all these stupid people that came up with stupid questions. You
did give them the right answers the same as I thought. I am a musician
performing seven days a week in Bangkok. I am a French citizen of Asian
origin. We are all living in Thailand and making our living here. What I
would like to say is that anybody who is not happy living in Thailand or
complains too much about Thai people, they can leave the country. Go back
to their country, lock themselves in the room and watch TV alone. I speak
Thai as good as my mother tongue. Please print this in your column to let
all these idiots to know. I am not rich but one day I promise you I will
send you the French Champagne and the chocolates that you like. Hillary,
you are a lovely lady. I love you.
What can I say? Protestations of love from talented French musicians! You
wouldn’t be Charles Aznavour, would you? Pity, I would imagine he’s
worth a few baht these days (if he’s not dead). Hillary is flattered,
and will probably have to rush off to the rest room and refresh my lippy
and powder my nose, just in case you op by! Thank you, Petal. Thank you!
And I agree with you as far as foreigners are concerned. If you don’t
like it here, then quietly go back to where you came from, and leave all
the others to enjoy this country in peace. The initial mistake is this -
many foreigners believe that Thais want to change things and are
(silently) asking the interlopers what they would do under the
circumstances, when in fact, the Thais have not asked at all. This country
has got to where it is without foreigners showing them “better” ways
of doing things. If Thailand changed to be like the UK, Europe or other
western countries, then the foreigner would complain that life here is too
restrictive. You are welcome to come here and live quietly. When Thailand
wants to draw on your undoubted experience, Thailand will give you a call.
In the meantime, don’t sit by the phone is what Johnny is telling you
(and his new girlfriend Hillary).
I am an attractive Caucasian girl with my fair share of rich male
boyfriends. I am taken out to expensive restaurants where I am wined and
dined. At the end of the evening my partner always gives me a gift. My
problem is that I am sick and tired of receiving the usual diamond
bracelets, gold watches or precious stoned pendants. I would die for a box
of chocolates or a bottle of champagne. Hillary, I am aware that you are
able to procure these simple gifts from your many male admirers. I need to
know how you do it. I was hoping that we girls could get together one
night, frock up in our best evening attire and strut our stuff one night.
Are you willing?
Hello again Minnie, and I am glad to see you are starting to let us all
into the secrets of your life. And what a spoiled little coquette you
really are. The reason you don’t get chockies and champers is quite
simply because you are too easy with your favours. Hillary could get
cartloads of Cartiers and diamonds from De Beers too, if she were to let
her standards slip. No, young girl, keep them at arms length, don’t be
an easy mark or lay, down too quickly. Tell them firmly that it’s
chocolates and champagne at best, nothing else. I am sorry too, that I
can’t get together with you, but the night air is not good for me these
days, and all the champagne makes my head spin. By the way, why don’t
you try and meet up with Mighty Mouse, you would be able to send each
other into a mindless vacuum. Finally, remember Eric Althwaite? Interests
were local rain gauges and shovels. He seems an exciting individual these
My work colleagues have all decided that I am gay because I don’t live
with anyone, while they all are living with a succession of local girls.
Every week I hear another tale of woe and how they have been cleaned out.
Every week I thank my lucky stars that this is them not me. They just go
straight back into another relationship, which ends up just like the
previous ones - a disaster. They seem to think that I have something
against women, while I don’t, but they keep on saying, “Got a feller
yet?” I haven’t got anything against gays either, it’s just that
I’m not one. How do I get them to understand at work?
Dear Getting Annoyed,
Jai yen yen! Maintain a cool heart! They are only keeping this up because
you continue to rise up (to the bait). When they get no reaction from you,
they will stop. It may seem hard, but just ignoring them will produce the
desired result. By the way, don’t comment on their relationships and
they will give up commenting on your lack of relationships too.
Camera Class: Could you make it as a pro photographer?
by Harry Flashman
I have written about this a few times over the years, and I
was reminded of this the other day when one of the readers sent in a couple of
his photographs, asking if there might be a market for them. I believe just
about every semi-serious photographer dreams about getting paid for his
pictures. And it does happen. Pattaya coin collector Jan Olav Aamlid went up the
Pattaya Park Tower with a bunch of loonies called BASE jumpers who jumped off
the parapet and floated to earth via parachute. Jan Olav got some photographs
that ended up being published in Norway and he got paid handsomely. Jan Olav, in
fact, couldn’t believe just how much!
Harry Flashman became a “Pro” do you know what my best piece of equipment
was? No, it wasn’t his camera. No, it wasn’t the flash lighting gear. No, it
wasn’t the tripod. It was a book!
That book was written by a Canadian Professional
Photographer, Richard Sharabura, and was called “Shooting your way to a
$-Million”. Now well out of print (it was published in 1981) it is still the
best book I have ever read as far as being a handbook for budding professional
photographers. I still have my copy, and still refer to it every so often. The
advice is just as pertinent today as it was twenty four years ago. Anyone who
has ever contemplated any form of “pay me for my pictures” should read this
book. Previously when I wrote about this book, local amateur Ernie Kuehnelt went
looking and managed to locate a second hand copy through Amazon Dot Com, so it
is still possible to find copies.
The opening paragraphs state, “No other profession spawns
more eager hopefuls. No other profession calls so many and chooses so few.”
Sharabura goes on “... Practically every photographer has a preconceived
notion about what he (or she) will shoot or not shoot. This is probably one of
the most common stumbling blocks to financial success.”
Sharabura believes in being a generalist. In other words, you
should be able to shoot anything. And I mean everything. It is no good saying to
a potential customer, “Sorry, but I only shoot camels in mid-summer!” You
have no idea of the number of photographic jobs that can come from one initial
request to shoot one particular subject. I began with a shot of a concrete
truck, which expanded into a glamour calendar, then an engagement shot and a
wedding - all from the same corporate executive. Be versatile is the answer!
There is no secret to becoming versatile. Just as the tennis
pros play lots of tennis to get to the top, so do the photographic pros shoot
lots of film to get to the top.
A good exercise is to pretend you are now the ace
photographer for this newspaper! Just take a look at the different pictures in
any newspaper and see what I mean about being versatile. There are photos of
visiting celebrities, holes in the road, funerals, schools, construction sites,
sporting tournaments, floods and even babies.
Each weekend give yourself an assignment and go out and cover
it pictorially. Here’s a few for you to try: public transport, road chaos,
motorcycle helmets, your local temple.
Go out and illustrate your topic, as if the editor had told
you to cover it. Make your shots describe the action, scene or activity. Think
about how you are going to do it and how you are going to show it. Make the
subject the “hero” and the main item of interest in all the shots.
Do all that and you are already thinking like a “pro”. Do
it enough times and you will take shots like a “pro”. Do that enough times
and people will pay you like a “pro”.
The same can happen for you - just keep on shooting film and eventually
someone will pay you for your hobby! And being paid for something you like doing
is a real buzz! But remember that like all things - practice makes perfect!
Dogs - Man’s best friend:General Health Care - an introduction
Care: dirty teeth are a source of infection
Healthy and happy animals aren’t only a feast for the
eyes, they’re also more likely to reach old age and less likely to show
behavior problems. For keeping them in good health a few things are
The basis for a good health is a varied diet containing
all the necessary nutrients according to the individuals needs, with fresh
drinking water available at all times. Regular exercise, and of course, love
and attention contributes considerably. Further, the animal should be
properly vaccinated against infectious diseases and de-wormed on a regular
basis. Although, intestinal worms in small amounts won’t do harm to your
animal, in large amounts they can be harmful and to puppies and kittens it
even can be fatal. It’s also advisable to have, at least once a year, the
dog’s blood tested for possible blood-parasites, such as the heartworm
larvae and the E.canis. Heartworm larvae live in the blood-stream, while the
adult worms live in the right side of the heart which can be fatal to dogs.
Treatment is expensive and not without danger. Therefore, prevention is
better than the cure! Ehrlichiosis Canis is another blood-borne disease
endangering the lives of many dogs (see the article on this subject in the Chiangmai
Mail Vol III No 31).
and coat care: a necessity
There are several things you can check yourself. Begin
with the appearance, eyes, ears, nose and coat. Does the dog get up, lie
down and walk in a flexible manner or are there signs of stiffness or pain?
Is the coat soft, shiny and vigorous looking or are there bald patches,
continuous hair-loss, rough and broken-off hair? Is the dog too skinny (ribs
visible) or too fat (square-look)? Are the eyes moist, bright and look
alert? Any signs of redness, third eyelid, spots on the eye-ball or
inconsistent coloring of the cornea are signs of illness. Are the ears free
from unpleasant smell, discharge or itch and held alert, moving with the
direction of sound in a flexible way?
Looking further at the skin: is it smooth, clean and
elastic and free from redness, soreness, lesions, scales, bald patches or
parasites. The color may vary from grayish-pink to light brown, or it may be
pigmented. And how’s the skin of the feet and the nails?
Dirty teeth can be a source of bacterial infection in the
mouth as well as in the rest of the animal’s body. Therefore, clean teeth
are of high importance for your pet’s well-being. Healthy gums are pink or
Dogs and cats usually have a bowel movement after each
meal. The feces should be firm, not too hard, with a brown color. Normal dog
stool doesn’t smell too much, which you can’t always say of cat stool.
Loose stool or diarrhea sometimes with signs of mucus and/or blood are all
Male animals usually urinate several times a day, while females tend to
empty their bladder in one time, three to four times a day. Normal urine is
clear, with a light yellow color and hardly any smell. Although, the urine
of healthy male cats can have a very strong, penetrating smell. For more
information on this subject or on dog and cat boarding, dog training and
behavior please visit www.luckydogs. info or contact LuckyDogs: 09 99 78
Money Matters: A short history of the only real currency (part 2)
What does the Market have
Gold traditionally has strong support near the 65 week
moving average, currently near $418.5, which is fast approaching. Also, note
the positive divergence via the MACD histogram (graph 1) that is currently
forming. This tells me that a bottom in gold metal may be near. Judging by
the commercial trader’s data, it could happen very soon, possibly within
the next week or so.
Also take notice how the time frame between each
subsequent pullback to the 65 week moving average has been decreasing, i.e.
16.5 months, 13 months, 9 months, 4 months, and recently just less than two
months. What does this mean? It means that the range is getting tighter and
tighter and that a large price movement is in store for gold in the near
The commercial traders appear to be adept at timing major
tops and bottoms in gold metal. As you can see from graph 2, the commercial
traders typically have a net short position of 50K or less during major
bottoms. During major tops, the commercial traders typically have a net
short position of 150K and above.
The net short position recently topped out at 166K, and
as a result, gold metal pulled back from the 440s to the low 420s.
The current net short position as of July 19th is 84K.
This is good news because it indicates that a major bottom may be close,
possibly within the next week or so. Remember, we want to see the commercial
net short position fall to 60K or below for a major bottom.
While many newsletter writers and financial websites are
now super bearish on gold stocks, they are starting to look interesting to
me. Gold stocks are outperforming relative to the metal, which is bullish.
You can see that a downtrend line has been broken on the HUI/Gold ratio
chart (graph 3).
The chart (graph 3) is my original long-term HUI/Gold
ratio chart, along with major buy/sell signals as noted via green/red
arrows. The system is as follows:
Major buy signals are generated when downtrend lines are
broken. The 50 MA is then used as a support level to keep an investor/trader
in the major run up. After the buy signal is generated, as long as the ratio
chart stays above the 50 MA, investors should hold their gold stocks. Major
sell signals are finally produced when the ratio subsequently falls below
the 50 MA support.
It appears that a trader/investor can ride the majority
of an uptrend and be out during the big consolidations and pullbacks by
employing this simple method.
I noticed that Alexander Hamilton of Zeal published an
article on a HUI/Gold ratio trading system recently. Alexander Hamilton
writes a great weekly newsletter.
A short-term chart of the HUI/Gold ratio (GRAPH 4) shows
that the broken downtrend line is now acting as support. This is a good
sign.For more information please contact Alan Hall on alan@mbmg-inter
Gold is never mentioned in polite Central Banker company.
Continued next week…
The above data and research was compiled from sources
believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its
officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above
article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of
any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above
article. For more information please contact Alan Hall on
Life in the Laugh Lane: Just Plane Tired
by Scott Jones
don’t love Chiang Mai as much as I used to. Now I love it more. Absence and
America makes the heart grow fonder. I’m on a 6 week tour of the USA to raise
money for orphans and needy children in northern Thailand: seven Give and Live
Benefit concerts in six states including the states of shock and confusion.
It’s one of the most challenging undertakings I’ve ever
undertaken and I’ll probably need an undertaker when I’m done. Two months
of dawn-till-dusk or dusk-till-dawn days of preparation just about finished me
before I started. On departure day my friends poured me into an airport chair
with a half-hour to spare for a special Mocha Teste, my last taste of Chiang
My carry-on bags are filled with computer, disk drives, LCD
projector, back-up CDs, all the essential concert gear I don’t dare let out
of my sight and a toothbrush. Each bag weighs as much as me and both my
shoulders are now about two inches lower than when I left. My check luggage:
musical equipment in a metal case as compact and heavy as an anvil plus Thai
exports and toothpaste in a suitcase large enough to sleep in. The extra weight
charge in Chiang Mai was 2,400 baht but the 1-2 Go Airlines check-in woman was
very apologetic, visibly uncomfortable and gave me a reduced rate. The extra
charge in Bangkok was 5,500 baht with no apologies, no reduction, just brisk
rubber-stamping of everything in her general area. The extraordinary extra
charge in San Francisco was, gasp, 8,000 baht demanded by a female (I think?),
severely hefty (Rotund? Corpulent? Can you say “mammoth?”) Ticket Nazi with
a red (Bloodshot? Inflamed? Baboon Butt?), pock-marked (Goalie for a dart team,
perhaps?) face hanging loosely on a head that looked like it may explode any
second when her stress level hit Volcanic. She spit out the words,
“Overweight. Can’t take it.” I thought, “You have no right to use the
word ‘overweight.’ I dare you to get on this scale.” With three hundred
impatient passengers in line behind me, it wasn’t the time to plead a charity
case or request a manager. Several kilos of instrument manuals and Karen silver
removed took the weight below the 100 pound limit and Porky let me pass.
Once you step on a foreign airplane, Thailand is gone. In my semi-conscious
state I babbled in Thai to the Chinese flight attendants until I realized there
was no sawatdee, no kahp kuhn krap, no wai gesture and only marginal respect. I
missed Thailand and I hadn’t even left yet. I missed the sweet language and
the gentle people. And, oh, did I, do I miss the food? The plane food was plain
at best. My rice hot dish thing was the temperature of the sun featuring
bleached broccoli baked in hell and miscellaneous chicken parts with the flavor
and texture of rubber bands. At least Thai Airways allows a couple of Pad Thai
stands in the back of the plane, uses jet engines manufactured by Tuk-tuk and
have squat toilets with handrails and hoses. America does have some good food
that isn’t the McDonald’s salt-packed, fat-maxed, chemical-ridden,
fast-food variety, but it’s incredibly expensive. (Steep? Sky-high without
the airplane? Can you say “extortionate”?) In a Seven-11-type
petrol/grocery store I saw one lonely banana labeled “Wow! 70 cents!” (30
baht.) I sighed, “Wow, 70 cents” and dreamed of the 10 baht, big bunch of
bananas back at my bungalow. So far, no more Mocha Testes. One wasn’t enough.
I need another one.