Your Health & Happiness:Chiang Mai hosts international seminar on Leptospirosis
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Chiang Mai was selected as the venue for the 4th
International Seminar on Leptospirosis, held from November 14-16 and organized
in a cooperation between the municipality and the Ministry of Public Health.
Boonlert Buranupakorn, mayor of Chiang Mai, said that the
seminar takes place every three years. The first was staged in 1996 in France,
the second in 1999 in Australia, and the third in 2002 in Barbados. For the
fourth seminar the organizing committee decided unanimously to choose Thailand.
The Ministry of Public Health, Department of Livestock Development, and
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives were the hosts.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease carried by animals,
especially cattle, pigs and dogs, and is characterized by jaundice and fever.
The seminar was designed as a forum for veterinarians and public health
officials to present and exchange academic works at an international level.
The Doctor's Consultation:How much exercise should you (safely) do?
by Dr. Iain Corness
How much exercise should you safely do is like saying,
“How long is a piece of string?” There are so many factors to be taken
into consideration that it is impossible to give ‘blanket’
recommendations, but it is possible to give you some pointers.
Looking first at people with no chronic medical conditions,
such as heart disease, arthritis, lung or kidney problems or diabetes, then
the main factor to be really considered is age. Unfortunately, even though you
may be a sprightly 60 year old, your exercise capacity is not the same as it
was when you were an (even more) sprightly 40 year old. Advancing years does
slow you down, but this does not mean a dead stop! In fact, if you do stop,
you probably will be dead!
Regular exercise is beneficial for everyone, in both
physical and psychological aspects. This is not some theory plucked out of the
air, but a well documented fact. I was heartened the other day to read of a 94
year old Japanese doctor who was looking forward to his 95th birthday, because
after this he was going to slow down to give him time to go and play golf.
The most important factor in exercise as you get older is
the regularity of it. Once a week is not the answer, but a minimum of three
times a week for at least 30 minutes. This is where most people find their
exercise program breaks down. They have 30 minutes to spare on Sundays, but
not Monday to Saturdays. This is where you have to start to be a little
creative, and stern with yourself.
Being a realist, nobody is going to exercise three to six
times a week if the form of exercise bores you. Pedalling an exercise bicycle
to nowhere may be fine for some people, but for many it is a ‘waste’ of
time. Perhaps if you time it so that you watch the world news on TV at the
same time, that might be satisfactory, but again, it depends on you. Another
thought to consider is that exercise bicycles depend on the strength of your
legs and soundness of knee and ankle joints.
The ‘best’ form of exercise is swimming. Swimming does
not use one muscle group predominantly, and since the body is supported in the
water, you can move all joints in a non-weight bearing fashion. Gentle
swimming for the older folk, and aqua aerobics for the younger ones. However,
to be the ‘best’ does require that regularity component. 30 minutes six
times a week is superb.
The important factor is to choose appropriate exercise
according to your ability and interest. Never exceed your limit. Remember that
you are not training for the Octogenarian Olympics, but are exercising to keep
fit. You must always stop if you have acute medical problem (such as
dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, vomiting, nausea and
fever, or pain). Continuing on, breaking through the ‘pain barrier’ does
not improve your physical health.
For those of you who have some chronic ailment, you should
not just commence exercise because the chap in the condo next door would like
a friend to accompany him. It is important that you discuss your proposed
forms of exercise with your doctor. The idea is to get fit, not to place
yourself in danger. Too much exercise for someone with semi-blocked coronary
arteries could bring on a heart attack. Find out first.
That finding out process should begin with a full check-up
beforehand. Your annual check-up can tell you more than anything else, and
will assist both you and your doctor map out the best exercise programs suited
to your physical condition.
Dear Hillary, my Petal,
I have to spring to your defense. Just who does Tequila Tom think he
is? Drinking too much of the cactus juice it seems like. So he’s known
lots of hookers, that’s not something most men would be proudly saying
in a national newspaper. Don’t worry about his chocolates and champagne
(he’d never send them anyway) but I will bring some over with me at
Christmas. Don’t worry about such people as Tequila Tom.
Dear Champagne Charlie,
It is people like you who give people like me the power to carry on,
despite the dog pee that Tequila Tom would pour on my head (or perhaps
that’s what the poor man was drinking?). I have already expressed my
agreement with you, as far as his knowing lots of hookers, in my reply to
him a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to choccies and champers!
I hear all this cr*p (censored by Hillary, sorry Mike, but this is a
family newspaper) about Thai women being so shy and modest, not going
swimming without being fully clothed and all, and yet I see them every day
openly kissing some foreigner on the busses, getting all their kit off in
bars and wearing totally sexy stuff on the streets (but I’m not
complaining). Just how does all this fit in with the “modest” Thai
ladies I read about?
You have made one very basic error, my Petal. You are mistaking
professional Thai ladies plying their trade with other Thai women being
their normal selves. For the girls in the bars, this is all acting, the
way to snare a big fish or two, including you it seems. For the rest of
the Thai women, their normal behavior is to be shy, to cover up and act
with decorum. Even the ladies of the night, when they retire from the
profession, return to the way of behaving that they learned from their
mothers, and grandmothers before them. And that certainly is not twirling
round chrome poles in a brown one-button dancing suit!
My son has arrived from England to visit me and on his first night we
go to Nana Plaza and he comes home with a girl from there. That doesn’t
worry me, but now he’s got her with him every day and is saying, “But
Dad, I love her.” I know she’s a bar girl, she knows she’s a bar
girl, and my stupid son thinks he’s got some blushing virgin. He won’t
listen to anything I say and in two weeks when he goes back, she will have
emptied his wallet and turned it into gold chains. She’s already got the
bangle. What do you do with kids like this? Any suggestions, before I bang
his head in the wall?
You have not written just how old is your son, but it sounds to me as if
he left the family nest many years ago, so is well above the age where you
could intimidate him by threatening to bang his head on the wall. All you
can do is to let him see that the reception he is getting is one that is
used by all her friends, and by her. I suggest you go back to the Nana bar
with him, and let him see how the patrons are getting fleeced. At best he
might see just what he is doing. At worst he will come home with two of
them! What do you do with kids like this? It’s a bit late now, Petal!
You should have started many years ago.
Would you believe that my sister-in-law in Europe is sending her son
over to me here to learn about life in the adult world? I believe that she
is asking too much of me, or her brother, and the responsibility is too
great. I have seen the charming local girls and I think it is amazing that
any young swain survives holidays in Thailand. At every turn there is
temptation awaiting the unwary and unknowing. Particularly when the same
young man is being deliberately sent over here to learn about “life”
as she puts it. I know him, and he is a very overindulged young man, and I
certainly will not be taking him to dens of ill repute, just so he can
“grow up” as my sister-in-law puts it.
I think you have to ask Sis-in-law to set you some ground rules for the
young man and yourself. (How old is he, by the way?) Does she want him to
come back to her with a wife, or just a girlfriend, or just more
experienced? Will he bring chocolates and champagne (I could be interested
myself)? This kind of ‘education’ has been done for many years, with
young men being initiated into manhood at the hands of an experienced
professional. In Thailand this still happens, but society will look the
other way. In Europe, it is generally the boy’s father who will take him
gently by the hand and point him in the direction of maturity, not his
aunt. Sounds like you have a very ‘close’ family.
Camera Class: Experimenting with the “dark side”
by Harry Flashman
The true “definition” of photography has often been said as “painting
with light” and quite honestly, this concept of painting with light is one of
the more exciting aspects of photography. It is also something that even the
weekend photographer can experiment with and produce photographs that will amaze
you, and those who view them, with their ability to leap off the paper.
gives an air of mystery.
The secret of painting with light is to remember that all
photographs should have a mixture of light, and its opposite, called shadow.
Blasting the subject with a sea of light produces flat, wishy-washy photographs.
This is why I am not in favor of the in-camera flash that pumps out enough light
power to illuminate the moon. To produce prints with depth requires shadow. Just
as when you look at a house, the sun casts a shadow which gives the house depth,
as well as height and width. Depth is the third dimension, and without it you
only have a two dimensional flat image. For the impression of 3D, you need
Now getting back to the job of taking photographs and
painting with a bit of light. The usual light source is the one I like to call
the Great Celestial Light Technician. This is more commonly referred to as the
sun. Now the sun will supply enough light to illuminate half the world at one
sitting, so there’s plenty of power for your subject and then some.
However, that sunlight is not all that suitable for most of
the day, because when the sun is directly overhead, you do not get nice shadows.
In the early mornings or late afternoons, when the sun is closer to the horizon,
the shadows are longer, more visible and give more depth. So as well as being a
more flattering light in the golden glow afternoons, the sun is at a better
angle to give good shadows. So to improve your daytime shots only shoot between
sunrise and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. till sunset.
Do not be afraid to let shadow into the shot. Position your
subject so that they are not square on to the sun, but let the light come from
about 45 degrees across the subject. Shadow adds mystery. Shadow adds that extra
something. Use it!
Now let’s look at when you provide the principal source of
light, after the sun has disappeared. There are actually many sources of light
after dark – there is the electronic flash, both the “on camera” type and
the off camera type, there are tungsten studio lights, there are tungsten
spotlights (like the garden varieties), there are street lights, neon lights and
even car headlights. All these light sources are at your beck and call, and all
(other than the on camera flash) can work for you to produce great shots.
Many of you have a small flash unit that slips on to the
“shoe” on the top of your camera. Do not use it there! Go and invest in a
remote shoe. This comes with some electric cord that plugs into the camera body
and has a shoe plate at the end of it that slips over the foot of your flash.
You can buy extension cords too, and I would advise getting one about three
meters long. Now you can position your subject anywhere you like and let the
flash come down upon the subject at 45 degrees and you will get a much better
photograph than the flash on top of camera straight on shot. Try it.
For something a little more adventurous, let the flash burst
come from the side of the subject. With people this is called “hatchet
lighting” as one side of the face will be lit and the other side will be in
More adventurous again is to place some coloured cellophane
over the flash head and illuminate the subject from side on. You will get, for
example with red cellophane, a red and black person. Sounds a bit strange, I
admit, but we are looking for an effect here.
Get the idea? Experiment, have fun and explore the dark side!
Dogs - Man’s best friend: General Health Care – What food to give to our pet?
If you have read the previous articles on the dog and cat
diet (Chiang Mai Mail Vol. IV, No’s 41, 43 and 46), the question may have
arisen, ‘If commercial pet food is not as complete and balanced for our
beloved pet as what the industry wants us to believe it is, what then is the
best diet for them?’
In general, there are three options: a) home-made raw
food, b) home-made cooked food, and c) high quality commercial pet food.
1 year old spayed female. Playful and sweet with children and dogs.
Desperately awaiting a loving home. Interested? Call 0 9997 8146.
After months of research, talks with (student)
veterinarians, breeders, dog trainers and behaviorists and many others
experienced in this field, and after years of giving a various raw food diet
to my own and some of my customers dogs (naturally with their permission), I
have come to the conclusion that this diet is the best there is to give to
our carnivorous pet friends. The ingredients I use are all suitable for
human consumption, thus, what’s not suitable for us is also not suitable
for my animals. It has not been processed and therefore, all nutrients are
still present, plus bacteria and enzymes necessary for a proper digestion
are still there. Due to the variety in the ingredients given, the dog is
able to obtain all the necessary goodies needed so much to stay in good
health! For more information on the raw food diet, please, visit www.lucky
The second option is a home-made cooked diet. This diet
also consists of a wide variety of ingredients that are all suitable for
human consumption. However, similar to commercial pet foods, the biological
value of the nutrients lose some of their usefulness, due to the heating
process. In addition, this diet usually contains lots of rice (preferably
brown rice), and as mentioned in previous articles (No’s 41 and 46), the
digestive system of carnivores is not made for eating lots of cereals.
Nevertheless, there are many pet owners who prefer to
give commercial pet food, mainly because it is easier. If that’s case,
then I advise to give at least a pet food containing high quality
ingredients, even when this means more expenses. But then, as the overall
health of your pet improves, your veterinary costs will definitely go down!
Good health and care of our beloved pets starts with a
good diet. Grant this to your pet!
For more information on pets’ diets, and on dog and cat boarding, dog
training and behavior please visit www.luckydogs.info or contact LuckyDogs:
0 9997 8146.
Money Matters: A brief(ish) history of stocks (Part 3)
MBMG International Ltd.
We’re surprised to report that our
Pattaya reader hasn’t yet written in begging that we return to the format
of prophesying financial Armageddon every day until it actually happens (if
it hasn’t already started). So let’s move on. Now where were we? Oh yes,
the first stock exchange, the Amsterdam Kontor had arrived (VOC share
certificates dating back to 1606 still exist - in fact the Amsterdam stock
market for many years proudly claimed to own the oldest stock certificate in
the world until a private collector popped up with an earlier VOC issue).
After that the baton really passed to the British Empire
- as Britannia’s ships gradually acquired ascendancy of the seas.
The official website of the London Stock Exchange tells
us that in 1698, a John Castaing began to issue “at this Office in
Jonathan’s Coffee-house” a list of stock and commodity prices called
“The Course of the Exchange and other things” - the earliest evidence of
organised trading in marketable securities in London. Jonathan’s Coffee
House in Change Alley increasingly became the centre of this new hotbed, in
no small part because “stock dealers” were in that same year expelled
from the Royal Exchange for rowdiness. It’s amazing how little changes.
1720 saw the first major stock scam - a wave of
speculative fever known as the “South Sea Bubble” which burst when
investors had to face the grim news that they had paid extortionate prices
for insubstantial assets. Dot com investors could no doubt relate to that.
This crisis couldn’t stop the relentless march of the
markets - nor indeed could the Great London Fire of 1748 which started in
nearby Cornhill (not to be confused with The Great Fire of London of 1666
started in Pudding Lane by the King’s baker, Thomas Farrinor and for which
The Guild of Bakers issued an apology 320 years later in 1986, all
liabilities for the vent having presumably expired by then), to the extent
that by 1761 a group of 150 stock brokers and jobbers formed a club at the
rebuilt Jonathan’s to buy and sell shares.
Presumably needing more space, the brokers erected their
own building in Sweeting’s Alley, with a dealing room on the ground floor.
The caffeine-dependency is served by a coffee room on the floor above. Sadly
for posterity, what is originally known as “New Jonathan’s” shortly
thereafter changes its name to “The Stock Exchange”.
By 1801 the Exchange adopts a formal membership
subscription basis and the first regulated exchange, effectively the first
modern Stock Exchange, is born in London, and shortly thereafter moves to
new premises at Capel Court. In 1836 the first regional exchanges open in
Manchester and Liverpool, in time for the next wave of speculation - not sea
fever this time so much as “Railway mania” sweeps the country.
Not until 1923 does the exchange receives its own coat of
arms, with the motto “Dictum Meum Pactum” (My Word is My Bond). In 1939
The Exchange closes for 6 days at the start of World War Two. The floor of
the House closes for only one more day, in 1945 due to damage from a V2
rocket – trading then continues in the basement trading floor.
Not until 1972 are the first female members admitted to
the market and around the same time, the regional bourses, which have
increased to 11, are absorbed into what is still called the Stock Exchange.
Probably even more shocking to the members was the “Big Bang” of 1986,
widening the member base and introducing electronic trading (prices ceased
to be quoted in the likes of 3/16 and the likes of 0.1875 took over).
Last year, the now titled London Stock Exchange Plc moved
to brand new headquarters in Paternoster Square, close to St Paul’s
Almost there - bear with us for one more thrilling instalment and then
we’ll finally get around to talking about the markets of today!
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: I’d like my tiger poached, please
by Scott Jones
I grew up with a tiger on my table. Always friendly and
cheerful, Tony the Tiger of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes(tm) fame reminded me
regularly that they were “Grrrrrrrrreat!” The concept of a steaming tiger
steak, poached from Kenya or my backyard, after watching them pace nervously in
their cage wondering if they’re next on the grill after their buddy
disappeared, does not whip my taste buds into a frenzy. It makes my blood boil.
I believe that at the recent Chiangmai Night Safari’s
“soft” opening, the hard facts about their proposed menu was sick, sinister
and stupid. “The zoo will be outstanding, with several restaurants
offering...imported horse, kangaroo, giraffe, snake, elephant, tiger, lion
meat...domestic crocodile and dog meat. What lunatic buffoon came up with this
Safari: See me, eat me.
The food, it is claimed, will be “fresh daily” which
will require building the Official Zoo Slaughterhouse and hopefully be part of
a tour package. Gee whiz, maybe we’ll even get to hear the final roar of the
king of the jungle! Will we have dazzling VIP banquets with a fresh barbequed
giraffe neck stretched across the buffet? Like live fish in the restaurant
lobby, will we get to select the specific kangaroo whose leg we fancy? Can we
bring in our own fresh dogs and have them prepared right at the table? Elephant
meat? A cherished symbol of Thailand? We’ve destroyed their habitat,
harvested their tusks and taken their forest jobs away. Now it’s time to eat
them? At a zoo? “A place where live wild animals are kept for public
showing”? No wonder it’s a Night Safari. Degenerate acts like these require
the cover of darkness.
I’ve just returned from two months in the USA where I
raised money for orphans, painstakingly educating caring Americans about
beautiful Buddhist Thailand, victim of the tsunami, bird flu, AIDS
proliferation and poverty. Please help me help these gentle folks. In a few
moments the international reputation of Thailand was reduced to “They go to
the zoo to eat the animals.” Within two days, the web search engine Google
listed almost 11,000 articles of varying degrees of outrage. Shocking headlines
are front page fodder read by everyone; retractions are tiny and few. The
masses remember the insult, not the apology.
A related article from 2003 in Jakarta reported: “An array
of live tigers, bears and reptiles smuggled into Thailand from Indonesia have
been spared from China’s cooking pots after being seized by police. A senior
officer said ‘Chatuchak (Bangkok’s famed weekend market) is the biggest
place we know of for wildlife trade. We will wipe it out within three
months.” It’s now apparent that the officials just wanted to make sure we
could eat them here in Thailand while they’re fresh. And wipe out the
wildlife trade by getting into the business themselves.
The nonprofit Tiger Foundation, a conservation organization
dedicated to the preservation of wild tigers, estimates there are only 5,000
left in the world, down from 100,000 at the beginning of the last century. The
Indo-Chinese Tiger is numbered at only 1,000 in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia combined. With enough demented meatheads
ordering fresh tiger, we should be able to eliminate the entire species in a
I’m trying to understand some shred of rational thinking (feeling is
certainly out of the question) why this was conceived, promoted and then
officially supported by the prime minister. I’m obviously too sensitive, too
confused and too foreign. Maybe it’s just payback time. Man-eating tigers
finally replaced by tiger-eating men! My ancestors from the USA, Norway,
Germany and Wales were probably not tiger victims. Personally I have no fear of
them. Tigers, lions and cannibals do not eat comedians. They taste funny.