Your Health & Happiness: TAT and Visa Card
invite Thai tourists to experience the Thai spa
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has cooperated with
Visa International (Thailand) to organize “Thai Spa Invitation 2006”, one
of the five main ideas in “Thailand Grand Invitation 2006”.
Junnapong Saranak, Director of TAT Northern Office Region 1
provided details concerning “Thai Spa Invitation 2006”. He said that this
activity offers a special spa package called “Thai Royal Spa Package” which
will be available at spas all over the country with a 25 percent discount for
customers who pay by Visa card. Other Spa packages paid for by Visa card will
receive a 20-50 percent discount. Any spa that joins the project will display a
symbol indicating that “Thai Spa Invitation 2006” is available at that
location. The spas will start introducing this package to tourists on March 1,
2006 and there will be ceremonies to herald this project, to be held at ISPA,
Queen Sirikit Convention Center, Bangkok, on May 3-5, 2006; Samui-Surat Thani
Spa Fair on May 10-14, 2006; Thai Spa Invitation in Hau-Hin in July; Thai Spa
Invitation in Phuket on November 17-19; and Thai Spa Invitation in Krabi on
Initially, TAT and Thai Lanna Spa Association will introduce the idea of the
project at the Flower Festival at Buak Had Public Park, Chiang Mai during
February 3-5, 2006. The experience of a Lanna spa will be demonstrated at a
booth exhibiting the “Thai Royal Spa Package” and special price spa
package, presenting the
five senses of Lanna spa including image, taste, smell, sound, and touch. By
introducing the “Thai Spa Invitation 2006” at the Flower Festival ahead of
the commencement of the project, it presented an ideal opportunity to announce
the package to the tourists.
The Doctor's Consultation: Hear tomorrow but gone today!
A couple of weeks ago, I used the headline “Hear today
but gone tomorrow”. This was after being rendered partially deaf by
Children’s Day ‘entertainment’ in one of the main shopping centers.
Industrial deafness being force-fed to our children. But I digress. As well as
progressive and ‘never to hear as well again’ conditions, there are also
several conditions causing temporary deafness.
One of the causes of temporary deafness includes wax. That
wonderful brown-gold sticky stuff that your ear seems to manufacture. This is
actually called Cerumen, a waxy substance that helps to protect and lubricate
the tissues, but a build-up of wax can block the ear canal, leading to short
term conductive deafness. Fortunately, the skilled ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat)
doctor can suck or syringe the ear canals to remove the ear wax plug. Please
do not use the ignition key from the car, unfolded paper clip or cotton bud to
try and remove a wax plug. Some olive oil once a week (or a commercially
available liquid called Cerumol) will also help stop the rapid build-up if you
are a good little bee!
Another cause of temporary (reversible) deafness is an
impacted foreign body. This can often happen with small children who will
happily stuff small buttons into any available orifice, the ear being a
favorite one. Other foreign objects we often find lurking down at the bottom
of the ear canal include the cotton wool tip of cotton buds (Q tips) which
again block the transmission of the sound waves to the ear drum.
An infection in the external ear canal can also block the
transmission when the lining of the canal swells and then gets covered in a
pus exudates to block the inside of the canal.
That covers the external ear, but there are some conditions
that can cause temporary deafness in the middle ear. Excess mucus, from the
common cold for example, a bout of flu, hay fever or other allergies can cause
a build-up of mucus that may block the Eustachian tubes of the ear. With the
inner ear being unable to balance the inside and outside pressures through the
Eustachian tube, this will reduce the hearing ability.
Ear infections (otitis media which is infection of the
middle ear) can very quickly ‘gum up’ the little bones in the middle ear,
so the amplitude of the movement of the ear drum does not happen. Fluid and
pus don’t allow the full conduction of sound too.
Another cause of reversible deafness can be related to
medications being taken for many reasons. One of these is the aminoglycoside
group, which includes some of the lesser used, but important antibiotics, such
as tobramycin and neomycin. Fortunately, after stopping the aminoglycasides
(after a short course) the hearing returns to previous levels. Another drug is
chloroquine, which can cause temporary deafness in susceptible people.
One of the compounds that we manufacture ourselves can also
affect hearing, especially in the neo-natal period. This is bilirubin, the
excess of which causes the condition often called ‘yellow jaundice’. Sulfa
drugs and ceftriaxone can also increase bilirubin (and resulting deafness) in
young babies, which settles after stopping the drugs.
There are even reports of reversible hearing loss that has
occurred after general anaesthetics for operations not involved with the inner
ear at all. It is believed to be related to nitrous oxides in the anaesthetic
However, it should always be remembered that the irreversible deafness
caused by repeated exposure to loud noise is one of the commonest causes of
hearing loss, which is progressive and does not return after being away from
the noise which has caused it.
Nit and Ying, the adorable wee Isaanettes, have both turned over a new
leaf and are getting into Sherbet Fountains. I wonder if you have turned
over a new Petal and are trying a little Turkish Delight.
Are you working on the principle that I might be suffering from
Alzheimer’s Disease and have forgotten your empty promises? Quite
frankly, I hope your Isaanettes drown you in one (Sherbet Fountain, that
is). It would be no real loss to the literary world. Actually, I wonder if
you are attempting to emulate the great Baron von Munchausen? Next week,
22, two hundred and eight years ago, Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Baron von
Mnchausen passed away. Known as the “Baron of Lies”, he was
born in 1720 in Bodenwerder, and served initially as a page to Prince
Anton Ulrich von Braunschweig, and later as a cornet, lieutenant and
cavalry captain with a Russian regiment in two Turkish wars.
Mnchausen was known during his lifetime as an excellent raconteur
of anecdotes about war, hunting and travel adventures. After the death of
his first wife, Mnchausen married a 17 year old, but his marriage
was an unhappy one which constantly drove him to debt and caused scandals.
From 1781 to 1783 a collection of Mun-chausen’s tales was published, and
an English version of the tales was published in 1785 under the title
Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in
Russia. Eventually, Munchausen’s name became associated with the
amusingly preposterous story or the lie winningly told. Just as you are
associated with the word ‘renege’ (look it up, if you’re not sure).
You are certainly trying, Mistersingha, my Petal. Very trying!
I am not sure if anyone has written to you before about this, but
there seems to be even more lady-boys than ever before. I (almost) got
trapped the other night by this gorgeous creature who stopped me in the
street the other night. I will say I had a few under my belt, so maybe my
judgment wasn’t crash hot, you know the old beer glasses routine, but
how can a man be sure at times like those? Any foolproof way, Hillary? You
seem to know the answer to everything else, so this should be easy. And
make it quick before I go out again, that’s a sweet pea!
Well Petal, it probably is a little difficult to arrange a chromosome
examination at the side of the road, but there are a few pointers.
Firstly, Thai ladies tend to be small, while the lady-boys tend to be
tall. Look for wide shoulders and narrow hips and the tell-tale Adam’s
apple – but remember they can have this surgically shaved. The voice
also tends to be dark brown too. As far as the figure is concerned, Thai
ladies are generally not well endowed, while someone with a Pamela
Anderson superstructure has bought it at the local plastic surgery shop!
And like all of these sorts of transactions, Caveat Emptor (let the buyer
beware)! And I am nobody’s sweet pea!
I am thinking of coming over for a holiday with my girlfriend at the
end of the year. When I was over there a couple of years ago there were a
few beer bars in every town, but from what I can read, there’s lots of
them now. I am not into the bar scene, and neither would my girlfriend be,
so I am a little worried about taking her over there. What do think?
Should I take the chance and bring her anyway, or should I leave her back
in the UK and come on my own. I know she wouldn’t be too happy about
that, and I am worried it might break us up. I really do want to come over
this coming August. What should I do? Really has me bamboozled at present.
You have some serious problems, Petal. You say you’ve been here before,
so you should know there are plenty of places to go in Thailand and things
to do. You don’t have to go trawling round the bars every night. It
certainly isn’t compulsory! Nobody forces you to drink in them, or do
they? There are plenty of other pastimes that both you and your girlfriend
might enjoy. Like golf, swimming, fishing, diving, sailing, go-karting,
movies, dining and touring. Even spend some time meditating in a temple.
Thailand really is like an a la carte restaurant - everything is on it, it
is up to you what you choose. Now, this fear that a holiday apart will
break you up is more worrying to me than whether the pair of you will be
dragged off screaming and kicking into some bar somewhere if you both come
for the holiday. If you are going to leave your girlfriend behind, what is
she going to do? Run off with the milkman? You need a little more trust
for a lasting relationship, and she needs to trust you too. I suggest you
talk this holiday and the various options through with your girlfriend
before you book your plane seat(s). You’ve got a few months yet to
Camera Class: The changing face (and body) of the pin-up
by Harry Flashman
Pin-up photographs have been with us ever since photography was invented.
Cameras and women seem to have a very close relationship. I have mentioned this
before, however, it is interesting to look back at the origins of this type of
The word ‘pin-up’ was invented in America during World
War II. The GI’s on overseas duty pinned up photographs of their wives, or
more likely, beautiful women, to presumably remind them of the good life back in
America, and from there we derived the term ‘pin-up’ to cover this.
However, study of the female form is probably as old as the
caveman drawings of countless thousands of years ago. Prehistoric Adam
immortalizing his Eve. Such a shame all those drawings were basically ‘stick
From there, the artists amongst the human race began to
sculpt and paint. Certainly there were heroic battle scenes, village life,
warriors and - women. Venus de Milo, as well as having lost her arms has lost
several items of clothing too. Delve into your memory the topless Minoan
goddesses, the naughty drawings from Pompeii, the sexually very frank temple
sculptures from India and Japan or around the cathedral at Albi in France.
Everyone was, and has, been at it! That men like looking at ladies should not
then come as any surprise, which goes a long way towards the popularity of
certain establishments in Thailand.
But in the past it was only the lucky few who were rich
enough to afford a statue in the garden or a pin-up done in oils. (These days it
is most likely that the pin-up herself is oiled!) The common man had to wait
until Daguerre made photography possible for the masses to see, and do. Since
then, thousands of photographers have snapped the images of thousands, perhaps
millions, of women - all in provocative pin-up poses. Those images in turn have
been reproduced thousands of times to make enough pin-ups for every bedroom wall
in the world. Pin-ups are undoubtedly one of the most popular “art” forms of
However, I should point out that this type of photography is
very difficult, and not at all the erotic charged sessions you would imagine.
They are hard work.
One other of the aspects that makes pin-up photography
difficult, never mind the lighting, the pose, the back drops, roses and
reclining couches, is the changing taste in pin-ups. The pin-up photographer has
to anticipate the tastes of his fellow travellers in the 21st Century and
produce images that suit the current climate (and I am not talking about
monsoons or snow falls).
The earliest pin-up still in existence is an unadorned full
frontal dated 1852. A daring step for the Daguerrotype photographer and probably
even more daring for the young lady herself. It is a shame that history has not
inscribed both their names, and they have gone to the great photo-booth in the
sky remaining anonymous.
There was one good reason for this, the very act of making or
selling photographs of nudes was deemed illegal in Victorian England, France and
America. The allowable titillating pin-ups of the day were clothed in tights
from bosom to ankle. These were the ladies of the theatre - the burlesque
It was then in the late 1850’s that a Parisian photographer
called Disderi introduced a new type of photograph - the “Carte de visite”
which was intended to be a type of photographic visiting card, not unlike the
present day name cards that often have a photograph of the owner. Disderi
mounted a bank of cameras, all pointed at the model and could take up to 12
shots at the one time. All of a sudden, multiple photographs of ladies were
available and collectible. The pin-up for the masses had arrived, even if the
ladies were still in tights, displaying a fairly heavy leg or two.
But the Victorian oglers were not to be denied. Pin-up
photography was flourishing - underground. In 1874, according to a publication
called “Victorian Erotic Photography” they printed an account of a London
photographer who was raided by the police, leaving behind 130,248 obscene
That should have read, 130,248 photographs that these days could even be
published in their entirety in this newspaper. How times have changed. For your
edification, and definitely not titillation, I present some for you here.
Untouched, unexpurgated and unerotic.
Cats - the individualistic feline:
Linda L. Galloway
is “Sanook”, a blue lynx point Javanese boy who happily enjoys the
indoor life without complaints!
Now that you’ve decided to adopt that sweet kitten you
saw at the shelter or formalize your casual relationship with the lovable
stray you’ve been feeding at the back door, or buy that gorgeous pedigree
kitten you’ve been thinking about, you need to learn all the facts you can
about cat care…and FAST! Unfortunately, many of them are buried under
piles of phooey masquerading as common knowledge. One of the worst cat myths
I’ve heard is this one.
MYTH: Keeping a cat indoors all the time is cruel and
unnatural. Let’s look at the truth behind this gross misconception.
TRUTH: It’s really the other way around! Letting cats
fend for themselves outside, even for a few hours a day, exposes them to a
host of dangers and diseases. In our local Thai tropical environment, hidden
beneath the beauty of nature, lurks the highest level of rabies in the
world! Many of the local feral cats carry other infectious diseases which
they can pass on through saliva, bites, or prolonged contact. These diseases
kill and there is no cure for them even after vaccination: Feline Leukemia,
Feline Aids (FAIDS), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) to name a few.
Mosquitoes carry blood parasites that can kill. Among the more curable
diseases lurk the less lethal
parasites (worms) and skin diseases (fungal) such as Ringworm which also
pose health problems for the humans who own the outdoor cat! Poisoning from
eating harmful plants or spoiled food on the streets or in the garbage cans
is a risk as well. Unfriendly dogs and snakes prey on unsuspecting cats and
may inflict a painful and bloody death, just as motor vehicle accidents. In
the best case scenario, a friendly beautiful cat might be picked up by a
friendlier passer-by and re-homed without your permission! Cats, especially
young ones, can get lost on their own and may never return, having forgotten
their way to their beloved owners. Your outdoor kitty might be well-loved by
you, but your neighbors may not feel the same way if your kitty intrudes
uninvited upon their living conditions. Unwanted pregnancies can result if
the cats are not neutered as they should be.
SOLUTION: If you or your cat insists on enjoying the
outdoors, you can provide a backyard free of harmful plants, with small
trees for climbing, surrounded by a 10 foot fence with a top that curves
inward towards your garden, and your cat will have the best of both worlds.
However it is not essential and your cat can enjoy a long and happy life
without ever setting a paw outdoors. Offer your indoor kitty plenty of
perches, scratching posts, window sills, napping spots and toys, and kitty
won’t wonder about outdoor life because what’s going on indoors is just
as exciting! Another way your cat can enjoy the outdoors safely, if you have
enough space, is to construct a screened-in ‘run’ that allows access to
sunshine, fresh air and the sights and smells of nature. Or you can buy a
manufactured ‘kitty condo’ that
offers similar benefits. A screened-in balcony or window box can provide
plenty of safe thrills for your kitty just as well, as he/she tries to catch
the birds and bees that fly by. The screens are essential, by the way, since
the major cause of death to cats in homes, especially high rises is, guess
what! Falling or jumping out of
windows! For more information, contact Linda Galloway ([email protected]).
So protect them you must, just as if kitty is your own little innocent
baby, and so they are!
Money Matters: Early winter is here (Part 6)
MBMG International Ltd.
A weaker dollar would, of course, make
U.S. exports less expensive to foreign buyers and thus more competitive on
overseas markets. A weaker dollar also can raise the prices of imported
goods flowing into the United States. You can’t manipulate a currency
against its primary trend for a long period of time (our research suggests
usually only a few days but at most 2 weeks). So, once the current policy
has totally undermined the dollar there will be little that anyone can do to
prevent market forces having their full effect.
However, while a weakened dollar may be the first step to
correcting the problematic twin deficits, it would bring attendant problems
with it - “If you want to scare yourself, contemplate the following. The
dollar begins to fall. That is, its value slips
relative to other currencies. Foreigners with massive investments in U.S.
stocks and bonds begin to sell their holdings. They fear currency losses on
their American investments because a depreciated dollar would fetch less of
their own money. The selling then feeds on itself. The stock market swoons.
American consumer confidence withers. The recession resumes and spreads to
the rest of the world through lower U.S. imports...” - Robert Samuelson,
The Washington Post, May 29, 2002.
“Up to a point, a falling currency is a blessing. After
that, it’s a curse. The dollar has fallen 16% against a basket of its
trading partners’ currencies over the past three years. In theory, that
should, with time, make U.S. made goods more competitive with those made
abroad, boosting U.S. growth and employment. But a growing chorus warns that
the U.S. gaping budget and trade deficits will lead to a crisis in which
the dollar falls much more sharply, driving up interest rates and squeezing
the economy.” - Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2005.
The Fed have comforted themselves by publishing their
view that there would be a reduced likelihood of US asset disposals
following a currency fall because, “In a world of rational expectations,
such a scenario would be unlikely: as the dollar
declined, investors would judge that the dollar had less far to go to reach
its equilibrium value, and this decline in expectations of depreciation
would buoy stock and bond prices.”
In other words they see crashes as ending themselves - as
assets start to fall in value they look more attractively priced and
investors rush in to buy the dips. Were this the case no asset would ever
fall in value. I find it hard to believe that the Fed’s researchers could
write this if they’ve ever lived through a correction. The more that
stocks fell in 1987, the keener investors were to sell. For some investors
this is a rational decision based on increasing uncertainty changing the
investment landscape, for others it may well be a matter of no choice if
they are leveraged or their financial positions are suddenly changed in a
contracting economy. For many, periods of uncertainty breed fear and lead to
irrational selling even beyond the point where fair value has been passed.
The researchers’ idea that further currency falls and a slowing economy
could each take place independent of U.S. stock and bond markets is highly
theoretical and contradicts all empirical experience of such downturns. We
fail to see how the appetites of both foreign and domestic investors would
not be reduced either of their own volition or as a matter of compulsion,
deliberately and irrationally in such a situation. This is how crashes
The Fed also delude themselves in Research Paper 682 that
a weaker dollar would cause such an uptick in exports from the US that the
negative effects on the US economy and US stocks of a reaction to a weakened
currency would be “perhaps more than fully offset by the positive effect
on net exports of dollar depreciation.” In other words, the US econo-my
would be bailed out by suddenly turning from a net importer to the extent of
around US$ 600 Bn per year to being a net exporter of around twice that
amount. This fails to recognise that the only import market of that size
globally is the US market! There is nowhere to be seen any sufficiently
sizeable consumption markets for US exports on the scale that would be
necessary to address the effects of a deficit of this size.
So the very consequences of the current economic
situation will, at some point, have a cataclysmic effect on US stock markets
and almost all other stock markets will suffer by association. Research
shows that in a major crisis, all markets correlate to one - i.e. everything
falls. We expect that all equity markets would crash in the event of a
collapse of the US stock markets - not necessarily so far and they would, in
some cases, quickly de-couple and bounce back upwards again while the US and
other markets might remain in the doldrums for many years.
We’ll wrap up bleating about the global economy 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: Snow Tired
by Scott Jones
I have a love/hate relationship with winter,
depending on where I am. Here it’s green, warm, plants bloom and the rain
stops. In February in northern America, it’s white, frigid, the snow never
stops and people kill each other over parking spaces. Blizzards stop the world
for days at a time. Bare skin freezes to metal. Kids learn this lesson when a
strange, uncontrollable desire forces them to put their tongue on a metal car
door handle. The tongue and lips immediately become one with the door. A
frightened child will never calmly mumble, “Mom would you please bring the
hair dryer out here in the driveway?” Their only reaction is sheer terror as
the head is jerked back leaving a frozen tongue fossil on the handle.
I remember a monster storm that dropped a meter of snow as
the temperature dropped to 30 below. People ventured from their homes and never
returned. The disc jockey on the radio couldn’t leave the station and no one
could get in to relieve him. On the third day, he mainly played music. During
dinner, we heard an odd sound coming from the next room. We entered the kitchen
to see the radio quietly broadcasting “zzz.” Mr. Jock had dozed off, his
microphone was on and the radio was snoring. I shook the radio, but it didn’t
Dangerous weather can control dangerous human, since crime
cannot compete with the cold. At 100 below, gangs of hoods are not inspired to
stand around outside dressed in down snowsuits. A bunch of colorful pillows
with legs is not particularly threatening. Mittens just don’t work with guns
and you’d better not touch the barrel with your hands. A different breed of
criminal lives in Canada, which stands for Cold Arctic North American Desolate
Area. While on tour in Winnipeg, I shuffled out at dawn to start my truck at 40
below, never expecting the battery could turn over the engine. The doors were
frozen shut and it took 30 minutes and 20 matches to get into the driver’s
seat. I turned the key…no whirrs, no clicks, no sound at all. I opened the
hood to jumpstart the engine…no battery. The police found no fingerprints,
but discovered several fingertips frozen to the hood.
On my way home to Minneapolis, my plane circled the city
above a massive blizzard. The pilot finally gave up, landed in Chicago and my
flight was cancelled, the night before the Thanksgiving holiday. I didn’t
want to share O’Hare airport with hundreds of harried humans so I rented a
car and drove away shouting, “I was born in North Dakota! I can do anything
in the winter!” I did Illinois and Wisconsin very well, but 10 miles into
Minnesota, the wet pavement turned to glare ice as I careened sideways down
the highway at 55 miles per hour…the speed limit. When the snow settled, I
was very alone, very far away from any town and very deep in a ditch. By the
time I staggered to the top of the gulley, a tow truck had appeared from
heaven. He rolled down his window and said, “You can’t park there.”
Thinking of several nasty things to say and many new uses for a tire iron, I
asked, “Can you get me out?” He said, “Maybe.” Seven minutes and $50
later, I was back on the highway. His last words were, “See you down the
road.” He probably earned his kid’s entire college tuition that night.
If I ever see another snowflake, it will be in a toasty
movie theater here in Thailand.