- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
The Doctor's Consultation
Camera Class by Snapshot
Life in the Laugh Lane
The Doctor's Consultation: Rectal bleeding and frog’s bottoms
by Dr. Iain Corness
Little Johnny was overheard by his teacher, describing to
his classmates, how to insert a firework in a frog, saying, “You slip it up
its ass.” The teacher immediately said, “Rectum, Johnny, rectum.”
“Wrecked ‘em? Blew ‘em to bits, more likely!” replied Johnny!
So after that irreverent (but not totally irrelevant)
beginning let’s look at rectal bleeding, without using a mirror. The rectum
is the last portion of the large bowel that ends just before the anus.
Bleeding from this area can be a herald sign of a mild or life-threatening
matter, which is why all episodes of rectal bleeding must be investigated.
Depending upon how high up in the gastro-intestinal tract
is the cause of the bleeding, it may be seen as black, tarry stools, maroon
stools; bright red blood on or in the stool, blood on the toilet tissue, or
blood staining the water in the toilet bowl bright red. Treatment can range
from relief of symptoms and let Mother Nature do the rest, to antibiotics,
blood transfusion, or even surgery. It all depends on the cause.
There are many potential causes, including Hemorrhoids
(piles) which are swollen rectal veins in the anal and rectal area. They can
cause burning, painful discomfort, as well as bleeding. External hemorrhoids
are small swellings that are easy to see (with the mirror) and quite painful,
however internal hemorrhoids are usually painless. A feeling of incomplete
emptying may be noted with bowel movements. Treatment focuses on relieving
these symptoms with the use of stool bulking agents and softeners, and if
necessary, ligation of the bleeding piles.
Rectal fissure is another. This is a tear in the lining of
the rectum caused by the passage of hard stools, which can lead to mild rectal
bleeding of bright red blood. Exposed nerves and vessels result in moderate to
Diverticulosis, I dealt with a few weeks ago, and these
little pockets on the bowel wall can also bleed. The stools are dark red or
maroon. Pain is usually absent but surgery is required in up to 25 percent of
Bloody diarrhea is often seen in Bacterial dysentery, which
we have all had to a greater or lesser degree. Responsible organisms include
Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium
difficile. A most unsavory bunch! The treatment depends upon the organism, but
generally intravenous fluid replacement and an anti-spasmodic and broad
spectrum antibiotic will bring this under control.
Another common cause of rectal bleeding is Inflammatory
bowel disease especially in young adults — typically those younger than 50
years of age. Bleeding occurs in small to moderate amounts of bright red blood
in the rectum, usually mixed in with stool and mucus. Associated symptoms
include fever and abdominal cramps. This condition generally settles with
The list does not stop there, as there are also conditions
like Angiodysplasia, which is a vascular problem that involves enlarged veins
and capillaries in the wall of the right colon. In the elderly, these areas
become fragile and can bleed.
Of course, the one that everyone worries about is bowel
cancer. We lump these together under the general heading of Tumors and polyps.
Polyps bulge out from the lining of the colon. Bleeding occurs when large
polyps develop. They can be hereditary, and are usually harmless, but some
types can be precancerous.
Both benign and malignant tumors are frequently found in
the colon and rectum. Those people older than 50 years are most affected,
however, tumors can be found in younger people. It should also be noted that
less than 20 percent of people with tumor or polyps will have rectal bleeding.
However, when bleeding does occur, it is usually slow, chronic, and minimal.
Diagnosis requires careful evaluation with colonoscopy.
Rectal bleeding from a traumatic cause is always a critical
concern. Rectal damage from a gunshot wound or foreign body insertion can
result in extensive infection or rapid and fatal blood loss.
And yes, there’s more! A common source of bleeding is
hemorrhage from the stomach or duodenum. This can occur after someone has
swallowed a foreign body that causes injury to the stomach lining or bleeding
The list does go on, but these conditions are rare, however
the message is that rectal bleeding must always be investigated, unless Little
Johnny is the culprit.
I read your article published in the 24th of
February’s edition of the Pattaya Mail and it disturbed me. It was
regarding your reply to Delboy. It is frightening to me that someone would
hold such a low opinion for the future of children in Thailand. Is the
outlook really that bleak – or maybe you have just forgotten yourself
– or just given up hope of a better fate for the people of Thailand.
I would really like to here (sic) from you and maybe you might deem my
feelings worthy of printing. I would be interested to find out your ethnic
origin as I would find it hard to believe that a farang would be so candid
with a disrespectful view of a people.
Goodness me, Petal! Were we reading the same newspaper? My light-hearted
reply, I shall print again. Delboy was bemoaning the fact that the farangs
dress so badly and wrote (in part) “Seriously though, I’m lucky enough
to be a volunteer teachers assistant at Anubaan Chiangmai, but I notice a
large percentage of the children aren’t really interested in learning
English. Do you think it could be that the Farang they see around town
puts them off? Delboy”.
I replied in similar vein, “Dear Delboy, Glad to see you are back in
Thailand, and enjoying it as much as ever. Probably the reason that the
children aren’t interested in English communications is they’re not
old enough to know how to use an ATM yet. Give them a couple of years.
Teach them “Herro sexy man!”, “Sit dow pleez”, “Wun moah
beeyah?” and they’re ready for a long and fruitful association on the
economic front with farangs, no matter how they are dressed.” Please
read it again, Matthew. Do you think I am being disrespectful? Have you
never passed by a beer bar, and heard those words, “Herro sexy man! Sit
dow pleez. Wun moah beeyah?” And ponder on my words, “on the economic
front with farangs”.
Quite the contrary to what you are suggesting, I believe that the children
of Thailand do have a better future than yesterday’s children who have
now grown into adults. With appropriate education, the young will not need
to make money from the bar trade, but will have worthwhile and well paying
careers. But by the same token, there are certain young ladies making far
more than me every month! If money is your only yardstick, then “Herro
sexy man! Sit dow pleez. Wun moah beeyah?” is also a well paying career.
And as to my ethnicity? Petal, Hillary is a child of the universe.
Once again I have to ask for your help. I’ve done it again, falling
in love with a Thai woman who has happily ripped me off, while smiling. No
wonder they call this place the land of smiles. With what they’ve got
out of me, half of Issan should be smiling, or at least financially better
off. I thought I had met Miss Right. She always seemed so pleased to see
me, but I think it was my bank account she was smiling at. I know I did
not know her very long, but I honestly thought it would be better for us
to be together while we got to know each other better, and keep her away
from the bars. That was a dumb idea, as all it did was get her to know my
financial state better, which is now a lot worse when she left taking as
much as she could carry, and then some, what with motorcycle and house in
her name. This is really just a warning for other poor saps, as I know you
can’t get the money and stuff back for me. But how do you get some
honest company round here?
Sam the Sucker
Dear Sam (the Sucker),
Some people are slow learners, my Petal. There is nothing wrong with that,
but you should know yourself better by this stage in your life. I am sorry
that your Miss Right turned into Miss Nothing Left, and I appreciate your
trying to warn others to be more careful, but you are the person you
should be warning, before all others. If you must take Miss Right as a
live-in companion, that’s fine, but why make her the owner of property
bought with your hard-earned money? Sure, it is easier, rather than going
through the legals of having holding companies and other ways of retaining
ownership, but it leaves you vulnerable, doesn’t it? And if Miss Right
turns out to be Miss Wrong, there you go again. When you analyze it, she
did not rip you off – you ripped yourself off! When you put yourself in
the cage full of lions (and lionesses really) you must expect to be
bitten. But surely by now it would be ‘once bitten, twice shy’? I am
not suggesting that you have to live like a monk on your own, but I am
saying that you have to be a little smarter and remain in control of
yourself, your property and your finances. And that is the very best
advice (and help) I can give you, Petal. Best of luck in the future.
Camera Class: Cats and kids – Irving Penn – the B&W Master
by Harry Flashman
While Irving Penn is one of the best photographers America
has produced and handled all media, formats and films, for me, his Black and
White work stands out as some of the most spectacular photographs of his era. He
had an eye for photo and design that was unique, so it is worthwhile spending a
little time to look at this great man and his works.
He was born in 1917 in Plainfield, New Jersey. Realizing
early that his talents lay somewhere in the artistic world, he enrolled at the
age of 17 in a four year course at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial
Art, where he trained for a career as an art director. At this stage he had no
thoughts of becoming a photographer.
His first art work experience was as an office boy and
apprentice artist for Harper’s Bazaar magazine drawing shoes.
graduation he had positions as an art director, but he was not happy or
convinced that this was all that life was going to offer him, so he went to
Mexico for a year to devote himself to painting.
One year was enough to convince Penn that he was not going to
make it as a painter and he returned to New York and took a job with Vogue
magazine as a junior art director. His work was noticed by the senior art
director, but the staff photographers could not deliver the pictures that Penn
saw in his mind, which encouraged him to take the photographs himself.
This was the start to a great career. He continued with
Vogue, with just a small break for the war effort, and his first exhibition of
magazine covers was held in 1947 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
For me, his work is unique because of his use of light and
other devices to isolate his subject from the background. One example of this
was his series, taken against a totally plain background, of workers in their
working clothes with their tools of trade being the main item to lead the viewer
to the industry concerned.
is also the master of side lighting to produce a dramatic atmosphere to his
photographs. Look at the shot of Picasso for example. The pose, the close up
aspect, the one dramatic eye fixing you, the Spanish hat as the clue – all
these items are true art director material – but Irving Penn was an art
director who could take the photograph as well.
His use of photographic equipment was also very varied. Since
he would envisage a shot before he took it, he would then work out what he felt
would be the best equipment to use to produce the shot. His formats were also
varied, from 35 mm Leica and Nikon, through to medium format (6x6) Rolleiflex or
Hasselblad and then all the way through to giant 8x10 Deardorff plate cameras.
His talents have not gone un-noticed. He was voted as one of
the top ten photographers in the world in 1958 and has had his work exhibited
internationally as well as some sell-out shows in his native America. Included
in these are those in the Museum of Modem Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art and at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York (1975) and at the Metropolitan Museum (1977).
Published boks include ‘Moments Preserved’ (1960), ‘Worlds in a Small
Room’ (1974) and ‘Flowers’ (1980).
Irving Penn and his extraordinary capacity for work, versatility,
inventiveness, and imagination in a number of fields including editorial
illustration, advertising, photojournalism, portraits, still life, travel, and
television is someone who truly is a “Master Photographer” and studying his
work one wet afternoon will go a long way towards improving our own photography.
Money Matters: A look at Thai baht
MBMG International Ltd.
We recently researched the recent history
of Thai baht exchange rates and this is what we uncovered - Thailand adopted
a floating exchange rate regime (similar to now) prior to 1963. However,
this regime was ended on 20 October 1963 and Baht was linked to U.S. dollar
at a rate B20.80 per U.S. dollar. Prior to this Baht had included a gold
standard but to allow the Bank of Thailand to retain the pegged exchange
rate, the gold content of Thai Baht had to be reduced for several times.
This process basically prevented volatility in Baht value against the US$
but, especially when the Nixon administration caused the depreciation of the
US$ in 1971 which in turn caused the deprecation of the Baht, it added to
Baht volatility against other currencies and also caused reduction of the
country’s gold reserves. To avoid further reduction of gold reserves, the
BOT introduced a band of up to 4.5% fluctuation range in May 1972 and then
up-valued the official rate to B20.00 per U.S. dollar in July 1973.
In March 1978, the Baht’s link to U.S. Dollar was
broken as the exchange rate regime was changed from one that was pegged to
the U.S. dollar to a system pegged to a weighted basket currency of
Thailand’s major trading partners (which is what China claims to be doing
currently). Initially the basket comprised of US$, West German mark, Swiss
Franc and Japanese Yen. Again, the Effective Rate was allowed to float
within a limited range (Controlled Floating Rate). In 1979, the Vietnamese
invasion of Cambodia and subsequent Chinese retaliation caused a flight of
capital from Thailand. In attempt to ease this liquidity crunch, the
interest rate of Non-resident Foreign Currency Accounts was permitted to
float, the interest rates on Baht accounts were also boosted and a number of
currency controls were relaxed. By 1981 the then soaring US$ had increased
the costs of imports while depressing the receipts of exports. In response
Thailand twice devalued the Baht initially by 1.08% to B21.00 per US$ and
then in July that year by 8.7% to B23.00. Between the years 1984 and 1990,
the basket of currencies was revised twice ultimately being composed of 10
currencies of Thailand’s major trading partners. In addition to the
original components Sterling, Malaysian Ringgit, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore
Dollar, Brunei Dollars, Indonesian Rupiah and Philippine Pesos. In November
1984 Thai Baht underwent the biggest devaluation that it had experienced
changing from B23.00 to B27.15 per U.S. dollar, representing devaluation by
14.8%. During the period of 1984-1997, the Exchange Equalization Fund (EEF)
defended the Baht value against the U.S. Dollar by using some monetary and
financial measures in line with the pegged exchange rate regime. These
interventions by the Central Bank were intended to assist exports and stop
capital outflow. A “managed float” was used to control the currency, but
market forces led to the collapse of this system amid the Asian currency
crisis in 1997.
Since 2 July 1997, Thai Baht has been freely floated with
value of the Baht determined by market forces. The Bank of Thailand
intervenes in the market only when necessary, in order to prevent excessive
volatilities and achieve economic policy targets. Part of the attraction of
the floating regime is the enhanced flexibility and efficiency in monetary
policy implementation. This allows Thailand to operate within the terms of
the free markets and is intended to increase confidence of both domestic and
international investors. Initially, to protect the domestic economy against
speculating. a two-tier currency market was created to separate exchange
rates for investors who bought Baht in domestic and overseas markets,
although by January the following year this had been unified, creating a
genuine traded value for Thai Baht at any given time.
From 1979 until the free-float was implemented Baht exch
rates were as follows -
31 December 1979 20.425
31 December 1980 20.630
31 December 1981 23.000
31 December 1982 23.000
31 December 1983 23.000
31 December 1984 27.150
30 December 1985 26.650
31 December 1986 26.130
30 December 1987 25.070
30 December 1988 25.240
29 December 1989 25.690
28 December 1990 25.265
30 December 1991 25.255
30 December 1992 25.520
30 December 1993 25.540
30 December 1994 25.090
29 December 1995 25.190
31 December 1996 25.550
That’s the past, going forwards we expect the Baht to
continue to ply a gradually depreciating mid-path between the currency
performance of Thailand’s major trading partners, most notably US$ and
Euro, but not forgetting Yen. Therefore the clues to Baht’s performance
this year come from its own economic performance and from that of the US,
Japan and the Eurozone. In the course of this research we also tried to
evaluate the accuracy of published forecasts for THB rates over the last 10
years. In general the performance of forecasters has been poor. Few people
have accurately forecast what has happened, i.e. the strengthening of Baht
during the two years following Baht bottoming out, the weakening of Baht
again once it had touched 36, and the couple of bouts of strengthening and
one bout of further weakening since then. We expect the current short term
strength to follow its course but then once Baht has become clearly
overbought expect a further bout of weakness.
By 2015 capital flows mean that we should expect a Baht that looks 10%
weaker against its weighted basket than today. This is potentially
interesting for investors - but only if you can pick a currency with a
clearly weaker prognosis than Baht (such as US$) and only if your borrowing
requirements match the term of that prognosis (say 2 years) and only if you
can afford the risks of currency markets behaving as irrationally as they
always have in the past, should you even contemplate buying Baht assets with
anything other than Baht liabilities. Buying Thai property with loans in,
e.g. Singapore Dollar, could prove to be much more expensive than many
borrowers might realize. Caveat Emptor!
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 email@example.com
Life in the Laugh Lane: ESL: Engrish as a Sekund Langridge
by Scott Jones
FTP (Faulty Thought Process) #19: “I’m
trying to sell stuff to English-speaking people so I translate Thai with my
incredible language skills learned 20 years ago in grammar school that I
haven’t used since then.” FTP #273: “My brother Nit writes for me. He
says his English is perfect.” In this age of hurry up, zip, zap, snap
impressions are all you get, you’d better get it right the first time. It’s
not hard to find help: a college student, the internet or the gaggle of Farangs
lounging on every corner who’d probably take a minute to check over your
translations for free. (NOTE: Beware of the aging, chopstick-thin backpacker on
a 17-year World Drug Tour, with only eleven remaining brain cells and long,
slimy hair which may actually be his head unraveling. He probably uses the
Faulty Thought Processes are also widespread in America with
people struggling to communicate in EFL: Englitch as a Furst Langwudg. Noticing
the expensive, neon sign saying RESTARAUNT, I casually mentioned to the owner
that restaurant was spelled incorrectly and he replied, “Who cares? Everyone
knows what it means.” Right. If he can’t even spell his own business, how
do you know he won’t mix up the cans of turmeric and arsenic?
Try to figure out this one, written using every word in
his/her/its vocabulary including several randomly chosen words from other
labels, “A ten soft-headed from shows the characteristic that was superior in
with sporting equipment such as medical business or sports shoes as an
artificial heart muscle. I show fitting nature and a support power surely in
orderwrap stress in order to be superior in flexibility and let a shock
disperse from the characteristic that is going to catch a sudden shock with a
respect instantly, to be adversely sticky that let, in addition, you do
deformiry and seen to be crowded, and to re-construct it.” (It’s very
difficult to write this column since my spelling and grammar checker keeps
LET ME BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS: I do not want these people to change their
ways. I love them. Some of the best entertainment in town is attempting to
decipher menus and labels. Thailand would be less fun without businesses run by
the Wit brothers: Nit, Dim and Half.
Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
209/5 Moo 6, T.Faham,
A.Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel. 053 852 557, 081-302 0126 Fax. 053 260 738
Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]