The Doctor's Consultation:
by Dr. Iain Corness
Getting fitter the (relatively) easy way
I have spent many column inches
(oops, showing my age - column centimetres) over the past few years writing
about how to avoid debilitating diseases and how to make sure your
cholesterol stays low and similar concepts, and the advisability of annual
check-ups. All these articles have been designed to make sure you stay as
healthy as possible. However, this does not mean to say you are then “fit”.
Every so often it does become necessary to take stock of your physical self,
and I am no different. The possession of medical degrees and diplomas does
not automatically mean you have been given the secret of eternal youth (or
life), more’s the pity.
In the quest for the holy grail of fitness, I have recently lost some
weight. This has been intentional, as I was getting a little “paunchy” - the
result of some regular beer intake (aided and abetted by one only Kim
Fletcher of Jameson’s - though the final responsibility I must take myself)!
I now take alcohol less than three days a week, with the intervening days on
the soda water. My weight is now 78 kg and the belly has disappeared
dramatically. But this does not mean to say I am “fit”. It just means that I
am no longer overweight.
One of my old mates has taken to going to the gymnasium three times a week.
His muscles are definitely stronger, but his exercise regime does not make
him generally fit. It just makes him stronger. There’s a big difference.
Another old mate, Alan, is one of those fitness “fanatics” (in my book) who
walks for an hour every morning. He is fit. He radiates fitness (damn him)
and has been on at me for some time to join him on these early morning
marches. I have steadfastly refused, mainly because I do not have the luxury
of a spare hour every morning, and I do not intend getting up before the sun
does and marching with a miners helmet on complete with built in headlight.
So what do you do in these circumstances? Well, I remembered a very old book
I had on the bookshelves - The 5 BX and 10 BX plan. You remember it too, I
am sure. It was all the rage twenty odd years ago (when I was fit). Strange
that you buy these things when you don’t need them! However, I still had my
copy, now discoloured and frayed around the edges (like me). This book
promised to get you fit at the expense of 11 minutes a day. That was more
like it. 11 minutes I have, 60 I do not have.
Re-reading the slim volume, I marvelled at the simplicity of it all. There
was a graduated scale of different exercises, designed to keep the muscles
in trim, as well as giving the heart a little exercise as well. The varying
levels began from one called D minus, which I found to be very easily
attained, even at my age. As you get fitter, you progress through the
alphabet to A plus - but still carrying out the regimen in 11 minutes.
I had thought that when I did the parachute jump, that was the last on my
list of “must do’s” but I was incorrect. I have been enjoying life so much
that I have added “live to be 100” to the list (at my wife’s insistence, I
should add. I have assured her that I will indeed attain the century, or die
in the attempt!). This does mean, however, that I want to be able to get
around and continue to “do things” at that age. I will need to be fit. It is
not too late for me - or for you. Think about it.
Heart to Heart
Dear old Pater is having a little difficulty with camp followers when he
pops out for his early evening whirdle! In fact, he doesn’t like to walk
along the prom, prom, prom when the big bass ladyboys go bom, bom, bom!
Suggestions for safer whirdling welcome, Hillary.
Dear oh dearie me! I had high hopes that you and twins and Pater had all
escaped to Laos, where you had been arrested for plotting to attempt the
overthrow of the Dominican Republic. But alas! Here you are again. I am
pleased to see that Pater is still well enough to whirdle, though last
time I saw him, he was herpling very badly. However, safer whirdling for
the old git could be difficult. Have you thought about a live-in nanny?
Following up on your reply to Lefty last week, whose girlfriend made
regular jaunts to Bangkok dressed in white, to supposedly visit a
temple. As you say temple visits are the norm with Thais with a deep
religious faith, but why can’t they visit their local temple? Why in
this case was it necessary to travel to Bangkok? This happens
extensively in Isaan where I live. The locals regularly borrow money to
travel 50-100 kms to just another temple, their reasoning is “the monks
are better”. Surely a monk is a monk and a temple is a temple. They are
after all only “middlemen” between the believer and Buddha!
What a wonderfully crazy name you have chosen for yourself, or did
someone else give it to you, Petal? Where is your sense of adventure?
Have you never gone somewhere different, just for the sheer joy of
“change”? Or do you always go to the same shopping center, the same day
of the week and buy the same things? It makes no difference whether the
reason being given is that the “monks are better” - that’s just a line
of thought being given to the non-understanding farang. It’s too hard to
explain otherwise. By the way, the monk is not the middleman between the
believer and Buddha, the monk is the agent through whose direction the
believer can try to attempt to attain a state of grace. Big difference,
you should study Buddhism a little more.
You have the most interesting group of people who write to you with all
their problems and I must say you do try to answer them, though
sometimes you do get a little tetchy, Hillary. So please don’t be too
quick with my problem, eh? I have met this really spunky chick, and
before you even say anything, yes she does work in a beer bar. So I know
all the traps and all the rest of the good advice that you give out each
week. What I want to know is do have you any idea how many of these
girls make good wives? Do they all eventually run off with the house and
all the rest of it? Have you any good stats on all this stuff? Or does
anybody have them? The books you recommend like Private Dancer all show
the bad side, but what I need to know is the good side, and I don’t
believe they are all bad. Have you the real numbers, O wise Hillary?
That’s not the National Enquirer is it? If it is, I want a big fat
syndication fee, Petal. Hey, you are asking the impossible. How many of
the ladies of the night turn out to be great wives, compared to how many
turn into money collectors? That is impossible to keep track of, and you
know it, but the reason you are wanting to find out is because you are
just hoping that your “spunky chick” is one of what you call one of the
“good” ones. Look, my Petal, here are some real facts - the ladies of
the night are not in that (dare I say it) ‘profession’ because someone
forced them into it. They chose to work in the bar, and what you have to
ask yourself (and you already know the answer) is just why did they
choose it? Was it to make more money than they could as a housemaid
(since the majority have not finished their schooling, and cannot get
better jobs), or was it because they thought they might meet a nice man
who will take them away from all this penile servitude (pun intended,
Petal)? If it was for either of those reasons, the chances of these
girls happily settling down with a foreign husband is not really that
high, is it? Now here is where the ‘wild card’ comes in. As in all
female-male relationships a certain chemistry can occur between the
woman and the man that makes all further decisions defy logic. Let’s
call it ‘love’ for the want of a better name. That has to occur for both
parties, Petal, not just one. Under those circumstances, a ‘good’
marriage ‘can’ eventuate. Note, I did not say ‘will’, Petal. Statistics
on marital breakdown, into martial breakup, is around 50 percent for
marriages in the west, you know the marriages made in heaven between two
people from the same society, with no cultural disparities (sorry I’m
using big words, but it’s a big words day). Take your chances, Enquirer,
but keep your eyes open!
Camera Class: by
Using shadow for mystery
you first start in photography there is a tendency to want to
show all the detail that is in front of the camera lens. The
best way, the novice feels, is to do this is to flood the
picture with light. Be that sunlight or from the super-Mecablitz
flash or whatever. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to
show shape, form or evoke an air of mystery.
Undoubtedly the subject will now be well lit, but you have also
removed shape and form from the photograph. You see, the way to
convey shape is by showing the shadow the object casts. No
shadow and it looks flat. Incorporate shadow and “Hey Presto!”
you have invented 3D.
Shadow has another benefit - it gives an air of mystery to any
picture. Dark shadows allow the viewer to imagine what is being
hidden. Your photograph “hints” at something and the viewer’s
mind does the rest from there. This is used in ‘glamour’
photography (as opposed to pornography, by the way).
Here is an exercise for this weekend. Let’s put some shadows
into your photographs. Let’s do a portrait to incorporate
shadow. And let’s do this indoors and without flash guns or any
fancy equipment, and get a ‘professional’ look to the outcome,
no matter what kind of camera you own.
Find the largest window in your house or condominium and put a
chair about one meter away from it. The chair should be parallel
to the window, not facing it.
Place your sitter in the chair and position another chair facing
the sitter. This one is yours, as you will take the photo
sitting down. Reason? This way you keep the camera at the same
level as your subject’s face and you will get a more pleasing
portrait. If you photograph from a position below the subject
you tend to give them “piggy” nostrils and it shortens the look
of the nose. In a country where ‘big noses’ are considered
desirable, this is not the effect wanted.
Now, make sure that your auto flash is turned off. This is
important with point and shooters that can fire off as soon as
light levels are lower than usual. Look through the viewfinder
and position yourself so that the sitter’s face is almost
filling the frame. Notice that the side of the face away from
the window light source is now in shadow. If you have the
ability to meter from the lit side of the face, then do so. But
if not, just blast off a couple of frames on auto and let the
camera do the worrying.
Now here is a super trick to do if you have an SLR. Turn the
film speed dial from the ASA of the film you are using to the
next highest film speed. For example, if you are shooting 100
ASA go to 200 ASA. If you have used 200 ASA then bump it up to
400 ASA. What you are doing is effectively reducing the amount
of light falling on to the film by 50 percent. This way you
should “fool” the camera’s meter and make sure you get some good
You should also slightly angle the sitter’s chair so that one
shoulder is closer to the camera and get the subject to turn
their head to face the camera again. Try angling in both
directions so you will get a choice of shots.
Another variation to try is to place a thin voile net over the
window, or draw any transparent curtains. This will soften the
light and is particularly effective when taking shots of women.
Again go through the variations, including the change of ASA
For a portrait study such as this it is worth using a complete
roll of film, or many digital shots. Remember that you are not
doing 36 identical shots - you are making variations in pose,
lighting and exposure. There are also facial expressions to
change - laughing, smiling, serious or sad. It is very easy to
end up with 36 different shots.
Try it, you will be amazed at the professional result.
Money Matters: Graham
Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.
If U.S. Equities are doing so well why is
the U.S. Economy struggling? Part 1
Despite the fact that the Dow Jones 30 and S&P500 have
both broken records recently and have surpassed their previous highs, there
are still worries about the US economy.
Why is this? Well, one thing is the way things are calculated. Without
doubt, the US real US GDP has been slowing down significantly so far this
year even thought the major indices have been on the up and up and companies
continue to report good growth in earnings and revenues.
This weird situation is, as stated above, down to the way that things are
figured out. However, there are other things to consider as well. To begin
with GDP is usually measured in real terms (i.e. volume) but on top of this
headline inflation of around three percent must be added to work out what
the revenue growth actually is.
Also, one has to consider the fact that the Dow and S&P have a completely
different mix of companies that have seen a better growth than the rest of
the economy; for example, the S&P is heavily weighted to energy and
technology whilst at the same time having little to do with government and
housing. This means that they have benefited from the surge in equities and
also having nothing to do with the property problems that have been so
prevalent - especially recently. Finally, the revenues from US operations
that have an international arm have expanded greatly over the last couple of
years but these are excluded from the GDP.
Many forecasters predict that the S&P will continue to do well - even when
inflation has been taken into account. However, they also predict that
things will not be as good for the US equity market over the coming year BUT
that IF there is good growth on a global scale then the continuing weakness
of the USD should help overseas sales to remain good and compensate the poor
performance of the US economy.
Let’s look at this in more detail. The problems mentioned above can be
further exacerbated by the differences between macro-economic and
micro-economic outlooks. With regards to the former, at least as far as the
equity markets are concerned, information can occasionally give conflicting
reports about the latter’s outlook for a company and its shares. This can be
seen by what happened a year ago. Even though US growth suffered from a
major slowdown, the S&P500 showed a revenue growth that stayed at nearly 12%
for the rest of the year. Hardly the situation that leads to a cataclysmic
meltdown. So, why are the macro people worried and the micro analysts
seemingly unperturbed by what is going on? Well, as mentioned previously,
the main thing is the definition of what makes up the statistics. Long term
readers of this column will know that one of my favourite quotes is that
there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”. However, we do have to start
Let’s study what goes into the figures that make up these statistics and who
defines what. A reasonable definition of company revenue is total worldwide
sales based in USD. However, GDP is shown as only value added and not
revenue. For instance, a company that sells a computer for USD1,000 with
USD500 of components from suppliers would only create USD500 of value added.
Also, a large supply chain will give a lot more sales than value added will
do. Another thing is inflation needs to be added to real GDP, which shows
the volume of activity in an economy, when being compared to revenue.
Finally, GDP is based on production and not turnover so that any
accumulation in inventory counts for GDP but not company revenues.
Along with this it must be remembered that GDP only refers to items produced
in the USA. Therefore, if anything has been produced for an American company
overseas it is not included in GDP but it is for that company’s revenue
stream. So, whilst a large company in the Dow or S&P may be seen to be doing
well the USA is not.
The GDP is derived from ALL the companies in the US whilst the S&P500 is
taken from only a small range of companies that are not a full
representation of ALL the business and industry that goes to make up an
economy. The Dow and S&P also discard companies that are not doing well -
GDP does not have this luxury.
This can be seen from how to compare the figures over the last three years.
The US Government says that Real GDP is just over 3% per annum whereas the
S&P shows it to slightly over 10% p.a. The 7% difference comes from
inflation, international sales, industry mix and other factors including
inventory changes, index selection favouritism, etc. The latter accounts for
less than one percent but let’s take a look at the others.
Inflation - the indices revenue growth is derived from actual revenues
whereas real GDP is from the output of the economy. Thus the higher the rate
of inflation is then the bigger the difference there is between the two sets
International Sales - Companies from the US are taking advantage of
excellent growth outside of the US which helps revenue and a weak dollar,
which means that revenues from overseas are worth more in USD when brought
back to the USA. Non-USA sales have grown by over 13% per annum over the
last five years and now account for more than 33% of the sales for the
companies in the S&P that report them.
Industry mix - There is not an equal split of business in the major indices.
Certain industries will not be as prevalent as others. For example,
manufacturing will have a much larger slice of the market than an industry
such as waste services. Different performances in different economic sectors
can lead to a large misrepresentation of figures when given as growth
measured by the markets and by the economy. Over the last couple of years
this can be best seen by how the energy companies have had a positive effect
and the property ones have had exactly the opposite effect.
To be continued…
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 Graham Macdonald on [email protected]
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
Not having been in Thailand for rather too long, I’m not
up to date on what progress is being made on repairs to the airport at
Bangkok. But the new terminus at Heathrow is in the news in London and the
photographs make it look stunning. Enormous, with huge space above the
shopping malls and equipped to handle an extra 30 million passengers a year.
And there are to be only 700 seats for would be passengers. Sound familiar?
There was a wonderful piece in The Independent. They asked readers to
suggest collective nouns to sum up various jobs and professions and the
results were far from flattering, especially for estate agents, politicians
and journalists. Here is a small selection: A gazump of estate agents won,
and among the runners up was an exaggeration, a shadiness, a rapacity and my
special favourites a slick and a slither.
As for journalists we fared little better. A jabber won the day, followed by
others including a snoop, a gutter, a sozzle, a jaundice and a wittering.
Our members of parliament did just as badly and who knows that too might
fund an echo here with a waffle of MPs. Along with mendacity, a backhander
(what price Thailand?), a malady and blather. And whilst in Thailand, what
about the collective noun for the ubiquitous 4x4 drivers? The winner was a
guzzle, followed by a choke, an insolence, a bombast, a smog and my
favourite a carbonation.
Unsurprisingly, I am asked by friends in England what the Thais ‘think about
Iraq? I find it difficult to answer since firstly they have none of the
guilt that is shared by many in the west and secondly they are after all a
nation comparatively untouched by war. America has been almost continually
at war since the very early ‘40s (except for 1945-’51) and in Britain this
week they are still banging on about the Falklands War of 25 years ago as
though this were something to celebrate. I simply say that most concern
expressed comes from ex-pats living in Chiang Mai rather than from Thais who
have such a calm acceptance of so many things.
And we have cause to be anxious since every day some new horror in unveiled
such as atrocities committed by British and American soldiers. The latest
news story is one that comes under the category of ‘You couldn’t make it
up’. A British resident whose family still lives in north London has been in
that concentration camp at Guantanamo for some four years. Now Jamil Barum
is set for release, never having been charged and seemingly not guilty of
any crime. Naturally he wants to return to Britain to join his family and
not be returned to Jordan. The reason the Home Office is giving for not
allowing him back is that he has forfeited his right to return since he has
been out of the country too long. How about other collective nouns for
politicians? A wriggle, a shyst, a disdain?
Bangkok International Film Festival
Asian films to take center stage
the first time, the focus of this year’s Bangkok International Film Festival
will be on Asian movies.
Asian films would make up more than 50 per cent of this year’s festival,
which runs from July 19 to 29, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said.
The move is in response to the popularity of Asian films in Thailand and
The added movie genres such as horror and romantic comedies had garnered
large followings, and some Asian movies had also been remade into major
The TAT said more than 100 films from some 30 countries would be screened at
the festival, which was initially scheduled for January, but postponed due
to the unavailability of theatres.
Chief Officer of the festival, Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, said this
year’s festival was shaping up very well, despite its budget being cut in
He said: “It (the budget cut) definitely won’t have an impact on the
“We had allowed for the budget cut. We will get good films, you can be sure
He said this year’s event would be a “streamlined festival”. He added: “The
focus will be on quality films, which is really the heart of any film
“This year, our main focus will be to provide movie-loving audiences with
the films they’ve been waiting to see.”
The festival, which is in its fifth edition, will comprise four main
segments: film screenings, workshops and seminars, the film mart, and the
awards ceremony and gala dinner.
The film mart is expected to do brisk business in the acquisition of Asian
films for theatrical release overseas.
The seminars and workshops will educate the public on new developments in
movie-making and highlight important pioneers and periods in local cinema.
Some of the awards to be given out include the Kinnaree Award for the best
film in the festival as selected by a panel of international jurors, New
Voices Award for first-time directors and ASEAN Films Award for the best
film from ASEAN.
TAT said an ASEAN category would be unique to the festival, and would be
made up of 10 films from countries that included Malaysia and Indonesia –
while the short film competition was a new addition to this year’s festival.
The World Cinema section includes about 20 movies from countries such as
Germany, France, Denmark and the UK, while the Asian Cinema section is
expected to comprise nearly 30 films from across the region.
The Thai Panorama section would be made up of 12 newly released films, the
The films will be screened at Central World with the film mart held at Siam
Paragon from July 23 to 25.
While earlier editions had been organized with an American-based partner,
this year’s festival is being organized by a group of Thai organizations,
namely, TAT, Central World, SF Cinema and the Association of Thai Film
Let's Go To The Movies:
Ploy: Thai Drama – From director Pen-ek Ratanaruang.
An assured piece of mature filmmaking examining a marriage seven years on.
Essentially a lucid dream, Ploy takes place in that odd in-between state
when you cannot be sure whether you are sleeping or awake, and there are
seemingly sure pointers that lead you to believe both. While things appear
straightforward in the early stages of the film, it soon becomes clear that
some sequences are in fact the dreams by some characters about the others,
and the lines between what is real and what is imagined becomes deeply
blurred. Thus, Ploy isn’t really a film about what is, so much as what might
be: about the different paths a relationship might take. All paths are
equally valid, all are equally likely, and it is up to you to decide which
to follow and label truth, and which to label fantasy.
Don’t miss this. Thai cinema isn’t this good very often.
Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer: US Sci-Fi/Fantasy – We continue
our examination of the Marvel cosmology: Did you know there exists today a
leftover God from the universe that just preceded this one? His name is
Galactus, and he is the only survivor of that time before current time.
And these are not the only two universes; there are many. Our current
universe is the “mainstream Marvel continuity,” sometimes known as
Earth-616. The universe of the Transformers, coming June 28, is
Earth-120185. The universe where the Nazis won WWII is Earth-597.
According to Marvel, Galactus must eat energy – entire worlds – in order to
survive, and eat voraciously. He sends his herald, the Silver Surfer, to
discover and prepare new worlds to devour. Wherever Silver Surfer goes,
total destruction soon follows.
Why does the Silver Surfer serve Galactus and prepare planets for doom?
Because as long as he does, Galactus will spare his own planet, and along
with it the one woman he truly loves.
The creator of the whole series of Marvel comic book classics is Stan Lee,
the major force in comics since 1950. He has a cameo in the movie: he’s the
scruffy obnoxious fellow trying to crash the wedding.
One final bit of cosmology: Why does the Silver Surfer use a surfboard of
all things?! Answer: the series’ artist, Jack Kirby, was “tired of drawing
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: US Action/Fantasy – More you
couldn’t ask for – an over-abundance of spectacle and fun, fashioned with
immense imagination. Depp is a delight; line of the week: “Shoot him, cut
out his tongue, and shoot his tongue.” (After seven minutes of ending
credits, a scene ten years later shows how one of the plot lines . . . oops,
you better see for yourself!)
Ocean’s Thirteen: US Crime/Comedy – Casino heist caper. A delightful
patchwork of plot-holes laced together with fantastic fabrications. Much
Rakna 24 Hours: Thai Romance/Comedy – Romance threatened because boy has two
widely different personalities, which he chooses randomly for the day each
morning. Starring Thai singing star “Film.”
Teng Nong Khon Ma Ha Hear: Thai Comedy – Starring two popular Thai
comedians. Of little pitch and moment for farangs, but number one at the
Thailand box office every week since June 1st.
Sick Nurses (Suay Laak Sai): Thai Horror – Whimpering, simpering, and
screaming young nubile nurses get killed in imaginative ways. Sick and
sickening, I can attest. Strictly for those who adore awful Thai horror
Scheduled for Thursday, June 28
Transformers: US Action/Sci-Fi – Dueling alien races, the heroic Autobots
and the evil Decepticons, bring their battle to Earth, and earth to the
brink of extinction. From Marvel comics.
My Wife is a Gangster 3: Korea Action/Comedy – A female crime boss hides out
in Korea to escape from triad bosses out for her hide. An amiable comedy for
Korean film fans.
Life in the laugh lane:
by Scott Jones
Selling My Soul 101
Alan Alda, John Lithgow, Mary Higgins Clark, many other celebrities and
authors and I signed our new books at the gigantic Book Expo in New York
last week. They had to sit in massive rooms behind tables and long lines of
bored fans who paid for the autographs, while I was free to autograph
anywhere for free, including on the bus to New Jersey where I was staying.
Two women with sacks of books, still wearing their convention name tags in
case they forgot who they were, asked which book excited me the most. I
said, “Mine, of course” and gave them an autographed book with the condition
that they’d email to tell me if it rocked or it sucked.
The Book Expo (or BEA, perhaps named after my Aunt Bea in Fargo, North
Dakota, who has read several books) is an intimate gathering of 40,000
people at the Javits Convention Center, about 1,000 major publishers,
subsidiary publishers, internet publishers, self-publishers, distributors,
printers, agents, publicists and literary sluts, about 9,000 book store
owners or employees trick-or-treating for free stuff and about 30,000
struggling authors hawking, begging and groveling with their two chapter
drafts of the next great American novel.
I was very optimistic after selling one book on the plane to a publisher
from Switzerland. (Though he specializes in scholarly psychiatric works
relating to Freud and Jung, I’m hoping he may round out his catalog by
including one book by an author who is clinically insane.) I arrived early
to see friends and prepare for the Writer’s Conference (for which I prepaid
$200) that began the day before the BEA. At 3:40 p.m., while in New Jersey,
perusing the internet, I realized the Writer’s Conference had started that
very day at 8:00 a.m., and if I survived the traffic into the city, I could
catch the last two minutes of the conference. Feeling like I possessed the
brain power of an amoeba, I bused in the next morning to try to get a
refund, then attend the BEA, however, the convention floor didn’t open until
the next day, so I was now the official village idiot of New York: a day
late and a day early at the same time. Carrying a backpack full of books
that weighed a little less than a pregnant water buffalo, I wandered the
streets for hours to test my new chromium-cobalt steel hip replacement I got
three months ago in India. The hip performed painlessly like steel should,
but my barely-used legs and feet became throbbing waste material and I could
barely walk the next day at the convention. (I’m going back to India to get
metal legs and feet.)
In the book biz, competition is fierce and I need distribution with
sufficient marketing so more people know about my book than my Aunt Bea.
Random House Publishing introduces about 60 titles every two weeks. Every
year some 200,000 new titles hit the shelves: that’s 23 books per hour,
365/24/7. The convention program had 126 pages of autographing schedules
with eight authors per page. Why would anyone care about Life in the Laugh
Lane with books like these? (I did not change one word of these titles.)
Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots; Passing Gas and
Getting Paid for It; EEEEE EEE EEEE (perhaps a sequel to his novel DDDD DDD
DDDD); three books destined to be best-sellers in Thailand: Martina, the
Beautiful Cockroach, Woof! A Gay Man’s Guide to Dogs and Identifying the
Wackos in Your Life (which actually had picture of me in it); and Don’t Know
Much About Anything, “the latest addition in the million-copy selling
My most humbling moment? While limping down the aisles, a woman dragged me
into her booth and said, “Would you like an autographed book? Here’s the
author. She’s nine and working on her second book. She wrote this one when
she was seven.” Seven. To be even with her, I’ll have to publish my book 50
Instead of trying to sort out this entire industry, I learned I may need a
literary agent. On my last walk through the halls with my last book in hand,
I finally met one, from New York, who seemed somewhat interested after
flipping through my book and laughing at the photos. (I imagined she’d say:
“This has potential, but it needs editing. Let’s just take out all the
words.”) After telling her that all the profits go to Children’s Garden
orphanage in Thailand, she said, “I hate kids.” I may just have to sell them
door-to-door, along with cosmetics, cleaning fluids and that other guy’s
book, Passing Gas and Getting Paid for It.
Your Health & Happiness: Thailand chosen for high blood pressure, diabetes project
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Thailand, China, and
India as leading countries appropriate for launching pilot projects to
combat high blood pressure and diabetes.
Deputy public health minister Dr. Vallop Thainuea said that the WHO sees
Thailand’s potential to contain the diseases.
He said that ten million Thais currently have high blood pressure but only
one third know they have the condition, while three million Thai people have
diabetes, but only half recognize they have the disease.
Both illnesses can lead to other complications, which require costly medical
treatment, Dr. Vallop said.
The Public Health Ministry will supply blood pressure monitors and blood
glucose meters to public health volunteers to perform health check-ups for
local residents over 35 years old in August, he said.
The project is aimed at screening 10 million patients to receive medical
The ministry will also offer training for 800,000 health volunteers across
the country in July and August.
Public relations campaigns will be implemented to urge Thai people to adopt
healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity, which can lead to high blood pressure
and diabetes, he added.
According to the public health ministry, 30 per cent of children in urban
areas and 20 per cent of children in remote areas are overweight, higher
than 10 per cent and four per cent respectively in 1989. (TNA)
The one-minute TB test coming soon
The nanotechnology center of Srinakharinwirot University’s Faculty of
Medicine is developing a new technology to make the result of a tuberculosis
test known within one minute, according to a senior executive of the
Assoc. Prof. Kosum Chansiri, deputy dean in charge of administration, said
that the centre is studying the possibility of applying bio-censors in
diagnosing some serious infectious diseases including tuberculosis, dengue,
elephantiasis and HIV-AIDS.
Ms. Kosum said that the center is close to success in applying the equipment
in diagnosing mycobacterium tuberculosis within one minute.
Bio-censoring equipment is used in medical, agro-industrial, military and
environmental sectors. Success in the new diagnosis technique will be a
breakthrough because equipment for the diagnosis of tuberculosis is not yet
available in Thailand, she said.
At present, the most widely used methods were culture and polymerase chain
reaction (PCR), both of which are time consuming and were unable to
determine accurately if the strain of the mycobacterium tuberculosis was
resistant to any kinds of drug.
The success of the Srinakharinwirot research may lead to applications of
bio-censors in diagnosing other diseases.
The center resulted from cooperation between the university’s faculties of
medicine and engineering. (TNA)