Welcome to CM Mail’s Femail page!
We thought you might be interested in the text below, found on the
Shan Herald Agency for News’s website, www.shanland.org.
The site itself provides some interesting and challenging articles.
As regards The Golden Rule, to us it looked obvious at first—read
again, and again, we realised how subtle and inspirational it really
is! We hope you agree—have a good week!
The Golden Rule. According to the Buddha, there are six types of
speeches: One that is false, displeasing and detrimental; One that
is true but displeasing and detrimental; One that is pleasing but
false and detrimental; One that is true and pleasing but
detrimental; One that is true, pleasing and beneficial; and One that
is displeasing but true and beneficial.
The Buddha and his followers used only the two last types of
Survival of the
Fittest-or the Fit?
During the several weeks’ break this column has taken, I have been
thinking, and to some extent philosophising, about this whole fitness
business. The problem, as I see it, is that we have all become so infatuated
with the fashionable, trendy concept of working out, going to the gym,
eating this, not eating that, etc, that common sense, to a large extent, has
gone out of the window.
“Survival of the fittest” implies a competitive situation where, for us, the
message is “fitter, stronger, more beautiful, more righteous” equals more
social status, and involves a never-ending battle against the flab and the
ageing process. Therefore, I would prefer a simplification-“Survival of the
In other words—you are what you are, in physical terms at least. But we all
have the facility to make the most of what we are, and in the process
improve our health or preserve it. The ways of achieving this are many and
verified; the bottom line is quite simple-stay active. Whatever your
activity, as long as you enjoy it and as long as the the feel-good factor is
a part of it, you can’t go wrong. At the same time, of course, sensible
eating and drinking, together with the avoidance of stressful situations,
(or, at least, the learning to cope with them in a positive manner), is the
corollary to your physical input. We are all different, and whilst there are
diverse physical groups, our genes tend to dictate our facility for
activity. For some people, lifting weights is the answer, for others, a
daily swim or a good long walk is as beneficial and far more satisfying. In
any event, the most important factor is regular exercise.
Our grandparents may well have died of health problems that modern medicine
handles with ease, yet, on the whole, in life they were far fitter than we
are. They walked a great deal, lifted heavy weights, and performed physical
tasks that we are reluctant to undertake in these automated days. Of course,
back then many people had hard physical jobs which brought on early
disability or premature death. We are, in that way, fortunate. We have
options. Because of this, maybe if we don’t stay fit we will do doing a
disservice to our ancestors by not exercising these precious options and
proving the “Survival of the fit”! One last point—if we are unfortunate
enough to fall ill or have an accident—not impossible since a great many of
us spend a fair amount of time driving around Chiang Mai—our ability to
recover quickly and successfully regardless of age is much enhanced if we
are fit to begin with!
Red Yeast Rice -
an alternative to statins?
Coincidentally, whilst Peking Duck was in the UK news, results of
research carried out into the traditional red colouring imparted to the
dish seemed to suggest that it may be important to heart health. Used
for thousands of years in China as a food colourant, preservative,
seasoning and herbal medicine, red yeast rice is produced by fermenting
rice with the red yeast Monascus Pupureus.
The researchers, from Jefferson University, Pennsylvania, studied
patients who had survived heart attacks at more than 60 hospitals in
China, also focusing on cancer patients. A partially purified extract of
the red yeast rice was given daily to a number, a placebo to the rest.
Over a period of five years, comparisons of each group’s progress were
Surprisingly, the research team found that those taking the red yeast
rice extract had their risk of another heart attack reduced by nearly
50%; cancer sufferers also were noted have received benefits. The
extract’s performance would seem to have exceeded that of the popular
statin drugs, known to lower cholesterol, and to have had far fewer
Researcher Dr David Capuzzi said the effects could not be explained by
the statin content of the extract, and that more research will have to
undertaken to determine exactly how it works. He did not recommend
self-medication, as supplements available at health-food outlets may not
be reliable or correctly formulated.
Another one for the Brits!
‘Elf and safety “ducks” out
Those of us who have escaped from the country formerly known as “Great”
Britain are probably familiar with some of the more ridiculous
activities of the health and safety mob—a recent example of that
benighted organisation’s government and EU-induced lunacy seems to us to
typify their interference in the lives of people whose taxes pay their
Imagine the scenario – you decide to eat Chinese tonight and head,
mouths watering, to your favourite local restaurant intending to order
your favourite dish – Peking Duck. “Sorry, Sir”, says the waiter—“we
don’t have”. Slightly disappointed, you go for Cantonese Duck. “Sorry,
Sir, we don’t have”. Now it’s question time. The answer—“Sorry Sir,
Health and Safety closed the oven down”. WHAT?
Yes, they did. All over town, including all the famous Chinese
restaurants in London’s Chinatown. Why? Because they didn’t have an EU
sticker which stated that they conformed to EU regulations on carbon
monoxide emissions. Right—so, how many Chinese chefs have died from CM
emissions from traditional ovens? None. Right. Next question. How much
do EU approved ovens cost? Answer—over £3,000. And the traditional ones?
Rather a lot less, and they do the job better. Right. And what about the
effects on small family restaurants? Errmmm, dunno!
Fortunately for everyone concerned, sanity reigned in the end. The
Health and Safety Commissars, presumably fed up with receiving huge
numbers of emails and telephone calls both in English and Chinese and
being made to look stupid in the media, finally relented and unsealed
all the ovens. They stated that checks would have to be made to make
sure that the ovens were functioning correctly—fair enough. But, why
didn’t they just do that in the first place? Femail suspects that it’s
yet another case of the lunatics running the asylum.
On Hiroshima Day, let us worship
peace and shun violence
Every year, peace loving people all over the world, and
particularly in Japan , observe 6th August as Hiroshima Day in
memory of the millions killed or maimed for life for generations
Hiroshima Day is a grim reminder of the dropping of the first
atom bomb, (ironically named Little Boy), 63 years ago, by the
U.S. on the helpless and innocent citizens of Hiroshima .The
uranium bomb detonated at precisely 8.15 am, 2000 feet above the
ground surface, turning a beautiful Monday morning into an
inferno of unprecedented destruction. As of today, the death
toll, (due to immediate loss of life and the long drawn out
radiation impacts), stands at 242,437. About 270,000 A-Bomb
affected people, (called Hibakusha), live in Hiroshima today.
The second round of terror was unleashed 3 days later on August
9, with the exploding of a Plutonium bomb, (called Fat Man),
directly above the Urakami Cathedral, annihilating the city of
Even military experts felt that these bombs were not necessary
to win the war, whose fate was virtually sealed against Japan.
Many interpreted them as brash announcement of the arrival of
the new leader of the capitalist world, the USA. Since then the
US’s ambition to be the leader of the world has found reflection
in their tactics in national and foreign policies. Atomic
weapons have now given way to the more lethal nuclear weapons
threatening lives world-wide as never before.
Today, Hiroshima stands tall as a picturesque and clean city; a
city of peace that is almost crime free. It bears testimony to
the indomitable spirit of the Japanese people, to their faith in
life and in the goodness of humanity. On the sombre day of
August 6, we join hands with all like minded, peace loving
people on this planet to shun war and violence in any form.
The possibility of a nuclear attack in the 21st century is not
far fetched. Terrorist attacks by the so called ‘jihadis’ , the
‘cocking a snook” behaviour and the brash insolence of the
economically and politically powerful, the communal violence
perpetrated in the name of religion, the inhuman treatment of
women in many parts of the world— all these are acts of terror
that can never be justified. What sometimes starts as a
seemingly small act of childhood intolerance and aggressive
behaviour eventually ends up in abject disregard for human life
and cruel intolerance towards others. Hiroshima Day should
remind us of the importance of peaceful coexistence so that we
never start another war. Militarism is wrong and there is no
glory in war. Taking a human life is the most inhuman act and
does not justify any end.
It would be pertinent here to quote from the memoirs of Dr.
Richard Feynman, an eminent physicist who was closely associated
with the famous Manhattan Project which made the bombs, headed
by Dr. Bob Wilson. Feynman recalls: “After the thing went off,
there was tremendous excitement at Los Alamos .Everybody had
parties, we all ran around. But one man, I remember, Bob Wilson,
was just sitting there moping. He said, “It’s a terrible thing
that we made.”
It is high time we brought the terror of annihilation to an end
so that our children may grow up in a world free of nuclear
weapons and communal prejudices. Let us vow to celebrate life
and not glorify death. Let us live and let others live.
Reproduced with the permission of Citizen News Services and the
August 6 is Hiroshima Day—as those of you who were not aware of
this date, will have discovered when you read the main article
on this page. On this day, the dead and injured and those still
suffering from the effects of radiation poisoning are
remembered, and the appalling danger of life in the nuclear age
The above does not in any way mean that atrocities committed
during World War Two are excused or even forgotten by the
families and descendants of the victims. Memories of the
atrocities serve as a stark warning that war—any war, anywhere,
brings out the beast in humans, who behave in an unforgiveable
manner to both their opponents and to innocent civilians caught
up in the conflict.
Hiroshima Day is a reminder of one terrible example amongst many
of man’s inhumanity to man, and of the ever increasing need in
this nuclear world for a way to solve problems which will not
involve letting the beast escape again. Those of us with a
“world view” have very little hope that the way will ever be
found, but, at the very least, awareness of this urgent need may
help us to resist, in our own lives and in our own small way,
the temptation to react with violence.