The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
What is it like to have an MRI?
I watched a TV show the other
evening. Set in the US, it revolved around a Dr. House, apparently a drug
addicted know-it-all medico, who shot a corpse and then carried out an MRI
and blew up the machine with the shrapnel from the bullet. Total fanciful
nonsense. There is no Dr. House practicing in my hospital, I hasten to say.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is one of the battery of diagnostic
examinations that can be done. The procedure is similar to an X-Ray, in the
fact that the end result shows the internal structures of the body with a
test that produces very clear pictures - but without the use of X-rays. MRI
uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.
Some folk are a little apprehensive about these tests, but the risks to the
average person are negligible (as long as Dr House isn’t treating you). MRI
uses magnetic fields, rather than radio-active imaging. However, the
magnetic field is very strong. Walk into the examination room and the MRI
can wipe the details from the magnetic strip encoding on your credit card
(this may be a good thing)!
People who have had heart surgery and people with the following medical
devices can be safely examined with MRI: surgical clips or sutures,
artificial joints, staples, cardiac valve replacements (except the
Starr-Edwards metallic ball/cage), disconnected medication pumps, vena cava
filters or brain shunt tubes for hydrocephalus. Corpses with bullets in the
brain are not in that list.
However, there are some conditions may make an MRI examination inadvisable.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: heart
pacemaker, cerebral aneurysm clip (metal clip on a blood vessel in the
brain), pregnancy during the first three months (we are just being super
cautious here), implanted insulin pump (for treatment of diabetes),
narcotics pump (for pain medication), or implanted nerve stimulators
(“TENS”) for back pain, metal in the eye or eye socket, cochlear (ear)
implant for hearing impairment, or implanted spine stabilization rods.
MRI is also different from X-Rays in what it can pick up. The MRI can detect
tumors, infection, and other types of tissue disease or damage. It can also
help diagnose conditions that affect blood flow. Tissues and organs that
contain water provide the most detailed MRI pictures, while bones and other
hard materials in the body do not show up well on MRI pictures, as opposed
to X-Rays which do show bone well but not soft tissue. For these reasons,
MRI is most useful for detecting conditions that increase the amount of
fluid in a tissue, such as an infection, tumors, and internal bleeding.
I think most people are familiar with the standard X-Ray procedure, stand
there, breathe in, hold it, now breathe out routine, but MRIs are a little
different. These are done with you lying there and inserted into the MRI
scanner, which is like a tunnel. Those people who are claustrophobic can
have a little problem here, as the MRI “tunnel” is very tight.
During the procedure, which can take up to an hour, you can hear the
operator talking to you, and he or she can hear your reply, but you still
will feel rather isolated in your magnetic tunnel. You can also hear (and
feel) muffled thumps and groans that come from the tube, which can be
In some cases a contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to enhance
the images of certain structures which may help evaluate blood flow, detect
some types of tumors, and locate areas of inflammation. The contrast
material is injected via a vein, and the MRI operator will advise you when
this is being injected. You may feel a warmth or even tingling feeling as
this is happening, but this is not worrisome.
The radiologist then reviews the pictures produced and will advise you of
the outcome. I hope it will be good news!.
Heart to Heart
A friend who lived down the road from me has been working on his house
for as long as I’ve been here and that is about 2 1/2 years. His father
moved from the UK a couple of years ago, bought a house and died within
a couple of months. The house went to my friend who immediately put it
in his Thai wife’s name. Seems reasonable except he didn’t get any sort
of lease agreement so as far as it goes the houses are hers. She booted
his butt out and had the houses for sale. Last summer the father’s house
was on the market for 2.7 million baht. She just sold it for 1.55
million baht. Down and dirty and she’s got the money. He’s got fond
memories of a house that was once his, he thought. My friend has since
obtained a solicitor/lawyer and is putting a stop to the sale of the
house he was working on. He doesn’t know at the moment if there is
anything he can do about dad’s house but it doesn’t look good. After the
death of dad, Paul’s mercenary wife asked him to sign something that was
in Thai. The trusting fellah did and it is probably not a good thing for
That’s it in a nut shell and should serve as an example to all expats to
get a binding agreement in a language they understand to prevent such
happenings in the future. It seems to happen quite often and stupid
expat guys should be warned and warned again and again. Get it in
writing. Don’t trust the sweet young thing. Even if she is a sweet young
thing if something happened to her, her family would swoop in and scoop
up the place.
If you know someone (in this situation) kindly mention the story and see
if there is some interest. I’d be glad to help my friend and any naive
While this certainly does happen in Thailand, just as you have written,
it also happens in the Western world, without the cover of a foreign
language agreement or contract. With 50 percent of marriages in the West
ending up in divorce, and divorce settlements never being equitable,
your advice on being careful is good for everyone. However, getting a
“binding agreement” in English in Thailand is difficult. Thai is the
only legal language in this country. While it is impossible for a
foreigner to own land in his or her own name, it is still possible for a
foreigner to protect his land holding by legal means, as any reputable
real estate agent could have told your friend.
I am a regular tourist to Thailand and enjoy my holidays each year,
other than one thing - the sight of old, fat British and American men
walking down the street hanging on to sweet young Thai girls, who are
young enough to be their granddaughters. They think everyone is envious
of them as they parade their “trophy” for everyone to see. It isn’t
envy, but disgust as far as I am concerned. Don’t they realize just how
this looks? And why do these girls even think about going anywhere with
these gross men? Haven’t they got any shame or self respect? I don’t see
this type of behavior in the US. Why should these men do it here? Or is
this the only reason they come to Thailand in the first place? I am
quite happy to be seen with my elderly partner, who is of a similar age
to myself. Why aren’t these men happy to be seen the same way?
I think you may be judging the men rather unfairly, my Petal. It is not
the one-sided situation as you have described, but more of a mutually
beneficial association. Be they British, American or even German and
other European places, where do they get any female company in their own
countries? The simple answer is they don’t - other than maybe striking
it lucky in a “Grab a granny” night held once a week at the local dance
hall. The situation here is quite different, as they can “Grab a
Gorgeous” from the local Thai dancing halls (recognized by the chrome
poles) which are open every day and stocked with gorgeous young things,
very willing to be led by the hand. That is, provided the rental fees
have been decided upon. You see, the association is the subject of a
financial agreement. For a set sum, the “trophy” agrees to befriend and
look after the fat, older gentleman, a situation that cannot happen in
the country they have left. So for the two people involved, it is a
win-win scenario. It only falls down when the male in the partnership
starts to believe that his gorgeous young thing is actually in love with
him, and not his money. This is the well known walking ATM, with the
letter above as an example. However, I do believe that you should be
perhaps a little less judgmental when looking at the old men and their
young ladies. I am sure you would be upset at people judging your
association, without knowing what the real situation is.
by Harry Flashman
Become a professional flasher
many photographers, even keen amateurs, the flash remains
something of an enigma. We know how it works, but applying that
to the kind of photograph we want can be perplexing. Today, I
hope to de-mystify this problem.
Just about every camera these days comes with its own built-in
flash. Technical terms ‘guide numbers’ don’t seem to matter any
more. The camera does it all for you. But there is always a
downside to just letting the camera do all the work. And that is
you get what the camera thinks you want - not what you might
Take shooting indoors at night (always a good time to use extra
lighting), but you still want some of the background to show up.
Shooting people at a party is a good example. You want more than
just ‘heads’, you want to show the venue as well.
To do this is tricky, but there are several ways. You can use
more than one flash (sometimes called ‘slaves’) and they fire
when they detect the flash burst from the primary flash, or you
can even link them all up with flash cables triggered by the
shutter on the camera. You set the slaves to light up the
background, while the main flash illuminates the subject. That’s
Option Two is to use a tripod and the time exposure setting to
record the background and then manually pop the main flash to
record the subject in the foreground. Difficult, but possible.
Option Three is the simplest. Set the camera’s aperture to
around f5.6 and the shutter speed to 1/15th of a second. You can
even hand-hold at this slow shutter speed, as long as you lean
on something. The slow shutter and wide open aperture gives
enough light to get the background to show up, and the flash
burst is enough to record the subject. Try it. Works!
Of course, to do this you have to take the camera out of Auto
mode and into manual. In fact, if you want to try something,
tonight shoot the family at 1/8th, 1/15th and a 1/30th with the
f5.6 aperture and see the differences you will get. The subject
will be OK in each, as the lighting for the foreground depends
only on the flash power, while the background depends on the
ambient light, and the longer the shutter is held open, the more
background details you will get.
Another trick you can do with any camera that has a flash, be
that built in or screwed to the top of it, is to throw color at
your subject. The important item of equipment is colored
cellophane paper (sometimes called ‘gels’ in the industry). Put
a blue gel over the flash head and you will get a very ‘cold’
photograph, especially if you are taking pictures of people.
Conversely, put an orange gel over the flash and you will get a
wonderfully warm person in the foreground.
For an even wilder result, if you can take the flash off the
camera, shoot the subject side lit with a coloured gel over the
major flash. Experiment with blue, red, green, orange, yellow -
we are not looking to reproduce reality here, we (that’s you)
are trying to produce an artistic effect.
Most keen amateur photographers will have heard of the term
“Fill-in Flash”. This refers to a reduced output flash burst,
used to lighten shadows in harsh daylight, or to illuminate the
front of a back-lit subject.
With many of the modern cameras, fill-in flash is simple,
because the camera is programmed to do this automatically.
However, with manual flash guns, “softly” is the word. You must
reduce the output of the flash so it will gently lighten the
shadows and not “blow out” the subject details like a
searchlight. The trick is to either diffuse the flash with
tracing paper or a handkerchief and do not adjust the camera
settings, or reduce the flash power setting by two aperture
stops below that indicated by the camera. In other words, set
the camera lens on f11 and the flash on f5.6. Simple! Try some
of these tricks this weekend.
Money Matters: Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
How did we get into the mess
that the world is in to today? And how will we get out again?
Princeton historian, Sean Wilentz, believes, “Many historians are now wondering
whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of
Tim Price of PFP recently wrote, “Perhaps the biggest danger is to assume in a
crisis, that politicians are not in a position to help anybody, other than
However bad the last POTUS may have been, it is doubtful that he caused the
current crisis single-handedly. More significantly, it is even more doubtful
that President Obama can do much to solve it. Price believes that in a better
world, we should all be taught more at school: “What we know as fractional
reserve banking equates to letting banks keep a tiny fraction of their deposits
(their depositors’ money, one should perhaps add) in order to lend out the
remainder for profit (theirs, not the depositors’). Simultaneously, they retain
the obligation to redeem all depositors immediately upon demand.”
Price then reminds us of the words of late US economist, Murray Rothbard. That
is that, basically, “Banks are inherently bankrupt because they issue far more
warehouse receipts to cash (nowadays in the form of deposits redeemable in cash
on demand) than they have cash available. Hence, they are always vulnerable to
bank runs. These runs are not like any other business failures, because they
simply consist of depositors claiming their own rightful property, which the
banks do not have. Inherent bankruptcy, then, is an essential feature of any
fractional reserve banking system.”
Or as another economist, Frank Graham wrote over 10 years ago, “The attempt of
the banks to realize the inconsistent aims of lending cash and still to
represent that cash is available on demand is even more preposterous than eating
one’s cake and counting on it for future consumption … a delusion dependent upon
the right not being unduly exercised.”
Almost 50 years ago, Rothbard added to the view that bailing out the banking
system if and when the system started to fail, would only make matters worse.
“Any interference with their comeuppance via bank runs will establish banks as a
specifically privileged group, not obligated to pay their debts, which will lead
to later inflations, credit expansions and depressions.” The last 50 years have
seen various local interventions to failing banks, which have led to an entire
flawed system. Further intervention now would, according to Rothbard, only
extend and amplify the problems.
“If government wishes to see a depression ended as quickly as possible, and the
economy returned to normal prosperity, what course should it adopt? The first
and clearest injunction is: don’t interfere with the market’s adjustment
process. The more the government intervenes to delay the market’s
adjustment, the longer and more gruelling the depression will be, and the more
difficult will be the road to complete recovery. Government hampering aggravates
and perpetuates the depression. Yet, government depression policy has always
aggravated the very evils it has loudly tried to cure. If, in fact, we list
logically the various ways that government could hamper market adjustment, we
will find that we have precisely listed the favourite “anti-depression” arsenal
of government policy.
Thus, here are the ways the adjustment process can be hobbled:
1) Prevent or delay liquidation, lend money to shaky businesses, call on banks
to lend further, etc.
2) Inflate further. Further inflation blocks the necessary fall in prices, thus
delaying adjustment and prolonging depression. Further credit expansion creates
more bad investments, which, in their turn, will have to be liquidated in some
later depression. A government “easy-money” policy prevents the market’s return
to the necessary higher interest rates.
3) Keep wage rates up. Artificial maintenance of wage rates in a depression
insures permanent mass unemployment. Furthermore, in a deflation, when prices
are falling, keeping the same rate of money wages means that real wage rates
have been pushed higher. In the face of falling business demand, this greatly
aggravates the unemployment problem.
4) Keep prices up. Keeping prices above their free-market levels will create
unsalable surpluses and prevent a return to prosperity.
5) Stimulate consumption and discourage saving. We have seen that more saving
and less consumption would speed recovery; more consumption and less saving
aggravate the shortage of saved-capital even further. Any increase of taxes and
government spending will discourage saving and investment and stimulate
consumption, since government spending is all consumption. Any increase in the
relative size of government in the economy shifts the societal
consumption-investment ratio in favour of consumption and prolongs the
6) Subsidize unemployment…”
You don’t have to agree with every one of Rothbard’s claims to accept the
general argument. We’re not nearly as eloquent as Rothbard was or Tim Price is,
but to our simple way of looking at things, we don’t see how you can fix a
crisis caused by too much debt by adding more debt. Somewhere, sometime, someone
is going to want their money back.
US taxpayer’s money alone that has been committed to the banking crisis now
exceeds USD8 trillion. If you add in the other loans this comes up to USD13
trillion and then if you also add in the other non-earning commitments of the US
Government like welfare, Medicare, pensions, etc., the total debt of the US
Government is USD23.8 trillion. Which means that every man, woman and child in
the country owes USD80,000. Now, if you consider that the GDP per capital is
USD44,500 where the hell is the rest going to come from? Just out of interest,
the UK total exceeds GBP1 trillion - or GBP35,000 per taxpayer.
If you accept that a bad banking system got us into the mess where we now find
ourselves, you might want to at least question whether a prescription for a lot
more of the same is any kind of likely cure. The obvious answer is that it is
not. In fact, some would argue that we have not even entered the tunnel yet,
never mind looking for light at the end of it.
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 Paul Gambles on
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
Ten things I’d hate to be without in Chiang Mai
Mulling over the many
reasons for living in Chiang Mai, the main ones are inevitably personal or
‘important’. Relationships, friends, ‘work’, climate, the food,
location/environs, size of the city, the local economy and, of course, the
locals. But there are lots of small amenities, places, events which combine
to be equally important and give the daily or yearly cycle special meaning.
So here is a little, ‘dektette’ of things that I would hate to be without.
The list is alphabetical, personal and obviously incomplete. Additions
1.ALLIANCE FRANCAISE. This library, meeting house and screening room is
housed in the building of the Honorary French Consulate, across the road
from the Chedi Hotel. Each Friday evening, at 8p.m., they screen a classic
or sometimes newer French movie with English subtitles, with a nominal
charge of 30 baht. The coming season is of films by Francois Truffaut and
whilst I must admit that he is far from a favourite director, the screening
of his feature debut, Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows) on September 4,
is a must. The first film about the 14-year-old Doinel (he followed the
character later) was made with passion and compassion and remains one of the
finest movies about a youngster ever made.
2. AUA. The two buildings in the middle of ‘walking street’ house the
language school and, directly opposite, the library and performance hall. As
an organization it is a little po-faced and prim but the library is a decent
one, (400 baht to join and take your passport with you), the school arguably
the best in the city and the hall has decent acoustics. The presentation of
the occasional play and frequent concerts is of inestimable value and
deserves our support. The library also loans out ‘videos’, but I have never
used this facility, (see below).
3. BACK STREET BOOKS. As everybody knows, one of the abundant joys of Chiang
Mai is the number of second hand bookshops, (which may account for the lack
of a decent shop with new books on sale), mainly centred around the Thapae
Gate area. Lost Books and others are always worth a visit but the best of
the lot is Back Street Books, opposite the main Gecko store. This is large
and intelligently stocked, (some have far too many of the same authors and
numerous copies of the same book), and the knowledgeable Irish owner really
knows his vast stock. A browser’s and buyer’s delight.
4. COFFEE and TEA SHOPS. An addict of these could fill the rest of the page
with names and locations, but from me just three regulars. The ubiquitous Wa
Wee shops are among the best and this means you are supporting national
produce. The recently opened Mokador, opposite Wat Pra Singh, is certainly
the most chic bar in town and offers not just very good coffee but a smart
ambience and rather expensive breakfasts. Still my favourite is the Black
Canyon on the second floor of Central, Kad Suan Kaew. The staff are
unfailingly pleasant and the coffee and most other offerings good. Seating
outside lets you watch the comings and goings around the shopping area.
Inside the actual shop, windows face out on the steps and road. You miss
5. THE CHIANG MAI YOUTH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA and WIND BAND. The revival of
this full scale orchestra and band was a leap of faith, which has paid off
handsomely and will- hopefully – become, during the next four or five years,
an important cultural and tourist attraction. The first few performances had
their problems and there was far too much talk and rather lack-lustre
presentation and production. It was also obvious that the Band members
played more confidently than their ‘string’ partners. They have made great
progress and the most recent concerts, held within two weeks of each other,
were the best yet. The Wind Band’s concert of contemporary music was
memorable, although the classical event showed how much improved the
Orchestra is. Both concerts held at the rather cavernous Kad were highlights
of 2009. Sadly they were not as well attended as they deserved. More soon,
6. CMU ART GALLERY, the adjoining concert hall and the Saturday evening Open
Space screenings. This large art gallery has a permanent collection and
arranges regular exhibitions, often two or three at a time in the large
space. Admission is free, closed Mondays. The concert hall is one of the
best venues in town and often features music and dance, mainly Asian. Some
of the best events in Chiang Mai are held there. On an upper floor there are
films screened, (free admission, though a contribution for running costs is
welcomed), under the title Open Space, beginning at 7p.m. These are often
unusual movies, sometimes avant garde, occasionally mini seasons of a
director or a theme and invariably of interest. A must for film buffs who
bemoan the lack of worthwhile films in the commercial venues.
7. DVD and MUSIC SHOP. Situated not far from the CMU gallery, (turn right at
the end of Nimmenhaemenda into Suthep Road and first left at the lights –
it’s just on the corner). This has a wonderful selection of movies, (and, I
believe, music videos) including some recent features. The real joy though
is in the ‘back catalogue’, most importantly the foreign language films. So
here, along with some of the recent rubbish, you can sort through westerns
by John Ford and Anthony Mann, comedies and gangster movies by George Cukor
and Howard Hawks. You will also find master works by Bresson and Dreyer and
recent works by Haneke and the Dardenne Brothers, (surely the best film
makers currently working in Europe). Hundreds upon hundreds of good or great
movies, for rent over a period of a week or so, (some have a restricted time
period, if very new). The most economical way to rent is to pay down a set
amount and work through it over a period of time. Nice staff too and you can
browse the covers or get their printed list of foreign films.
8. The E.U. FILM FESTIVAL. This has been going on for quite a few years now
and is held at Vista Cinemas in Central. The date has already been announced
for 2009 and it will open on November 5th, unusually before the same event
is held in Bangkok. At the moment no titles are announced, (keep an eye on
my film colleague’s column in October), but it runs for about ten days and
usually comprises some 15 or more films from a cross section of European
countries. All the films will be new to Thailand and recently made. They
invariably have English sub titles and occasionally Thai. Seat prices last
year were a nominal 70 baht and happily to say attendance was better than
previously. Let’s hope the trend continues and the stay at home farangs
venture in to town for a change.
9. FRESH ORANGE and Fruit Stall – opposite the entrance to Nakornping Condo.
I have deliberately not listed restaurants, bars and other venues but along
with the odd coffee shop this is an essential part – for me – of everyday
living. There are plenty of these little stands around town but this one
happens to be only ten minutes walk from by home. The juice is freshly
squeezed and they usually have a choice of unpeeled fruit on sale. Nearby
stalls have the prepared fruits. It’s an easy way to get one or two of the
recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables that we are bidden to eat
10. PAYAP UNIVERSITY musical events. Well, where to start? Only by saying
last but by no means least in this list is the presentation of diverse
musical offerings throughout the year by Payap. From the many student
recitals through to Bennett Lerner’s extended ‘festivals’, (the celebration
of Faure continues in October), and the visiting performers from Bangkok and
abroad, this all-embracing musical feast is the main source of music in the
City. Events have ranged from the inspiring programme of new music presented
by a New York group, through to last week’s celebration of Asian music. The
concerts are usually held out at the campus off Super Highway or at the
campus opposite the McCormack Hospital. The one reviewed in this week’s Mail
celebrated 35 years of the University’s existence in its present form.
Here’s to the next 35!
Let's Go To The Movies:
by Mark Gernpy
Now playing in Chiang
Inglourious Basterds: US/ Germany, Action/ Adventure/ War –
Quentin Tarantino’s exceptionally bloody tale of Jewish-American troops on
the hunt for Nazi scalps in World War II France, starring Brad Pitt and an
amazing Christoph Waltz in a truly fine performance. A must-see movie,
though I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I’m recommending a film that
carries violence to such extremes. But it’s just that I find the filmmaking
skill so mind-blowing. Never have I felt such a deliciously slow and
inexorable building of tension in a scene, and such studied control over all
the aspects of a scene. Will forever change how war movies are filmed, and
a milestone in film.
Rated R in the US for strong graphic violence, language, and brief
sexuality. In Thailand it’s rated “18+” under the new ratings system which
went into effect August 11. “18+” is an advisory rating that suggests
viewers should be 18 or older to see the movie. Early reviews: Generally
Buppha Rahtree 3.2: Rahtree’s Revenge: Thai, Horror/ Romance – Continues
the romantic-horror story of the revengeful ghost of Buppha and her love
struck cartoonist, played by Mario Maurer of Love of Siam fame. An
exceptionally bloody and confusing horror flick, and one of those where most
of the work of scaring the audience is done by the soundtrack’s spooky music
and sound effects. Rated “18+” in Thailand under the new ratings system.
Has the dubious honor of being the first Thai film to be rated under the
long-awaited Thai movie-rating law.
Orphan: US/ Canada/ Germany, Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller – This is a dandy
little horror film which I thoroughly enjoyed! A husband and wife who
recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as
innocent as she claims to be. Rated R in the US for disturbing violent
content, some sexuality, and language. Mixed or average reviews. If you
enjoy a good spooky horror film now and then, I recommend this one. It’s
quite well done.
Trail of the Panda: China, Family – A Disney live action film directed
by Chinese director Yu Zhong about a panda cub that is separated from its
mother and subsequently rescued by an orphaned boy after going through a
series of hardships and dangers in the forest.
The film was shot in the wilderness of Wolong, Sichuan, the area that was
destroyed during the massive earthquake of May 2008, as the film crew was
shooting, trapping some 28 crew members, including the director, in the
mountains for four days. The magnitude 8.0 quake left more than 80,000
people dead or missing, and 370,000 injured. Also lost was the 10-year-old
female panda playing Pang Pang’s mother in the film; she died in the quake,
leaving three orphans.
Made in conjunction with China’s Wolong Panda Reservation, the movie is a
plea for understanding of pandas and for preserving their existence. The
parents of Lin Ping, the new Chiang Mai Zoo panda cub born May 27, are from
this panda center.
The story is sweet and the film is charming with several things to recommend
it – the very winning 11-year-old boy who stars, the loving shots of the
countryside, the animal photography – overall it’s a good film for families
with kids. And the social and political implications of the fact of
the movie are of interest as well; pandas are a part of the culture of
Chiang Mai now, as are our relations with China due to the panda loans
(China still owns the pandas we have, even the new cub).
Jija - Raging Phoenix: Thai, Action/ Romance – Martial arts film
starring the amazing girl from the film Chocolate, Jija Yanin, a true
female action icon, who here combines her startling fight skills with a love
story and break dancing. A rather odd mix of a film and a real confusion,
but it should please martial arts fans. Watch it only when you’re
really in the mood for seeing startling martial arts images in a
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: US, Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller –
Another action-adventure film based on toys, very much like Transformers:
Nonsensical mayhem, and very loud, but stylish. Generally negative reviews.
Scheduled for August 27
Bandslam: US, Comedy/ Music – Probably the only film ever with a
character named “Sa5m.” (The “5” is silent; it’s a sign of her
independence.) A new kid in town assembles a rock band to compete against
the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.
My Ex / Fan Kao: Thai Horror/ Romance – Ken is a heartthrob actor with a
bad boy reputation of loving beautiful girls and then dumping them. After
his marriage, one of his ex-girlfriends comes back from the grave to exact
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
I received a request to run the column about this famous deal again, so here
it is. Imagine you are sitting East with the massive hand below. South deals
and opens three spades. The bidding continues as below:
South West North East (you)
3S P P Dbl
4C P 5C Dbl
6C P 7C Dbl
Redbl P P ?
What are you thinking at
this point? Maybe you think the opponents are out of their minds and you
are looking forward to gaining a huge number of points. What you should be
thinking is that someone fixed the cards, for you have been dealt a hand
famous from the days of whist, 200 years ago. It cost the Duke of Cumberland
20,000 British pounds—a large fortune 200 years ago. The Duke’s opponents at
whist wagered that, with the East hand above (or a slight variation of
it—sources differ) and clubs as trumps, the Duke would not take a single
trick. Unwisely, he took the wager. Declarer can always take thirteen
tricks, no matter how the defence plays. This was the full deal:
H: J109876 H:
D: 109876 D:
- C: KJ9
Say West leads a diamond or
a heart and declarer trumps. Declarer then ruffs a spade in dummy and
returns a club finessing East. Next comes another spade ruff and another
club finesse. A third spade ruff in dummy sets up declarer’s spades. He
returns to hand by ruffing a heart or diamond and pulls the last trump with
his ace. His hand is now good. Another routine six point redoubled grand
Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes new players. For information on the Club
go to the web site at www.bridgeclubchiangmai .com or contact Chris Hedges
at: oga. [email protected] If you have bridge questions, or to
send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: