HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

200 Club event raises money for the elephants

When Creativity Rules the World

An Unqualified Success



200 Club event raises money for the elephants

Gary Newitt of Mr. Moo fame cooks up brats and burgers for the crowd at the 200 Club charity fair at City Life gardens.

Students from Suan Dok school performed gymnastics, these graceful students impressed the crowd on hand with their skill.

Hand to Paws from Prem Tinsulanonda International School had a booth at the event, students from Prem have organized regular trips to local temples to bathe and medicate temple dogs with the help of Care for Dogs.

Shana Kongmun, Managing Editor for Chiang Mai Mail, right, and Zoe Addams represent the Chiang Mai Mail at the fair.

The 200 Club is almost 116,000 baht closer to its goal to raise 500,000 baht to buy an x-ray machine for the elephant clinic. City Life generously hosted the event in their garden and it was well attended by vendors , charitable organizations, restaurants and more. Tarot card reading was on offer, as was Mr. Moo’s famous brats and burgers, Mokador offered delicious coffee, elephant art was on display and Care for Dogs brought some adorable dogs looking for homes. The well attended event was a good time had by all, with winners of the raffle prizes walking off pleased with their wins, and event organizers pleased as it went a long way to raising money for a very good cause. Sally Ward, 200 Club organizer, is letting everyone know about their next event, tentatively scheduled for August and featuring fashions painted by the elephants at the camp.


When Creativity Rules the World

By Bill Costello
While researching education systems in Asia, I had the opportunity to visit schools and universities in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. What I observed was a scarcity of creative thinking. While students in those education systems achieve some of the highest scores in the world in math and science, they have problems when it comes to “thinking outside the box.”

This is problematic for the future of these Asian nations because creativity is increasingly becoming one of the most important skills in the global marketplace according to several distinguished authors.

In “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century”, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas L. Friedman states: “On such a flat earth, the most important attribute you can have is creative imagination—the ability to be the first on your block to figure out how all these enabling tools can be put together in new and exciting ways to create products, communities, opportunities, and profits.”

In “Five Minds for the Future”, Harvard professor Howard Gardner describes five kinds of minds—or cognitive abilities-that he believes are critical to success in the 21st century. Among them is the ability to think creatively.

In “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future”, business guru Daniel H. Pink outlines the four major historical ages: agricultural age (farmers), industrial age (factory workers), information age (knowledge workers), and conceptual age (creators and empathizers). Pink argues that while logical thinkers ruled the first three ages, creative thinkers will rule the upcoming conceptual age.

The scarcity of creative thinking in many Asian education systems bodes well for U.S. students, who score lower in math and science but tend to think more creatively. This is not to say that knowledge in math and science is not important, because it is. However, knowledge alone is not enough. It must be combined with the ability to apply knowledge in new ways. As Einstein put it, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Applying knowledge in new ways is how innovation occurs, and innovation is critical to any nation’s economic and national security. For centuries, the U.S. has been the world’s innovation leader. It’s critical that the U.S. maintain that position. As U.S. factory jobs and back-office jobs continue to move overseas, Americans have fewer and fewer skills to offer the global marketplace.

Several Asian nations now know how to make products and provide services on their own; however, they are still relying on the U.S. to decide what those products and services should be. These decisions require creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. This is where the U.S. still holds an advantage.To ensure that American workers will be able to compete globally, educational efforts in the U.S. should focus on strengthening creative thinking skills. Contrary to popular opinion, creative thinking skills can be cultivated with time and effort. In addition, the rewards from creative efforts should not be taxed at higher rates in the U.S. than in other countries. Otherwise, the most creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative Americans will be tempted to move overseas to work for rising countries like China and India.

As the land of opportunity extends beyond the borders of the U.S., highly educated and skilled immigrants are returning to their home countries in greater numbers to work and start new businesses. Who will fuel innovation and economic growth in the U.S. if highly educated and skilled citizens also leave the country? The next generation of leaders will have strong creative thinking skills that will enable them to command a premium. Whether or not they will reside in the U.S. depends largely upon U.S. economic policies.

Bill Costello, M.Ed., is a U.S.-based education columnist, blogger, and author of “Awaken Your Birdbrain: Using Creativity to Get What You Want”.He can be reached at www.makingmindsmatter.com.

An Unqualified Success

On Friday 19th February in the music salon at the home of the Murase family a capacity audience of almost fifty people filled the room for the fourth recital in the series organized for the Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival. Guest artists of the highest professional caliber – Tasana Nagavajara, Thailand’s own superb violinist and Dr Bennett Lerner on piano, professor at Payap University gave a stunning performance of works by Bach, Ravel, Faure, Bartok and Kreisler. Bennett Lerner played two Faure pieces in a deeply intensive manner, bringing out the sweetness of the legato melodic lines admirably, yet giving the works a strong balancing feeling with the dramatic passages played sensitively and forcefully. Tasana could not contain himself – from his opening notes of the unaccompanied Bach violin sonata the multinational audience was treated to excellent quality of sound and tone on the instrument, a deeply sensitive interpretation of the music and a terrific performance of the Ravel violin sonata that had the audience cheering for more at the end. Tasana is the deputy secretary of the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute, leader of its chamber orchestra, former leader of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and professor at Silpakorn University. He is an undoubted master musician of the highest order and along with Bennett Lerner; the music making was an unqualified success and the performance outstanding. The audience composed of men and women from countries such as Thailand, Japan, Australia, The United States, Britain, France and Zimbabwe, to name just a few, were deeply appreciative of the evening’s entertainment in the delightful intimacy of the music salon at the Murase home.

The Friends of the Chiang Mai Music Festival exists to promote, among other things, simply beautiful classical music for the Chiang Mai community, enable a whole range of musicians to perform in a unique and intimate setting as well as to raise funds for the main Chiang Mai Music Festival scheduled for a year’s time in February 2554 (2011). There is now an air-conditioned minibus service between the city centre and Baan Wangtan Village, a pre-recital dining-out group, plus a short talk on the featured music prior to each recital. A further six recitals featuring Korean and Japanese pianists, but focusing strongly on excellent Thai musicians in three of the recitals, are planned for the rest of the year. To get more information about this dynamic and ever-expanding group of Friends of the Festival, contact Anne Murase, Co-founder of the Festival via [email protected] gmail.com or phone JP, Festival Advisor, on 084868 1017; email: [email protected] yahoo.com.


By The Computer Quack
Worms are a different kind of threat than viruses and Trojans. Whereas viruses and Trojans generally have to be “opened” or executed by your action, worms can infect your PC without you knowing or doing anything. Much like Trojans, they are normally harmful in nature, and will try and modify or take control of your PC without you knowing it. It is their ability to do this without your knowing that makes them so dangerous. Therefore it is extremely important that you make sure your computer is properly protected.

Worms have the ability to travel from computer to computer without a recognized means of transport like email or accessing a compromised website, so it is important that you close the back doors through which they can enter your PC.

To best protect your PC from Worms, there are two courses of action you must take: 1. If you are a using a recent edition of Microsoft Windows (Windows 2000, XP or Vista), then you can use the Microsoft Update service to download and install Microsoft security patches. These are released by Microsoft whenever they discover and fix a security flaw. (They are called patches because they do the same as you would when you patch a bicycle tyre – you are fixing a hole!).

You will usually find this on your Windows start menu, called either Windows Update or Microsoft Update. Just follow the instructions to run it and update your PC with the latest patches. You can also go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and access it from there (note that this will only work in Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Note: if you’ve never done this before, you may find a lot of patches to be installed when you first run it. However, it is vital that you install them, so bite the bullet and download them all.

On subsequent runs, the updates are generally smaller and fewer in number and you can set your machine to automatically download them and install them, or just download them so that you can update your machine when it is not being used.

Microsoft Update (which you can install from the Windows Update page if you haven’t already done so) can also download and patch other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office.

2. Even if Windows is up to date with all patches, it can still be susceptible to worms. Some features of Windows are designed to talk to other computers on the Internet and criminals are always trying to find ways of hijacking the “conversation” and using it for their own ends.

In the last year or so, Instant Messaging has become a target, meaning that you can receive hostile material through Microsoft Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, for example.

One of the best ways of preventing this is to use a Firewall. Firewall software is designed to ensure that only things you have requested get into your PC. A good Firewall will examine all data coming in to your PC to make sure it is legal, and if it sees anything suspicious it will block it.

Windows itself (in XP and later versions) has a basic built-in Firewall which is fairly effective, but does leave a few holes uncovered. You should always have this turned on.

However, there are several free products available for download which you can install as a second layer of protection. Again, these are excellent in the free version, but you can buy full-featured versions if you want.

One thing to remember about Firewalls is that, when you first install them, you may get a few messages asking you if certain traffic is permitted. Once you have “trained” the Firewall to recognize the sort of programs you are using, it will remain invisible until it detects suspicious traffic that it does not expect.

Examples of good free firewalls are:Zone Alarm:
Comodo: http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/free-download.html. AShampoo: