Family Money: Fundamentalists
If you thought from the headline that we were going to
discuss political conflicts in oppressive regimes, I’m sorry to
The terms “fundamentalists” and “chartists”
here refer to two schools of thought and the analytical methods they use
to try to predict how any particular stock or market is likely to perform
in the future.
Ideally, investors want to buy stocks at a low price
and sell them at a high price to make a profit; but any experienced
investor will tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds. Picking the right
time to buy and sell means staying informed of trends.
One source of information is technical analysis, which
uses past historical performance to try to predict future prices. It’s
an investment philosophy that attempts to create order out of chaos.
Technical analysts chart past trading volumes and
prices. Current prices and volumes are compared with similar historical
data. They believe past data show patterns which are assumed to continue
into the future.
Many modern investment houses and brokerage firms have
eliminated the human factor (which is subject to emotional rather than
rational decision-making), and installed computer-generated trading
These programs depend on historical performance charts
to set buy and sell levels, and work on the principle that history tends
to repeat itself. They set out to identify trends in the past that mirror
the current situation. It is then assumed that the current trend will
continue as it did in the past, and prices at which the stock will be
bought or sold are determined solely by the computer.
This method is useful where markets may move very fast
- such as the commodities & futures markets, for instance; or where
the trading firm wants to eliminate the human emotional factor from its
trading practices (since this factor may lead to missing out on a
less-than-clear buying signal or holding on too long to a less-than-clear
selling signal - or chasing losses, as happened with the Nick Leason and
Another investment philosophy is based on fundamental
analysis, which uses financial information from companies - such as
balance sheets and income statements - to forecast future stock price
This fundamental information is gleaned by exhaustive
research, and includes price-to-earnings ratios, capital assets’ value,
the state of the company’s order book, to list just a few of the more
important bits of data.
Needless to say, to gather this information takes time
and resources - more than most amateur investors have available to them.
Only large financial services companies and banks have the resources -
both in human and technological terms - to undertake the degree of
research & analysis required to pick stocks which are both undervalued
and likely to move better than the mean index.
In short, fundamental analysis tries to estimate what a
stock should sell for, while technical analysis - chartism - tries to
judge what other investors think it will sell for.
These approaches are not mutually exclusive: some
investors use technical charts to time investments after first choosing
stocks using fundamental analysis.
Technical analysis consists of many different tools
that rely on particular chart formations.
Two main chart types are used: bar charts and
Bar charts use a vertical line to represent a stock’s
price movements during one day. The line starts from the lowest price of
the day, and ends at the highest price of the day. In between are the
closing price (marked on the right side of the line) and the opening price
(marked on the left side of the line).
Candlestick charts are similar to bar charts, with a
vertical line representing intra-day price movements. However, the opening
and closing prices form a rectangle that is coloured according to whether
the stock rose or fell.
Over time, analysts can detect patterns on these
charts. The patterns are then compared to technical indicators. Three
basic indicators used by technical analysts are the moving average,
support and resistance levels, and the relative strength indicator.
The moving average shows the average value of a stock
over time. For example, a 100-day moving average is calculated by adding
up prices from the last 100 days and dividing by 100. These averages
smooth out price fluctuations while still giving the price trend.
Typically, a stock price moving above its moving
average is a good sign, and a stock going below its moving average is a
Support and resistance levels are, respectively, a
floor or a ceiling to future price movements. When a price falls, this may
create greater demand for the stock and lessen selling pressure. This
leads to a support level for the stock.
Similarly, when a stock price rises, this creates more
incentive to sell and less incentive to buy, leading to a resistance
level. Technical analysts calculate support and resistance levels from
prices where the stock rebounded in the past.
The relative strength index measures momentum using a
formula to compare days the stock closes up with days it closed down. The
index ranges from 0 to 100, with higher numbers indicating greater stock
A stock is usually considered overbought if the index
is above 70 (so you should consider selling) and oversold if the index is
below 30 (so you should consider buying).
Does it work?
Many academic studies have focused on whether technical
analysis works. Results are inconclusive. Like astrology, technical
analysis has both strong supporters and doubters.
Nevertheless, technical analysis continues to have
adherents, and reports on charts and past prices are available from many
But as with all investments, past performance is not
necessarily a guide to the future.
Many leading financial newspapers publish charts to
show individual market trends, as well as to track individual stocks.
These are useful indicators, but need a great deal more analysis than most
newspapers (with some notable exceptions) can devote space to.
But if the trend seems to be downwards, the herd
instinct takes over, and many people will sell out in a panic, rather than
identifying the weakness as a buying opportunity. (But not always.)
Similarly, when a market has been going inexorably
upwards - for instance the NASDAQ in the first quarter of last year - many
amateur investors will still be eager to jump on the bandwagon, even
though fundamentalist wisdom will have identified the trend as about to
reverse, and time to get out.
Supporters argue that technical analysis does not
explicitly have to predict a future price. It is often used to identify
trends in the short and medium term. This improves an investor’s chances
of making money - and in the end, that may be all that matters.
Snap Shots: Trick
by Harry Flashman
Harry had a call the other day from a visiting
journalist who had been commissioned to do a piece on Pattaya. Said
journalist had a problem - she was a writer, not a photographer, and
needed photographs to illustrate her article. She had an art director back
in her own country who had also given her a problem - he wanted 6 cm x 4
cm or 6 cm x 6 cm slides for reproduction in the magazine. It was obvious
from this that he was not a photographer either!
saucer lands on Mars
Quite frankly, unless you are going to be blowing the
shots up to be as big as the side of a house, 6 cm x 6 cm slides are total
overkill. (This is the size of the slide you get with Hasselblad cameras -
one of the best in the world.) Harry used to use ‘Blads, as they are
known in the pro shooter’s lingo, and loved them - but for a piece of
photojournalism, a camera producing slides of this size is not necessary.
However, there are still art directors around who think
they have to get slides this big. What to do? Easy! All that you do is
‘dupe’ (make a duplicate) the 35 mm (ordinary sized) slide and enlarge
it up to 6 cm x 4 cm or 6 cm x 6 cm. This can be done by any professional
photo lab, and is the ideal way to get art directors off one’s back.
They will sit back after getting the larger slides and say, “See how
much better these are than 35 mm.” The pro shooter just smiles, collects
his money and exits stage left!
What the non-photographer art director does not know is
that the resolving power in today’s 35 mm camera lenses is better than
the resolution from the human eye by a factor of at least 2:1. To go up to
6 cm x 6 cm is simple.
Photography is, of course, one of the least truthful
pastimes you can take up. For the pro photographer much time is used in
working out how to either show the product in a favourable way, or to
disguise some defect or other. You have no idea, but there is a veritable
army of people out there who love to go through advertising brochures and
look for minute imperfections and write to the manufacturer saying such
things as “Do all of your watches have scratches on them?” And who
gets the blame? Not the manufacturer who sent over the product, but the
poor old photographer, that’s who. This can really be an enormous
problem when you may be photographing a pre-production item and this is
the only one in captivity.
Ever tried photographing champagne? There are never
enough bubbles to keep art directors happy, so the photographer drops some
sugar into the glass. Only a few grains are enough to give the almost
still glass of champers that “just opened” fizz look to it.
Even in simple portraiture, the concept is to show the
sitter in the best possible way. For example, if the person has “bat
ears” the portrait should be taken with the head turned so that one ear
disappears from view. Not “lying” but presenting mother nature in a
different way. Harry once had to take an engagement portrait and when the
prints were done I found the girl had no eyebrow on one side following
some over-zealous plucking. That one required a quick trip to the
Another piece of photo-fraud was inserting the
architect’s model of a hotel, as not yet built, into the aerial shot of
a beach resort city. This required working out the height of the
helicopter relative to the height to photograph the scale model and then
combining the two slides. It took two 12 hour days in the studio to
photograph the model and another day in the lab to combine the images.
Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see!
Harry has spoken.
Modern Medicine: Do
you want to live to be 100?
by Dr Iain Corness, Consultant
If your ambition is to live to be 100, the Okinawa
Express is now leaving from platform number three. According to an article
I saw a couple of weeks back, the Japanese Health Ministry claims that
Okinawans have an average life expectancy of 81.2 years - 86 for women and
75 for men (note for the marriageable - choose an Okinawan woman 11 years
older than you are and go for a double cremation).
The other amazing fact was that Okinawan centenarians
come in at about 34 per 100,000 of the population, almost three and a half
times more than the figures from America.
So what are the Okinawans doing right? Or what is it
that we are doing wrong? When you look at this conundrum, it is
interesting to note that if you take Okinawans out of Japan and relocate
them in another culture, they end up with the same statistics as the
culture in which they are now living. The same has been shown in
comparative statistical examinations of all races, for all diseases. East
Africans do not get tooth decay, but when working for British Rail
(“Mind the gap!”) and living in the UK, end up with a set of typical
British rotting teeth - or a fine set of NHS dentures (mind the gap,
So the true story is probably not lucky genes, but
revolves around diet and lifestyle. Okinawans are doing better because
their lifestyle suits them better, and their diet isn’t poisoning them
or blocking their arteries.
The lifestyle on Okinawa is apparently very slow and
the stress experienced by the local populace is not high. Now if this were
the be all and end all, my car washer will live to be 134 years old, but
Thais, despite a nice slow pace don’t do all that well in the longevity
stakes either. So there’s more.
The researchers cite diet, and the Okinawans are
apparently strong on fruits, vegetables, fish and ‘moderation’. (Once
again, the middle way looks like being the best, as a simple Buddhist
observation.) Looking at one of the recipes, which ends up being a tofu
mish-mash with 59 calories per serving, it is certainly not the high
cholesterol stew that we as farangs tend to eat.
The other factors associated with longevity - or the
lack of it - cigarettes and booze were not mentioned in the article -
because I think it would be there that you would find another clue.
Despite Uncle Wilbur who lived to be 103 and smoked 60 cigarettes a day
and drank a bottle of bourbon before lunch and died when shot by a jealous
husband, we do know that smoking doesn’t help you live longer (when I
typed that last phrase, I had inadvertently put “love” longer - but
that’s true too). Likewise, we know that with alcohol, the middle way is
So, rather than take the train to Okinawa, look at your
diet, look at your stresses in life, stop smoking, drink in moderation and
you too may make a 100. Of course, if you die of boredom aged 103, it
wasn’t really worth it, was it!
As I am thinking about retiring here, I was hoping you
could advise me on a couple of points. It has always been one of my
ambitions to have my own little pub (I’ve spent a fair deal of time in
little pubs and bars after work). There seems to be a few very successful
bars for sale and they only want about 600,000 baht for most of them.
Since I will be getting a nice tidy sum for my retirement, I thought I
might invest in one by buying a half share or something. It would be nice
to make money at a bar, rather than spending money at a bar, don’t you
reckon, Hillary! My only worry is that I have heard that foreigners have
been ripped off and I am hoping you can advise me on what to watch for.
With apologies to the Charge of the Light Brigade -
“Into the valley of death rode the six hundred” (thousand baht).
Geordie, Geordie! For a start, there are very few successful bar owners
who learned the trade from propping up the outside of the bar. Even with
half shares for sale, have you stopped to think why the owner of such a
successful establishment would want to give half of it away? Things to
watch for? There is always the third or fourth 50% share that gets sold.
Unfortunately, with the economic downturn, tourist cancellations etc etc
etc, the bar will pay no dividend this year and the regretful owner will
buy your 50% share back for 100,000 baht. Yes, there are quick profits to
be made in the bar bizz - for the seller, not the purchaser. Mind you, if
you can get a half share in Shenanigans for 600,000 baht, count Hillary in
I parked a rental car in Second Road the other day, and
as they say in Wales, “When I came back, there it was, gone!” I went
to the rental company as I thought it must have been stolen, but they rang
around and it was then I found that the people who had “stolen” the
car were the police themselves. Apparently I had parked in a no parking
area, so they towed my car away. Now here’s the part that I am most
annoyed about - it cost 800 baht to get it back and the rental company
insisted that I pay it. Since they hadn’t warned me about this parking
problem, I believe they had not shown due diligence, so they should have
been responsible for the fine and not me. What do you think, Hillary?
Parked out Pete
Dear Parked out Pete,
You’ve been watching too many detective shows on TV,
Petal. When you rent a car in Thailand, you are responsible for it while
it is in your possession. What did you want the rental company to do?
Employ a minder for you? Sorry, next time be more careful, and chalk it up
to experience. Ignorance of the laws is not accepted as a valid excuse in
Can you help me? I have been dating a wonderful young
Thai girl, a proper young “lady” not a bar girl, and we have become
quite serious as to looking into the future. Everything seemed to be going
along very well, although we did have some hiccups in the early part, just
caused through not fully understanding each other. The other evening over
a very nice dinner in our favourite restaurant, she dropped the bombshell.
“My mother tell me I must marry Thai man.” Just like that! I was too
flabbergasted to follow that line further. Hillary, is this a common thing
in Thai families? Does her mother have that much power that she can
dictate what her daughter does, and even the choice of husband for her?
Surely in this 21st century Thai girls are not stuck with arranged
marriages, and if they are, what can a farang do in this situation?
Does her mother have that sort of authority? In a
traditional Thai family she certainly does. It may be the 21st century for
you, Don, but in Thailand it is the 26th century and despite the extra 500
years, the traditional ways are still very strong. Thai people believe in
the need for family members to look after each other and her mother is
merely looking after her daughter in the traditional way. You are from an
alien culture, Don, and even if your young Thai lady is well versed in the
ways of the modern international world, the traditional values will still
be held in the family sphere. Have you stopped to consider that the Thai
man may have already paid a dowry to the family? In the case of a well
educated girl this could go as high as 2 million baht. What can you do?
You can either keep in there and hope, or call it quits now before you get
in too deep. However, you should sit down with your girl and discuss it
Reports that the ruler of Swaziland has banned sex
outside marriage and ordered all virgins to wear a miniature doll have
caused a boom in the sale of similar items in Pattaya too. Stalls at
the Made In Thailand market are very pleased that many imitation furry
animals have been bought. ESSSO (Eastern Seaboard Social Surveys
Organization), admitting there may have been some confusion, none the
less reports that 65.6% of nitery entertainers agreed to display the
gonks somewhere on their person. The other 34.4% said they did not
know where Swaziland was.
A silly farang, who misunderstood that not all
unions are made in heaven, was cheated of over seven million baht in a
hopelessly unsuccessful marriage here. He instructed a legal firm to
undertake recovery of his more valuable items such as a condo and a
new car. The farang then left for Europe, but did receive an e-mail
three months later. It stated, “We have contacted the lady in
question but the only valuable item she has returned so far is your
spare set of teeth. We await your instructions what to do with
The Cafe Royale, in Pattayaland Soi Three, has
introduced a Sunday night special buffet for 350 baht. Good selection
of meats and excellent value for money. Go only if you are really
hungry... The Sportsman’s Inn in Soi Yodsak offers a Monday special
of fish and chips for only 89 baht. Special price for beers too on
that day... The best sausage meat, hamburger style sandwich in town,
with piles of onions of course, has gotta be at Palmer’s in
Pattayaland Soi Two. And still only 65 baht... We hear quite glowing
reports of the English food at the Pig and Whistle in Soi Seven. Is it
really the best in town? GEOC (Grapevine Eating Out Collective) will
be there real soon.
Food on wheels
If you’re eating at home, throwing a party or
whatever, you need to be aware of the latest service in town called
Food On Wheels. German run, they deliver to your home or bar an
exceptionally wide range of tasty dishes including BBQ pork knuckle,
pepper steak, mixed grill and cordon bleu. You can choose between
frozen, cold, hot and vacuum packed which is fine for microwaving. The
set meals including vegetables are a remarkable 114 baht and include
free delivery. Their premises are on Third Road, between Central and
North Roads, opposite Physical Massage. We’ve yet to meet anyone who
has been disappointed.
Pattaya’s Sunday and Wednesday trivial pursuits
leagues go from strength to strength even in the quiet season. No one
person runs them. Barry Kenyon sets the questions, or tries to, and
Ken Osborne does the really hard work such as publicity, results and
spending hours on the Internet trying to decide on the serious
appeals. Any new bars wanting to come into the leagues, which are
currently full, should contact a bar already represented. Macro
decisions such as that are taken at a bar owners’ meeting which is
usually held towards the end of a season. For a place of its size,
Pattaya probably has more quizzers, and good ones at that, than any
other place on earth. Pattaya City could turn out to be the new
If a farang is fined at Pattaya court, and sent to
jail specifically because he can’t afford to pay out of his own
resources, can you as a good friend pay on his behalf? You can. Anyone
can pay off fines at the Pattaya court front office. However, you will
need the full name, the exact date of his arrest and appearance in
court and maybe his police file number. The latter bit can be obtained
from the police or via a lawyer. Once you have the court receipts, you
have to hand them in at the police station. Remember, though, that a
farang prisoner will almost always be deported once he (or she) has
been signed off. There’s not a lot of point in paying the fine
unless there is also cash on hand to pay for the deportation and the
air ticket home.
From church newspapers
Bertha Belch, a missionary from the tropics, will
be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight
and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
Please note - The cost of attending the Prayer and
Fasting Conference does include meals.
Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a
chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.
Don’t forget your husbands.
The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has
been canceled due to an argument.
Social Commentary by Khai Khem
Are we all getting fatter?
Am I the only one who thinks the world is getting fatter?
Or at least more plump? I just read some statistics that in the 1970s two
third’s of the world’s population lived below the poverty line. Today
that number has been reduced to about one third. Wealth distribution, better
education, the Green Revolution and modern agriculture techniques certainly
account for much of this progress. When I think about people getting fatter,
it is not the lower income peoples of Third World countries I am wondering
about. I suppose the people I observe could be called the middle class or
upper middle class in more nations than just a couple of rich democracies.
Now, before the brick-bats start flying, let me state
that I do not have a hidden prejudice against obese people. A curiosity
about a social phenomenon is not the same as being a bigot. I simply see a
lot of very fat people in every country I travel in the past few years,
which makes me realise that the eating habits of huge portions of the
world’s population have greatly changed. Therefore there must be some
cultural changes taking place which seem to effect people’s appetites. Fat
people are springing up in nations which traditionally did not have a
problem with obesity. So why is this?
There are many opinions as to why this could be. We have
been discussing this problem for years...it is not new. Some people think it
is simply that ordinary people really don’t know the way food chemistry
works in the body; which food contains what and how it metabolises when
digested. Others think perhaps modern life and its conveniences don’t make
us work hard enough. Not work hard enough? I’ve never seen people so
driven by their work as they are in this day and age. Too many modern
conveniences? Not enough exercise? Too much money? Too much food? Ah, there
we may have struck on something.
Food is big business and very political now in every
nation. Countries which produce more than they consume export the excess,
and those which do not grow enough of something in demand must import it.
Advertising in all its forms pumps out propaganda on food 24 hours a day in
one form or another. How about choices? Pay dirt! So many choices and so
much competition would account for the bombardment of advertising. But the
food must get to the mouth before it turns to fat, right?
I think I really have the answer to this particular
social idiosyncrasy. Many societies base their cultural interaction on food,
and the ceremony with which it is accompanied. Even cave dwellers held
ceremonies after the kill of the beast and the fire was struck. But they
were not obese, not even pleasingly plump. I believe the problem...if it is
one, comes from something much more connected to the human condition than
cultural ceremony and national cuisine. It comes from curiosity. All of
those new products on the shelves need to be sampled. There is an endless
supply and human ingenuity will always come up with new products and new
One doesn’t actually have to be of a certain race or
ethnic background to get fat. In other words, Northern Europeans, tall,
hardy and stout are not the only people who’s girth increases to mammoth
proportions. But I will admit that cultural cuisine has a lot to do with
adding those extra pounds or staying lean and mean. Western food can be
incredibly mouth-watering, but the portions and the calories can add up if
one doesn’t actually dig ditches for a living.
I have Thai friends who went to study or do business in
the USA and Europe, and after two years came back to Thailand as plumb as
pickles. Why? Because they had never seen so much food in their lives, and
of such variety. They wanted to try it all. They had no idea what the
ingredients were in anything they ate. It was scrumptious, and even as they
grew out of their clothes, bought bigger ones and stretched the new ones to
the limit, they ate, and ate. Always trying something new, always more
dishes to taste. Thais are curious and food is their passion.
And so we have the beginnings of an obsession. Food is
something we of every nationality all have in common, and so people will
always talk about food. What they are eating at the moment, what they ate
yesterday, what they will eat tomorrow. I realise Thais have been accused of
being total bores on food. But that is because they are not scintillating
conversationalists by nature. Americans and British however, can be
fabulously witty, interesting and informative. But when a group of them gets
together and food is in the offing, many times the conversation turns to IQ
64. For example, in a restaurant, when my native English speaking pals all
have menus and are about to order a meal, talk leaps around the table and
the basic topic is “great meals I have eaten” while the waiter takes the
order. Other friends and associates email information to me on dozens of
different topics. My English speaking friends do that too, AFTER they have
told me what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what their friends
and kids are eating, and what their neighbours are cooking. My German and
Austrian friends all gather to discuss philosophy and the meaning of life.
Come to think of it, what else could we discuss over a pig’s knuckle and a
heap of sour cabbage?
Women’s World: “I
knew I myself had to fly!”
by Lesley Warner
America’s famous aviatrix Amelia Mary Earhart was born
on July 24, 1897 at her grandparents’ home in Atchison, Kansas. Amelia
grew up with a normal mother and a heavy drinker for a father. She had many
jobs before she got into flying.
In 1920 she decided to visit her family in California and
while there she went to an “aerial meet” at Daugherty Field in Long
Beach. After which she boarded an open-cockpit biplane for a 10-minute
flight over Los Angeles.
She said, “As soon as we left the ground I knew I
myself had to fly!”
Shortly afterwards she began lessons with pioneer
aviatrix Anita “Neta” Snook at Kinner Field near Long Beach
By October 1922, Amelia began participating in record
breaking attempts and set a women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet.
In autumn 1925, Amelia joined the Boston Chapter of the
National Aeronautic Association and invested what little money she had in a
company that would build an airport and market Kinner airplanes in Boston.
During this time she took full advantage of the circumstances to promote
flying...especially for women. She regularly became the subject of columns
in newspapers. The Boston Globe called her, “one of the best women pilots
in the United States”.
Amelia was soon making a name for herself and in
September 1928 she flew a solo flight from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Aviation was quite a new concept and the industry looked
for ways to improve its image. Amelia was appointed Assistant to the General
Traffic Manager at Transcontinental Air Transport (later known as TWA) with
a special responsibility of attracting women passengers.
She continued to take all challenges offered and in 1930
she broke several women’s speed records in her Lockheed Vega aircraft.
By early 1932 no other person had successfully flown solo
across the Atlantic since Lindbergh. Amelia would not duplicate
Lindbergh’s course but would fly from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and make
the British Isles her destination. On May 20, 1932, exactly 5 years after
the Lindbergh flight, Amelia’s modified Lockheed Vega began the journey.
Somewhat off-course, she landed in an open field near Londonderry in
In the autumn of 1934, Amelia decided that her next
flight would be a trans-Pacific flight from Hawaii to California...and then
on to Washington D.C. She departed Wheeler Field on January 11, 1935 and
landed in Oakland, California to a cheering crowd of thousands.
Later in 1935, Amelia began plans for an around-the-world
flight. The Lockheed Electra 10E was chosen as the plane for the flight. The
flight would be two major firsts...she would be the first woman, and she
would travel the longest possible distance, circumnavigating the globe at
its waist. She said, “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards...I want
to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have
tried. When they fail their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
On June 1, 1937, Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan
departed Miami, Florida bound for California by traveling around the world.
The first destination was San Juan, Puerto Rico...from there skirting the
northeast edge of South America and then on to Africa and the Red Sea. From
Karachi the Electra flew to Calcutta on June 17... from there, on to
Rangoon, Bangkok, Singapore and Bandoeng.
It was June 27 before Amelia and Noonan were able to
leave Bandoeng for Port Darwin, Australia. At Darwin the direction finder
was repaired, and the parachutes were packed and shipped home...they would
be of no value over the Pacific.
Amelia reached Lae in New Guinea on June 29. She cabled
her last commissioned article to the Herald Tribune. Photos show her looking
very tired and ill.
On the morning of July 2, ITASCA received only broken
radio messages in which she spoke of running low on fuel and how she was
unable to locate her destination.
Nothing was ever heard again and no one has ever found
Amelia’s body or plane.
Animal Crackers: Happy
by Mirin MacCarthy
The last edition discussed the advantage to cats getting
to live out their nine lives by being kept indoors. It is clear that an
indoor life for cats removes the potentially fatal threats of feline Aids,
automobile injuries, snakebite and rabies from wildlife.
Is it fair?
Owners will swear that their cats will be miserable if
cooped up indoors constantly. This is not correct and with a little
attention to what the cat likes and needs, a pet owner can make a home that
is healthy, safe and happy for puss too.
Puss in Boots
Put yourself in the cat’s shoes, or take a few moments
to look at the home from the cat’s perspective. Cats need not only food,
shelter and toilet areas but they need fresh air, sunshine stimulation, play
and affection, places to climb and hide and greens to chew.
Fresh air and sunshine
Open securely screened windows to let fresh air and
sunshine in, or enclose an area of the balcony. Attach shelves to narrow
window ledges to let the cat sit and watch the world go by.
Places to climb, hide and explore
Cats need to scratch and climb. A scratching post at
least two feet high is essential, though a floor to ceiling pole with
perches is even better.
Give cats something to do when everyone is away - i.e.,
hide a few treats sneakily around the house. Open cardboard boxes left out
or open cupboards to give cats new frontiers to explore.
Give cats stimulating, safe toys that activate their
hunting response. Try to think like a cat, is the toy furry or feathered?
Can it be made to hop or fly? Does it move and feel like small prey? These
kinds of toys will give cats the most natural exercise and amusement. Make
some yourself with feathers, pipe cleaners bells and elastic. Avoid toys
with small or loose parts that can be stuck in a cat’s throat or
Grass to chew
Remove all poisonous indoor plants and replace with pots
of grass, alfalfa or catnip. This gives the cats fresh tasty greens to chew
that aren’t exposed to chemicals or pesticides.
Play games with your cat, this is not nuts. Cats have a
very real need for human companionship. They enjoy chasing small soft balls
and especially love chasing dancing lights spots from laser light pointers.
Some even like games of chase and hide and seek around doors. Mine love
hiding under the bedclothes where they are convinced you can’t see them.
The key is gradual adjustment
It is possible to help an outdoor cat adjust to a
contented life indoors. The key is to make the conversion very gradually and
to provide lots of attention and stimulation while the cat is indoors. Begin
by letting the cat out only in the middle of the day. Cats are nocturnal
hunters and this change will help them shift from the hunting urge. Over a
month or two gradually shorten the length of time the cat is outside until
you no longer let it outside unsupervised ever. Consider leash training
which can be achieved with much patience. Or screen in porches or small
enclosures so they can enjoy the great outdoors in safety. Refer to <www.catnip.com.au>
for great ideas for modular cat gardens. Purrfect.
A Slice of Thai History:
Prince Wan: Diplomat and Philologist
by Duncan Stearn
Part Two: The Early Years 1954-1976
In September 1954, the South-East Asia Treaty
Organization (SEATO) was formed at a meeting in Manila in the Philippines.
Aimed at providing an umbrella defence of key states in the region it
consisted of the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France,
Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand.
During the delicate negotiations the work of Prince Wan,
as Thai Foreign Minister, was singled out for praise by the British Foreign
Secretary (later Prime Minister) Sir Anthony Eden who wrote, ‘Your smooth
and timely but firm guidance has had an essential part in the success for
the work we have done.’
In April 1955, Prince Wan attended the nine-day Bandung
Conference in Indonesia. Held in the Javanese city of Bandung and chaired by
Indonesian President Sukarno, delegates from 29 Asian and African countries
came to hear speeches denouncing colonialism and demanding
self-determination for all subjugated peoples. Among the dignitaries
attending the conference were Zhou En-Lai from the People’s Republic of
China, ‘Pandit’ Nehru of India, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia,
Pham Van Dong of North Vietnam and U Nu of Burma. Prince Wan, already noted
for his tact and impartiality, was elected Rapporteur.
In the world of international politics, Prince Wan’s
standing was so high that he was unanimously elected as President of the
United Nations General Assembly in 1956. He held the post until the end of
the Eleventh Session of the UN in 1957. Prince Wan was the first, and only,
Thai to have been elevated to such a prominent position in the arena of
During his presidency, Prince Wan had to weather the
international storm of two potentially explosive dramas: the Russian
invasion of Hungary and the Second Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Suez
Crisis. Both crises occurred at almost the same time, in mid-late 1956, and
there were very real fears of yet another world war breaking out. That
neither incident escalated into a major conflagration was due in no small
measure to the conciliatory efforts of Prince Wan.
Prince Wan remained Thai Foreign Minister (with a break
of eight months in 1957) until October 1958 when, aged 67, he virtually
retired from the arena of international diplomacy, returning to Thailand to
concentrate on linguistics and concentrate on more academic pursuits.
Nevertheless, he was to remain very much in the public
arena of Thailand for the remainder of his full life. Although he had an
interest in playing golf and ballroom dancing, his chief love remained
books, writing and language.
In 1965, Prince Wan was appointed Rector of Thammasat
University, holding the post until 1970. In 1969, aged 78, the elder
statesman was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in the Thanom Kittikachorn
government. That same year he became President of the Siam Society for the
second time, holding the position until 1976. He had first been president
between 1944 and 1949.
In 1971, His Majesty the King appointed him President of
the National Congress, the forerunner to the Legislative Assembly that
eventually drafted the 1974 Constitution.
The illustrious career of Prince Wan came to an end when
he died on September 5 1976, at the venerable age of 85.
The Message In The Moon
: Sun in Gemini/Moon in Virgo - The Nitpicker
The planet Mercury rules both signs of this combination.
For those who are familiar with mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the
gods and governs the communication of thoughts and ideas.
Self-expression is one of the strongest needs in life for
natives born into this Sun/Moon combination. Whether possessed with the gift
of fine story-telling, or it takes on the forms of writing, debating, the
art of fine conversation, or simply manifests into an irritating habit of
habitual nagging, the Gemini-Virgo’s desire to communicate is
ever-present. That need to express their latest ideas and deepest feelings
will not be denied. And like all highly expressive people, they demand an
audience. It is vital they get feedback and output from the world around
them so they can air their views and show off that wit and sophistication.
These people need sounding boards. If deprived of such a forum, they will
lapse into states of moodiness and agitation, and their sharp criticism can
Restless and nervy, exuberant and enthusiastic, the charm
of a native born into this combo usually guarantees the audience will sit up
and take notice. This is an extremely intellectual combination, and a
pursuit of knowledge drives this sign to acquire a fine store of information
on various subjects. Happily, these individuals also exude an aura of
worldly wisdom. Not so happily, they have difficulty specialising in any one
field of endeavour. Since there is so much to learn, they often feel it is a
waste of time to master any one subject or skill.
Despite their urbane, light-hearted manner, the
Gemini-Virgos are often discontented. They set high goals and almost
impossible standards, not only for themselves, but often for those around
them. Dissatisfaction with themselves or the projects they are working on is
the source of much of the confusion, anxiety and depression they may feel
When they succumb to these vague feelings of self-doubt
and discontent, they become moody, restless and hypercritical toward their
family, friends and associates. Often they will project their problems onto
the people closest to them. If the frustration becomes too much to bear,
natives of this sign often resort to self-destructive behaviour, alcoholism
or drug abuse being the most common. It is advisable for these people to
recognise those feelings of discontent and develop a little compassion for
themselves. To recognise and appreciate their own many talents and to
forgive their personal flaws is vital if they are to find peace. They must
realise that reward and recognition are not always instantly forthcoming,
despite all their labours.
The perfect critic and analyst, the perception of the
Gemini-Virgo is always on target. Although not very emotional, this
combination is considerate and thoughtful. And the advice which these
natives are always dispensing is usually well thought-out and wise.
Oftentimes, it would be a good idea to practice what they themselves preach,
Professionally, this combo is well suited for fields that
involve analysis and precision. In addition, these people can excel in the
communications media, particularly advertising, journalism, marketing and
promotion. A Gemini-Virgo is a terrific salesperson.
A very detached view of love makes this combination not
nearly as romantic as they appear. That restless nature craves variety, so
they will most likely have many love affairs before they are ready to settle
down. In this case, it is probably for the best that they sow their wild
oats when they are young. A tight leash held on a Gemini-Virgo only makes
them more determined to slip the lead. Although they all can be considerate
and thoughtful lovers, they can also be highly critical towards a mate when
they are having their own personal difficulties in other areas of life.
Antiques, are they
genuine? : Copies of Dutch and Spanish furniture
by Apichart Panyadee
The period of the greatest flower painters of the Dutch
masters, the floral marquetry work of Amsterdam and The Hague, and the
incredible work of Jan van Merkeren were recaptured from the middle of the
Spanish cabinet-on-stand influenced by late 16th century Moorish work.
It was often recreated either in a purely 18th century form
but with a 17th century style marquetry, or by simply taking one of the many
plain and unadorned 18th century walnut or mahogany pieces and inlaying it.
The Flemish draw-leaf table, one of the earliest types of extending dining
room tables, is a common subject for reproduction; the copies mainly dating
to the early part of the 20th century, realise about half the value of 17th
For example, a mid-18th century Dutch mahogany bureau of
typical form would have been a plain magoghany piece when first made. But a
hundred years later, the revival of the earlier style would have included
late 19th century copy of a Spanish cabinet influenced by Moorish work of
the late 16th century.
A typical 17th century Napoleon III style of side cabinet was
popular, thus made in several countries. A later rendition would most
probably be taken from a large Dutch amoire and ‘improved’ for 19th
century taste. The telltale larger proportions of the oversized Dutch piece
would certainly give away the game.
typical Napoleon III side cabinet made in several countries. This one had
17th century panels from a Dutch amoire inserted.
Spain, too, recaptured its golden era - this time the
16th century. The early 16th century Mudejar style of Moorish geometric
ivory and coloured woods became popular, especially as French, and to a
lesser extent, English taste turned towards the Middle East and Arabia for
exotic inspiration. Spanish craftsmen seem to have been able to produce
copies of earlier work easily. They were looking back 300 years, but neither
the standard or work nor the materials had changed much. This can make it
most difficult to distinguish copy from original, or fake from copy. Only
with experience and very careful study can one tell a late 18th century
drawer lining from an earlier one. The 19th century examples inconveniently
seem to slip back to the earliest period; possibly these were really
intended to deceive.
XV kingwood and tulipwood amoire that has been altered to suit 19th century
taste. Wooden front panels have been replaced with glass to create a display
Spanish cabinet-on-stand were heavily influenced by
Moorish work, and very popular in the late 16th century. There may or may
not be a reduction in size in these items, and unless there is, it is
difficult to tell the age. A piece in very good condition could arouse
suspicion. On the other hand, it is unwise to base one’s choice on this
premise alone. Indifferent quality of carving means it is an item from a
later date. The carving may be flat and uninspired.
A Louis XV amoire was often altered to suit later fashion
and taste. The most common alterations to these pieces were done to the top
panels. The wooden panels were removed and glass panels inserted. This
effectively turned a cupboard into a new saleable display cabinet. Also,
many times gilt bronze mounts were added in the 19th century. A collector
must remember that elaborate work was often added in this period, which
drove up the prices of the later items which were copied or altered.
Therefore originals often were cheaper than reproductions.
Shaman’s Rattle : “Love
Your Liver and Live Longer”
Last week’s edition outlined the principles of the
liver cleansing diet, (LCD) and how the liver is of critical importance as
the main vacuum cleaner of the system. Because the type of fats you eat on a
daily basis is fundamental to your health and longevity, and has the
greatest influence on your liver function and weight, it is important to
look at good and bad fats and how to avoid saturated and damaged fats.
Essential Fatty Acids
Many people believe that all fats are bad; however, this
is not so. Some fats are essential to optimum health and indeed are named
essential fatty acids (EFA’s). In a diet which completely excludes EFA’s
the liver function, metabolism, hormonal and immune functions slow, also dry
itchy skin, depression, fatigue, joint pain, hair loss, circulatory problems
and rapid ageing occur. “EFA’s Omega 3 and Omega 6 are of vital
importance to health and diet both, as the body cannot manufacture them.
They are the main constituents of membranes outside cells and tiny metabolic
organs inside every cell. EFA’s are necessary for proper liver function,
to eliminate toxins and to cleanse the blood. They keep the cell barriers
strong and improve the efficiency of the immune system also.”
Omega 6 EFA’s
“These unsaturated EFA’s are most beneficial and are
mainly found in seeds. Safflower, sunflower, hemp, linseed, sesame, black
currant and pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of EFA’s, protein, plant
hormones and fibre. Other sources of omega 6 EFA’s are human breast milk,
soya beans, walnuts, spirulina and lecithin. In “The Liver Cleansing
Diet” Dr. Sandra Cabot recommends, “A mixture of linseed, sunflower seed
and almonds (called LSA) as an excellent way of boosting EFA’s and
protein.” Simply grind in a coffee grinder or high-powered blender 3
measures of linseed, two measures of sunflower seeds and one measure of
almonds to make a delicious nutty tasting powder. Sprinkle this LSA on
vegetables, pasta, soups, fruit salads, and cereals or add to a soy milk
health shake. LSA is also a great brain food and will help those with a poor
memory!” I am going to rush out and buy some if I don’t forget.
Omega 3 EFA’s
This group is just as beneficial as the former and is
found in fresh cold water fish such as mackerel, tuna, herring, flounder,
salmon, rainbow trout, bass and sardines. The fish can be steamed, baked or
grilled but absolutely not fried, deep-fried or smoked because the EFA’s
are damaged and oxidised by those processes. Canned or tinned fish such as
salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are a healthy source of oils provided
they are not smoked either. Other beneficial Omega 3 EFA’s are found in
flaxseeds, canola, soya beans, dark leafy green vegetables, cold pressed
virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds, macadamia, cashew and pecan nuts. All
nuts have to be eaten fresh if their oils are to be beneficial, not rancid
“Oils Ain’t Oils”
Oils and fats that are essential to our health will not
do us any good if they are denatured or damaged in storage, processing or
cooking; in fact they will be harmful.
“EFA’s are very vulnerable to deterioration from
exposure to light, air or heat. Sunlight, artificial light, and the oxygen
in the air will cause EFA’s to become rancid and oxidised to dangerous
polymers, aldehydes and peroxides. This places increased burdens on the
liver and the immune system. The application of heat in both the
hydrogenation process and frying oils at high temperatures destroys EFA’s.
Deep fried and/or reheated oils contain many toxic cyclic monomers causing
liver disease, reduced immune function and increased risk of cancer. Those
with sluggish or poor liver function or gall bladder disease should NEVER
eat deep fried foods.”
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are used for
processed oils, margarines and shortenings in convenience foods, packet
biscuits and cakes. Do not think that polyunsaturated margarines are good
for you, they are really harmful liver enemies because of the hydrogenation
process used to turn natural oils into unhealthy trans-fatty acids.
“Trans-fatty acids are bad news for the liver because they impair the
function of the liver’s most important detoxification enzyme, which breaks
down toxins and carcinogens (cancer producing agents). Also, studies have
shown that consumption of trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated margarines, etc.,)
increases total cholesterol and triglycerides which are known risk factors
for cardiovascular disease. While on the LCD it is essential to avoid all
hydrogenated margarines and butter (diary products). Instead use fresh
avocado, houmos, tahini or (non hydrogenated, non dairy) ‘soy butter’ as
Care for Oils
Dietary Oils will only be good for us if we take care of
them by protecting them from air, heat and light. “For salad dressings,
home made cakes and light stir frying, good quality, unrefined and genuinely
cold pressed oils are what’s needed. A good choice is virgin olive oil,
because it has not been heated, refined or bleached. Keep the oil in the
fridge. Do not fry foods in oil at high temperatures, instead stir-fry the
Chinese way. Put a little water in the wok first, not oil, then add the
vegetables and after slow low heating add a small amount of oil. This method
keeps the cooking temperatures down to a non-destructive 100 deg C (212F)
which avoids overheating and oxidation. Adding garlic and onions to the wok
helps as they are rich in sulphur and minimise free radical damage. Some
oils are less damaged by heating than others, and the best for stir frying
are canola, sesame, peanut, high oleic sunflower, safflower and virgin olive
“Nutritional medicine is very powerful, as well as
being risk free,” as Dr. Cabot says, and she has found that, “99% of
people can control high cholesterol levels by diet alone.” Dr. Cabot
recommends six natural health therapies for the liver. They are psyllium,
taurine, dandelion, St Mary’s Thistle, globe artichoke and slippery elm
bark, which have liver protective, restorative properties. Also, three
helpful foods, carrots and beets, lecithin, alfalfa and barley leaf, are
antioxidants, cholesterol reducing and liver cleansers. Dr. Cabot’s
“Livatone” powder contains all these ingredients and is also available
in capsule form. More information about these tonics and the brilliant Liver
Cleansing Diet can be found at <www.whas.com.au> and
www.liverdoctor.com Dr. Cabot’s book, “The Liver Cleansing Diet” (ISBN
- 0-646-27789-8) is packed with great recipes, even titled “Yummy
recipes”, also an eight week eating plan and many cholesterol reducing
therapies. The book and the LCD come highly recommended from many converts
who benefited enormously.
The computer doctor
by Richard Bunch
From Hugh Twigg, Eastern Seaboard: I work for a
company on Eastern Seaboard, recently a number of staff were dismissed,
although for the most part their whereabouts are known, the IT supervisors
isn’t. This presents me with a problem as the company will not replace him
and has made looking after the computers etc. part of my job. I have a
little bit of knowledge but my immediate problem is that I need to change a
PC to boot from floppy, at the moment it is booting from the C drive. I know
how to do this from the BIOS, but when I try to enter the BIOS it asks for a
Supervisor password, neither I nor anyone else in the company knows this.
Surely there must be a way around this?
Computer Doctor replies: There is good news; there is
a simple solution that will allow you to get in the BIOS. This means opening
the PC and then shorting out two terminals on the motherboard, performing a
boot while the terminals are shorted then returning them to their original
position. On some motherboards this is achieved by changing a jumper, on
others it is necessary to bridge two joints with conductive material like a
screwdriver. If you can find the motherboard manual this will tell you,
otherwise you may be able to obtain the information from the
manufacturer’s website. You may also be able to see the pins labelled on
the motherboard, this will read something like CMOS. Don’t forget that
resetting the CMOS will return all your BIOS settings to default so these
will need to be customised once more. In a workplace environment, it is
often good practice to set a BIOS password as this will deter the office
meddler from altering settings. Of course to be absolutely secure you will
need to enforce a physical restraint to prevent the case being opened
thereby allowing access to the motherboard.
Tricks with Outlook and Outlook Express
With the advent and unpleasant side effects of some
recent viruses, like propagating itself by e-mailing to addresses stored in
your address book and particularly attaching documents selected at random
from your hard drive, this tip will help to prevent the spread or in any
event alert you to the problem.
Create an invalid entry in your Outlook or Outlook
Express address book. Enter a bogus first and last name starting with a
non-alphanumeric character (*virus-alert!, for example). Enter <illegaladdress
as the e-mail address, make sure to include the less-than symbol (<).
Outlook and/or Outlook Express will alert you that this address is invalid,
it’s supposed to be! It will then ask if you still want to add it. Click Yes
and then OK.
When a virus tries to mail itself to the addresses in
your address book, this will be the first entry it encounters. The mail
server will reject the address and in all probability all other addresses in
the message’s ‘To:’ and ‘cc:’ fields. Some servers may send the
message to the valid addresses, but the invalid address will alert you to
the problem because the message will bounce.
The other thing to be mindful of is that viruses can
masquerade as a harmless file type, so it is wise to turn on file extensions
in explorer etc. so if you see a file with a double extension like
relay.gif.exe you can be sure you have a problem.
Send your questions or comments to the Pattaya Mail
at 370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, 20260 or fax to 038 427 596 or
email to email@example.com
The views and comments expressed within this column are
not necessarily those of the writer or Pattaya Mail Publishing.
Richard Bunch is managing director of Action Computer Technologies Co., Ltd.
For further information, please telephone 01 782 4829, fax 038 716 816,
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or see the firm’s website www.act.co.th
Updated every Friday
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel. 66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax: 66-38 427 596
Chinnaporn Sungwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.