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Phuket Lifestyle: Facetime with Dr Paul Ekman

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Lifestyle: Facetime with Dr Paul Ekman | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Dr Paul Ekman has built an impressive career around research on the human face and the many subtle micro-expressions which expose emotions. He believes that regardless of geography or culture, mankind has facial expressions in common that even reach to the world of primates.

Recently he presented a lecture, Emotional Intelligence and Education: Reading Faces, Recognizing Feelings and Revealing Lies at the Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club at the Phuket International Academy where he described his research into human emotions and their expressions.

Speaking exclusively to the Phuket Gazette after his lecture, Dr Ekman offered further details about his life and career.

“When I was a student in the 1950s at the University of Chicago and New York University, I focused my research on micro-facial expressions which confirm whether a subject is telling the truth or not. The basis of my research was work done by Charles Darwin and his investigations while he traveled around the world making notes on various cultures. Darwin believed that human beings shared common facial expressions,” Dr Ekman said.

Ekman graduated from Adelphi University in 1958 with a Phd and then spent two years in the American military as a clinical psychology officer. In 1960, he joined the faculty of the University of California San Francisco where he continued his research into human emotions until his retirement in 2004.

“I was satisfied with Darwins research which was quite contrary to the prevailing popular beliefs at the time as expressed by anthropologist Margaret Mead who taught that human emotions were conditioned by experience rather than biology. I determined that I needed to go and test aboriginals where there had been no human contact to prove Darwins theories,” he added.

In 1967, Ekman headed into the jungles of Papua New Guinea to find a Stone Age culture that had had no contact with the outside world. He was successful in locating the Fore tribesmen and began extensive photographic recordings of facial expressions that mirror what he has determined to be the seven basic human emotions of anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and happiness. He returned to Papua New Guinea the following year to confirm his research.

Ekmans research tool is called Facial Action Coding System (FACS), which determines which of the faces 43 muscles are working to express an emotion.

Over the past 50 years, his research on reading the faces expressions, has been adopted by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who uses his Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program.

“Through my training programs, I have been able to help assess the probability of deceptive behavior. I don’t believe that lie detector tests are reliable. In my experience, I have found that Secret Service agents in the United States are the most accurate at successfully determining the credibility of a suspects statement. This is because they have been trained to carefully observe human emotions and movements,” said Dr Ekman.

Ekman’s work was the basis for a popular television show, Lie to Me, which had a three-year run on Fox television networks. He was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century by the American Psychological Association.

His trip to Asia was inspired by his recent visit with the Dalai Lama in New Delhi.

“I have had several meetings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama where we have discussed the importance of emotions in human life. Of course we come to the subject from very different belief systems, but we do agree that emotions can be helpful tools to assist with issues such as stimulating human justice and reducing stress, said Dr Ekman He is currently the manager of the Paul Ekman Group, a company that produces training devices to help his clients develop competence at learning how to read emotional expressions, and continues his research into training techniques for national security.

To learn more about reading the emotions behind facial expressions, check out www.paulekman.com.

— Bruce Stanley

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Thailand

Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018 | The Thaiger

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) released by Hotels.com reveals no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry. Prices are up for overnight accommodation by 3% globally in 2018 across every regional index, except for the Pacific region, including Thailand.

Hotel.com has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging.

Travellers to and around Thailand paid an average price of 1,720 baht a night for their domestic accommodation last year, a 7% drop compared to 2017, and paid the same average price of 4,437 baht a night for international accommodation in both 2018 and 2017.

The growth in travel comes despite global uncertainties including Brexit, California wildfires, South African drought and Japanese earthquakes. Travellers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest: Paris, Egypt, Turkey; regions experiencing currency fluctuation: South America; and areas affected by natural disaster: North America.

Despite the overall growth in global accommodation prices, average prices paid for domestic accommodation in Thailand have decreased, with average prices for international beds remaining stable.

SOURCE: The Nation | Hotel.com

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Bangkok

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Thaiger

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Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

The Thai cabinet yesterday approved the construction of a third runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as part of the country’s ambition to become the aviation hub of ASEAN.

The 21.7 billion baht project will increase the combined capacity of Suvarnabhumi international airport’s runways to 94 arrivals and departures per hour from the current 64, said Lt-Gen Weerachon Sukonthapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (aka. BKK) was opened in 2006 as Bangkok’s second airport. Initially it replaced the tired Don Mueang Airport but Don Mueang was later revamped as a low-coast airport to service the growing traffic demands.

Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi Airport was, and still is, operating above its designed capacity. An earlier bid to build a third terminal has been mired in controversy and is currently shelved pending a new brief from Airports of Thailand with a new round of design bids called for in the future.

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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People

Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal

The Thaiger

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Patong’s trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police / Theeraphong Penmit / Newshawk Phuket

A Phuket boy has been rewarded after setting an excellent example for the rest of the Patong community.

8 year old Kosin Ta-ngam, who is studying at Sai Nam Yen School in Patong in Pratom Suksa Three, has been collecting garbage in the filthy Pak Bang Canal and along Patong Beach since the beginning of this year.

He lives with his grandmother and other relatives. His grandmother has been looking after Kosin since he was 10 months old.

A certificate, scholarship and life vest have been awarded to Kosin by the Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee for displaying excellent citizen for the community as a youth volunteer and being an active part of keeping the city clean.

The Pak Bang Canal, running through the back of Patong into Patong Bay, has been a dark, dirty mess for decades. Many promises have been made to clean it up but it remains a disgraceful waterway flowing through Phuket’s main tourist town.

The tiny eight year old seems to be able to achieve a lot more than the local municipality with all their money and machinery.

Kosin, you are the Thaiger hero for today and we salute you!

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

Patong's trash hero rewarded for collecting garbage in filthy canal | News by The Thaiger

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