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Phuket’s “Tri Tim’ – the surprises of dedication

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket’s “Tri Tim’ – the surprises of dedication | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Tim Haddon is on a mission to change his life, and hopefully the lives of others. In six months, Tim, under the guidance of his trainer, Darren Hancock aims to change from a man with heart problems and diabetes to a man who can complete the Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2011.

TIM: What stands out most about the early days of my training – and the entire period for that matter – are the realizations I came to that really changed the game. To say that I was anxious or had personal doubts about my fitness regime is an understatement.

The anxiety began well before that fateful first day with Darren. It started when my cardiologist gave me the all clear to commence training. In the back of my mind I was half expecting him to say “You are in no condition to attempt this!”, but instead he told me “You are in good shape to start getting into shape”.

From that moment onwards, the real weight of my daunting task sank in. I was actually going to do it… it was real.

So, here we were, starting from “zero” and, to be honest, all I was thinking about was simply clawing my way through the swim portion of the triathlon, pushing my bike up the hills and then walking the 12 kilometer run with the aim of getting across the line alive.

Then, after a while I transitioned from walking into running, from splashing around in the pool to actually swimming laps, and from watching a spin class to actually taking part in one. Now, at week 19 of my training, I can run 4,000 meters as opposed to 10m; my swimming has improved to where I can complete the 1.8km run without a break; and I can cycle for 40km without much fuss.

There is still a way to go, but now I am wondering, “How long will it take me?”, rather than “Can I actually finish this race?”

What really made an impression on me was how much faith Darren had in me, and how much he seemed to actually know what I was capable of. He knew I would be able to take those big initial steps and keep on making them as time went on, so even before day one I had already convinced myself that to have any chance of success, I would have to take a leap of faith, trust my trainer, and put my life into his hands.

Also, the knowledge Darren has passed on to me regarding how the body deals with exercise and the effect of diets has been huge.

That’s my first piece of advice for anyone who wants to take a serious stab at improving their health and fitness. Seek the advice of a professional trainer. Without a plan and the knowledge of how to reach your goal, your training will not be focused and your time will be wasted working on the wrong things. If I had been left to my own devices, my planning for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon would have been way off the mark.

My second piece of advice would be to choose an event as a goal for yourself. A running event, triathlon or duathlon. Without a ticking clock it is just too easy to push your training aside. Remember, training is only exercise if there is no goal attached!

And last of all, take the time to learn about and choose the right equipment. I always thought every pair of running shoes was the same. How wrong I was. The shoes I began my training with were unsuitable, inhibiting my ability to even walk correctly. For the first time in my life, I spent one hour shopping… for a pair of runners.

DARREN: It was only May when Tim couldn’t run and if we had asked him to actually run that first day, he possibly could have had a heart attack within 200 meters. Now, we go out and run 400m ten times with a 200m recovery, and if you think of that from a race perspective he’s doing 6km. So this shows you the progress that has been made. He was already up to race distance last month!

We’ve already ticked off two major goals, which were making exercise and healthy eating a part of his lifestyle.

We couldn’t have bought that success when we first discussed this back in May.

The reason I mention this is that you have to really dig in and commit to training from the start, as Tim and I have done together, to really see proper results. Tim has already related the pleasant success he saw very early on in the training, but as a trainer I have to point out that every step, big or small, was down to dedication and sticking to a plan.

It’s possible, no matter how unbelievable.

That’s all for now, but we’re about to enter the final stretch so check back for an update – only in the Phuket Gazette, who are enthusiastically supporting this project.

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Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS – University of California, Berkeley

The Thaiger



Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS – University of California, Berkeley | The Thaiger

PHOTO: BTS members posing with South Korean President Moon Jae In

400 million views, 500 million, 600 million. Just scroll through the group’s songbook on YouTube from the past five years and you will be watching music history in the making – a success built on a new pop genre, new ‘music business’ model and seven young South Koreans hell-bent on succeeding in the music world, beyond South Korea.

Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS - University of California, Berkeley | News by The Thaiger

Now, the global success of K-pop act BTS lies at the core of an academic course launched at the University of California, Berkeley. The student-run course has been announced on the university’s website as part of UC Berkeley’s Democratic Education at Cal program.

The group – consisting RM, J-Hope, Suga, V, Jungkook, Jimin and Jin – have amassed a social media following (called ARMY), ignited live audiences with their happier sharp choreography and won international awards. It hasn’t all been easy and their story, from seven teenagers living in one dorm in Seoul, to international music stars has lessons for all interested in modern pop music.

On the course “Next Generation Leaders: BTS” students will learn about the K-pop boy band’s growing global impact, which led to their immense success.

Now you can study the success of K-pop band BTS - University of California, Berkeley | News by The Thaiger

The DeCal program allows students to create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects, as reported by Yonhap. The BTS class is an option for media students at UC Berkeley and will be offered for the first time in spring.

The course outline for “Next Generation Leaders: BTS” on the school’s website reads: “This course will focus on Korean boy group BTS and their global impact. We will attempt to explore the group’s history, artistry, philanthropy, and many other aspects in order to analyze their growing impact in society as well as their international success.”

It would also dive into the intricate world known as ‘Bangtan Universe’ that the group has created through its album concepts and videos. Media articles and interviews would be utilized as well, and students would come up with theories about the group’s success.

The orientation session for the course was held on Feb. 5, and a Twitter account has been dedicated to the course. A photo on Twitter showed the enrolled students watching a video of BTS’ acclaimed speech during a United Nations General Assembly session in September. BTS fans expressed their support for the program on Twitter.

BTS attended this year’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and made history as the first K-pop presenters at the event. The group’s album Love yourself: Tearwas nominated in the Best Recording Package category. They made history in 2018 with two Number One albums on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

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Thai Life

Top 10 news sources in Thailand (2019)

The Thaiger



Top 10 news sources in Thailand (2019) | The Thaiger

…in English, in no particular order.

This post is mainly for newbies, tourists and people-interested-in-Thailand. Locals already have their home favorite news sources. But all these Top 10 do it well, in their own way. All are trying to navigate their way through the labyrinth of modern media, some better than others, whilst punching out daily news. We think they’re all stars because doing media in Thailand, in English, is a tough gig.

These are all news and information sources and the list doesn’t include the myriad of excellent blogs around – a topic for another Top 10.

1. Bangkok Post

Traditional news, still delivered as a daily newspaper, but with an expansive and thorough website. It’s been going since 1946 and reported on a coup or two, or three. As far as making the move into digital media is concerned, Bangkok Post is doing it better than most. Editorially it has has taken a, mostly, neutral political stance with a few exceptions. But, as newspapers go, it walks down the middle fairly reliably.

2. The Nation

The other major daily coming out of Bangkok is a lot newer than Bangkok Post, starting up in 1971. As the two broadsheets battle it out, The Nation has occasionally taken a more partisan line, famously turning its editorial voice against PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Recently the paper has been struggling with circulation and was taken over by Sontiyan Chuenruetainaidhama, founder of conservative outlets T News and INN News. At this stage there appears to be no impact on The Nation’s editorial stance but it’s falling circulation and advertising revenues are impacting its bottomline.

3. The Thaiger

Please indulge us as we put our own website and news in the Top 10. The Thaiger, only running as a national website since April 2018, is the fastest growing English-speaking online-only news and information site in the Kingdom (according to the ‘stats’).

The Thaiger are the new kids in town with everything to prove. The Thaiger curates the news and chooses topics it believes will be interesting, important or newsworthy, in English and Thai. The Thaiger bought out the Phuket Gazette’s digital assets in August 2017 but now has a national and regional focus, whilst continuing to pay homage to its home turf in Phuket. Currently has the third highest readership of any English-speaking news website in Thailand.

4. ThaiVisa

The biggest and most popular news website in Thailand (in English). If ‘The Thaiger’ curates, ThaiVisa splashes EVERYTHING onto its front page. If it moves or breathes, you’ll find the story on ThaiVisa. It’s big, bold and an eyeful of news. It’s also famous, or infamous, for its hugely popular forums where keyboard warriors dispense their opinions and wisdom on everything, usually tearing things to shreds. It’s the biggest English-speaking news website in Thailand and has been for a decade. Recently had a makeover and now has a purple cut durian as its logo – go figure.

5. Khaosod English

Fresh, selective, well-written and a rising star in real Thai english-language journalism. An offshoot of it’s much bigger Thai-language sister. To the point, original stories with a modern journalistic spark. They tend to choose their stories and provide excellent insight when they do. Original and deserving of your daily read.

6. Coconuts

Most would agree that when Coconuts started it was the best and cheekiest news blog for its time. Actually covering all of South East Asia, it’s Bangkok blog was a daily log-on for most hip expats. In recent times they’ve taken the brave ‘paywall’ option (because people want to pay for good journalism) which hasn’t affected their web hits, yet. In our opinion it’s lost a bit of its verve but it’s still a healthy and reliable daily read, for Thailand and the region. Singapore it its most popular location, Thailand is third.

7. Thailand News

A shameless aggregator, they copy and paste headlines and a few paragraphs with a link to the original story. Designed to rank in Google, the site is still in its early days. To avoid any copyright issues, the stories usually include a photo library ‘look-a-like’, instead of the real photo from the story. For all we know the entire site could be run by cleverly-coded robots. There is no sign of a human touch anywhere. Rather than a contributor to the world of Thai journalism, the site is just a parasite using everyone else’s news. But, hey, it’s a viable business model I suppose. Bottomline, it’s nicely set up and has, well, most of the stories around Thailand, all in one neat package.

8. The Phuket News

Phuket-based and Phuket-focussed, the weekly newspaper took on the well-established Phuket Gazette (which had been running since 1993) and eventually became the island’s one and only weekly ‘newspaper’ (somewhat of an oxymoron these days). The paper has always employed some of the best editorial staff in Thailand, runs a lifestyle and travel section and, well, is about as good a local paper as a tropical island could hope for. Also has a Russian and Thai version.

9. All Pattaya media

Whilst the rest of Thailand does things one way, Pattaya does things differently, in every aspect, including its media. It’s quite saturated with farang media – websites, Facebook pages, radio and cable TV – but there’s no single, ‘outstanding’ Pattaya news source. For the local expats there’s plenty of choice. Problem is there’s TOO much choice and the many are eating out of the same small advertising revenue pie.

10. Thai PBS World

A government news agency but has demonstrated its independence over the years. As a website it’s had more face-lists than Joan Rivers but remains solid, reliable and surprisingly (especially with the military government) unbiased. Also tends to cover stories the other don’t.

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Thai Life

Amnesty for possession of cannabis in Thailand?

The Thaiger & The Nation



Amnesty for possession of cannabis in Thailand? | The Thaiger

The Government is looking at a plan to grant amnesty to those who have been using, or have, cannabis in their possession, But only if they report to authorities within a given time frame.

The Drug Committee approved three draft legislations for amnesty yesterday.

If the drafts become law even possessors of cannabis, who are not patients or research units, will be automatically pardoned, no questions asked.

The Food and Drug Administration secretary-general Tares Krassanairawiwong says… “We have already passed the draft regulations, but there are still many steps left. The FDA will have to put these drafts through public hearings and gather opinions for further review.”

He was speaking after chairing a meeting with the Drug Committee, during which the green light was given to several draft laws yesterday.

The approved drafts included three announcements designed to grant amnesty to government agencies, private firms, community enterprises, practitioners of traditional Thai medicine, research organisations, patients and everybody else who use or possess cannabis.

“They must report within 90 days once the announcement goes into effect,” Tares explained.

Under Thai law, cannabis is an illicit drug and possession or use of it is punishable by a fine and/or a jail term.

However, the Kingdom is currently in the process of allowing the use of medical marijuana, and several draft laws are being prepared to facilitate the enforcement.

According to the plan, patients who use marijuana for health reasons will be allowed to continue using the drug after they register themselves for amnesty and till the medical-marijuana system is introduced.

Marijuana is believed to be useful for patients battling Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, some stress conditions, chronic pain, and nausea related to chemotherapy.

SOURCE: The Nation

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