Heads of state have tried all manner of things to buoy a sinking economy, but Bhumibol Adulyadej, the astute King of Thailand, has something new. Tinkering in his workshop in Bangkok, he designed and constructed a distinctive-looking dinghy, which he has called Mod. "It rides very high," confesses the Brother of the Moon, Half Brother to the Sun and Possessor of Four and Twenty Golden Umbrellas. "It also capsizes very easily." Not that Bhumibol himself worries about that. He happens to be Supreme Arbiter of the Ebb and Flow of the Tide. But it might bode ill for the export market.
"The important thing in life is to establish a goal, strive to attain it and, after reaching it, strive for yet another." The point of the sermon in Vancouver's Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was familiar, and so was the man in the pulpit, Bill Casper (below), the top money-winner in professional golf. Casper plans to appear in Mormon churches wherever the pro-golf circuit takes him. He will deliver three sermons this week in London, where he is playing in the World Match Play championship. In Las Vegas next week he has agreed to preach five times. "My religion gives me peace and has helped my golf, which itself has become relatively unimportant," Casper told the congregation.
She had not done much hunting before, "just hit a few ducks and practiced a bit in Newport—targets, buoys, lobster pots, fishermen, things like that." So when Minnie Gushing and another member of the mini-Jet Set, Topsy Taylor, set off on a safari recently "it wasn't," said Minnie, "really for the animals at all. The fun of a safari is just being out there shooting. I'd run after a guinea hen and shoot. I kept running and shooting." Before long there was a report out of Nairobi that Topsy had become "the first American girl to shoot wild game in a bikini." Scoffed Topsy: "That's crazy. The only thing I used a bikini for was sunning."
On their recent visits, Burma's General Ne Win and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos both received golf clubs from Lyndon Johnson. "They were as pleased as any golfer would be with a spanking new set of sticks," said a White House aide. Ne Win was given Wilson clubs picked out by Gene Sarazen while Marcos received a set of Arnold Palmer woods and irons. A few days later Marcos, a nine handicapper, showed up in Los Angeles golfing with Governor Pat Brown. Meanwhile Ne Win—10 handicap—was in Tokyo, where he played four different courses in four days and declined to let hotel porters handle his clubs, preferring to carry them to his room himself.
San Francisco Pitching Star Juan Marichal is a Dominican whose knowledge of the English language has seemed, at times, limited. But this season Juan's English has been much improved. The reason, he says, is that he received 12,000 green stamps for every postgame radio interview and "my wife love those green stamps." He has earned 240,000 of them, enough to pay for, say, a mink stole and an electric range. Marichal has hinted what he would really like is a shotgun.
Kicking off a drive to bring the 1976 Olympics to New York, Governor Nelson Rockefeller reminisced about another kick he made 37 years before while a member of the Dartmouth soccer team. In the big game against Yale, Right Fullback Rockefeller stubbed the ball off his toe into his own goal. Did his wrong-way boot win for Yale, Rocky was asked. "Believe me, I hate to think about it," he replied, dribbling around the question like any politician. No wonder. Yale won the game 3-2.
A couple of months ago former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home was elected president of the Marylebone Cricket Club, ruling body of English cricket. Sir Alec was once a first-class bat at Eton, and there was a feeling that the M.C.C. needed a first-class fellow to help enhance Great Britain's flagging interest in the game—attendance has never been worse. But England's cricketers remain uninspired. "With English cricket in its current straits, it'd be interesting to know whether Sir Alec Douglas-Home was made M.C.C. President to improve the situation or merely to suit it," wrote Punch, the weekly humor magazine. But England had fair warning. When he was appointed, Sir Alec's brother had said: "The game our family excels in is croquet."
The publicity agents for previous James Bond movies, which seemed to stress underwater action, uneasily disguised the fact that Actor Sean Connery did not like to swim. But could it be that in David Niven, the new James Bond (below), they have a killer who doesn't like to shoot? While Niven busied himself with some inside scenes for Casino Royale in a London studio, Columbia Pictures hired a stand-in, Lord Bolton, to do Bond's gunning in a grouse-hunting sequence. "I've never really considered before whether I looked like Niven, or Bond, for that matter," said Lord Bolton, who downed 30 birds on camera. "But I must say his shooting suit fits me perfectly."