Saturday, July 28, 2007

More screwed up English signs...

I think one of the best places to see terrible English is at the rest stops along highways. There you can find all sorts of public announcements about rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, there is no regard for correct translations. Here are just a couple of hilarious results.

The first photo is talking about the regulations for driving through tunnels. If you break the rules, you will be fined 'ceaselessly' until the end of time.

The second is at a food stand. Both the sausage and the tofu names are pretty screwed up. However, the tofu should read charcoal barbecued stinky tofu. Instead a direct translation has changed charcoal into carbon.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

FORMOZ Music Festival 2007

This is it! Formoz is nearly here. July 27, 28, 29.

"Once a strictly heavy rock affair, the Formoz Festival has [...] morphed into one of the nation's most musically wide-ranging weekend festivals.

Now, along with large doses of heavy rock and punk, Formoz features every conceivable genre of music from ambient to ska and from psychobilly to more mainstream oriented pop.

[...] the event's gradual expansion over the past decade, from one-day campus gig to fully-fledged weekend long festival, has not only enabled Formoz to attract a greater number of festivalgoers, but it has also meant that more international acts are now applying to perform at the annual event."

The event takes place at the Children's Recreation Center but it certainly isn't a child's affair. Last year you could buy shots of absinthe. But don't worry. They have... gulp... Taiwan beer too.

The recreation center is on a beautiful lush hill with stages set up all over it. There is a great view from the top. You can also watch planes making their approach to Sungshan airport.

Get off at Yuanshan station and head towards the side with the stadium. It ain't cheap either. Day passes go for $1600 so make the best of it!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Taiwan's LED move

Taiwan has made a sensible move to LED lighting. the evidence is the pixelated traffic lights. Had you noticed yet?

The country's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has budgeted roughly NT$229 million ($7 million) for the project, which is set to begin in 2008, and will convert 420,000 traffic lights to the LED standard (350,000 have already been changed over). The MOEA claims the total savings in power consumption will be close to 85%.


Good move! God knows Taiwan needs to save power what with all the open doors in stores blowing air con outside.

Some more advantages:
  • LEDs produce more light per watt than do incandescent bulbs; this is useful in battery powered or energy-saving devices.
  • LEDs can emit light of an intended color without the use of color filters that traditional lighting methods require. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.
  • LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock. Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs are easily broken if dropped on the ground.
  • LEDs have an extremely long life span. One manufacturer has calculated the ETTF (Estimated Time To Failure) for their LEDs to be between 100,000 and 1,000,000 hours. Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 30,000 hours, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000-2,000 hours.
  • LEDs can be very small and are easily populated onto printed circuit boards. Everything from laptops to cellphones can apply them which is important considering the importance of extending their battery life through power savings. (WIKI)
I think it's time for an LED stock play on my part. BTW, some Taiwan companies are playing a lead role in LED design and production.

Demise of the Children's Transportation Museum

I posted this ostrich picture earlier that I had found randomly on the net. I think I have just found the story related to it.

Wanting to bring our nieces to the Children's Transportation Museum today, I did a little hunting on the Net about it. This Jan 2007 article is what I found:

It was the beginning of the end for the Taipei Children's Museum of Transportation and Communications when, in 2004, the museum's ostriches and alligators slipped out of their exhibition pens and wandered the streets of Gongguan.

"The alligators crossed Dingzhou Road and the ostriches were found in an alley," museum director Lee Meng-feng (李孟峰) said, confirming media reports that firefighters coaxed the AWOL wildlife back to their pens.

"It was an accident," Lee added.

Blame game erupts over doomed Taipei museum

Imagine that! Wild animals in the streets! Hilarious!

I told my wife and she promptly asked me, "Why does a Transportation museum have ostriches and alligators?"

I guess we'll never know. The museum seems closed...

President Chen's Wish-washy Amnesty

Do good intentions die hard? Well the recipients of some good intentions have.

A total of 9,597 inmates were released on Monday as part of a commutation granted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of martial law and the 60th anniversary of the "228 Incident."

Among those benefitting from the statute were prisoners convicted on charges of minor crimes such as illegal drug possession, burglary, theft and fraud.

Chen urges tolerance for inmates released in amnesty

Ok. Very noble. Very symbolic. However, was this the right choice of crimes to pardon? Weren't there other options?

Citing statistics from the Ministry of Justice, Chen said that 16 percent to 19 percent of the inmates released from jail in selective commutation would likely commit a crime again, whereas 40 percent of those released on parole or after serving full sentences would commit a crime.

Great! Better yet:

While saying government agencies have mapped out supplementary plans to reduce the negative impact of the amnesty, Chen admitted that more needs to be done in terms of preventing drug addicts from picking up their old habits again.

Four drug offenders freed on Monday were arrested on Tuesday and six others were pronounced dead due to drug overdoses.

Is this government fishing in a catch and release program? And the drug addicts were probably better off in jail. I know these are a handful out of the nearly 10 000 that were released. But is it even worth one life?

There's a strange caption under the picture on the article page too:

Police participate yesterday in a riot drill for prison staff [...]. The drills are partly designed to show inmates that guards are still on the alert despite the recent amnesty.

On alert? Guards have to demonstrate they are on alert to the prisoners? Shouldn't that just be a given? Also, inmates would actually riot because of an amnesty? Hey, I didn't get out but my bunk mate did! Who's going to pick up my soap in the shower now? RIOT! I don't get this reporting.

I'm also wondering whether the police will register the resulting crime wave of burglaries. If my house gets robbed as a result of the amnesty, I, for one, am suing President Chen directly, once he gets out of office, of course.

One more thought, could the DPP be so desperate as to look to prisons for potential voters? What kind of message would that give? A DPP backed by criminals is no better than a KMT backed by gangsters (although I must admit that both parties have criminal and gangster backing).

There is one sensible proposal in all this muck:

DPP Legislator You Ching (尤清) said that while he supported the president's proposal, prisoners involved in corruption cases or in the production or sales of illegal drugs should not be eligible for amnesty.

Chen amnesty plan sparks controversy

I hope they make good on that. Let's hope President Chen, up on corruption charges after his term in office, doesn't get his hopes up for some kind of amnesty himself!

For more comments on this issue:
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Love you long time or not

Once again another great t-shirt.

It is a play on the lines uttered by actress Papillon Soo Soo in the movie 'Full Metal Jacket'.

"This character is a hooker who only played a very minor role in the film, but uttered the famous phrases 'me so horny, me love you long time and me sucky sucky.' " WIKI

The actress's film career has gone nowhere. Even worse, she is criticized and ostracized in Asian circles as one of the major embarrassments to Asian women and culture in general.

It's all quite unfortunate that poor Papillon (Butterfly) is the lightning rod of the Asian community. However, she maintains a place in cinematic history by being the person to say "one of the most quotable movie phrases in the 80's and continues to be referenced in popular culture."

In an apparent twist on the phrase from the movie, the t-shirt really stands out. I wouldn't want to mess with this girl wearing it!
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Fashion and Pop Culture Taiwan

Here are a couple of good links to keep up to date on the goings on of Taiwan's celebrities. You'll need to know a little Chinese to navigate them though.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Taiwan Compatriots

Here's a funny cold war poster from China!

These posters really have a flare for the dramatic. I can sometimes imagine them as an advertisement for a Taiwanese soap opera.

The facial expressions kill me!
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Digg these chicks

It was only going to be a matter of time before someone figured out how to extract the images that everyone was going after on Wretch, Xsuite and PCHome.

A website called Diggirl allows users to submit their favorite pics allowing everyone to save precious time getting to what they really want to see.

Some users of Wretch's users are very careless with their passwords to restricted areas. Often a four digit birthday MM/YY seems to work.

Check it out...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Summer is here and that means wacky t-shirts!

And now for some sentiment from the beaches and city streets of Taiwan...
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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Learn English the Anglais English School Way

Here's a great example of how you can really pull the fleece over English-hungry parents in Taiwan. Down the street from where I live, I came across this sign. It's for an English school that is called Anglais English School.

If you are not up on your French, 'anglais' is the French word for English. You might now see the absurdity of such a name. What will they think of next? The Ingles English School? It made me wonder if the parents who sent their kids there really questioned the name. I would guess not. And who knows, maybe it is a good 'Anglais' school after all.

The name is just a small sample of the strange names we come across across Taiwan and that we occasionally send to The other day, I even saw an ad for a place called the Outdoor Cafe which had been translated to 澳多咖啡, which sounds like the name in English but which reads as nonsense.

UFO housing of the future... NOT!

Here is an interesting link to pictures of an odd housing development on the North Coast on the way to the beach.

According to a posting it is "an abandoned resort in Sanjhih on the north coast of Taiwan that locals call 'UFO House.' It has been abandoned for more than 20 years - most likely the damage to the buildings has been caused by the strong winds of the summer typhoon season."

The article speculates on reasons for it being abandoned and about construction concerns. It also has some great photos which almost seem like drawings rather than pictures.

Canada D'eh 2007

Everyone, happy Canada Day 2007 from Taiwan! Canada is 140 years old this year.

The Canada D'Eh event took place at 北海岸麟山鼻 very near to 白沙灣 BaiShaWan beach.
If you want to see it on a map, I suggest a satellite view, please follow this link...
Google Earth marker

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