Monday, February 25, 2008

Propaganda time!

Looking closer at this already notable poster...

... you can see the various uses of dog shit, that is 'the dog-shit' and 'dog shits', ...

... brought to you by your friendly neighborhood ... GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA!!! (click on the pic for an up close look!)
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

At the 2008 Lantern Festival

It's good to know that someone finally acknowledges the creativity unleashed by the perfect teaming of high school teens and refreshing Taiwan Beer.

I wonder if there were freebees for the creators while on the job...

From the looks of the result, they should have stayed off the juice! They even threw an empty into the work!

For more click here

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smile for the camera!

Oh look there's a new moon!
(Click to see its full glory!) Posted by Picasa

Edison Chen is an idiot...

...but then so are most of his flings as well.

And of course we love Canadian-born Edison (his actual name is Edison Chen Kwoon-Hei, 陳冠希 or 陈冠希) for reminding us that the Chinese stars are just as 'naughty' as anything Hollywood side.

It's Asia's latest sex scandal (since the huge Chu MeiFeng scandal) and if you live in Asia and haven't heard about it then you must be some sort of hermit living atop a mountain!

What is different this time is the scope (several Canto stars and models) and the people it deals with, that is Hong Kong's (now seemingly incestuous) group of pop idols. Even the great Jackie Chan has been tinged by the scandal.

Check out the unraveling story here in pictures...
hollywood grind

Wiki has also started up a page...

And here's a great and thorough commentary...

What will happen to the stars' careers? Who is the mysterious KIRA blackmailing the stars with more pictures? Do any of the stars pay his demands? We'll see as this unfolds.

By the way, Chu MeiFeng (mentioned above), a politician by trade, tried to start a singing career after her scandal. Maybe these stars will try to start a political careers. Now that would be real news!

Meanwhile what are we to do? Snowfall in parts of China and with rainfall and cold in Northern Taiwan. Stuck at home with nothing better to do than to get immersed in the news of this scandal.

The moral of the story is make sure you don't have any 'questionable' material on your hard drive when you bring your computer in for repairs. You never know how scrupulous those repair guys are.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dragon dance enters a Catholic church. What the #$&% ???

Saw some strange stuff in Pingdong this time on our trip south for the new year period.

Some dragon dancers walked straight into a Catholic church. I guess they didn't know that churches are usually calm and peaceful places of contemplation. Indeed, I can confirm that there were at least three or four people in the church spending some quiet time with their deity.

Another thing that struck me about this Catholic church were the lights outside. Not your typical Jesus salute but instead a full tribute to Santa!

My wife picked this out immediately as I had mentioned that in churches the focus was more on Jesus and little or nothing about Santa these days as he has become somewhat of a secular icon used to sell things.

Not so, it seems... but maybe he was selling something: religion. My guess is that Jesus lacked the cuteness factor that catches the eyes of Taiwanese. Santa fit the bill instead.

Mud volcano lit up!

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Asian Riff

Here's a little something that I found of interest. Have you ever listened to Turning Japanese by the Vapours? There is a little riff that is the hook of the song that sounds Asian. Well it happens to be called the Asian Riff. But that's where its 'Asianess' of it ends.

After doing a little hunting for what it was called, I learned that, although we associated it with Asian, its roots are Western. Apparently it has been used in Western music from way back in the 1960s.

You might actually be fairly familiar with it. It is used in several well know songs:
  • Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas
  • Turning Japanese, The Vapours
  • China Girl, David Bowie
  • Young Folks, Peter Bjorn and John
Read on and have a listen to the riff here:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Acronym Madness!

"The most beautiful city......'in' the riverside. MeHAS."

There's this TV commercial here in Taipei that has been driving me crazy with its glaring grammar error in its English part. It's for a new apartment development in XinDian called MeHAS in English (美河市).

Dumb name right? Well it's an acronym: Metro (捷運)、 Environment (環境)、 Health (健康)、 Aesthetic (美學)、 Sustainability (永續). It just so happens to also have the sound for Mei He Shi or 美河市.

It appears to be a play on another acronym, Lo-has, which you might see here and there in Taiwan. I saw it printed on a handbag. It means Life of Health and Sustainability wiki and it's a kind of marketing concept, something that is unfortunately lost on us non-marketing types.

Taiwanese do love their acronyms but often do not know the meanings. Although DIY (do it yourself) is well-known, you will often hear people use DM when talking about flyers or brochures. DM means one of two things, either Distributed Material or Direct Marketing. It depends on who you talk to.

Getting back to MeHAS, I noticed that the error in the TV commercial has since been corrected in a subsequent commercial from 'in' to 'on'. Yeah!

Also, I should point out that although this development's name is dumb, there are worse names used. Often housing developments in Taiwan take names of world destinations along the lines of Edinburgh, Riviera, New Europe, Beautiful New York and the like. It's easy to spot them since the Chinese characters used to represent the names are only used in the sound sense and not the meaning sense.

The most clever names are those that capture a Chinese meaning and a English title at the same time. The best example for this that I know is COSMED drugstore. In English you have the combination of cosmetics (COS) and medicine (MED). In Chinese it translates sound-wise and meaning wise as 康是美 which is Kang (Health) Shi (is) Mei (Beautiful). Very clever indeed!

If you have any other examples of acronyms or names that you want to share, drop me a line!

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