Thursday, November 23, 2006

Denmark speedbandits

Excerpted from Taipeitimes, 2006/11/21

In less than 30 minutes, the legislature's Transportation Committee passed a resolution yesterday to amend Article 31 of the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Law (道路交通規則管理處罰條例) to require everyone in a passenger car on freeways and expressways to buckle their seat belts. If the amendment is passed by the legislature, drivers of private vehicles could be fined if they or any of their passengers, including those in the back seat, fail to fasten their seat belts before they hit the road.

At present the law only requires the driver and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. Violators face fines of NT$1,500 if caught without a seatbelt, although the fines rise to between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000 when driving on freeways and expressways.

The committee passed the amendment in the wake of a traffic accident on Saturday that left Shaw Hsiao-ling (邵曉鈴), the wife of Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), critically injured.

Shit happens everyday but it takes a celebrity to catch everybody's attention to long-existing issues. It doesn't have to be that way though. Controversy is a good way to arouse issues that have been neglected as the new approach implemented in Denmark in order to tackle the speeding problem.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I was supposed to take photos of our new building opening ceremony and I ended up taking macroshots of flowers at the scene. I'd have to say it's much more enjoyable than taking photos of those "big heads'" endless speeches.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


After a 14 year boy/girl friend relationship, Jonglin and Jalin are now husband and wife. The wedding was held on Nov. 4th in Jayi and was orgainzed by Jonglin 6 months ago. Lots of tranditional Chinese wedding customs are considered such as a bamboo sift with spells painted on it covering the bride's head when she is going out of the house as not to offend the gods; discarding a fan when the limousine is heading to the groom's house represents the bad habits of the bride been left behind; crossing over a charcoal fire to keep evils away; and stepping on a tile and breaking it means the past has ended and a new life with new family is starting also brings good luck for having a baby boy.

The wedding was a great success. Send them a congradulatory note here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Old ways new directions

My Vietnam project progress report is published in NHRI's eletronic newspaper volume 174 Nov. 2, 2006 in which, how the first enterovirus infection case in Children number 1 hospital HCMC has been identified by using molecular biology is discribed (link to the enews). Before I left Vietnam, the director of the hospital told me that there would be a news report in the local paper about how I helped them in setting up a lab for clinical diagnosis. I was certainly happy to hear that and hope the technique I introduced to them can be implemented in their hospital. The road is now paved however would they find the new direction is still waiting to be answered.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Photo Exhibition

I dream about someday when I can have my photos exhibited in an art gallery and receive compliments from people who are really appreciative of my work and of course publishers offer me checks at the end of the exhibition. Well, I did exhibit my photos in public once but the reality was too far from my fantasy. Institut Pasteur France, NHRI and CDC Taiwan, held a symposium on re-emerging virus infections on Sept. 1. On that night I had my photos printed in 5 huge posters, each of them told a different story about the customs of Taiwan or the heritage of Tainan. The posters were hung in the entrance at the college of NCKU Hospital, each of them had 2 lights to create the illusion of being displayed as in an art gallery.

Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival, also known as Yuan Shang Festival, takes place on the fifteenth day of the first month of lunar calendar. Being the last festival in a series of celebrations for lunar new year, it is widely celebrated by families all around Taiwan. On the night of the festival, decorative lanterns depicting birds, beasts and historical figures can be seen in almost every city. The night sky on Lantern Festival is also illuminated by the Tainan Yanshui fireworks and Taipei Pinghsi sky lanterns-known together as "Fireworks in the South, sky Lanterns in the North". Other folk activities such as the customary lantern riddle parties enrich this night even further. In addition to dispalying and appreciating lanterns, Lantern Festival is also celebrated by eating Tang Yuan which is an important custom symbolizing family unity and indispensable to the day's festivities.

Mysterious and mighty street dancer
There are 5 theories for the origination of these dancers. Despite the diversity of origination theories, many people are convinced that these dancers are subordinates of Wu FU Da Di, the five luck deities. The number of the group varies from 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16 up to 32. A group of 8 are often seen in folk activities doing their special dance. The theme of the dance is 'arresting'; a team of 13 is a better number to organize such a performance.
It starts when a deity gives an order to his subordinate and then this order is passed on to two generals, Fan and Xie, by a messenger. General Fan and Xie arrest and hand over criminals to general Gan and Liu for punishment. After that, 4 seasonal deities start their investigation then a clerk files the record and it ends up with a guard putting criminals in custody.

ChihKan Tower
This was originally the site of Fort Provintia built by the Dutch in the 1650s as they outgrew Zeelandia. It included two bastions, one at the northeastern corner and one at the southestern corner. On top of each stood a watchtower. It has undergone changes from the Ming Dynasty through the Ching Dynasty to the Japanese occupation period and Taiwan's Retrocession. Fujienese-style building were built on the site during the Ching Dynasty, followed by a temple during the Japanese occupation period. When the temple was destroyed in a typhoon, excavations revealed a corner of the original northeastern bastion. Today, Chihkan tower is a multi-storied temple, similar in apperance to a traditional Chinese shrine or temple.
Scattered around the complex's garden are stone tablets, a stone horse, stone camels and a row of nine turtle-borne steles with texts inscribed in both the Chinese and Manchu languages. Inside, Chihkan Tower contains exhibits relating to Koxinga, and an altar for worshipping the god of literature. This is where students come to pray for a good performance on examinations. (text copy from net)

Tainan Confucius Temple
The Confucius Temple is an embodiment of Confucian culture in architecture. The largest and oldest Confucius Temple in China is
located in Confucius' hometown in present day Chufu, Shantung Province. For over 2000 years, this temple has gradually evolved into its current magnificence and size and serves as the blueprint for all other Confucian temples.
Of the approximately thirty confucian temples of varying sizes in Taiwan, the Tainan Confucius Temple is one of the most breathtaking and representative. This temple was founded in the Ming dynasty and converted into a prefectural school during the Ching dynasty. A plaque hangs in the temple from that period on which it is written, " the Head School of Taiwan".
The confucian temple in Talungtung in Taipei was founded during the Ching dynasty and renovated in 1927. Its main structures include the Ta Cheng Hall, Ten Thousand Fathom Wall, Pan Pond Ling Hsing Gate, Gate of Rites, Sage Worship Altar, Ming Kun Hall, Chu Tu Alter, Kui Hsing gate (after the God of Literature), and the Wu Sheng Shrine.
Every year on teachers' day, a solemn ceremony is held according to ancient rites called the " Confucius Memorial Service," and is attended by Chinese and foreign visitors. (text copy from net)

Anping Tree House
The tree House is not a mere deserted house. Since what was the warehouse of a trade company left it alone, it was covered by trees. the root has been growing from the wall so that water may ooze out from brick wall, the difference between a wall and a trunk could not be clarified. It is plausible story that all the things are not destructed but transition from one to another. It is a beautiful dilapidated house like its name. (text copy from net)

This was the first public exhibit of my work. I hope to have many more occasions to show my work in public and that you will like it so much that you want to send me a check.