Sunday, January 22, 2006

I think I will start another panda-only blog. It seems the panda gifts are the only item I'm interested in posting about.

The Times of Oman pubishes this AP article about how #16 and #19 (or Freedom and Democracy as I insist on calling them)are being taught to respond to the Taiwanese language. Heart-warming.

Updated 1/23: Even more on pandas! Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are the most popular names so far. Put em together and you have "reunion." It must be destiny that a million Chinese will all come up with the same name in an Internet vote! You'd think that with the famous Chinese penchant for expressing dichotomies, they would have gone for Tong Tong and Du Du, for "reunification v. independence."

Friday, January 06, 2006


Big Mouth

It appears I put my foot in my mouth a few months ago when I suggested that Big Mouth the Panda would not be selected by Chinese handlers to be sent to Taiwan.

It turns out that the male "#19" panda selected by China is nicknamed Big Mouth and he will be paired with #16 and sent to Taiwan - so long as the authorities here agree.

My argument was that China would perceive it as too much of a risk to send a big mouth to Taiwan, who may spill state secrets. I guess I wasn't really thinking straight. This is a Panda. Pandas only talk in cartoons ...

Updated 2006/01/07: A suggestion comes to me that Taiwan's government should be quick to accept the pair of pandas and just as quickly rename them Democracy (Minzhu) and Freedom (Ziyou) when they arrive. My understanding from the AWSJ is that a contest is being held and 16 and 19 are to have their names revealed on Jan. 28. So maybe those are the names incscribed in their passports, but couldn't they have pet names in Taiwan?
Something is seriously wrong with Blogger

You can't link, you can't post a picture, you can't format. This really hinders my ability to build Rank into Taiwan's unquestioned leader in online journalism and punditry.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

And today's prize for most baffling photo and caption goes to...

"Education: Taiwan-style"

Honestly, this photo and caption appear in the midst of an article on education and workforce participation in Harvard Asia Quarterly.

I can't even begin to imagine what the photo is suposed to illustrate -- and I'm certainly not going to read the article to figure it out!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Eery stillness

During my first year and a half in Taiwan, it seemed that we had a good little rumbler of an earthquake at least once a month. I grew almost to appreciate those little temblors, on the theory that little temblors released tectonic energy in small amounts, so that big quakes would never be necessary.

Hmm. I can't remember the last time we felt any trembling in Taipei...

On another note, I see that Taiwan won the prize for best international float in the Rose Bowl Parade. I'd provide a link, but the news has filled me with such excitement that my hypothalamus is spasming, and I need to lie down.