Sunday, February 10, 2008

I moved my blog

Dear all,

I decided to move my blog to the following address:

I will still keep Blogger but no plan yet.

Updated news on my new location.

See you!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Today's Joke

Space Monkeys

NASA decided to send a shuttle into space with two monkeys and an astronaut. They trained them for months. Then when they thought they were ready, they placed all three in the shuttle and got ready to send them up into space.
As the moment came closer NASA's mission control center announced, "This is mission control to Monkey One. Initiate!"
At that the first monkey started typing like mad and suddenly the shuttle's engines ignited and the shuttle took off.
Two hours later NASA's mission control center announced, "This is mission control to Monkey Two. Initiate!"
At that the second monkey started typing like mad and suddenly the shuttle separated from the empty fuel tanks.
Another two hours later mission control announced, "This is mission control to the astronaut..."
At this the astronaut responded "I know, I know. Feed the monkeys and don't touch anything."

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Taiwan Judicial System is a Mystery

According the today Taipei Times: "More than 70 percent of people do not have a full understanding of the nation's judicial system, a survey released by the Judicial Yuan showed yesterday..."

I don't know why, but I don't feel so surprised.

Frankly speaking, I don't understand it too even though I am supposed to, according my background.

Just two recent examples:

  • According the yesterday news : "The Kaohsiung District Court yesterday returned a verdict of not-guilty for two men charged with vote-buying in the Kaohsiung mayoral election last December." In an equivalent case in the past, the Court considered people as guilty. It seems that even the prosecutors don't understand because they made appeal...


  • Central government election structure decided one system for the coming elections. Local cities and counties disagree and will offer their own system even if that means they won't provide the possibility to vote if people want to follow the central government decision. It doesn't matter who is right. But obviously, the definition of democracy is not the same for everybody.

How do you want to be able to understand the Judicial and Legal system in Taiwan if there are no clear rules with people following the law and respecting the democracy?

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

In which world are we living?

Since Takayama, I was quite busy with some stuff which explains why (again) I did not update my blog. Or is it a (too)simple excuse?

Anyway, see for example today: I spent a big part of the day to handle my fridge which let me down. In some cooler countries, it won't be an urgent deal. But here, even though it is not so hot since few days, it is still a concern.

So I had to clean to avoid the smell. 15 hours (late evening plus a night) were enough to create a mess.

You have no idea of what we have in a fridge. I threw away the equivalent of 3 big bags. Finally, I did not lose too much food. Volume was made mostly by bottle of sauce etc.

I read an article today on China Post quite funny. I even needed to read it twice to be sure I well understood.

It is an interview with Donald Tsang, the leader of Hong Kong concerning the desire of democracy.

Here is an excerpt:

"...If we go to the extreme, you have the cultural revolution for instance in China, where people take everything into their hands, then you cannot govern the place," Tsang said.

The chaotic Cultural Revolution instigated by China's late paramount leader Mao Zedong, mobilized radical youth in political campaigns marked by purges, jailings, killings and suicides.

"But the Cultural Revolution wasn't really an extreme example of democracy was it?," the radio presenter asked Tsang, to which he replied:

"(It) was the people taking power into their own hands. Now this is what you mean by democracy if you take it to the full swing," he added...."

You can read it twice, as me. You will get the same result.

Do we need to comment that?

Especially after the list of the richest people in China was just published by Hurun? See Rue 89.

The richest is a woman, 26 years old. Her activity is in real estate (yes I know, thanks to her daddy). Beside, she just married the son of one North-East province chief.

About statistics, there were 15 billionaires last year in China. Now there are 106.

Does it make you surprised too?

As the above interview, no comment.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I did not update my blog since a while...

Mid of September, Queen D and me went to Japan. More precisely to Takayama city, located about 2 hours from Nagoya by JR train, where we stayed 4 days.

I was concerned about possible communication problems but finally we could exchange some English words (enough to use transportation) and beside, Queen D could help with the writings because a lot of signs or restaurants' menus used Chinese.

After 40 minutes train from the International Central Airport (Nagoya), we arrived in Nagoya city where we bought the JR ticket (fast train) to go to Takayama. It took about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Train was very comfortable and price reasonable (less than 6,000 yens per person).

Very soon, we were in the country side, surrounded by mountains, forests and streams. Just one word: Beautiful!

Takayama has been dubbed "Little Kyoto". Old parts of the town have been preserved. Set amidst the Northern Japan Alps (the "roof of Japan"), Takayama is surrounded by spectacular scenery and quite famous spas.

We booked a kind of "business hotel". Simple but comfortable and of course (we are in Japan) very clean. Service: nothing to say. Good.

First day, we rent bicycles to visit Hida-no-sato (a folk village located about 2 kilometers from the downtown. It is a model recreating the historical look of the area.

I took a lot of pictures but some were lost, I do not know what happened with the camera. Anyway, here are some.

The next 3 pictures are from there. Have a look on the one about the roof and notice how thick is the roof (to protect the house from the snow).

Then we visited the town (everything is within walking distance), starting with Furui-Machi-nami (old private houses):

This part of the town is really amazing.

We visited then the Takayama Jinya (the historical government house) built in the end of the seventeenth century. Of course a lot has already disappeared but at least the first floor is still there. Here is the main entrance:

 The two wooden boxes at the entrance are for plastic bags to put in our shoes. Tatamis are everywhere.

Here is the kitchen used at that time:

We can see gardens from almost all the doors or windows:

Below, is a stone basin called Tearai-ishi, used for washing hands:

Each place, room, has his official purpose: receiving special guests, court, living... Here are some views:

Following day, we visited the morning markets (Asa-ichi). They are not big, but we can get beautiful and tasty fruits, vegetable, miso...:

Another view quite close from the markets:

It is really a beautiful and quiet place. No noise even from the cars!

For sure we will go back there and enjoy some hiking in the near forest.

Cannot wait :-)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Today's joke

...Not about a squirrel but a dog...

This guy sees a sign in front of a house "Talking Dog for Sale."

He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the back yard. The guy goes into the back yard and sees a mutt sitting there.

"You talk?" he asks. "Yep," the mutt replies. "So, what's your story?"

The mutt looks up and says, "Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, cause no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. "The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down.

So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired."

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. The owner says "Ten dollars."

The guy says he'll buy him, but asks the owner, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him for $10?"

The owner replies, "He's such a liar."

English Teaching: New Regulations?

I do not teach language but many bloggers (English Teachers) in Taiwan share their experience and/or thoughts. A good blog on education especially in Taiwan is the one edited by Scott Sommers.

But even though it is not my field, I still could have some opinions.

On September 7th, I saw on Taiwan news that the MOE wants: "... students to tell eight jokes in English before they can graduate..."

More precisely: "... Regarding English, the ministry suggested that each student must be able to sing at least eight English songs and tell eight jokes as part of the graduation exam. Those who fail cannot graduate... "

I do not know what the professionals will say, but for me, it is not "8 jokes", it is a "full joke".

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Copyright 2007 [R.F. VARGA]