Bushman’s Picks, February 17, 2008

Dear Readers,

We apologize for not featuring Bushman’s Picks last week, due to the Lunar New Year holiday. We were out of our office, enjoying all kinds of cool foods with our family and friends. So, on the one hand you didn’t get the picks, but on the other hand you’ll eventually get to see the pics!

  • Michael Turton has quite a few interesting articles for us. One that I really like is about Taiwan’s Health Care System as a Model. As I have said before, we enjoy a security in Taiwan like few other countries, as a result of our health care system. I got to use my national health care card right after Chinese New Year, as I broke a tooth during the holiday and had to wait 5 days to see someone! Ouch! Michael also has more on the Taiwan-Related Spy Cases. Why would anyone spy on Taiwan for China? Oh, for money of course. Let’s review: the vast majority of China’s population lives in poverty, but the government has money to spend on spying on an island that doesn’t have anything to do with them. Yup, sounds like politics at it’s best to me.
  • Prince Roy shaved his head. I’m hoping he attends our Blue Sky party so I can see what he looks like now! What I don’t get is his reason for shaving it. He says: “I shaved my head today because it’s supposed to bring good luck. The weather being what it is, I only hope it doesn’t bring me the flu.” Roy, in case you are wondering, I think the transformation is complete: You’re Chinese now for sure! Roy also introduced me to a new technical term: Craptacular. I was very interested to know that I already knew what it was, just not what it was called. Oh, and the fact that SG and her parents got to spend CNY together for the first time in ten years is no small thing, either. Excellent!
  • Aiyo! Hanzi Smatter points out that if you reverse the orientation of the Chinese words on your tattoo, you might end up with a reverse meaning. So, see if you can figure out what “[I] rather to be a coward than die honorably” was meant to convey. Note to prospective “Asian” tattoo customers: Resist picking a tattoo from the tattoo shop wall and trusting the artist to understand what it means.” Will they ever learn? Probably not. If you insist on tattooing Chinese words on your body, maybe you should come to Taiwan for your tattoos?
  • David Reid’s parents visited Taiwan recently! My sister visited in 2004, but my parents are probably too old to make the trip. So I am always glad to hear and read about when others’ parents can make it to the Beautiful Isle. David’s parents are fortunate to have such a well qualified guide as their son. Check out the cute photo of his parents in the opening paragraph. David, I think you favor your Mum!
  • That’s Impossible has a fascinating article on some policy changes by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. “The Ministry of Education announced the day before yesterday that it will no longer use the phrase National Language (guoyu) when refering to Standard Chinese or Mandarin Chinese, and instead will use the word huayu, which can more or less be fairly translated as Chinese Language….” Of course, the local media spun this to suit their own political agendas. The article goes into further details including explanations of the Chinese words that do not properly display on this blog (yet). You’d better read it for yourself.
  • As we all know from last time, Carrie got a new DSLR. Now Carrie is exploring the realm of post processing. Take a look and tell her what you think about her first attempt. Carrie also has more on Luang Prabang, Laos. HC and I have been to Laos three times and we love it there. Carrie’s articles will help you get an idea of why we love Laos too.
  • Every week I look for new articles from Jeff Miller, and finally we got a new one! The formatting and photography, the details and the depth are all what I love about Jeff’s writing. Please take my advice and read Cycling Taiwan, a fantastic tale of personal challenge and achievement that will not disappoint you!
  • Browsing the net from an office computer? Concerned that your boss might find out you’re searching for a new job while you’re at work? My Digital Life has some useful suggestions on Pulling The Wool Over the Boss’ Eyes. For example, there are sites such as http://www.americanlandmarkfence.com that are hosted on the same server as google.com and actually replicate google.com but have a different URL. Using such a site can confuse those who might be checking your browser cache (if you forget to clean it).
  • Weblog Tools Collection alerts us to a new WordPress demo site. This is good news for those who would like to check out WordPress but don’t wish to setup an SVN install of WordPress on their local machine or web server.
  • Fili caught a glimpse of the moon in broad daylight. Be sure to click on the photo to appreciate the large size. LOL!
  • Remember Owshawng’s Crazy Mother In Law? You know the one I’m talking about: “When our son was born, my Crazy-mother-in-law (CMIL) had 2 major complaints. First, she claimed his nose was too flat and too small. Let’s see. His nose is flat because he’s a newborn. Newborns noses are structured that way so they can breathe and feed at the same time. And if his nose is too small, what are you going to do about it? Plastic surgery? His nose is supposed to be small. It’s in proportion with the rest of him since he’s a BABY.” And of course, there were these gems of wisdom: “Her second big complaint was that he was too dark. She accused my wife of eating too much soy sauce while pregnant. Apparently soy sauce has the power to restructure DNA and change your skin tone from the inside out. Let’s hope this news doesn’t get out and shut down the tanning salon industry. I thought his skin tone looked dark in the photos because he was a newborn with lots of blood vessels near the surface of his skin and the flash on our camera wasn’t working too well. But what do I know, I was only the guy taking the pictures while she was an 11 hour plane ride away. She also started complaining that he was growing too fast. What? She thought he was getting to be too big. She wanted us to feed him less to slow down his growth rate. She was serious. Why would a caring parent deliberately underfeed their baby? Why?” All I can say is, I’m glad this isn’t my mother-in-law. Anyway, I got all sidetracked by the past articles that I almost forgot to mention, Owshawng’s CMIL got robbed! Also noteworthy is another installment in his Embarassing Moments in Mandarin series.
  • Deceased: Recently, the movie channels have been showing Blue Thunder and this week we lost the movie’s dynamic star, Mr. Roy Scheider. Roy starred in notable films during his distinguished career, such as The French Connection, and Klute, but he is best known for his role as police chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws. Scheider’s famous line in that movie, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” (which was actually an ad-lib that wasn’t in the script), was voted 35th on the American Film Institute’s list of best movie quotes. I have a copy of 2010 on DVD and it’s one of my favorite Roy Scheider films. You will be missed, sir.
  • Photo Sites: Our Food Photos from Asia group continues to grow with some great contributions. If you are a Flickrite with photos of food taken in Asia, you are welcome to participate in this group. We also have another Flickr group, Women of Taiwan, where you can find photos of the most beautiful women in the world.

Remember folks, it’s not important that you read what I read. It’s important that you read and participate in the community discussions on blogs that you like. I recommend that you find an RSS reader and subscribe to the blogs of your choice.

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    1. Brunty » and hopefully they’ll be reading your articles too. i can’t recommend your blog highly enough Brunty. even though i’ve been to Thailand more than 15 times and spent many months there, i always learn new things from your reports. thanks and take care my friend.

    1. Carrie » my friend Brunty is quite a nice fellow, wouldn’t you agree? i’ve spent many a sleepless night perusing his blog, but be forewarned: sometimes his food articles will require you to raid the kitchen afterwards!

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