Archive for May 14th, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Obituary: Norbert Taferner, 1940 – 2010

Norbert Taferner, a retired South African civil aviation official, and his wife Paula died in a plane crash in Tripoli, Libya, on Wednesday. Norbert Taferner was known among amateur radio operators as ZS6ANL, and as a presenter of a technical media program on Radio RSA (now Channel Africa) in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Paula and Norbert Taferner were originally both Austrians. He reportedly took the South African citizenship some time since the 1960s while she remained Austrian. Irish author Bree o’Mara also died in the crash.

The only survivor, a nine-year old boy from the Netherlands, was scheduled to be flown back to the Netherlands today.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Garlic Prices: to Buy is to Believe

The National Reform and Development Commission will dispatch investigators to the main production and sales areas of garlic, following a rise in garlic prices from a few Yuan RMB to nine Yuan per kilogram since 2009. The most recent record price, according to Caijing, was at 16 Yuan RMB per kilogram on Monday. The commission cited several reasons for the price rises today (Friday), one being that in the past, prices for garlic had been too low, which had led to a decrease in fields dedicated to its production, which in turn led to scarce supplies. As production was gradually going up again, the price had started to gradually normalize. Prices for green beans and similar products had also risen, due to unusual weather conditions. But an official with the commission also conceded that it couldn’t be ruled out that some people took the opportunity of malicious speculation, by hoarding and profiteering (也不排除有人借机恶意炒作、囤积居奇). The garlic madness had created many millionaires (“疯狂的大蒜”已造就了不少千万富翁).

China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.8 per cent in April which brought additional attention to the rise in garlic prices, writes Caijing.

Specialists had recently been sent to Guangdong and Yunnan provinces with instructions to handle prices of san-qi products, Enorth (Tianjin) reports. “San-qi” or “3-7″ (三七植物) commonly refers to panax pseudoginseng and appears to include garlic in this context as garlic contains allicin, which is reported to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal propertiesis. Garlic is also frequently believed to be a cure against swine flu. Jennifer LaRue Huget, a – lay – medical blogger with the Washington Post, writes that while garlic is probably useful in reducing the length or severity of a cold, there’s nothing to show that garlic has any power over influenza, of the H1N1 variety or any other.

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Related
Two Visits to Baosheng Dadi, May 13, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Taiwan: unknown Tourism Destination?

Taiwan, Hidden Beauty

An Island's Hidden Beauty

Most guests who have been to Taiwan and to China say that Taiwan is so much better. Taiwan has many advantages, but doesn’t know how to sell that. What did the Taiwanese tourism office, for example, choose as its logo? Taipei 101. Shanghai has some fifty similar towers at its waterfront. I can’t see how a new building can be the main selling point for the island? On the other hand, Taiwan has some 250 mountains with an altitude of more than 300 meters, with snow on the tallest ones, people are friendly – but nobody knows that! Everyone who comes here is pleasantly surprised. [...]

Taiwan is a beautiful island, and I’ve sent people around the island who had a great holiday. Unfortunately, nobody here has thought about how to market tourism. One needs to find out what the Germans, Americans, or Japanese want when they come here.

Jürgen Klemm, Westin Taipei, in an interview with Taiwan Heute, January 2010.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wen Jiabao: some deeper causes

Chinese Chief State Councillor Wen Jiabao (温家宝), according to Phoneix TV on Thursday, quoted by Southern Metropolis Daily, told media that besides stronger security measures,  improved efforts to address long-standing social concerns were needed to address the deeper causes (解决造成问题的深层次的原因) of a series of school attacks in recent weeks:

“The government also gives high priority to several cases of homicide, causing casualties among children, which deeply saddens us, and to the tragedy it brings to their families. Besides taking strong security measures, we must also pay attention to solving some deeper causes, including some social contradictions, and resolving disputes, strengthening mediation at the grassroots – all this we are working on. I believe that we can give not only children, but everyone, a harmonious, safe environment.”

政府也高度重视,对于几起凶杀案,造成的儿童的伤亡,心里感到非常难过,对于他们家庭出现的这种不幸,心里也感到非常的难过。我们除了采取强有力的治安措 施之外,我们还要注意解决造成这些问题的一些深层次的原因,包括处理一些社会矛盾,化解纠纷,加强基层的调解作用,这些工作我们都在努力去做。我想一个和 谐、安全的环境,不仅会给孩子们,而且应该给每一个人,我们一定能够做到这一点。

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Related
Make-or-Break Time, January 4, 2010
Wartime Childhood, Sept 7, 2009

Update/Related
Symptom of Progress, China Digital Times, May 13, 2010
The Criminal should be Shot on the Spot, Global Times, May 10, 2010

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