Thursday, 31 July 2008

Easter eggs?

Nope, all natural chicken eggs at Nonzero, coloring straight from the chicken. Farmers have found how to "color" eggs by cross-breeding chicken from different parts of the world. From what this article says, some breeds of chicken in Southeast Asia produce eggs with a greenish tint and some breeds of chicken in the US and Europe produce eggs with an orangeish tint. The green tint is caused by enzyme in the chicken that makes hemoglobin change into biliverdin, which has a greenish tint. The eggs have a bigger and more orange, nutritious yolk. The omelette that made from the eggs for us was practically orange in color.

By carefully cross-breeding chicken and controlling what they eat, the farmer was able to have the chicken produce eggs of a particular color. They don't have all the colors of the spectrum yet, but once they do, maybe Taiwan will start celebrating Easter too.

At the time the article published, the most expensive of these eggs were TWD 150 (USD 4.88) for 600 grams (no idea how many eggs that is), compared to TWD 27,5 (USD0,89) for 600 grams of the regular eggs. That's almost 5,5 times more expensive! But gosh, does it feel fun to walk into Ada's and say, "can I have an Easter egg omelette?" The pleasure that comes from seeing the colorful eggs, saying the cute name and eating the orangeish egg that's on my plate makes the entire experience rather enjoyable.

(via Epochtimes)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Dog poop bags

Fashionable people have to scoop up poop fashionably, I suppose. I don't think I qualify. I don't have a dog. Hahaha.

(via Notcot)

Old Caoling Tunnel reopens for bicyclists

My travel story last week.

(via 冬烘居部落格)

The Old Caoling (草嶺)Tunnel on the Northeastern Coast is reopening in August, and if you're a bicycle rider,you're may like like it. The once longest tunnel in Taiwan has been renovated to accomodate hikers and biker alike. Visitors enter on the mountain side and exit 2.7 kilometers later on the Pacific Ocean side to a breath-taking view. FTV's Michella Jade Weng found it a great way to experience Taiwan's railway history on a bicycle.##

[[Tour Taiwan intro animation]]

This is the Old Caoling Tunnel in Fulong, Taipei County.

[[NS 丟丟咚 music]]

It's the tunnel that's sang about in the folk song "Diu Diu Dang."

NE Coast Scenic Admin Deputy Director
Eric Lin:
When you're riding in the tunnel, you can hear these train whistles (we've installed), so you get this feeling that you have to move aside to let the train pass.

The Old Caoling Tunnel was one of the most important tunnels in Taiwan nearly a hundred years ago.

FTV Reporter
Michella Jade Weng:
This tunnel is a class three hisotrical site. It was built by the Japanese in 1921. You can still feel on the walls the coal left by the steam trains from then. And at that time, it was the longest tunnel in Taiwan and the most difficult to make.

Touching the coal dust feels like coming in contact with almost a century of railroad history.

[[NS Wow! The Pacific Ocean! Turtle Island!]]

On the other side of the 2.7 kilometer tunnel is the Pacific Ocean. On a nice day, you can see Turtle Island from here.

It's like we've just gone through the tunnel of time.

The tunnel's scheduled to reopen on 9 August. To get here, you can take a train to Fulong Station and then rent a bicycle. It's a nice way to experience Taiwan's railway history, on two wheels.

Michella Jade Weng, Formosa TV, Fulong, Taiwan.

My interviewees




[[NS 丟丟咚]]


進了隧道以後 你可以感覺在騎腳踏車的時候
隨時好像後面有火車追過來 有火車氣笛的響聲
所以你聽到汽笛的聲音 你會感覺要馬上靠左或靠右


舊草嶺隧道是一個三級古蹟 是在大正十年
也就是民國十年興建的 我們在牆壁上


[[NS 哇 太平洋! 龜山島!]]


好像彷彿走過時光隧道 出來的時候
看到這一片海的時候 還蠻驚訝的
因為那一邊是山 忽然走過來這邊是面海
突然看到海的那種感覺 真的很棒。


民視新聞 翁郁容 楊麒民 李澤民 台北報導

The famous Fulong lunch box is something you can try when you're there. It's not exactly the best tasting lunch box on the planet, but it's OK and it's fun. When you go to Italy, you have pasta. When you go to Fulong, you have Fulong lunch box.

More pictures here.

Murasaki robot

(via Engadget)

No, not purple robot (murasaki is purple in Japanese), the 紫式部 (Lady Murasaki Shikibu) robot. She was a Japanese writer at the turn of the first century, best known for writing 源氏物語 (Tales of Genji), one of the earliest and most celebrated novels in history.

I read parts of Genji in college and really enjoyed it. Part of the reason I liked it so much was because of the professor, Dr Susan Klein. I wonder if she's still at UCI. My two favorite lecturers in college were her and Suzuko Hamasaki, my Japanese teacher. Whatever courses they taught, I took. Including Japanese ghost stories and karate. I had a good time studying what I didn't major in. Economics (my major) was not difficult and certainly not fun. So I had a good balance.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Thai Cattleya

My Thai Cattleya at the office. They are so fragrant! Well, fragrant when smelly coworkers are in the field. Can't smell the flowers when some of my coworkers are around. One of the downsides to a barrier-free office...and working in a place where some men feel like they need to smell like men to feel like men.

Gohan museum

Saw this at the Tokyo International Forum on the way to the hall where Heart Aid Shisen was being held.

It's a rice museum! (with free entrance!) It's aiming to raise awareness to the decline of rice farming and rice consumption in Japan. I didn't have time to go in. Perhaps next time.

The Int'l Forum is such a beautiful place. The glass, steel, trees and open space is balanced out so well.

Who's that?

I was covering the CTV worker's union last week. Hundreds of employees are being laid off at the CTV, one of the oldest terrestrial TV stations in Taiwan. I think that's where Grandpa was an executive at, many many moons ago. TV stations are being merged and bought these days due to hard times in media. That's another story for another day.

Anyway, I was at their meeting, and I found an interesting picture on the wall! Wonder when this was from!

What an interesting way to decorate their lobby - putting pictures of old stars and notable guests at CTV in a film roll fashion in black and white. Really appropriate. I like.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Filming in Central Taiwan

Just finished at Sun Moon Lake. Now headed to Taichung. This is for one of August's Tour Taiwan features.

Thursday, 24 July 2008


The day after the concert, Mama, Grandma and Auntie Linda brought me to my FAVORITE そば (soba, buckwheat noodle) place, かんだやぶそば (Kanda Yabusoba). It was so hot that I actually had ざるそば (chilled soba) instead of やまがけそば (soba in broth with ground mountain yam). DELICIOUS!

That's Mama's very fashionable sleeve and hand there.

そばずし (soba sushi)

かんだやぶそば Kandayabusoba
+81 3-3251-0287
JR御茶ノ水駅 徒歩3分 
地下鉄丸の内線あわじ町駅 徒歩2分 
地下鉄銀座線神田駅 徒歩5分

After soba, I went with Grandma to get a new mobile phone, and while waiting for her data to transfer over (all the pictures of Kaiser and Brandy and flowers took 2 hours to copy...), I went across the street to AU (my carrier, Grandma is Docomo) and got a new phone myself. I got the white and green one, same one as Oneesan. :) I wore a very cool green Karl Lagerfeld suit jacket from Mama that day.

(I almost bought an irresistibly cute black and yellow long wallet by Anna Sui yesterday, and I was wearing yellow nail polish. See a pattern? I resisted. Two trips to Japan in 2 months. I better be good for now.)

(via Sony Ericsson JP)

The phone, a Sony Ericsson W62S, was only JPY 12.000 (USD ), and after applying my points, adding on fees, I only paid around JPY 8.000. It's 3G but has no videophone, but it's OK. I was very satisfied. After all, my phone was almost an antique in digital time - it was 5 years old, from when I was going to business school.

Now I see my Taiwan phone, just a year old, but looking so old compared to the new one. And it's from the ex-boyfriend. I think I want a new phone. New boyfriend too.

Heart Aid Shisen (Sichuan)

(via Yahoo Japan news)

I was in Tokyo last week for Heart Aid Shisen (Sichuan) charity concert. A short, tiring and expensive trip it was, but I wanted to be there for Mama, who headed the production. After a month of nonstop meetings, thousands of telephone calls and several IV drips, she did it. It appeared to be a big success. In corporate sponsorship alone, they raised more than JPY 30 mn. In addition to that, there were private donations and item donations made by artists for the auction, which brought even more money. I'm so so so proud of my godmother. I was really worried because she had been so late in getting started, but it turned out wonderfully.

Artists included Judy Ongg, Jackie Chan (HK), Sandy Lam (HK), Aaron Kwok (HK), Ekin Cheng (HK), Minami Kosetsu (JP), Iruka (JP), Hino Terumasa (JP), Togi Hideki (JP), Jaywalk (JP), W-inds (JP), alan (CH/JP), Atari Kosuke (JP), John Hoon (KR), July (KR).

Each artist performed two songs. While most sang two of their most popular songs, there were a few who had the good sense to sing one of their most loved songs to thank the audience for coming, and to sing one song dedicated to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.

My two favorite songs that evening were Judy Ongg's Qidao (祈禱) and Sandy Lam's cover of Mariah Carey's Hero. I expected Qidao coming, but not Hero.

(at the PC before the concert, via アジアンパラダイス)

A few bars into the song, my eyes began to well up. The tears finally overflowed when I saw Sandy's eyes started filling with tears too. Never have the lyrics of that song touched me so strongly. I usually don't try to get to know artists (so I get to keep the image that they portray in my mind, rather than finding out that they're cool but really dumb or something) unless it's for work or I'm formally introduced, but I wish I talked to Sandy before she left. I felt that the genuineness of her delivery of Hero that night showed her sincerity and compassion. Later I found out that when she got the call inviting her to join the cause, she spent that weekend making an acrylic painting for the auction. This is one artist I'd like to get to more of.

The lyrics to Hero, via Lyrics007
There's a hero If you look inside your heart You don't have to be afraid Of what you are There's an answer If you reach into your soul And the sorrow that you know Will melt away

And then a hero comes along With the strength to carry on And you cast your fears aside And you know you can survive So when you feel like hope is gone Look inside you and be strong And you'll finally see the truth That a hero lies in you

It's a long road When you face the world alone No one reaches out a hand For you to hold You can find love If you search within yourself And the emptiness you felt Will disappear

And then a hero comes along With the strength to carry on And you cast your fears aside And you know you can survive So when you feel like hope is gone Look inside you and be strong And you'll finally see the truth That a hero lies in you

Lord knows Dreams are hard to follow But don't let anyone Tear them away Hold on There will be tomorrow In time You'll find the way

And then a hero comes along With the strength to carry on And you cast your fears aside And you know you can survive So when you feel like hope is gone Look inside you and be strong And you'll finally see the truth That a hero lies in you

Here is Mariah Carey singing Hero on Youtube.

Here are Youtube videos of the concert. I hear it will be broadcasted on NHK in a couple of months.

My pass.


I reported live from the annual gathering of indigenous peoples in Eastern Taiwan (花蓮原住民聯合豐年祭) earlier this month. What a great experience. Each tribe will have their own festival all throughout the summer. Have a visit and join the fun if you are in the country!

More pictures here.


Tastespotting's back!

Wonder if Ada will make me this grilled peach and goat cheese sandwich. I think I feel like eating again!
(via Apartment Therapy)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

High tea with Hello Kitty

(via 吃喝玩樂@Lica)

Never say never. I thought I would never go into a Hello Kitty cafe, but I did last Saturday. I like Hello Kitty and I like pink, just not all at once. My coworker thought I needed some cheering up and decided to bring me there. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it much more than I did. She wasn't as crazy as some of the girls that were there, taking pictures of Hello Kitty everything with their digital SLR's. The only picture I took while I was there was of her taking a picture of the Hello Kitty-shaped icing on her cheesecake.

My concerned coworker wanted to let me know some things I haven't realized about myself. Here is an hour's content in bullet points.

1. Putting my energy and effort in media is a waste of my skills and talent.
2. In moving ahead in the game, I'm zig-zagging, instead of going straight.
3. I have no talent in reporting.
4. I'm probably not going to make it, because I didn't explode into stardom the first time I appeared as anchor.
5. My assignment editor and chief editor think I am one big headache that the MD has given them, because my Chinese isn't perfect and I'm not as familiar with Taiwan, its history, its culture and its people.
6. My assignment editor and chief editor won't accept my ideas because they don't believe that I can come up with anything good, because I'm just a foreigner.
7. The MD's been trying to get rid of me all along by making me a reporter and making me anchor Taiwanese news.
8. I'm not breathtakingly beautiful and I am not irreplaceable.
9. I'm approaching my 30's and I should face the fact that chances of succeeding are very slim.
10. As long as the MD is who it is right now, I won't have a future at FTV.

She said she was telling me this because she cares about me, and she knows that her telling me this is like how the more my parents tell me the road I'm walking down is bad, the more I will go against what they say.

This coworker was a good reporter. She is hosting a show at FTV these days in the regular programming department. She has good observational skills and made good reports (fast paced, funny, to-the-point) when she was in news. However, I'm not so sure about her conclusions here. And the way she said these things really made me feel like I was talking to the cat from hell over Hello Kitty desserts. I believe that she means well for me, but three days later, my blood is still boiling.

Every time I talk to her and I'm at a low point, she pushes me even lower. But thanks to her, it often gets so low that I begin to bounce back again.

What a library

(via Apartment Therapy)

Pure femininity

From blog "She's in Vogue"

Pure femininity that just about disappeared with the passing of the 50's.


Gosh, I love this purple chair. Just one chair like this in a light-colored room is enough to give the room a touch of class and a grounded feel. I know what pieces we have at home that can be reupholstered to look like this... Mwa ha ha ha. Must get a new flat first though.

(via Apartment Therapy)

I love the dark shades of purple. There is a sense of mystery, a sense of darkness, a sense of elegance, a sense of something grown up... I don't know. Although I love it, I don't wear it often. I tend to wear bright, happy, energetic colors. Maybe I'm bright and happy on the outside but mysterious and dark on the inside. Maybe!

(via Wikipedia)

When I read ancient Greek history in college, I learned that purple was the color of royalty. Purple dye was made from a plant more expensive than gold at the time. That's Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great in a purple robe in a mosaic.

(via piersallison)


And just now from Wikipedia, I learned that purple was used to decorate the Xian Terracotta Army in China between 500 BC and 220 AD, and that purple was an imperial color (in addition to yellow/gold). The Forbidden City in China 紫禁城, literally means "purple forbidden city."

When I was going to school in Japan, I learned that in Japan, only the highest ranking monks can wear purple. That's the top monk of Byodoin, a Buddhist temple near Kyoto, during a ceremony to enshrine Mama's print and kimono of Byodoin's Phoenix Hall (March 2005).

And in modern day, some people will tell you that wearing purple makes an elegant and strong fashion statement. And that it wears well with most skin colors and ages.

(Jessica Alba via

(Versace jersey dress via NY Times)

(via DogGoneChic)

Purple even looks good on our four-legged best friends.

Across civilizations, time, language and culture, perhaps the senses that certain colors touch can be quite similar sometimes.