It's no secret that Hong Kong singer/actress Anita Mui (梅艷芳) has had some health problems of late, but Next Magazine (壹週刊) seems to be wandering onto thin legal ice in its latest issue by announcing that Mui is suffering from cervical cancer. \nMui has tried to silence the reports in the Hong Kong media about her health problems, to no avail, and threatened to sue anyone who writes erroneous stories on the subject. Never one to fear a lawsuit, Next references unnamed sources to back its claim that Mui has come down with the deadly disease. As evidence, the report says her family allegedly has been burning a lot of ghost money and carrying out various prayer rituals. Also, she's wearing black-bead bracelets that carry religious significance, and spent a night in hospital two weeks ago, where she received numerous mid-night hospital visits from famous friends like William So (蘇永康) and Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒). \nMui said, however, that her hospital stay was not to treat anything as serious as the tabloids were suggesting. But so far, she hasn't clearly stated what ailment she is suffering from. The ominous element in the story is the fact that her sister died of cervical cancer three years ago at the age of 41. \nLeaving the serious stuff behind and diving into the inane news that Pop Stop enjoys most, the gloves have come off and the claws are out in the battle between Sun Yanzi (孫燕姿) fans and S.H.E. fans after the g-music billboard chart was released last week. The chart showed that Yanzi had edged out the cutesy trio of Selina (S), Hebe (H) and Ella (E) to grab first place in sales and since then S.H.E. fans have been going for the jugular in online chat rooms. In the first week of its release on Aug. 22, Yanzi's album The Moment sold over 250,000 copies, just a few thousand more than S.H.E. \nSelina and Hebe may have fed the flames of their fans' ire by telling media after the results came out that no matter what the chart says, "S.H.E.'s album will always be number one in our hearts and in the hearts of our fans." \nThe messages posted by rabid fans were so vitriolic, top executives for Yanzi and S.H.E.'s respective record labels tried to urge restraint from fans and praised their competitors. The calls for harmony are nice, but Pop Stop is really hoping for a rumble in Hsimenting between the two camps. \nLeaving the pettiness of Taiwan teenie bopper fans behind, doe-eyed singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) took her show to Las Vegas, of all places, for a one-off concert last weekend at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. It's not certain how many Chinese music fans made the trek to Las Vegas for the show, but she probably doesn't care, the one-hour show earned her a cool NT$2.5 million. \nAlso earning a quick American buck recently is Lee Hom Wang (王力宏), who signed up with McDonald's for the company's new international ad campaign. Lee Hom will be the voice in Chinese-speaking areas for the four-minute ditty composed by McDonald's headquarters. Just for recording the song, Lee Hom is reportedly raking in over seven figures, albeit in NT dollars. \nLee Hom will be performing in Taipei on Oct. 11 so if you haven't seen the ad on TV by then, you can probably hear the song at the show. \nIf we're to believe the Liberty Times (自由時報), the past week has seen an invasion of foreign stars looking to run off with Taiwanese people's money. \n"If Taiwan's entertainment industry can't improve itself and create a larger space for the arts, then sooner or later, foreign artists will run away with our money," said the paper's column "Scissors" (剪刀) in its edition last Thursday. The column followed up on Tuesday in a piece titled "Korean stars aren't gods" by pillorying Korean TV star Han Jae-seok (韓在石) for failing to show up at a press conference. According to the column, the actor, who was reported to have had to attend an urgent meeting at the time, was not showing the proper respect to the Taiwanese press. \nPop Stop will be curious to see if "Scissors" has anything to say about Japanese E-cup porn star Asakawa Ran coming to Taiwan to launch a new career. Whatever she does, it won't be porn, because that's illegal here, and anyway, the market was cornered by that Taiwan Plumber (台灣水電工) movie that's all over the Web.
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten