Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 \nPublisher: Ubisoft \nPlatform: X-Box and PS2 \nTaiwan release: mid December \nThe annoying nuances that made Ghost Recon 1 one of the slowest and most boring tactical first-person shooters ever in the Tom Clancy line of console/PC games have thankfully been stamped out and the second game in the Ghost Recon series is, instead, a very playable and straightforward run-and-gun action game. \nLike its predecessor, the story line remains heavily political. The Ghost Recon squad of elite commandos is tasked with operating in North Korea and must face off against the forces aligned with a North Korean general who has diverted humanitarian aid to the army and is hell bent on turning the entire Korean peninsular into a war zone. \nThe most immediate, and certainly noticeable change to the original format is that of perspective. While the original Ghost Recon was a strictly first-person affair, Ghost Recon 2 gives gamers the chance to play in third-person mode. \nThe pulled-back perspective offers players a greater line of sight and, needless to say, makes it a lot easy to control both their individual character and the squad. The manner in which orders are relayed has been stripped down to a bear minimum. Instead of fighting with the paddle to relay simple commands, general orders can be given at the touch of a single button. \nThe game's AI has also been improved. Enemy forces rarely, if ever, appear in the same place twice, squad member's spot and take out enemy troops as soon as they see them and, more importantly, they never obstruct the player's character. \nThanks to these basic, yet important improvements, Ghost Recon 2 is a genuinely enjoyable shooter that will appeal to any gamer with a passion for graphically pleasing fast paced, squad based true-to-life armchair gunplay. \nGolden Eye: Rogue Agent \nPublisher: EA Games \nPlatform: X-Box, PS2 \nTaiwan release: already available \nThe latest in a long line of EA produced 007 themed console games, Golden Eye: Rogue Agent is a dud from the off. It not only lacks the clout and entertainment value of its forerunners, but to make matters worse the storyline will leave fans of "Bond, James Bond" gagging. \nAs is to be expected from any EA game the graphics are faultless, but the game itself has a dreary plot and game play is laborious at best. To cap it all, the secret agent hero no longer works for her Majesty's Secret Service, but has instead become a rogue agent and is now in the pay of the bad guys. \nGolden Eye's campaign mode spans eight missions and puts players in the role of the former good guy who, after being shot in the eye by Dr No now works for one-time arch enemy, Goldfinger. If not for the inclusion of a host of well-known Bond villains, who make cameo appearances throughout the game and add amusing twists to the weak plot, this is a game that would seriously not be worth playing. \nSid Meier's Pirates! \nPublisher: ATARI \nPlatform: PC and X-Box \nTaiwan release: late December \nSid Meier's has been responsible for some of the greatest and most absorbing computer games. Civilization was notable but the most groundbreaking of all his games was 1997's Pirates. \nNow, seven years and several generations of computer graphic know-how later, Meier's has unleashed his second installment of Pirates and it is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating and absorbing strategy games to be released in a long time. \nSid Meier's Pirates! is an addictive open-ended action/strategy game that allows players to take on the role of a 17th Century treasure hunter, explorer and trader in nefarious goods. The crux of the plot revolves around the swashbuckling, rapier-wielding hero's attempts to reap revenge on an evil Spanish nobleman who wronged his family. \nThe graphics are truly spectacular. A combination of expertly rendered and beautiful colors bringing the lush green and deep blue hues of the Caribbean to life in ways never before experienced in console or PC gaming. \nThe game's interface is user friendly and actual game play is remarkably easy to pick up considering the huge amount of action and the amount of options that players are given in regards which places to go, which people to see and, more importantly, who to trust. \n \nHalf Life 2 \nPublisher: VU Games \nPlatform: PC and X-Box \nTaiwan release: already available \nThe game that reinvented the first-person shooter is back with a vengeance this month, as Gordon Freeman returns to gaming store shelves in Half Life 2 in an adventure that is even more technically and graphically amazing to behold than the last. \nIf you never played the original then before setting out on Freeman's latest adventure you're advised to purchase a copy. Half Life 2's storyline is weak and players unfamiliar with the Black Mesa incident and the Combine will be slightly confused as to what, who and where they are. \nThere are no cut-scenes or narratives this time around and players are immersed in frantic run-and-gun action from the start. As soon as the shooting starts it's a nonstop battle for survival. The graphics are stunning. Not that you'll have much time to absorb their beauty. \nArmed with a formidable arsenal, sadly most of which is recycled from the first game and includes the machine gun, shotgun, crossbow, and, of course, Freeman's trusty crowbar, players are tasked to destroy all enemy forces. \nPlayers will be on their own for much of the game, but in some of the later stages you do get the chance to fight alongside allies, both alien and human. You never develop any attachments to your teammates, though, and, in what is the game's biggest flaw, some of them have a tendency to get in your way, especially when fighting in confined spaces.
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
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
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
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.