This week’s gossip column inches have been dominated by intrigue and secret love in the Mando-pop world. Teen idol and self-made acrobat Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) grabbed headlines, not for her new album Butterfly (花蝴蝶), but for being an alleged cheater and copycat.
The story goes something like this: a couple of years ago, Tsai’s old flame Jay Chou (周杰倫) implied that celebrated music impresario Chen Tse-shan (陳澤杉) had knowingly manipulated the charts for his clients including Tsai. Now, the diva is bent on revenge.
When preorders of Butterfly broke the 120,000-mark, that is 30,000 more than those for Chou’s Capricorn (魔杰座) last year, the songstress’ label Warner Music (華納音樂) wasted no time in holding a press conference on Sunday, where an attorney was
present to validate the veracity of the figures.
According to Chou’s record company, JVR Music (杰威爾音樂), Warner Music fiddled the figures. “You can’t fool those in the business,” the company’s spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Perhaps what troubles the Mando-pop queen most is the recent accusation that she copied Japanese pop sensation Ayumi Hamasaki. Local media have commented on what they believe are striking similarities between the two stars’ new looks.
As Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿) readies to open her tour with a concert at Taipei Arena (台北巨蛋) next month, the Singaporean singer’s sweetheart of two years, a hitherto well-kept secret, has conveniently surfaced and garnered media attention.
Dubbed “mustache man” (鬍鬚男) by media, 31-year-old Nadim van der Ros is Dutch, a high-ranking manager at Aviva, and what’s more, a hunk and able athlete who caught the star’s eye at a triathlon competition held by his company.
Sun’s is not the only secret to see the light of day. Chu Ko Liang (豬哥亮), who went into hiding after running up a huge gambling debt more than a decade ago, has reportedly irked his old showbiz chums who have tried to help.
Claiming to have plenty of job offers lined up for Chu, entertainer-turned-lawmaker Yu Tian (余天) said he was frustrated that the fugitive funnyman remains elusive and difficult to reach.
Kao Ling-feng (高凌風) says he has an influential friend in Malaysia who is willing to fund a film tailor-made for Chu. The former comedian, however, has shown little interest.
“Chu wants someone to pay off his debt [reportedly upwards of NT$200 million] all at once. But that’s not possible,” Kao was quoted
Chu should look up to Judy Chiang (江蕙) when it comes to gambling troubles. After her older sister, who managed her assets, gambled away all the money and went on the lam earlier this year, the reigning queen of Taiwanese-language music has quietly started again from scratch by releasing the DVD version of her 2008 concert.
Though her sister lost
all her savings, to the tune of more than NT$100 million, Chiang took the blame herself.
“It is all my fault. I should have paid more attention to my sister,” Chiang told the Liberty Times, the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper.
Miao Lin-Zucker (林季苗) wanted to teach Taiwanese how to speak French; instead she’s helping the French learn Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese). As of last week, nearly 120 people had expressed interest in the first ever Hoklo classes (listed as Taiwanais in French) offered by Les Cours d’Adultes de Paris, one of the largest public language learning institutions in France. The courses begin online next month. “It’s getting easier to explain Taiwan to people here due to its recent international visibility,” Lin-Zucker says. “So it doesn’t seem as strange anymore to promote a Taiwanese Hoklo class. I’m not training language experts
Sept 27 to Oct 3 When an apparition appeared in a vision telling Easter Lee (李幫助) to build a seminary, she said she would only do so if three conditions were met — conditions that were nearly impossible to meet for a woman born in 1909 to a modest family with 22 children. Still bitter about nearly having to give up her schooling for her younger brother, the ambitious 18-year-old wanted to cancel her arranged marriage, attend seminary school abroad and become Taiwan’s first female pastor. Lee accomplished all three before she turned 40, reaching the final milestone in March
It’s not often I glimpse something from a bus that, in a second or less, convinces me to press the stop-request button earlier than planned. But just after crossing into Taichung’s Shihgang District (石岡) from Fongyuan District (豐原), we passed a building that was so distinctive I didn’t care if I’d end up with a long walk under the hot sun. I’d never seen a fire station quite like it. The greater part was gray and somewhat bland, but to those familiar with Taiwan’s various architectural styles, the endearing cream-yellow entrance way screamed, “colonial-era public building.” My hunch turned out to be
For the past 10 years, Sonia Grego has been thinking about toilets — and more specifically what we deposit into them. “We are laser-focused on the analysis of stool,” says the Duke University research professor, with all the unselfconsciousness of someone used to talking about bodily functions. “We think there is an incredible untapped opportunity for health data. And this information is not tapped because of the universal aversion to having anything to do with your stool.” As the co-founder of Coprata, Grego is working on a toilet that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to analyze waste; she hopes to have