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Fri, Jan 21, 2000 - Page 2 News List

OFF THE BEAT

What's in an anagram?

"Some people say that reordering the letters of a person's name in an anagram may reveal prophetic truths," wrote reader Kevin Bergeson. "Could this also be true for Taiwan's three leading presidential candidates?"

Bergeson notes that the letters in "Chen Shui-bian" can be rearranged to read "I snub China, eh?"

He also notes that an anagram for "Lien Chan" is "Nail Chen," and that an anagram for "James Soong" could be "OJ: same song."

Where does that money go?

The Taipei City government recently published the results of a study looking into the spending habits of the city's increasingly affluent youth.

What the city government's Bureau of Education found has, it turns out, provided "food" for thought -- overwhelmingly, most kids under 18 opt to spend their pocket money on snacks and drinks.

Allowance spending habits were then broken down into purchases of toys, goods emblazoned with cartoon characters, books, and music CDs and tapes, in that order -- all this above and beyond money already provided them for regular school meals.

Tellingly, while girls spent an average of 10 percent of their allowance on clothes and related goods, boys spent 18 times what girls did on video games.

The survey, conducted in 1998, found that 41 percent of Taipei students have an average weekly allowance of under NT$100. What could turn some heads, however, is that some 1.8 percent of them receive a weekly allowance exceeding NT$1,000.

These figures are also divided among public and private schools, with students from the former getting by with an average weekly allowance of NT$100, and the latter exceeding NT$500.

This all proves, of course, that no matter how much you give your kids -- even if it's too much -- it never seems to be enough.

staff writers with CNA

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