CAL float wins trophy
China Airlines (CAL) on Monday won the International Trophy at the Rose Parade in California for the seventh straight year, with its entry of a fire-breathing dragon float. The float was designed in keeping with the parade’s theme of “Just Imagine” and in celebration of the Year of the Dragon on the lunar calendar. Titled “Spirit of Prosperity and Harmony,” the float was dedicated to wishing Taiwan and its people an auspicious, prosperous and harmonious year, said Chang Feng-ping (張鳳炳), director of the airline’s Los Angeles branch. The airline began participating in the parade in 1987. Taiwan was also featured on another float, called “Donate Life,” which displayed the photos of 72 organs.
Meteor shower to be hidden
The first meteor shower of the year is unlikely to be visible, thanks to poor weather expected across Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The Quadrantid meteor shower, one of the year’s most prolific, will likely be obscured by heavy clouds at its peak in the early hours of today, the bureau said. The meteor shower will reach its maximum at 7:20am, the bureau said. The Quadrantid meteor shower was discovered in 1825 by Italian astronomers. By 1938, it was confirmed to be one of the three strongest annual showers visible from Earth, along with the Perseids and Geminids.
UA flight turns around
A United Airlines (UA) plane carrying 270 passengers was forced to make an emergency landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday due to a mechanical problem. The pilots of the Boeing 777 turned the aircraft around about an hour into the flight after the nose wheel door of the landing gear failed to close. The plane made an emergency landing close to midday. All passengers and crew were safe upon landing, the airline said. The flight took off from Taoyuan airport at about 10:30am, bound for San Francisco and Houston, Texas, with a stopover in Tokyo. The passengers were later transferred to other flights.
Jay Chou tops song list
Pop idol Jay Chou’s (周杰倫) new song, titled Sailors Afraid of Water (水手怕水) topped the list of the 100 most popular songs of last year in Taiwan, making Chou a four-time winner of the annual title, according to the results of an online survey released on Monday. South Korean boy band Super Junior’s Mr Simple took second place, while the The Boys by the nine-member all-female South Korean band Girls’ Generation ranked third among the 300 Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, South Korean and Western songs listed in the survey. In previous years, the survey included more Japanese songs than South Korean ones. This time around, 16 South Korean songs made the list compared with nine Japanese songs. The online survey was conducted by the radio station Hit FM from Dec. 1 to Dec. 18. Nearly 4 million votes were cast during the period.