EPA warns on air quality
People with allergies or respiratory diseases should take precautions when going outside as strong seasonal winds could lead to poor air quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday. The winds could stir up dust and increase the concentration of particulates to more than 100 micrograms per cubic meter — about twice the usual level — EPA data showed. The northern and southern regions are the most likely to suffer from poor air quality, but conditions should ease up tomorrow when seasonal winds are expected to weaken, the EPA said.
Meteor show on Saturday
Stargazers will have a chance this weekend to catch the Geminid meteor shower, which is expected to produce scores of meteors per minute, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. One of the three most prolific meteor showers of the year — along with the Quadrantids in January and the Perseids in August — the Geminids can be most easily tracked between 3:30am and 5:30am on Saturday, the museum said. However, because of the moon phase, the general conditions for observation will not be as perfect as last year, it said. A Geminid meteor shower, which originates from an asteroid instead of a comet as is most common, occurs when Earth plows through the dusty debris from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid, the museum said.
‘Beyond Beauty’ still a hit
The documentary Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above (看見台灣) continued its surprisingly strong showing at the box office last week and could crack the list of top 10 box office hits of the year in the nation this week, distributor Activator Marketing Co said yesterday. The film grossed more than NT$25 million (US$843,600) in theaters around the country from Dec. 1 to Sunday, bringing its total gross to more than NT$140 million — NT$70 million in Taipei alone — since opening on Nov. 1, Activator Marketing said. Its single-day box office sales even topped the chart on Thursday last week, beating Hollywood adventure film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Already the highest-grossing documentary in the nation’s history, the film should emerge as one of the country’s 10 highest-grossing films for this year this week, the distributor said. Its box office receipts have already exceeded those of superhero film Man of Steel, which hit theaters earlier this year, the distributor said.
Chimei founder honored
The founder of Taiwanese conglomerate Chimei Group was awarded a medal by Japan in Taipei earlier this month in recognition of his long-term efforts to promote bilateral trade relations and exchanges. Hsu Wen-long (許文龍), 85, received a citation from Japanese Representative Sumio Tarui. He was also awarded a medal, which Tarui said represents the Japanese government’s recognition of his role in promoting economic relations and exchanges between Japan and Taiwan, and his contributions to the internationalization of Japanese enterprises. Describing Taiwan-Japan economic ties as at their best in 40 years, he said this was the result of efforts by people like Hsu. Tarui also thanked Hsu for the group’s US$2 million donation to help with Japan’s relief efforts after the quake and tsunami in 2011. The Chimei Group includes the Chi Mei Museum, which Hsu said has served as a bridge between Taiwan and Japan for more than 20 years through exchanges in arts and music.