Iden guest at marathon
Norwegian triathlete Gustav Iden, who sparked a “lucky cap” trend in Taiwan, yesterday said he was surprised to see lobsters being offered at supply stations along the route of the Tianzhong Marathon in Changhua County. The 23-year-old, who arrived in Taiwan on Saturday for a three-day-visit at the invitation of Changhua County Commissioner Wang Hui-mei (王惠美), fired the starter’s pistol and then joined Wang to run the last 3.5km of the race. Many bystanders waved at him, Iden said, adding that he was deeply impressed with Taiwanese hospitality. He said he would love to come back to compete in triathlons after the Tokyo Olympics next year. Iden gained local fame after he wore a Shunze Temple cap during a triathlon in France and was photographed wearing it as he finished first. Since then, the Changhua temple has been flooded with thousands of orders for the “lucky cap,” which it has been handing out for free. Iden is to be made an honorary citizen of Changhua in recognition of his contribution to the county’s international promotional efforts.
Fire at workers’ dormitory
An early morning fire yesterday at a Taichung dormitory for foreign migrant workers left 14 residents suffering from smoke inhalation, but none were in critical condition, police said. The Taichung City Fire Bureau received a report at 1:36am that there was a fire at a three-story house in Shalu District (沙鹿) and dispatched 34 firefighters and 12 vehicles. Several motorcycles on the ground floor of the residence were on fire when firefighters arrived, with dense smoke at the scene, the bureau said. The fire was extinguished at 1:50am. The 14 rushed to a nearby hospital were eight Vietnamese — five women and three men — two local men and four children. They were discharged after treatment, the bureau said, adding that the cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Kiwi wins Mandarin prize
A New Zealand student on Thursday won the top prize in a Mandarin public speaking contest at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. Samuel George, one of the 64 contestants and a student in National Taiwan University’s International Chinese Language Program, received NT$10,000 for winning first place. US medical student Samuel Noble finished second, earning him NT$8,000, while 21-year-old Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Nga, a student in National Taiwan Normal University’s department of Chinese as a second language, won NT$6,000 for her third-place finish.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”