German official honored
A former deputy director of the German Trade Office Taipei was awarded permanent resident status yesterday in honor of his long-term contributions to promoting use of renewable energy in Taiwan. Andreas Gursch received the Plum Blossom Alien Permanent Residence Certificate from Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) in Taipei. Gursch was given the honor for promoting information exchanges and investment in the areas of renewable energy and “green” buildings during his more than 10 years in Taiwan, according to the National Immigration Agency. Applicants for the Plum Blossom Card must have made special contributions to the nation, be foreign nationals with high-level professional and technical skills needed in the nation, or be immigrants who have invested more than NT$15 million (US$498,440) locally, the immigration agency said.
Mayday to open music fest
Rock band Mayday (五月天) are to open one of the nation’s biggest indie music festivals today, while pop music band Sodagreen (蘇打綠), who rose to fame as a frequent performer at the festival, are to perform in its grand finale this year. The annual Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival, which is held on Fulong Beach in New Taipei City (新北市), will feature an international lineup of artists from Russia, the US, Australia and Japan, as well as local indie bands. Ten local indie finalists will battle it out on Saturday for the Ho-Hai-Yan Indie Music Awards. The festival, organized by the New Taipei City Government, has been held on the beach every July since 2000.
Female population rising
Women will soon outnumber men in Taiwan for the first time ever, according to the latest Ministry of the Interior statistics. The male population stood at 11.68 million last month, while the female population was 11.67 million, information from the ministry showed. The ratio of females to males was 100 to 100.12 last month, down from 100 to 100.41 in the same month last year, the statistics showed. Department of Household Registration Director Hsieh Ai-ling (謝愛齡) said the Council for Economic Planning and Development has forecast that the ratio will soon be reversed, with females outnumbering males by 3,000 by the end of the year. The female population is expected to pull even with the male population in November, Hsieh said, and the trend is expected to continue for decades, with the female-male ratio hitting 100-93.1 in 2060. Hsieh attributed the change to the nation’s commitment to fighting gender discrimination and the longer life expectancy of women in Taiwan.
SEF sends China delegation
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) yesterday led an education delegation to visit vocational schools in China’s Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in a bid to attract Chinese students to pursue higher vocational studies in Taiwan. The foundation said it is to visit colleges listed under China’s “211 Project,” a project launched in 1995 aimed at transforming selective colleges and universities into top-ranked global schools. Taiwanese schools currently admits degrees from 191 vocational schools in China. This year, the nation also began accepting applications from vocational students from China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces to pursue higher vocational studies. The foundation said the delegation will also visit Taiwanese businesses in China as part of their trip.
New bats found on Matsu
A research team has found a bat species never before sighted in the country on Matsu, according to the Endemic Species Research Institute. During a field project last month, the team found four bat species on the island, including a species previously unknown in Taiwan and its outlying islands that was later identified as the Chinese Pipistrelle. “This is extremely rare and precious, proving that Taiwan has abundant and valuable bat resources,” the institute said in a statement. Taiwan provides a broad spectrum of habitats for wildlife and has one of the highest bat diversities in the world in terms of species density, the Bat Conservation Society of Taipei said. So far, at least 35 species of bats have been recorded, the group said.
Workers piling on weight
Many deskbound workers try to reduce their stress by snacking in the afternoon and late at night, sometimes eating five meals a day, which can cause weight gain, according to the results of a recent survey. Lin Wen-yuan (林文元), general-secretary of the Taiwan Medical Association for the Study of Obesity, said nearly half of all office workers counter stress by consuming carbohydrates, fried chicken, sugary drinks, or comfort food. Many do not exercise regularly, with 48 percent having an excessive body mass index (BMI) and 20 percent of them being obese, Lin said. Many try to lose weight by cutting down on rice, Lin said, but eating less filling meals may increase their chances of eating high-calorie snacks later in the day. Lin suggested that people with sedentary jobs should exercise for 30 to 50 minutes a day, and at least 150 minutes a week. The survey was conducted in May among 1,068 office workers, aged 25-40, by 104survey.com.