Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dessert Maker in Chiayi Sets Up a Mobile Dessert Box on His Bicycle on Saturdays and Sundays near Chung Cheng Park near Culture Road and Chungshan Road water fountain traffic circle: FACEBOOK PAGE 町菁.手作流浪甜點

町菁.手作流浪甜點

Dessert Maker in Chiayi Sets Up a Mobile Dessert Box on His Bicycle on Saturdays and Sundays near Chung Cheng Park near Culture Road and Chungshan Road water fountain traffic circle.He makes DIY his own cream tarts, strawberry cakes and other delicious desserts priced from NT$40 for the cream tarts to higher prices NT$70, NT$80 for other items on his menu. He sets up the box around 4 pm and goes home around 7 pm. CHECK IT OUT!

FACEBOOK PAGE for the Dessert Maker is here: 町菁.手作流浪甜點

Are Literary Critics Getting Behind the ''Cli-fi'' Term as a Subgenre of Sci-fi? Yes they are!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! Big year coming up with Kim Stanley Robinson's publication of major cli-fi novel titled ''NEW YORK 2140'' set in near future of 2140 with NYC half submerged under ocean water as sea levels have risen BUT New Yorkers remain in skyscrapers and soldier on! Comedy? Satire? Cli-Fi? Pub date in March 14, 2017 and this will be a big one.

Are Literary Critics
Getting Behind
the ''Cli-fi'' Term as a Subgenre of Sci-fi?
Yes, they are!

An Oped by Staff Writer and Agencies

Are Literary Critics
Getting Behind
the ''Cli-fi'' Term as a Subgenre of Sci-fi?

Yes, slowly but surely, they are! And not just in the USA and Canada, but also in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Brazil, Mexico and Spain, among dozens of other nations worldwide.

Among them in recent years are:

Michael Berry,
Jason Mark,
A.L. Brady,
Jonathan Sturgeon,
Rodge Glass,
Richard Perez-Pena,
Claire Vaye Watkins,
Kim Stanley Robinson,
Ben Goldfarb,
Angela Evancie,
Mahvesh Murad,
Margaret Atwood,
Alison Flood,
Pilita Clark,
Karen Hardy,
Cat Sparks,
Yann Quero,
Jean-Marc Ligny,
Bruno Arpaia,
Liz Jensen,
Meg Little Reilly,
Charlene D'Avanzo,
David Thorpe,
Rio Fernandes,
James Bradley,
Alvaro Soto,
Sarah Stankorb,
Catherine LaLonde,
Spencer Robins,
James Sullivan,
Laura Galdeano,
Ed Wright,
Ron Meador,
Adeline Johns-Putra,
David Holmes,
Ryan Mizzen,
Bahar Topcu,
Missy Higgins,
and Sarah Holding, among others.

High school cosplay assembly in Taiwan that featured Nazi costumes and a SS tank and a few Heil Hitler salutes, one from a teacher even, was not a mere PR scandal for Taiwan. says Oped Writer in Taipei

UPDATE: January 1, 2017 -- This new oped was part of a series of columns on global affairs written by top editors from members of the Asia News Network and published in newspapers across the region. Google the headline "'Nazi parade' not a mere PR scandal" by a Taiwanese newspaper editor.
KEY QUOTES: ''Just as the event was going the way of all gaffe-prompted scandals in Taiwan — with strong reactions, public condemnations, heads rolling and the public moving on to the next buzz topic — some of the school's students released a strongly-worded online response rallying for support for the resigning principal and challenging the government. In the post, the students said that they did not deserve such public humiliation as they had "done nothing wrong" and were simply taking part in a "costume event." They questioned why they were expected to understand taboos about Hitler, as they were Taiwan-born citizens who only loved their country and high-school students whose only concern was to finish school. They concluded by challenging President Tsai Ing-wen for siding with Israel and Germany while punishing her own people.''
''Instead of drumming up support for the principal, the article was criticized even by people who regarded the government's response as heavy-handed, who decried the students' astonishing lack of civic consciousness in a global community, their narrow-mindedness and their blatant nationalism. ''
''While the online post revealed the students' lack of understanding of the significance of holding a mock Nazi parade, it also demonstrated that they were not heartless teenagers who cared nothing about other people's suffering. The students wrote the post out of concern for their principal, who was reportedly beloved at the school and demonstrated care for his students by assuming full responsibility for the scandal. They could have hidden behind the principal, who offered his own head to shield them from public pressure, but they decided to take responsibility, regardless of how ill-advised they were.''

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

In Earth terms, we only have one Earth, and when it goes, if it goes, our descendants in the next 500 years will be goners, too. It's come to that. Ponder this and write your cli-fi novels, oh ye who are not afraid to ponder our fate.




A few years ago, on November 16, 2009 to be exact,  while I was in the midst of busy schedule teaching English at a local college and working on a ''cli-fi'' PR campaign, I had a nice little heart attack one grey fall afternoon while
bicycling to work, and while the recovery has proceeded swimmingly --
and I feel
marvelous! -- there's been a stent in my heart since then keeping the blood
flowing and I've been put on alert: my days are numbered, according to my cardio guy at the local hospital in south Taiwan.

Well, for all of us our days are numbered, only we never pay attention
until death knocks at the door.  It's been seven years now of appreciating
life in  a way I could never have conceived of before, and 7 years of
expressing a renewed kind of gratitude just to be alive on this
amazing planet. I almost passed to the
other side. I've got a few more good years left.

Thanks to great medical care in Taiwan, a wonderful heart doctor and a
crew of friendly nurses, I'm still here to tell the tale.

Doc says I've got a good 20 more years to live, if all goes well and I
exercise properly and watch my diet and take my meds.

Not a day goes by that I don't personally sing the praises of  my cardio doc half
my age who saved my life when half my heart had stopped working due to
a very clogged artery.

I am still working the cli-fi PR campaign, just as hard as I always way back then in 2009 and even more so today, and I had this thought the other day in the middle of the night when I got up to pee as we older men are wont to do as part of our four-times a night get up and pee routine. Wait till you turn, 70, my friends. (I don't think women have this kind of bladder routine in old age, do they?)

So I woke up and wrote these thoughts down:  The Earth has a disease and it's Man-made Global Warming (AGW) and it's as if our planet is having a long and slow heart attack to its planetary system and we need a stent now to keep the place going swimmingly. What will the AGW stent consist of? Time will tell.

But even with a AGW stent in place, that will only buy some time, as my own stent has bought me some much-appreciated time. But who knows how long the AGW stent will hold and how long before the Earth is going to collapse under the weight of accumulated AGW impact events in the Anthrocene.

Will our descendants some 500 years from now -- 30 generations from now -- be ready for this very possible eventuality? Or will they still be in denial until the very last day of humankind's extinction on this lovely 3rd Rock from Sun?

This is where cli-fi novels and movies come in. They can help prepare this genertion now and future generations over the next 30 generations for what may very well be coming down the road. And cli fi novels and movies can go whatever way their authors or screenwriters want to go -- dystopian or utopian in approach or theme. I hope to read more cli fi novels before I die, and see more cli fi movies, too. I am not ready to kick the bucket, and I don't really have bucket list. I did everything I wanted to do in this life. I am ready to go anytime. It's been a wonderful 60+ orbits around the Sun and if I make it up to 70 and 80 orbits, more power to my beating heart.





I still see my cardiologist every few months or so for a check up, and
he's been kind enough to show me some sonar images of my "new and
improved" heart, so I can compare the images with what he showed me a
year ago, when even he admitted
things were looking bleak. Those sonar "x-ray" images I will never
forget. You only get one heart, and when it goes, you're a goner. So I
am on my best behavior now, eating well, exercising daily and ready
for what comes.


In Earth terms, we only have one Earth, and when it goes, if it goes, our descendants in the next 500 years will be goners, too. It's come to that. Ponder this and write your cli-fi novels, oh ye who are not afraid to ponder our fate.

Washington Post will expand newsroom in DC to 750 reporters, editors and copyeditors (proofreaders, too)

Profitable' Washington Post will expand newsroom
AFP
 
"Thanks to the incredible work of the entire team, the Washington Post will finish this year as a profitable and growing company," publisher Fred Ryan said in a memo to staff
View photos
"Thanks to the incredible work of the entire team, the Washington Post will finish this year as a profitable and growing company," publisher Fred Ryan said in a memo to staff (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)
Washington (AFP) - The Washington Post, purchased three years ago by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, will turn a profit in 2016 and expand its newsroom, defying the downward trend in the newspaper industry.
 
A memo to staff this month from Post publisher Fred Ryan, obtained by AFP, said the newspaper has been helped by its digital efforts and will be launching new "initiatives" in the coming year.
"Thanks to the incredible work of the entire team, the Washington Post will finish this year as a profitable and growing company," Ryan said in the memo.
"In addition to reinforcing our belief that there is a viable business model in quality journalism, this will provide additional funding for several new initiatives that build upon the successes of this year."
The newsroom was "larger this year than last year, and it will grow even more next year," he added.
The newspaper will create a new "rapid-response investigative team" to add to the investigations team, and hire more staff for video, breaking news and other areas.
The Post is likely to add at least 60 positions to boost its newsroom to around 750, as it aims to compete with the New York Times and its staff of 1,300, according to a Politico article by media analyst Ken Doctor.
The paper's growth comes as much of the traditional newspaper industry remains mired in a deep slump as readers migrate to digital platforms and advertising and subscription revenue declines.
Ryan's memo said the Post showed its value during the 2016 election campaign, bringing in more readers online even as it drew fire from the victorious Republican Donald Trump.
"The Washington Post shattered all traffic records over the past year, passing traditional competitors and the largest digital sites," the memo said.
"With monthly unique visitors pushing 100 million in the US alone and 30 million more from around the world, our traffic has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past year, extending the reach of Washington Post journalism to a broader national and global audience."
Subscription revenue has more than doubled in the past year, he added, with a 75 percent increase in new subscribers since January.
The Post has ramped up its technology under Bezos to allow its website to perform better, with improved analytics that gauge how readers are responding and deliver relevant advertising.
It has also made its articles more widely available through social network news services operated by Facebook and Google, and boosted its own social media efforts.
Ryan said earlier this year that the Post was now "a media and technology company" and that Bezos "has given us runway to experiment with new ways to engage with readers and the resources to expand our newsroom and our engineering team."

Growing number of Americans retiring outside the US in such nations as Taiwan, Japan and Germany

Dec 27, 2017

Growing number of Americans retiring outside the US
 


A growing number of Americans are retiring outside the United States.
 
In many cases, they're looking for a way to stretch their retirement income.
 
The percent of American retirees living abroad rose 17 percent between 2010 and 2015. All told, the Social Security Administration says there are just under 400,000 American retirees living elsewhere.
 
Countries they've chosen most often: Taiwan, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom.
 
Viviana Rojas, an associate professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says not speaking the language or knowing the culture may be a hurdle for retirees moving to another country such as Taiwan or Japan or Mexico.
 
Accessing health care also can be a challenge.
 
Olivia S. Mitchell, director of the Pension Research Council, says Medicare is not available to those outside the U.S.

In Taiwan, a Small Private High School Allowed a Controversial Cosplay-themed End of Year Assembly in an Outdoor Sports Ground on Campus and completely Out of View of the Public which Featured male and female Students Dressed in Nazi uniforms and Swastikas and one male Student giving the Nazi Salute which became a Focus on Social Media Posts in Taiwan

                                                                                                                                          

In Taiwan, a Small Private High School Allowed a Controversial Cosplay-themed End of Year Assembly in an Outdoor Sports Ground on Campus and completely Out of View of the Public which Featured male and female Students Dressed in Nazi uniforms and Swastikas and one male Student giving the Nazi Salute which became a Focus on Social Media Posts in Taiwan  

by Chris Horton, part-time stringer for the New York Times

BACKGROUND OF BLOGGER
http://www.gokunming.com/en/blog/poster/2/

 Chris Horton founded ''GoKunming'' in Communist China PRC in the spring of 2005, primarily out of frustration with the lack of up-to-date practical online information about Kunming and Yunnan. Chris was the site's editor and main contributor until early 2012   

 
Taiwan — In central Taiwan, a nation of 23 million people that is not part of Communist China, a private high school student cosplay-themed end of year assembly outdoors on a sports field  in which male and female students dressed as Nazi soldiers and carried swastika banners has created a storm of criticism among netizens and newspapers in one of Asia’s most open and democratic societies.
 
The privately-funded Hsinchu Kuang-Fu High School in Hsinchu City held the cosplay event , with the Nazi theme just one of several cosplay themes this year on display, as part of the school’s anniversary celebrations on Friday. The outdoor cosplay ''rally'' also featured non-moving SS-themed cardboard army tanks. The students at the local high school, which is not funded by the government, chose the theme, according to the Taipei Times.
 
Photographs of the event spread over the next few days in Taiwan [and overseas] through social media and news reports online, creating a backlash, with the diplomatic missions of Germany and Israel issuing letters of protest.
 
The episode resulted in the resignation of the school’s principal, Cheng Hsiao-ming, this week.
Cheng said that he took responsibility, adding that the primary issue was “our education’s problem. “It wasn’t necessarily a problem created by the students.”
 
In addition to the Israeli and German missions’ responses, the Orthodox Lubavitcher Taipei Jewish Center issued a statement expressing regret about “the use of Nazi imagery and logos by students in at a small  private high school in central Taiwan, as it reopens historical wounds suffered by Germans, Gypsies, Poles, Russian and Eastern European Jews.”
Photo of crude student-made NON MOVING cardboard SS army tank   

A non moving cardboard tank at the Hsinchu Kuang-Fu High School in Hsinchu City, Taiwan. Credit EBC, via Associated Press

Ross Feingold, chairman of the Jewish center, there are about 100 Jews living in Taiwan, most of them teachers and journalists.
 
“Certainly it’s not meant to be an act of anti-Semitism,” Feingold said. “Holocaust education is extremely limited here.”
 
The incident in Hsinchu is not the first incident in which Nazi references have offended Germans and Jews living in Taiwan.
 
In 1999, an advertisement for German-manufactured DBK space heaters in Taiwan featured a smiling Hitler with the caption, “Declare war on the cold front!” The next year, a restaurant with a concentration camp theme opened, closing weeks after it became a source of outrage.
 
In 2001, the at the time and even now governing Democratic Progressive Party created a television advertisement contrasting Hitler with John F. Kennedy and other leaders, which the party modified after protests from the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and others.
 
Officials at the school, which is private but receives subsidies from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, have said they will show their students movies such as “Schindler’s List” to better educate them on the atrocities of the Holocaust.
“A one-off showing of a movie is not a sustainable program,” Feingold said. “What is more sustainable is reaching out to the German and Jewish communities in Taiwan, many of whom have relatives who either served in Hitler's army as German soldiers or who died in or survived the Holocaust as Jews.”
 
----------------------------- 

Looking back at Cli-fi in 2016: Year in Review



Looking back at 2016: Year in Review
 
February 2016
 
 
ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater Minnesota launched the first-ever “Cli-Fi” or “climate fiction” book club, which was held leading up to the year's Big Read title, “The Grapes of Wrath.” The group read and discussed cli-fi novels that had climate change as a theme or a major factor in the plot.

Monday, December 26, 2016

''The Climate Rights Movement'' (set to start in Washington DC in mid-2017 ) Will be Similar to the Civil Rights Movement in spirit and possibilities

''The Climate Rights Movement'' (set to start in Washington DC in mid-2017 ) Will be Similar to the Civil Rights Movement in spirit and possibilities...

Who's on board and what are they planning? Stay tuned this page.

''1177 B.C.E.: The YEAR CIVILIZATION COLLAPSED'' a non fiction academic book by Eric Cline - Long before ''cli-fi'' came of age in the 21st century C.E.

bookjacket

1177 B.C.E:
The Year Civilization Collapsed

Long before ''cli-fi'' came of age in the 21st century C.E.

by Professor Eric H. Cline



Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 | ($17.97) | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780691140896
264 pp. | 6 x 9 | 10 halftones. 2 maps.
Add to Shopping CartAlso available as an audiobook
Reviews | Table of Contents
Prologue[PDF] pdf-icon
Google full text of this book:
 
A Q&A with Eric H. Cline
New edition available in paperback
Eric H. Cline, Seminars About Long-term Thinking




bookjacket

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.


Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. An active archaeologist, he has excavated and surveyed in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. His many books include From Eden to Exile: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Bible and The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction.

Reviews:
"The memorable thing about Cline's book is the strangely recognizable picture he paints of this very faraway time. . . . It was as globalized and cosmopolitan a time as any on record, albeit within a much smaller cosmos. The degree of interpenetration and of cultural sharing is astonishing."--Adam Gopnik, New Yorker [See full review http://bit.do/Cline-NY-Gopnik]
"A fascinating look at the Late Bronze Age, proving that whether for culture, war, economic fluctuations or grappling with technological advancement, the conundrums we face are never new, but merely renewed for a modern age."--Larry Getlen, New York Post [See full review http://bit.do/Cline-NYP-Getlen]
"Cline has created an excellent, concise survey of the major players of the time, the latest archaeological developments, and the major arguments, including his own theories, regarding the nature of the collapse that fundamentally altered the area around the Mediterranean and the Near East."--Evan M. Anderson, Library Journal [See full review http://bit.do/Cline-LibJourn-Anderson]
"Fresh and engaging."--Andrew Robinson, Current World Archaeology
"This enthralling book describes one of the most dramatic and mysterious processes in the history of mankind--the collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations. Cline walks us through events that transpired three millennia ago, but as we follow him on this intriguing sojourn, lurking in the back of our minds are tantalizing, perpetual questions: How can prosperous cultures disappear? Can this happen again; to us?"--Israel Finkelstein, coauthor of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
More reviews
Table of Contents:


When Canadian eco-thriller writer and essayist Nina Munteanu, author of ''WATER IS....'' gave Margaret Atwood a personal copy of "Water Is..." when she met her in Oakville Canada few months ago...

When Canadian eco-thriller writer and essayist Nina Munteanu, author of ''WATER IS...'' (see it on Amazon books page) when she  gave Margaret Atwood a personal copy of "Water Is..." when she met her in Oakville, Canada few months ago... and with Nina never thinking this NYT quote would ever happen, lo and behold, in the NEW YORK TIMES, year in review in the books section this week, it did happen and Dr Atwood is quoted as saying: [Googl nytimes.com for full page link]

Margaret Atwood, along with 100 other famous writers, was asked what books she was reading now in 2016 year end article in the NYT and she said:

''As many will be emphasizing fiction, history and politics, I chose my books instead from a still-neglected sector. All hail, elemental spirits! You’re making a comeback! “Water Is…,” by Nina Munteanu. We can’t live without it, so maybe we should start respecting it; this beautifully designed book by a limnologist looks at water from 12 different angles, from life and motion and vibration to beauty and prayer. ''

“The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World,” by Peter Wohlleben. Maybe Tolkien’s Ents are real after all? Read this and you’ll be wondering. And to go with it, “Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants,” by Richard Mabey. They’re better for you than you think, they hold the waste spaces of the world in place, and you can eat some of them.

''And, in honor of Ariel, air spirit of “The Tempest”: “Birds and People,” by Mark Cocker. Vast, historical, contemporary, many-levelled: we’ve been inseparable from birds for millenniums. They’re crucial to our imaginative life and our human heritage, and part of our economic realities. Time to pay attention to the nonhuman life around us, without which human life would fail.
I sent this quote and link to Nina today and she replied by email: "That's crazy wild. Thanks so much for noticing and sending to me. Looks like I'm in good company too. Wohlleben's #1 bestselling book about trees is spectacular and I am honoured to be mentioned alongside him. "

see www.nytimes.com