Costco Taiwan Beef Scandal

Of the many food scandals in Taiwan’s recent history, the scandal surrounding Costco Taiwan butchers’ practices with USDA beef is the most recent. Taiwan has had a number of food scandals in recent years, ranging from the food scandal of 2014 to the food scandal of 2013 to the food scandal of 2011.  Basically, if you […]

“It’s Our Culture” – Taiwan’s Go-To Excuse

Every culture has it’s throwaway language.  The English language, for example, explains away many things with the word “Whatever.”  Taiwanese often use the Chinese phrases “There is no reason why” and “There is no solution” in similar ways.  They all essentially mean “I’ve got nothing for you; I’m done talking about this.”  But when it comes […]

The TSA Doesn’t Care About Passenger Safety

Take even a casual glance at American airport security and it’s clear that the TSA doesn’t care about passenger safety.  Even the name “TSA” stands for “Transportation Security Administration,” having nothing to do with travelers and having everything to do with the objects that transport them; their behavior reflects this through the enigmas that are American Airport Security Checkpoints. For […]

Cool Presidential Portraits

I’ve always been a fan of cool presidential portraits. DeviantArt.com has long-been a source of cool artwork, and work by user “SharpWriter” is no exception. One series he works on is basically various fantasy presidential portraits. Without further ado, here they are (click to enlarge) Cool Presidential Portraits               […]

Red States and Blue States: It Was Not Always Thus

I hear a lot of people talking about red states and blue states, often speaking of them as if it’s a set-in-stone phenomenon.  Unfortunately, because American History taught in high school often glosses over 20th Century History (especially the political side), many people don’t have a clue what really went on over the last 100 […]

Bystro Taiwan – Best Restaurant in Taichung

Bystro Restaurant Grill is the absolute best restaurant in Taichung.  [EDIT: was the best – they are now gone]  For me, it’s not just the best restaurant in Taichung, or even Taiwan: it is my favorite restaurant in the world.  And I have my reasons.  The husband/wife team of Patrick and Anita really have it […]

Trying to Better Understand SEO as it Relates to My Content

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I do a lot of compiling/analysis of data.  Usually, it’s not directly related to me, personally: today, it is. I have my blog, which you’re reading, as well as my YouTube Channel.  Feel free to check it out. My blog has been active since May of 2011, but […]

Walmart Syndrome: Why Americans Don’t Recognize Internet Censorship

If you ask the average net-savvy American about internet censorship, they’ll often reference the Epitome of Internet Censorship on our planet: The People’s Republic of China.  The PRC blocks so many sites, it’s freaky.  We all know how things like Facebook and Twitter and YouTube are blocked, but they often block benign sites, too (like […]

An Easy Way To Understand The USA’s Budget

Let me give you an easy way to understand the USA’s budget by comparing their numbers to something more familiar to you. Here’s the numbers regarding the 2012 US income/budget/debt:But that’s not easy to understand and appreciate. Because it just looks like such an enormous amount of money. So how about we remove some zeros and […]

My First Ride In A Police Car

I was driving north on WenXin Lu, Monday, August 20, 2012, at 10:45am, on my scooter.  Coming off the traffic light at Daye Lu, heading towards Dalong Lu, I attempted to merge right (from the right-hand lane into the scooter lane).  I felt something hit the right rear of my scooter and turned my head to see […]

Caught With My Pants Down

Taiwan has a pretty significant amount of earthquakes.  Most of them are pretty mild, but usually I can feel one or two each month – just enough to notice I’m not dizzy and that the room is, in fact, vibrating.  But every now and then, something a little bigger comes along, and you’re faced with the […]

Traffic, Shopping Carts, And Saving Face

It has always fascinated me that a culture so aware of public perception can also be so completely self-absorbed.  In Taiwan, there is a great emphasis on “saving face,” and yet, it only applies to certain facets of life.  I have yet to fully grasp the concept, but I have made some observations. Generally-speaking, Taiwanese people prefer […]

Say Cheese Restaurant Review – Taichung City, Taiwan

I am fortunate to live on the outskirts of “Little Europe,” here in Taichung.  I have the best of both worlds – close enough to access the coolest part of the city while at the same time living in a relatively quiet and relatively affordable apartment.  But the best part about my neighborhood are the […]

How Carrefour in Taiwan Hates Foreign Customers

While the people of Taiwan are often the nicest and warmest in the world, their cultural indoctrination leads to a dependence on bureaucracy, often to the point where people are unable – or unwilling – to make any decision without it being written as law or being directly authorized by a superior.  As a culture, […]

The Reality of Living In Taiwan: An Introduction

Living abroad in a land where I don’t speak the language very well, questions abound and answers are not forthcoming.  It’s my own fault, obviously; you should become literate in the language of the place you are in, not simply as good manners, but also as common sense.  What happens when you need to find […]

Waking Up With Tears In My Eyes

I awoke from a dream…a combination of things I have in my head.  My stress level in recent months has been extreme, and it’s catching up to me.  I haven’t slept well since 2011.  This morning I woke up in tears in my eyes, after having them in a highly-emotional nightmare, after addressing a great […]

How MPAA Ratings Work – Written September 24, 2000

In the United States of America, there is a rating system for motion pictures that is becoming increasingly out of date. The Motion Picture Association of America (M.P.A.A.) rates every movie that is in the United States with one of six ratings: “G,” “PG,” “PG-13,” “R,” “NC-17,” and “X.” To learn what these ratings mean, […]