Thursday, October 30, 2003

Lovable old codgers attempt to re-take Chinese mainland

BEIJING
After a series of hilarious mishaps and adventures, a group of retired soldiers from Taiwan attempted to retake mainland China on Wednesday. Although all five of the men are over 70 years old, they come from all branches of the military. Zhang Jing-you, the leader of the motley group, is a former army colonel, while the others come from navy, marine and air force backgrounds.
“It beats sitting around the old folks home watching TV,” former air force Hua Feng-guo, 78, told reporters on the road to Beijing. “We got together a while back and decided that if we didn’t do it, nobody would. Plus, I was getting tired of all of those furniture commercials.”
The group’s madcap journey from an retirement home in Sanchong to the Imperial City has included calling in old favors from old friends, the setting up of a mock training center in the basement, and a good deal of hacking on the part of one of the group’s member’s grandson.
“Granddad asked me if I thought I could wreak havoc on the mainland Internet system, and I was all, like, cool, but I do that anyway,” Li Ming-zhi, 17, said. He is the grandson of Li Tan-zhang, a former Navy Commander and a protégé of Zhang’s.
The younger Li managed to help the group infiltrate the highest reaches of the mainland military structure, which was already distracted by China’s latest efforts to launch a man into space.
Reactions in the U.S. were muted. “We wish these gentlemen all the best in their efforts. Aww, they’re so cute,” U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said at a press conference at the White House as he watched a video of the group tumbling around on a makeshift training course. “In any case, they don’t seem to be violating the ‘One China’ policy, so we don’t actually have a problem with it.”


Former KMT spy expresses disdain for magician’s act

Guo: "You know those people don’t really disappear, right?"

TAIPEI
Guo Yu-jing, 62, scoffed at world-renowned magician David Copperfield on Monday after seeing on of his shows on TV. “That guy didn’t disappear,” Guo, who served as a KMT spy for thirty years, said. “You want to make someone disappear, I can help you. Not this fake. God, just look at his hair.”
Guo has made between 50 and 70 people disappear over the course of his career, although the exact number is classified. His methods, while including straightforward assassination, are also little known, but may or may not concern suffocation, drops from great heights, and large amounts of bean paste.
“A master can’t reveal his secrets,” Guo told NFRP reporters on Sunday. “But at least when I make people go away, you can be sure they’ll stay away. Somehow I wonder if the same could be said of Mr. Copperfield’s subjects.”
“He’s annoying, but I don’t think he’s worth getting rid of just yet,” the former spy added looking through a small black booklet.

TOP STORY

Taipei 101 readies for a new year's launch

Spaceship nears completion

 

-President Chen vows to put a Taiwanese on the moon by Chinese New Year

-Beijing said to be 'unconcerned' by space challenge from across the strait.

TAIPEI
After losing the race to put a man into orbit to rival China, not to mention the US and Russia, Taiwan doubled its efforts to complete its spacecraft, the ‘Taipei 101’, in time to put a Taiwanese astronaut on the moon by February of 2004, according to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian’s address on Friday to the Aviation and Space Industry Development.
“There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet,” President Chen stated. “That’s our job, to put it there. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why hook up free cable. Why test new motorcycles' exhaust and let 50cc scooters off the hook? Why come up with a useless Romanization system like Tongyong?”
“To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight,” the president continued. “We have had our failures, like the 3/31 earthquake (who knew something like that would happen?), but so have others, even if they do not admit them…COUGHChinaCOUGH.”
“Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, ‘Because it is there.’ Well, like a cable TV line hanging outside our window, space is there, and we're going to hook it up, and the moon and the planets are there…just imagine a ‘Little Taipei’ on the moon!”
The spacecraft is composed of eight stages supporting the command and landing modules, both located underneath a clever design that may at first be questionable in aerodynamic terms but will actually increase lift when the vessel reaches the upper reaches of earth’s atmosphere. Supporting Taipei 101 is a launch facility located in the relatively sparsely populated Xinyi District.
Most Taipei residents had assumed prior to the announcement that Taipei 101 was destined to become yet another office building/shopping mall full of women’s clothing stores, but 90% of those polled in a recent survey agreed that a spaceship would make much more sense.


LIFESTYLE

Taipei woman achieves pure whiteness

TAIPEI
23-year-old Chen Yi-zhen reached her life-long goal of pure whiteness on Friday, according not only to news sources but also the national meteorological service, which spotted Chen on its satellite scan of the island late last night.
Roughly 80% of women in Taipei have a similar goal, and spend billions each year in pursuit of whitening their skin in order to seem more attractive, but Chen is the first to actually achieve pure, unadulterated whiteness. Her co-workers were both dismayed and surprised to discover the beams of pure whiteness coming from her cubicle. “I just know she’s going to get that promotion now,” Zhuang Shu-fen, who sits across the hallway, told reporters.

Chen Yi-zhen

Chen had been using various skin-whitening products, including Pond’s, Clorox and Industrial Waste® Brand creams, but pure whiteness eluded her for years until she hired self-described ‘skin genius’ Dr. Arkady Malovich, formerly the staff surgeon of a Siberian prison camp as well as special guest on the Regis and Kathy Lee Show on Lifetime. Chen then allowed herself to become the subject to Malovich’s ‘relatively tried and true’ experimental procedures. From then it was only a matter of months before the office worker’s dream of having literally white skin came true.

“Of course, Ms. Chen’s case is a success,” Malovich told reporters. “But I wouldn’t stand too close to her, if you know what I mean. Some things have to be admired from afar….you know, they aren’t so pretty close up.”
Chen herself could only repeat, in what seemed to be a slightly delirious voice, “I’m white! I’m white! I’m white!”


SCIENCE

Scientists point to study finding 97% of beautiful women in deep denial of serious attraction to scientists

BOSTON
After literally years of rigorous scientific research, scientists have discovered that a vast majority of attractive young women are in serious denial of their deep attraction to scientists.
“This study is a real breakthrough, in that it has finally shed light on what has turned out to be a large and widespread problem,” head scientist Mark Wofield told reporters on Friday. “Now that the issue has been identified, measures need to be taken to cure these women and let them return to their normal lives.”
The study involved hundreds of women aged between 18 and 35, each one chosen by the team of experts in charge of the study, which included interviews and the occasional dinner and a movie. Afterwards, a shocking 97% of the test subjects were found to be in ‘complete denial’ of their feelings for scientists.
“A mental health issue on this level is not something to be taken lightly, “ bioengineer William MacDonald said as he went over the figures again and again to check for errors. “Can you imagine the tortured lives these women lead? I know I can.”


FASHION CORNER

Machete paraphernalia for scooters popular this fall

TAICHUNG
Sheaths, sharpening stones, cords, grips, and many other kinds of machete-related merchandise has become the latest trend in Central Taiwan, according to the Taichung Consumer Report Association’s trade report issued in October.
Although the traditional ‘fruit knife’ is a traditional favorite due to its size and the ease of purchase at 7-Elevens island-wide, upscale decorated knives are becoming more and more popular, as well as the necessary accessories such as matching sheathes and cords to tie them conveniently to your scooter handlebars or next to the seat for easy use while riding.
Stores along Zhonggang Road have started enlarging their machete selections, and on weekends shoppers come from all around to find a weapon that fits not only their scooters, but their personality as well. “We have the large, notched knives with blood channels and rings for extra damage, but we only recommend those for larger scooters,” store manager Elaine Lu told NFRP reporters. “If you’re on a Dio or something similarly small, I would recommend something a little more subtle, such as this ‘Hello Kitty’ machete.” Lu then held up a machete with Hello Kitty figures ingrained on the side. “They double as blood-letting holes which, unless your ride is a particular shade of red, could come in handy. And nobody will able to call you unfashionable!”


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