It feels great to get your hands on a brand new computer, but have you ever wondered what happens to your old machine after you dispose of it? Most old computers in Taiwan end up in incinerators or at old computer yards, where they waste away for a few extra years until they end up in incinerators anyway. Some parts can be recycled, some cannot. Only a fraction of them gets repurposed or reused.
The mission at Cinecore Foundation is to fix up and deliver those old machines to the disadvantaged communities around the world, especially those in Africa. Cinecore is boosting digital literacy by providing people with access to the very computers that you, and our society as a whole, often sentencing them to death in flames of the incinerator, when they are still able to Make a difference and donate your old computer to us, now!
If you have upgraded your digital devices recently, don’t throw the old one in the trash even if it might be broke or seem like no one can use it. Cine core may still be able to fix the device or use it for parts in repairing other devices. Tablets cellphones and computers are more useful recycled than thrown out.
Cinecore is trying to bring digital literacy to disadvantaged children and help those children improve their prospects in the digital age. If children can develop their digital skills they can help not only themselves but their communities, too. They will more easily be able to access information that can benefit their lives and may even lead to innovative solutions for problems specific to their communities.
So don’t delay, don’t throw away! Help disadvantaged kids today!
With only a few days left of 2020, a tumultuous and transformative year, we speak to some local musicians who are going to be making waves in 2021. In Taiwan, one place that is safe from COVID-19, people can still enjoy live music and performances. Hopefully, you can see some of these musicians perform next year.
Hailing from the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) and based in Hualien, new father Youguey has been making music in Taiwan for a while. So what’s new? With his latest release Amen, Youguey’s short and sweet rap promotes his individuality. A message for himself and others, to take pride in who you are.
When asked about his plans for next year, he told the Taiwan Observer that, “I’m going to release 26 songs, that’s two songs per month. The first one, Siempre, will be out on January 15th”. Damn! That’s three albums of music in a year. We’re looking forward to a ton of music from Youguey in 2021 and until then, you can listen to Amen on Soundcloud and watch the music video on Youguey’s YouTube channel.
Singer, poet, model. Is there anything Angie can’t do? Angie has been performing all over Taiwan since she moved here from the US. In her most recent song Treat You Right, Angie considers her biggest lesson from 2020; to treat herself right. If you don’t treat yourself right, who will?
So what’s coming up for Ange in 2021? She told us that, “I will release a music video for my new single: Treat You Right. I’m also recording an EP, which should be out by the end of 2021. I’ll continue to collaborate with other artists, like Rolhensha, and perform throughout the year”. Enjoy listening to Treat You Righthere.
Brand new to the island, Moodi from Tennessee, is ready to bring his music from the US to Taipei. Being so fresh, Moodi hasn’t had the opportunity to perform in Taiwan yet, but we’re excited about his debut next year. While in lockdown, he wrote and produced his latest EP, 2fold.
When asked about his plans for 2021, Moodi said, “I released and made a lot of music in 2020, but I want to write new music, and explore new possibilities as an artist in a new place!” You can access 2fold and the rest of his music from 2020 here.
This November 21st the Dragons will gather to pass judgement on five daring entrepreneurs and funding is the goal.
The Dragons in this case are experienced entrepreneurs and investors who will lord over five hopefuls during the fifth annual Dragons’ Chamber. A pitch event for foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan much like the hit shows Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den
Co-organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and long term foreign entrepreneur Elias Ek and his company Enspyre as well as MUSA Trademark, Reach To Teach and Anemone Ventures, Dragons’ Chamber was founded to give foreign entrepreneurs a platform for exposure and funding in Taiwan.
Foreign entrepreneurs are currently invited to apply for the 2020 Dragons’ Chamber via their website. Qualified applicants will be invited to present their business plans to a vetting panel who pride themselves on giving raw, honest feedback. The final five teams will then go through several more steps of feedback and revisions before getting on the stage at the Dragons’ Chamber big stage on November 21st. The event is taking place during the annual Meet Taipei, Taiwan’s largest startup community event which in 2019 saw 460 exhibiting startups and more than 26,000 attendants.
Why pitch at Dragons’ Chamber Taiwan?
“It is always hard to start a business but doing it in a foreign country is doubly so,” says Elias Ek. “At Dragons’ Chamber the entrepreneurs get honest feedback that helps them clarify their strategies. We also wanted to create a platform that put the spotlight on what foreign entrepreneurs in Taiwan are achieving.”
The 2019 Dragons’ Chamber winner Monster Foods CEO Alex Wagner says, “The most rewarding part of the experience was having the opportunity to sit down and speak with professionals that were willing to give honest and constructive feedback. Sometimes when you build something yourself, without much business experience, it’s hard to know if you are doing the right thing. Having this opportunity has really given me confidence in our future. If you are thinking about making a pitch this is definitely an experience that will help you grow. “
While the mentorship and exposure are the most important take-aways from the event, the teams are also competing for about 250,000 worth of products, services and cash donated by the sponsors.
If you are running or planning to start a business and at least one of your co-founders are a foreign resident in Taiwan, apply for Dragons’ Chamber today to help take your company to the next level.
Today, August 30th, 2020, a three year old girl was wrapped up in the end of a kite tail and ended up flying several meters into the air as the kite took off.
The incident took place at the Hsinchu City International Kite Festival at around 3:40pm in the afternoon near the Nanliao Harbor.
While preparign to launch a kite, several revelers were standing close to watch the kite take off. As the kite is launched strong winds kicked in and whipped the tail in such a way that the little girl was able to get entangled in the tail. The winds being very strong picked the little girl up a flung her high in the air.
Those watching started screaming and gasping at the sight and the kite was quickly brought to the ground where several onlookers grabbed the little girl out of the air and got her safely back on the ground.
The girl suffered no serious injuries after the incident except a few bruises and small lacerations. However one can imagine how traumatizing that must have been for a small child. Luckily she came out physically unharmed for the most part.
The Hsinchu City International Kite Festival was suspended for the time being. An investigation to the incident is underway and the festival will only reconvene after it has concluded.
Holger Chen, known by some as Taiwan’s Joe Rogan, was shot and wounded three times outside his fitness center in Linkou, New Taipei this morning at around 2 am. He was rushed to the Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for treatment where he underwent surgery for his wounds. The surgery lasted 6 hours and he is now in stable condition. He will be in the hospital for about a week.
The suspect surnamed Liu shot Chen, in the calf, in the thigh and in the arm.(Update: Two bullets hit Chen causing three wounds. One shot went through his arm and into his thigh, one went into his calf.) He got into a taxi and left the scene of the crime. However he turned himself in to the police less than an hour after the incident. He handed over a gun with 5 bullets to the police. He confessed to the crime but police couldn’t immediately question him due to his request for a lawyer.
Immediately after the incident Chen went live on Facebook, having one of his staff hold the camera for him. In the video he is sprawled out on the ground in pain. At one point he can be heard saying ”take care of my wife, my kids, and also my mom” and wailing in pain. Soon paramedics arrived to take Chen to hospital.
The suspect is alleged to have harassed Chen previously. The previous alleged incident was one where the suspect came to Chen’s fitness center and was touching Chen on the chest and arms, to which Chen threatened to sue him for millions if he didn’t stop and didn’t apologize. Chen also went on to talk about the incident in a live broadcast.
The taxi that the suspect left in was the same one he arrived in. The taxi driver was questioned and released after giving his statement. It is believed the driver had no idea about what was going to happen. The driver gave no statement to the press after leaving the police station.
Update: The former New Power Party chairman, Huang Kuo-chang, uploaded this CCTV footage to Facebook showing the moment of the attack on Holger Chen.
US actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently asked for pictures of Taiwan for a project on his website, hitRECord.org, in a post to his Facebook page. Netizens have shared the post over 4,000 time and it has garnered over 21,000 reactions.
The photo he shared was a picture of the 2016 Taoyuan Lantern Festival in Taiwan, highlighting hundreds of red hanging lanterns above people’s heads.. The photo was originally taken by @kikishen and was shared as an example for people to post their own pictures of Taiwan for the project he on his site.
The post has caused quite a hub bub on social media. So much so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs chimed in to praise the actor for his interest in Taiwan and also saying that “…he spoke to the media praising Taiwan’s #Coronavirus-fighting prowess.” MOFA also called for people to upload their own photos for the project on the site.
HitRECord is a platform for creators to find collaborators or make content directly on the site together. Contributors to projects that get monetized are able to share some of the profit from the venture. However Gordon-Levitt warns in his “HitRECord and money” that this isn’t going to be a way to make a living. Nevertheless its a great opportunity for anyone looking to fin projects to contribute to.
Taiwan’s famous “Pokemon Go Grandpa” has upgraded his set up yet again. Mr. Chen, in his seventies, has now got a staggering 64 phones and space on his bike for over 70 phones. All of which are running the Pokemon Go mobile game.
The latest images were uploaded to Facebook. One poster captions the post with “The uncle has no limits since his Asus sponsorship.” Mr. Chen since going viral in 2018 became a brand ambassador for Asus and keeps adding more phones to his bike.
Attached to the front of his bike you can see a basket with the Asus ZenFone branding on it and a rack of mostly Asus Smartphones. This is a great partnership for Asus and they sure are getting their money’s worth considering the number of times this story has gone viral. Every time he adds more phones and his set up gets more awe inspiring, people want to know about it. It surely caught my attention and the attention of over 13,000 people in just over an hour in a single Facebook group!
Many in the comments are asking “Is it safe?” “Can the uncle see the road?”. Legitimate concerns seeing how large his set up has grown. From just a few phones on his bike to over 60 at a time now.
This begs the question: How large can his set up get? Maybe we will see him evolve again or may this is now his final form? We will have to wait and see.
In 2018 Chen first went viral for having 11 phones. Nintendo Soup has been keeping track of his upgrades and in January 2019 reported him as having 21 phones. June 2019 they reported he had 30 phone, in October of 2019 he had 45 phones. Now he has 64 phones and counting.
Note: Original Facebook post was deleted, here is another.
Local internet personalities, the Wackyboys, have released a new, longer version of their original blackface clip, which surfaced two weeks ago. The extended video, uploaded to their Facebook page and official YouTube channel, is almost 11 minutes long – fully edited with graphics and sound effects.
Soon after receiving backlash for their first video, which featured themselves in blackface imitating a popular meme of Ghanaian men dancing with a coffin, they removed it from their Facebook page. They also deleted photos from their Instagram account.
In the most recent video published on June 15th, they can be seen getting dressed, putting on make-up, and heading out to the streets. They asked several pedestrians to join them in the dance, and followed others around with their prop coffin.
Being a nuisance is not the problem here, though. Their use of blackface is the issue. Some of those who took part in a discussion regarding the first blackface incidenttalked about how we should give them a chance to learn and grow from their mistakes. Many were happy that they had chosen to delete their posts, and had issued apologies to those who spoke out via private messages. Those same people have reached out to me again, and this time, they are overcome by even greater disappointment and anger.
Several comments on the video are calling out the group for racism. One commenter called the video “messed up.” One posted a variant of the “That’s Racist” meme. Some tried to explain the situation, as many others had done before. Another commented: “This is discrimination. This is not entertainment…” and attached a link to an Apple Daily article about blackface. Another referenced the previous incident, and then said: “…At a time when we are fighting against all the injustices we have endured, you choose to make a mockery of us as black people? I don’t care how funny, or amusing the original video is, you could have done your skit/video without the use of blackface…”
Last time around, I said that these are times to educate, and urged people not to outright cancel them. This time, I can’t understand the reasoning. They had the chance to learn from their mistakes. They even went as far as to delete photos and videos. However, yet another video has been posted, this time longer and fully edited, meaning they had time to think about it, but chose to put up the video anyway.
BlackLivesMatter protests are currently unfolding in the United States and other parts of the world, including one in Taipei that we covered just a few days ago. These protests were sparked by the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others. Bearing this in mind, the Wackyboys’ decision to post this new video is particularly insensitive, especially since people have already tried to educate them on the history behind blackface, as well as the discrimination the black community faces on a daily basis.
The Black Lives Solidarity Rally this afternoon, June 13th, saw hundreds of demonstrators gather in the 2/28 Peace Park in Taipei. The rally was held in solidarity with all those demonstrating in the United States and around the world. Many demonstrators were from the expat community in Taiwan and the rally was held in English and Mandarin.
Demonstrations like these have popped up all over the world showing support for Black Lives Matter sparked by the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others. Speakers at the rally read off a list of names of people killed by the police in the United States, urging all to “Say Your Names”.
Musical performances, spoken word, and moments of silence were observed at the rally. Speakers gave insight into the systemic racism in the United states, higher incarceration rates for African Americans, reduced educational opportunities and more. They also touched on discrimination against aboriginals in Taiwan.
One moment of silence observed was for 8:46. This was the amount of time Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd. Another moment was taking a knee in a show of protest against police brutality.
There was a police presence at the rally, notably without riot gear or excessive numbers. They felt like peacekeepers and observers of a peaceful demonstration. Freedom of speech was well represented in Taiwan today.
Organizers made it clear ahead of time that this was not a political rally. So foreigners didn’t have to worry about getting in any sort of trouble for joining the rally.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic large gatherings have been restricted in Taipei. Last week saw the easing of some of those restrictions, particularly for gatherings over 500 people in outdoor spaces. Taiwan has seen only 443 cases and 7 deaths, and has gone 2 months without a local transmission, meeting the requirements for easing of restrictions. Organizers said they had the required permits from the police for the rally.
Something that struck me at the end of the rally was when the speaker asked us to tell the person standing next to us what we were going to do, a concrete action we were going to take, after today. Immediately a conversation was sparked. A conversation that hopefully moved people to act even if in just a small way.
Some weeks ago the Director General of the WHO (World Health Organization) Dr. Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus accused Taiwan of racial attacks against him. He even went as far as to say the Taiwanese government was complicit in this racist campaign against him by not denouncing it and even encouraging it. Taiwan denied this. Following these baseless accusations, he failed to provide evidence of his claims. My guess is that his Chinese handlers showed him a few posts floating around there on the internet and told him they came from Taiwan. Also, he felt personally attacked because a petition to have him resign as the head of the WHO, for his many failures, had been launched by someone in Taiwan. The petition had garnered over a million signatures by the time it was closed by the creator, Osaka Yip. I signed that petition and I hope you did too.
Only the problem for him, yet again, is that his words have come back to bite him. In the same week that he was chastising Taiwan with the now infamous phrase, “This attack came from Taiwan” (which had a great hashtag associated with it ,#ThisAttackCameFromTaiwan), China’s government instituted a controversial and entirely racist crackdown of African migrants living in China. Restaurants refused to serve black people, landlords evicted African tenants and left them homeless, Africans were being forcibly tested for the coronavirus, and stores refused them entry. The situation got well out of control with many African nations, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and more raising the issue with Chinese authorities. Some nations, like Nigeria, even summoned Chinese ambassadors and demanded they respond to the allegations. In hindsight, it seems like it was mostly for show, as many didn’t go further than that. But we’ll see.
Too much reading? Watch the video!
Yet Dr. Tedros has remained silent on the issue. Almost as if he isn’t allowed to speak of it, akin to the time Dr. Bruce Aylward pretended not to hear questions about Taiwan and hung up on an RTHK journalist when she repeated her questions…only to answer a follow-up call and insist that he had already spoken about China…which Taiwan is not a part of.
He was quick to condemn the Taiwanese and our authorities for the petition and what he perceived as a racist virtual attack towards Africans from Taiwan, which he claimed was sparked by their discontent with his directorship of the WHO. At the same time, he has kept silent when an actual racist attack is being perpetrated by the Chinese government. The hypocrisy is astounding!
Let me see if I can offer some explanation as to why this could be. We already know how the Chinese government operates in the UN and other international organizations on all matters regarding Taiwan. And how they constantly bully or as they would say “use the carrot and stick method” to push their “One China” propaganda on the world. To better understand this situation, we can take a closer look at Tedros himself.
He was the Minister of Health for Ethiopia, his home country, from 2005 to 2012, during which he had been accused of covering up cholera outbreaks in the country. However, he was also praised for helping in sharply reducing the mortality rate of AIDS and TB patients, and helping to open up thousands of new health centers and 30 new medical universities(DW report). He then became the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, serving from 2012 to 2016. The following year, he was appointed WHO Director General, and has held the position since.
An important bit of context to note is that Ethiopia’s current government is headed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, who came into power in 1991 after overthrowing the previous regime, the “People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia”; the Front has held the seat of power ever since. They considered themselves to be Marxist-Leninist until 1990 when they rebranded and began to operate under a revolutionary democracy Tigray nationalism framework. This was after the fall of the Soviet Union, when “communism” became less popular.
The reason for breaking out his resume and talking about his government is to show that he undoubtedly made friends with Chinese government officials during his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He must have spent a great deal of time with them, seeing as China is the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) partner they have in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of the newly-approved foreign projects in the East African country during 2019, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Report 2020. This is the 4th largest investment China has made in all of Africa. The FDI inflow amounted to $2.5 billion USD in 2019 and 3.3 billion in 2018. That’s a lot of money.
It isn’t hard to see how China would be able to pull the strings on Tedros, as they often threaten to hurt the economies of countries that don’t regurgitate their propaganda. This might also help explain why he praises China and sticks to the CCP narrative as much as possible. He doesn’t really have a choice, does he? And who knows – maybe he has personal investments that could be in jeopardy if he rubs the CCP the wrong way, but there is no way to prove that definitively at this time. The CCP, however, will keep investing in Ethiopia, as it is the home to the African Union and it pays to have influence in the country that houses the political center of Africa.
To conclude, Dr. Tedros Adhamon Ghebreyesus is a massive hypocrite and destroys his own credibility daily with his actions as the Director General of the World Health Organization, and doesn’t need help from Taiwan and its nationals to do so. He is quite capable of finding ways to prove his hypocrisy all on his own. This incident is just one of many and more to come.
by Vincent Lovell
Portion of the cover photo was taken from artists @nagee