How Professors Spend Their Time

The semester will start in few days from now.

Are you wondering how professors are spending their working time?

Thanks to, here dear readers is the answer:




The last one is for maybe after I’m tenured…



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What’s About Taiwan Economy?

If you remember the presidential campaign in Taiwan, you must have in your mind how the “Taiwanese economy was bad“.

I posted earlier today HERE (my Forex blog) a quick commentary about Taiwanese economy without any partisan or political point of view (especially as a guest in this beautiful country, I don’t consider myself as authorized to get involved in the domestic politics).

So the point of view is purely from a financial economist’s one.

I just want to remind that the “so poor Taiwanese economy” shows that the real GDP rose 6.4% on the year-over-the-year basis on the last quarter of 2007 and the unemployment rate was not so bad (lowest since 7 years).

The good policy from the central bank helped to boost the capital inflows.

But now, Taiwan is facing the consequences of a global slowing down (except for some developing countries).

I do not think so that few hundred Chinese tourists per week will be the solution…

And I don’t think so that pushing to invest in China is good, especially that the investment environment in China deteriorated while investment risks increased for the first time this year, and nearly 10 percent of Taiwanese manufacturers in China expressed a willingness to return if the government would provide sufficient incentives, a report released 2 days ago (see HERE).

We are now very far away of the presidential campaign promises…


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A New Computer For The Army


Taiwan has succeeded in building a computer able to solve any strategic or tactical problem.

Military leaders are assembled in front of the new machine and instructed to feed a difficult tactical problem into it.

They describe a hypothetical situation to the computer and then ask the pivotal question: Attack or Retreat?

The computer hums away for an hour and then comes up with the answer:


The Taiwanese generals look at each other, somewhat stupefied.

Finally one of them submits a second request to the computer:


Instantly the computer responded:



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Taiwan: Do Not Expect Too Much

The American position concerning the Taiwanese participation in some international bodies is quite clear and steady, especially when we are talking about the WHA.

But what we are seeing now since 100 days in Taiwan is quite confusing.

The Taiwanese president Ma made many moves toward China and obviously he and his team still call it Mainland. The reason seems obvious.

As far as I know, Ma keeps repeating that the other side shows a lot of good willing, but I did not notice any…

This year, instead of seeking to become a member of the UN, the Ma administration decided to ask only for “meaningful participation” in the activities of UN auxiliary organizations.

Until now, Taiwan tried to become a member of the UN.

Ma and his administration decided to apply this time only to some auxiliary structures, and again, China (or Mainland according your point of view…) say no, repeating that Taiwan is part of China.

So what will be the next move? Apply to the right to handle the copy machines and coffee machines of the UN? It will be denied of course…

And then, apply to the right to take a picture of the building? I think this one could succeed… 🙂

By the way, what was the reaction of the presidential office after China put its veto? Simple: “…Oh, it was predictable…” but Ma administration still talks about Diplomacy truce and blah blah blah.

Not a very efficient way to protect the Taiwanese people interests…

Even US is wondering about the real position of Ma’s administration.

See for example HERE.

In the mean time, Taiwanese economy is getting sick. Where are the so ridiculous promises of Ma, as a candidate?

But they have a way (at least for now) to let Taiwanese people to think about something else: the former president’s case. All the controlled media are focusing on  it now, with the help of some prosecutors offices which are leaking some unfounded (it’s unfounded until evidence are provided and anyway, it’s not supposed to be leaked until the end of the investigation) news.

And obviously, investigation is only on one side. It doesn’t concern all the political spectrum…

Beside all the above stuff… I have some thoughts.

1- Blue side is obviously thinking about some kind (or full) reunification. Do they believe that China will authorize another political party or even share some power? Of course not. So what are the motivations?

2- What if USA sells modern and powerful weapons to Taiwan and then Taiwan give up its stance in favor of China? Simple… These weapons could be used by China…

Think about that…


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Work Out: For the Best or the Worst?

After a serious accident (multiple fractures, surgery and blah blah blah), I spent one year for recovering and re-education.

Since one month, I am back to work out (jogging, biking, hiking…).

The beginning was like hell, each muscle of my body asking for a longer vacation 🙂

Anyway, it’s getting better. From 10 minutes the first day, I am able to jog now about 30-40 minutes (roughly 5-6 kilometers). From a 10 push-up series, I use now a 50 push-ups series.

So… Yes… It’s getting better… Except… Last week-end I decided to push a little more my jogging. I started to feel pain on one leg, but anyway, I felt pain from the beginning, one month ago.

Fighting the pain made me improve my physical condition.

So I just decided to forget it, and finish my jogging target.

Result: since 2 days, I feel that I have needles in my knee…

I had some stuff to do yesterday so no way to take a rest.

I stayed home today so the pain is more acceptable. But I already made an appointment later to the hospital to check what is going on…

I am so pissed off and angry against myself.

I should stop before it was getting too serious…

Let’s hope it won’t be a big deal…

Anyway, I am back to my computer, being able to keep roughly a “seat-position”.

Time to check my blogs and comments 🙂


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Olympic Games and Age of Chinese Gymnasts: Shame on IOC

Just few hours ago, this morning, I posted HERE about the investigation into the age of Chinese female gymnast.

A lot of facts seems to prove she is under-aged.

Anyway, I concluded that I didn’t not believe that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will really investigate it even though, deep in my mind, I was still naive and hoped for a real investigation.

And now, just few hours later, the IOC concluded its investigation: everything is normal.

Move along. Nothing to see here…

It is really a big farce!

The “investigation” it ordered into whether some Chinese gymnasts were under the minimum age of 16 was concluded after just a few hours today.

The not-so stunning verdict: The Chinese are innocent.

Please move along, now. Nothing to see here.

“We believe the matter will be put to rest and there’s no question … on the eligibility,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. “The information we have received seems satisfactory in terms of the correct documentation – including birth certificates.”

While you slept, the IOC swept.

Sorry, the matter isn’t being put to rest no matter how many whitewash inspections are done. A real investigation does not take hours. It takes days or weeks or however long is necessary.

What exactly did they do except look at the same questionable info – government-issued passports – they had previously been presented? Did they ask He Kexin if she was 16, cross your heart and hope to die?

The Associated Press says the Chinese turned over information to the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on Thursday evening. It included the current and former passport, ID card and family residence permit for the double-gold medalist. All had the same and proper birth date.

That was enough for FIG, which by Friday morning had declared everything fine.

No word on the old websites, interviews with friends and families, a trip to the birth hospital or discovery of old school records. Nothing.

Perhaps this would have amounted to little and perhaps He and the others are, indeed, 16 – but this was nothing but the most ridiculous kind of propaganda.

A 12-hour investigation? Really? No one at the IOC or FIG has even the sense to think, “Perhaps we should at least pretend to care before simply clearing the gymnasts?”

The investigation by FIG was so fast word of its start didn’t make the Chinese government-controlled English newspaper China Daily. No news is good news.

This in the face of mounting evidence from multiple media and citizen investigations in America and England that showed more and more old registration forms, gymnastics websites and athlete logs that showed three of the six Chinese gymnasts used to list birth dates from 1993 and 1994, which would make them too young to compete at the Olympics.

In an effort to protect young athletes before their bones and muscles fully formed, FIG mandates that to compete in the Beijing Games a gymnast must be born in 1992 or before.

First came stories in The New York Times, The Associated Press and the Times of London that listed He’s birth date as a too-young Jan. 1, 1994. Then private citizens got involved. The latest was from a New York computer expert going by the name Stryde Hax who combed old Chinese documents on the web that found even more of the same.

Just last December government controlled media wrote stories about He calling her a 13-year-old “little girl” and a “star of the future.” The future became now when she showed up at the Olympics with a Chinese passport that claimed she was born Jan. 1, 1992.

There were also suspicions about two of her teammates. The birth date of Yang Yilin was listed on official national registration lists posted by the General Administration of Sport of China website for three years from 2004 to 2006 as a too young Aug. 26, 1993, according to the AP.

On her passport her birth date is Aug. 26, 1992.

Jiang Yuyuan’s birthday was Oct. 1, 1993, as recently as a registration list for a 2007 competition. On her passport she was born Nov. 1, 1991.

Perhaps the birth date of one gymnast could be confused one time, but half the team on multiple occasions? Considering 2000 Chinese bronze medalist Yang Yun later admitted on state television she was 14 that year, the IOC or FIG should have been all over this.

Instead, they did nothing until the USOC requested action. Then they just brushed it aside.

Having younger, and presumably smaller and more nimble athletes, can be a significant advantage in some gymnastics disciplines. Romania’s Nadia Comaneci scored seven perfect 10s in the 1976 Games when she was just 14, before FIG set the age limit.

This investigation isn’t fair to the sport of gymnastics, which will forever look suspiciously on the competition here. It isn’t fair to the United States, Romania and Russia, who all deserve to move up one spot on the medal stand if China used ineligible athletes.

And it isn’t fair to China, He and her teammates, who if innocent don’t deserve this to hang over their heads forever.

The IOC and FIG have never been about fair, though. They’ve been about kowtowing to the powerful and cashing the checks. They have so lost their way, have become so insulated by the power, they can’t even fathom no one is accepting a kangaroo court investigation.

Even the NCAA is smarter than that.



Thanks to Dan Wetzel.

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Taiwan Beer…


PHOTO: LEE LI-FA, TAIPEI TIMES (in Pingtung city)

What is more dangerous? Beer? Rat snake?

What’s about a drunken snake?



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