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From Taipei




I took these pictures in Taipei during the last weekend. Look at them from left to right.

The first sign was under a very tall tree. It caught my eyes because it seemed ridiculous. But then when I looked up and saw the tree it sort of made sense. Why do you think?

I took the second one at the Breeze's food court. It caught my attention because what it said seemed very strange. It seemed to me that besides the two cultures singled out all others were 異國. But this did not sound right (I mean, why is Japan not one of the 異國). I might just be over-interpreting it. Probably they take 異國 to mean all other foreign countries.

I took the third one at the cinema where I watched "Detachment" (excellent film IMHO). I found this notice, especially the part in quotation marks, difficult to understand. Do you know what it is about?




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The tree I'm thinking of has long, thin, hard round "leaves". When they fall it's kind of like the bamboo scene in House of Flying Daggers, except they break when they hit the ground. Scary stuff.

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The tree I saw was very tall and thin (think a thin royal palm) and had large leaves (see the picture on the sign). If a whole piece of those leaves falls from that height it could certainly be dangerous.

But as you can see below the sign there were many "normal" fallen leaves and they made the sign look ridiculous at first.

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Those leaves are fronds.


We have them all over southern California.


According to the article, when the palm trees die out, the Dept. of Water & Power aren't going to replace them.

Ours are mostly Mexican fan palms. Some date palms but no coconut palms.

The fronds always fall off whenever we have rain (usually only about 2 or 3 weeks total for the year) or a particularly windy day.

Then you have to navigate around them in traffic. One time I couldn't dodge one and it got lodged under my car's bumper. I drove into a parking lot and luckily it came off when I reversed. :)


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Wow. I had no idea leaves could be so dangerous.

[Edit] Now that I think about it, I should say that I had no idea falling leaves could be so dangerous just due to them falling. I'm familiar enough with holly and the razor-like leaves of sugar cane.

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電影片映演業 movie performance business (basically movie theatres)


Boilerplate contract regarding prohibition of bringing in external food

不得記載事項 Disallowed terms

Wow, that sounded really clumsy.

My first interpretation is that it is a customer protection law that disallows movie theatres from prohibiting customers from bringing their own food into the venue. Upon further inspection of the text below I see that the theatres are allowed to do so, but they must offer a full refund or exchange of the ticket and the customer can complain to the respective authorities.

I then googled further and found out what it is about.

First they have 電影片映演業禁止攜帶外食定型化契約 to prohibit some kinds of food (e.g. too hot / smelly) in cinemas.

Then they have 電影片映演業禁止攜帶外食定型化契約不得記載事項 because some theatres were greedy and applied the restrictions too liberally.

And since it is not clear enough, they have to write this sign

新聞局「電影片映演業禁止攜帶外食定型化契約不得記載事項」之解釋令 to explain it, leading to this confusing mess of a sentence.

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I'm still wrapping my head around the first sentence.

When I saw 不得禁止 my natural response is that it is saying something about "Cannot prohibit" something, but in order for that to work the sentence must be broken down like this.


"(Cinemas?) must post / exhibit / announce [purple part]"

That doesn't look too logical for something named 不得記載事項, so I tried another approach:

I tried to break it down this way so that 不得 and 禁止 refer to separate things.


"Cinemas cannot post / exhibit / announce [purple part]".

It seems more logical, but it doesn't look very grammatical now.

What do you think?

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I think that is one clumsy sentence. If I have to look at a sentence twice or even more times, probably it is not very well written.

My understanding is that it is an explanatory note on the "Clauses/Items not to be included in the standard/boilorplate contract prohibiting outside food in movie theatres" as specified by the now defunct Government Information Office. But the heading was not understandable if I had not read the bullets below.

PS - I agree the first bullet is problematic. It might be better to write it this way -


Which, I think, means that the food being the same as what is sold at the cinema is not a valid reason of prohibition. The food being smelly/ dangerous is, I suppose.

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I'm afraid I gave a wrong url in my comment.

Here is the correct one.


Coincidentally, there was a September 24, 2012 Los Angeles Times article about an art installation hoax utilizing under-watered palm trees.



The palms have come to symbolize both California and Florida. :)

It's a shame once they end their life cycle the Dept. of Water & Power aren't going to replace them.


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