Dirty Secrets of Emperor Sui Yang Di 隋炀帝

Founded by the Yang family in 581 AD, the Sui Dynasty briefly united China under Han Chinese rule – that was after a long period of fragmentation and domination by various minorities. The first emperor, Yang Jian or Sui Wen Di 隋文帝 and was widely described as relatively monogamous, workaholic and a controlling micro-manager. He […]

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Evil Schemes and Dirty Secrets of Tang Emperors 2

Emperor Tang Xuan Zong 唐玄宗 was beaming with pride as the last bricks at Xing Qing Palace were laid. Just before he moved in, he decided to consult his geomancer for an auspicious date to move into his new palace. After surveying the palace, the geomancer shook his head. “What is wrong, master?” Emperor Tang […]

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Remembering Li Ao 李敖

25 April 1935 – 18 March 2018 Branded as an intellectual narcissist and exhibitionist by his rivals and even his admirers, recently deceased Taiwanese writer Li Ao 李敖embraced controversy almost like no other writer in the world. Able to send out lawyer’s letters at the drop of a hat, Li Ao was incredibly eloquent, knowledgeable, […]

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Refuse To Behave – Chen Sheng 陈升

Chen Sheng 1988 Taiwanese songwriter Chen Sheng (Bobby Chen) 陈升 has once been dubbed the modern day Li Bai 李白- just as talented, just as rebellious, unworldly and insensitive to sociopolitical cues. As a result of his refusing to behave (or submit) and his somewhat idealistic approach to the business of pop music, the commercial […]

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Same Song Different Singers

Everybody can sing, just as everybody who is literate can write. But writing a novel is very different from writing a poem or a play or an essay or a newspaper article. You need a different set of skills and talent for each genre. That applies to singing too. Technically flawless singing is a bit […]

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What Did Sherlock Holmes Look Like?

After multiple rejections, a novella entitled A Study in Scarlet finally saw the light of publication in December 1887. That was only after its author, a struggling medical practitioner by the name of Arthur Conan Doyle, accepted an insulting fee of £25, selling all rights to the story to the publisher. Deemed a little short […]

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Wang Jie – Hero’s Tears

If you were a fan of Chinese pop during the early 1990s, you must have heard of Wang Jie 王杰, also called Wang Chieh or Dave Wang. He virtually took the Chinese music scene by storm with his powerful voice, melancholic songs and man on the street image. Wang Jie’s songs have very simple lyrics. […]

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Zhao Zi’s Art Of Negotiation

It was 221AD in China during the period of the Three Kingdoms. The ruler of the Shu Kingdom Liu Bei had refused to accept any terms for a peaceful settlement offered by the Wu Kingdom. War was inevitable as Liu Bei was bent on avenging Guan Yu who was executed by Wu soldiers after being […]

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Nominal Fanship – 蘇慧倫 Tarcy Su

Tarcy Su 蘇慧倫’s producer and I must have been living on different planets. When her albums were first released in the 1990s, I took no notice of her. That’s because her marketing team somehow found it prudent only to promote the main theme songs in her albums which were lively, bubbly jingles. Worst of all, […]

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Evil Schemes and Dirty Secrets of Tang Emperors 1

“Father! He has violated your harem!” Emperor Li Yuan 李渊 was only too familiar with his son’s attempts to frame his elder brother. On at least two occasions, he managed to see through the plot and avoid misjudging the Crown Prince, but strangely, he took Li Shimin’s 李世民 accusations seriously this time. He went pale […]

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