A: My elder brother had a toy soldier called “Man of War.” It had a button on the back of the head. When you slid the button left and right, it would change the direction the soldier was looking.
B: We had one of those, too. And I had a monster called “Stretch-o” made of green rubber covering a malleable material: you could stretch its limbs out really far, but they would always slowly return to the original shape and length.
A: That sounds cool. I would have liked one of those, too.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons 照片：維基共享資源
B: It wasn’t great, to be honest. It was supposed to be a formidable foe, but the material was so malleable the legs couldn’t take the weight of the body. If you stood it up straight, it would gradually slink down to the floor.
A: That doesn’t sound very formidable to me. If it ever attacked you in a dark alley, you could just wait for it to fall over.
（Paul Cooper, Taipei Times / 台北時報林俐凱譯）
The suffix “-o” is often added to the end of the name of a comic character with special powers. The name itself often summarizes the character’s ability, for example “Magneto” in the X-men Marvel Comics franchise.
A: With egg fried rice, do you stir-fry the egg first or the rice? Or do you stir-fry them together? B: First stir-fry the egg, I think. My mother would first put the beaten egg into the wok, fry it quickly until half done, and then put in the rice, like that. A: Wow, when you stir-fry the rice, you wield that spatula like a real pro! I never expected you were this good. B: Ha, and now we can throw in the fried onion and garlic, and then add the leftover shredded pork and prawns from yesterday. A:
All of Taiwan’s counties and cities have been starting, stage by stage, to make vaccinations available to eligible senior citizens, but some of those seniors have been passing up the chance to get inoculated. One person posted a message online, saying that an elderly person in his family was worried about possible side effects after vaccination and thought that the vaccine might be too much for her aging body to take, so she had decided not to get vaccinated. However, everyone in her family was very worried, so he was posting this message to ask other people’s advice. This post
A: I just got off the phone to my younger brother. He’s dreading the next few weeks of staying at home because of the pandemic. He’s worried he’ll go out of his mind with boredom. B: Right. Put your thinking cap on. Let’s brainstorm some interesting things to do during the partial lockdown and then send him our favorite ones. A: OK. Number one: read a book. B: Maybe think of something more imaginative? A: 我剛跟我弟通過電話，他說因為疫情的關係得要待在家幾個禮拜，讓他怕得要命，擔心自己會無聊得瘋掉。 B: 好吧，那你好好想想，我們一起腦力激盪一下，看看有什麼有趣的事可以在半封城的時候做，然後把最好的點子告訴他。 A: OK，第一項：讀一本書。 B: 可以想一些比較有創意的嗎？ (Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯) Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area in Nantou County’s Renai Township has temporarily closed its doors to visitors to conform with the government’s nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert. With nesting season currently underway, a family of collared scops owls — a protected species in Taiwan — has taken up residence in one of the park’s Taiwan incense cedar trees. Although the recreation area is temporarily closed to the public, the epidemic prevention measures have not stopped its birds and bees from procreating. The months of May and June are nesting season, and things really come to life after dark. Within