Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bought a Giant Bicycle!

This past Tuesday, I purchased my first new vehicle. I bought a brand new out of the box Giant HB3 bicycle. Now you may think that its not too exciting to get a bicycle, but I have been riding an old bike, and to get a new one is great. I spent a pretty penny on it, but as things go, you get what you pay for. There were more expensive bikes, but I didn't want to spend all my money on a bike either.

I plan to go riding much more, although we have begun the rainy season in Taiwan (however late it may be). Summer is here and that means long days for long rides... and lots of pictures. Some of my friends also like to go riding, so it can be a group activity.

I encourage you to get a bike too. It's fun, good exercise, faster than walking, you don't need a license, and best of all, after buying it, it's free to use! So take the time to enjoy the outdoors on a bike.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Praying Mantis

Last week, I had the notion to have a pet. It wasn't a "normal" kind of pet. Here in Taiwan, beetles are a popular student pet. What I wanted was something a little different. I wanted a bug that would eat other bugs. I wanted a strange looking creature that looks like an alien. I wanted a praying mantis (螳螂). This odd looking insect is called the praying mantis because it often looks like its praying. Here are some interesting facts about mantises:

-they can turn their head 180 degrees
-the female will sometimes eat the male after mating
-they will eat all kinds of bugs including cockroaches, crickets, and other mantises
-they have even been seeing eating mice, snakes, frogs,etc.
-they will "molt" or change their skin several times in their life
-they live for about a year
-females are larger than males

I borrowed a terrarium tank from my friend and outfitted it with plants and soil. I then put in some cockroaches to crawl around. Hopefully the mantis will catch them before they find a way to escape the tank.