Mayor of Kaohsiung in hospital after fall in hotel
BACK INJURYChen Chu slipped in her hotel bathroom in Jiaosi and fractured her lumbar vertebrae. She is expected to be released from hospital within two weeks
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) was flown to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital yesterday after sustaining injuries to her lower back in a fall early in the morning.
Greater Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said Chen had led a delegation to the International Folklore and Folk Game Festival at Dongshan River Park in Yilan County on Saturday.
Chen spent the night at the Evergreen Resort Hotel in Jiaosi (礁溪) and was expected to return to Greater Kaohsiung yesterday morning, but she slipped in the bathroom and injured her lumbar region.
While Chen is hospitalized, Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) will assume responsibility for the day-to-day management and operations of the city, and administration will not be affected, Lai said.
Asked who would take responsibility for the fall, given the hotel’s reputation as a five-star establishment, Lai said the hotel would provide an explanation, adding that Chen would cover all medical expenses.
Ho Chi-kung (何啟功), director-general of the Greater Kaohsiung Department of Health, said he received a call from Chen at 6:17am saying she had slipped and fallen in the hotel bathroom and was unable to move.
Ho then immediately contacted the Yilan County Bureau of Health to assist with Chen’s -hospitalization, he said.
Chen was admitted to the emergency room at National Yang-Ming University Hospital, where nuclear magnetic resonance and CAT scans confirmed she had fractured her first lumbar vertebrae, Ho said.
The injury did not harm Chen’s spinal cord nerves, Ho said, adding that after the Yang-Ming hospital was sure Chen could safely be transferred to another hospital, she was flown to Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and then flown to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital.
A furniture shop owner from Greater Kaohsiung has cast new light on a rare arachnid known as the “ogre-faced spider.”
Hsu Kun-chin (許坤金) published his findings on the shedding and mating processes of the Deinopis spider genus in last month’s edition of the 2011 Nature Conservation Quarterly.
His publication in a magazine run by the Executive Yuan’s Endemic Species Research Institute has earned him tremendous feedback.
Taking time out from manning his shop, Hsu joined the Kaohsiung Natural Observation Association (NOA) because of his fascination with gardening and frequently went with other like-minded friends on field trips to take pictures of ecological habitats.
During an observation trip in May 2008, he happened upon a strange type of spider in the mountains around the former Liouguei Township (六龜) that NOA chairman Chen Jen-jie (陳仁杰) later said belonged to the rare Deinopis spider genus.
The Deinopidae family consists of stick-like elongated spiders that weave unusual webs they suspend between their front legs. They then stretch the web to two or three times its initial length and cast it onto their prey, entangling it in their web.
The practice has also earned it the nickname “net-casting spider.”
Hsu said the Deinopis genus of the Deinopidae family is quite rare, both in Taiwan and abroad.
Because Deinopis are nocturnal and brown-colored, they are extremely difficult to notice when they hide amid trees in daytime, Hsu said, adding that to study the unique habits of the Deinopis more closely, he had visited the mountains 23 times.
The spiders’ nocturnal habits initially created problems for Hsu’s family, but they eventually came to support his passion after seeing how engrossed he was in his research.
During his research, Hsu discovered that the shedding process of the Deinopis did not match the description in textbooks.
Even more rare, Hsu managed to take pictures of the male Deinopis weaving a sperm web, which is used for mating.
The Deinopis’ mysterious comings and goings, as well as its particular way of hunting, are a fascinating subject, Hsu said, adding that he hoped that by sharing his observations with the public, more people would develop an interest in, and a desire to protect, the rare arachnid.