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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Students turning East

Students turning East from the Milwaukee Sentinal. China is providing a Chinese teacher through an exchange program from where at an elementary school each students gets a 30 minute class in Chinese everyday. Chinese teachers for over 200 locations in the US have been provided.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lang Lang - Piano Prodigy

An article about him in the NY Times, I think the LA Times also had one. A Prodigy, A Piano, Hardship, Stardom; Dreams Comes True For Lang

Previous post I wrote on Lang Lang, 35 million kids learning piano in china and for background on Piano playing in the Chinese community - music lessons and chinese americans

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Taiwan Hospitals Enter China

Taiwan Hospitals Enter China from the WSJ. Private Taiwanese companies are entering the Chinese health field, since the amount the patient pays in China for a hospital stay is more than what is paid in Taiwan. Very interesting. Affordable health care is a major challenge for the Chinese government, and Taiwan has among the best and most affordable in the world. Very efficient process that I hear about a lot, especially after my wife's family has anything to do with the US health area (like arranging an appointment - in Taiwan you can go to any Dr. you want).


Thursday, November 27, 2008

China's Manufacturing

Two interesting articles from Business Week:
It's good the author recognizes that China offers more than low priced labor, but there are trade offs. The product quality area is a huge danger for China's economy.


Learning Chinese from the Comfort of Your Computer

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ChildBook's Facebook Page

I just set up a page on FaceBook for ChildBook.

On what to do with it, suggestions are appreciated! I guess I should have a chat with my daughter, she has a Facebook page.


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Chinese New Year Celebration Links & Information

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chinese Restaurant Cycle

1. Open restaurant offer great food and prices.
2. Raise prices to make a profit.
3. Less customers, so need to sell.
4. Lower prices to get lots of customers.
5. New person buys and starts over.

Other steps.
a. Chef leaves, changing taste of food, less customers.
b. Same type of restaurant opens next door. Landlord has no ethnics, price war ensues.

My wife and I went out to dinner at a local noodle house (the one in HK Plaza in RH) that just raised it's prices, and the waitresses are wearing jackets (may be they turned down the heat to save money). Good food, but the latest price hike does not make sense.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Marketing Consulting

On the side I also do some Marketing Consulting. I know, with what free time? It's a for company that is distributing projector screens in the US, that are made in China. So there is a Chinese connection to this! What I have learned about Chinese culture helps a lot in working with them. I think they were in a bit of shock after I went through their initial catalog with a red pen (10 years as an Engineer with lots of usage of red ink on blue prints builds bad habits). I am surprised at what a big market their is for projector screens and how many people are competing in this market. Projector screens are a lot more high tech than I thought with the coatings and fabrics, viewing angles, and such. My job is to make all this stuff make sense, in other translate the science type into what regular people can understand. Of course I need to understand it first, which is coming along.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Schools increase teaching of Chinese language

Schools increase teaching of Chinese language from Cincinnati, Ohio. And this from Miami, Florida Mandarin class raises cool factor

Exciting the increase in people Learning Chinese.

Wow quote:

''Wow,'' said Zheng, principal of the Contemporary Chinese School of South Florida's Broward-Davie campus. ``We were expecting 25 children. We got 50.'' and they still have a waiting list for another 12 students after they added a second class.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sat observation - new Chinatown

I was talking to an ethnic Chinese parent who had their daughter go to a Cram School for SAT during the summer, and their daughter got 780 on the English and Math each. Impressive. There are a lot of those type SAT prep centers in the Rowland Heights area.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Cute Comment on Learning Chinese

Angela said she likes learning Chinese because "I am Chinese" and "because I can speak to my mom in Chinese."
Six-year-old Angela Chan

Another good reason Why Learn Chinese!

Full story - Students get crash course in foreign languages at a local library in Fresno, California at part of International Week.

I wonder if the knew that Fresno used to have a Chinatown - Fresno's tunnels a gateway to secret history of Chinatown


Thursday, November 20, 2008

China fears grow over job losses

China fears grow over job losses - Good article discussing how China's leadership is worried about the impact of increased unemployment due to the lack of a safety net, especially for unregistered workers.  There is also a video of a demonstration showing how wide spread phones are that can take video are.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Huge Growth in Chinese Classes

Classes in Chinese Grow as the Language Rides a Wave of Popularity from the NY Times. Good article about the huge growth seen in Learning Chinese in the US and how 50,000 students (estimated) are studying Chinese. I did not know about the Chinese AP test, For the Chinese SAT II test I tracked down a study guides - Chinese SAT II Books with practice mock tests.

So how do I get these 50,000 students to become aware of ChildBook.com and our Learning Chinese books, music, and DVD's?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

China Poltics - Bit strange lately...

The riots in NW China I am surprised by how relatively nice the Chinese police are being. So why?

My guess?

The party heads have heard of Youtube, and/or it's Chinese equivalent and they know how easy and fast a cell phones video can be distributed and they are not interested in creating any martyrs. And with the economy challenges and layoffs, they don't need any spark that could make the situation worse.


Monday, November 17, 2008

No school today

Having no school was great for my daughter, but for the Father, ie me, having to supervisor her was a bit challenging for my work (sorry for not responding today to E-Mails and voice mails), the good news was we got a lot done for her school work and practicing (piano and cello) and getting caught up, so for her it was a pretty productive day.  Me, I now have to catch up!  At least the fires have retreated and their are no longer massive clouds of smoke reminding me of Mordor.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Principal Called - No School tomorrow!

A Calvin and Hobbes cartoon has Calvin looking out at the falling snow and hoping it's enough to close down the schools. Today, my daughter was hoping the fire/smoke was enough to close down her school, and she got her wish. When we got home there was a recorded message from her Principal that there was no school tomorrow.

This is being caused by the triangle complex fires that is burning in Diamond Bar, Yorba Linda, and Brea. Air quality is bad. One of the local freeways has been closed off and on that has made traffic locally a big headache and caused me to miss a speaker in Pasadena, when I started to go out the roads were the worst I have ever seen them because of the freeway detours. And this was only a couple of blocks from my home!

My daughter was supposed to have a performance tonight, a fundraiser, and we stopped by her school that is a emergency shelter. Sad to see all the people there with their pets. There was one boy playing with his Golden Retriever with a big smile and a wagging tail...

I think we are getting another dog soon because of that one image, especially the wagging tail. Since I live with my in-laws (who are in Taiwan), there are some political issues, in my opinion based on my experience, that need to get resolved. My thought has been let my Mother-in-law pick out the dog and it eliminates all political issues. I could write a lot about our great Akita hunt and how long that took . My brother-in-law finally saw one at a pet store, yes a pet store, and yes, I know about Puppy Mills, my Grandfather showed his Goldens and my Aunt is into a rescue society, and fell in love with it. Beautiful dog, but had health issues unfortunately (became blind at an early age). Currently we have no dogs. A friends dog is also putting pressure on me also, my daughter mentions after every time we visit them.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Other Chinatown - Oakland

The Other Chinatown Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco. They also have a Chinese New Year events which you can find here Chinese New Year Calendar Events, Parades, and Festivals

For other Chinatowns of the US and Canada


Fake Nikes - Surprising

Fake Nikes worth $700K found behind toilet paper from the SF Chronicle. Shipment came from Hong Kong, which indicated the shoes were probably manufactured in China.

Importer suppliers, friends, etc. have been complaining about the increase in fees associated with importing. Homeland Security, etc. The goal I understand is to X-Ray every single container coming into the US. Per this blog, it cost him an extra 33% for importing his items in addition to his manufacturing cost (no wonder many companies are moving manufacturing back to the US).


Friday, November 14, 2008

Taiwanese Themed Restaurant in Rowland Heights Area

Theme restaurants make dining a zany experience from Merrill Shindler.

I have been to both, the
JURASSIC RESTAURANT was a one time event. People from my ex-work had gone there and said how great it was, so I took my wife there. Cute waitresses short skirts dressed up as cave women. Food was so so and music was very loud (we asked them to turn it down, which was done for a while). It's not for kids and they have a sign on the front about nobody under 21 inside, it's a good place to visit once. 15301 Gale Ave., City of Industry, (626) 336-5899.

Class 302 is in the 99 Market plaza at the corner of Gale and Nogales in Rowland Heights. Food is good, but you can get the same food other places cheaper. I have been here a couple of times with my wife and people from my former work. It's very Taiwanese and going with a Taiwanese will help you appreciate the nuances, from the chairs to what is on the blackboard, etc..

If your going for cute girls and beer, Jurassic Restaurant is the better bet, if your going for the food, Cafe 302 is best.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chinese Wedding Coloring Pages - Free & Printable

At my wife's site, Free Chinese Wedding Coloring Pages that are Printable! . Very well done. My marriage was a mixture of Chinese and American traditions and I have been at a couple of Chinese Weddings, but the Chinese Wedding Coloring Pages has some things I did not know about before. There is so much symbolism in any wedding, be it American or Chinese, and people usually when you ask them why, say that's how we have always done it. Which for the Engineer types like me, is not a great answer ;-) The book Good Luck Life: The Essential Guide To Chinese American Celebrations And Culture helped a lot on explaining the why.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

China's Stimulus Package - Even More!

China's stimulus package What it says about about China in 2009 from the Economist. Best analysis I have read so far and asking the right questions. A major question, which the answers are worrisome, is why did China feel such a huge package necessary? 568 Billion is equal to 16% of China's GDP.

One area that people forget is China does not have the cheapest labor in the world. Businesses that require cheap labor are or have moved to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, etc. What China offers is world class infrastructure, for example it's ports can handle more material than ones in the US due to investment, that reduces costs, as well as higher productivity than cheaper labor countries. Just because you have the cheapest labor per hour, does not mean you will produce the lowest price goods. There is labor per unit, transportation costs, etc.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chinese SAT II Test Review Books

Chinese SAT II Test review books are here! There is a real lack of material out there for the Chinese SAT II for studying, these review books include sample tests. I came across these books by accident and Chinese Teachers I know did not know they existed. The price of $24.95 each includes a CD, so they are a good deal. It's recommended that the student buy both. They include 6 mock Chinese SAT II tests, which are great to study from. What's nice about the book is by a Chinese Association of Schools, so it's very high quality. The average mean score on the Chinese SAT is 764 and are scored from 200 to 800. If you write your name, you got 200 and no SAT test has more than 95 questions. Some of the questions are test questions and not counted, so you may be able to miss some and still get a perfect score. The Chinese SAT II language test should only be taken if you have two years of High School Chinese or are a native speaker and have gone to the weekend Chinese schools.

Some colleges look at the number of SAT II's completed to help in determining admission. The UC System in California requires each incoming student to have taken two SAT II's, and for native Chinese speakers, the Chinese SAT II is easy. The only worry is not getting a perfect score, which is why these study guides are so important, including the six sample tests. You can take up to 3 SAT II's the same day, but you want to space them out to maximize your results. It's also possible to retake the SAT Subject Matter tests if you are not happy with your first score.

Chinese SAT II:  Sample Tests, Softcover Book  & CD
Chinese SAT II : Sample Tests, Softcover Book & CD
Our Price: $24.95

Chinese SAT II: Sample Tests, Softcover Book & CD
Compiled by the Association of Northern California of Chinese Schools, this study guide includes sample tests and tips on how to score high on the SAT II Subject Test in Chinese. Each book includes two free audio CD’s and questions that test grammar, reading and listening comprehension.

  • The Listening Comprehension portion is in Mandarin Chinese.
  • The Grammar Section are presented in four different writing systems: Traditional Characters, Simplified Characters, Pinyin Romanization, and Chinese Phonetic Alphabet (Bo Po Mo Fo).
  • Reading Section is presented in two writing systems: Traditional Characters and Simplified Characters.
Chinese SAT II, Vol 2:  Sample Tests, Vol 2, Softcover Book  & CD
Chinese SAT II, Vol 2: Sample Tests, Vol 2, Softcover Book & CD
Our Price: $24.95

Chinese SAT II, Vol 2: Sample Tests, Vol 2
Softcover Book & 2 CD'S

Compiled by the Association of Northern California of Chinese Schools, this new study guide expands on Vol 1. It includes more sample tests and tips on how to score high on the SAT II Subject Test in Chinese. Each book includes a free audio CD and new questions that test grammar, reading and listening comprehension.

  • The Listening Comprehension portion is in Mandarin Chinese.
  • The Grammar Section are presented in four different writing systems: Traditional Characters, Simplified Characters, Pinyin Romanization, and Chinese Phonetic Alphabet (Bo Po Mo Fo).
  • Reading Section is presented in two writing systems: Traditional Characters and Simplified Characters.


Chinese & PTA

As Asians Excel at L.I. School, District Tries to Lure Parents from the NY Times.

The article talks about the challenges a NY School district that has become mostly Asian has attracting Chinese and Korean parents to school activities such as the PTA. I see this at my daughter' school some, but not with performances. Those are packed when the Orchestra lets the parents know about them enough in advance. Same day notice has issues...

At my daughter' school, the Chinese Parents Association is super organized and does a better job of serving the parents needs than any other group. From seminars on getting into great colleges to SAT score information etc. It's a shame the school does not provide this.


Monday, November 10, 2008

China's Economic Package

More details are emerging of China's Economic Stimulus package 586 Billion.  It has Ten Major Areas, the question is can the money be spent fast enough and if so much of it's infrastructure, which China has been building like crazy any way, will it make a difference?

My opinion, the list looks very interesting and could have a major positive impact on China!  

  1. Housing
  2. Rural Infrastructure
  3. Health and Education
  4. Transportation
  5. Environment
  6. Industry  - Innovation and Restructuring
  7. Earthquake Relief, rebuilding
  8. Raise Farm Payments, pensions.  Sounds like the start of Social Security.
  9. Tax Reform
  10. Finance - keeping liquidity in the economy.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

586 Billion

China Unveils Sweeping Plan for Economy from the NY Times. 

The money is supposed to be spent on new railways, subways and airports, and help rebuild after the earthquake in South China.

That is a lot of money to be spent on this type of infrastructure, I am not sure that is the best place for China to spend it.  The question is where would provide the best return on the investment in China.  Schools are one area that come to mind as well as improving the health system.  Social Security, or lack of are also an area needing help.  But what railroads, subways, and airports have in common is they Engineering projects, and the leadership of China is Engineers.  My under-graduate was also in Engineering. Electrical infrastructure is another area that will need improvement in China, but a lot seems to be already in process in this area.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Business Plan - Bittersweet Alumni Visit

Today was Drucker Day at my school where I got my MBA. So I went to see some old friends. Hard to believe I graduated 10 years ago. Friends asked me how old my daughter was, the one who almost tripped Peter Drucker when she was 2 or 3 (which is how I met him), and I told them a Sophomore in High School, and they were surprised. I have a two pictures, one of Peter frowning with my daughter smiling, the next with her frowning and him smiling. The development person when I showed her the pictures said that was Peter.

In Peter Drucker's class I also presented my business plan for Childbook and he critiqued it (and gave me an A-, after he said an A, such is life). I got to sit next to him as he talked about it, because it reminded him of the vibrant German bilingual community that was in the US before WW1 destroyed it.

Today was the 100th anniverary of Peter Drucker's birth, he passed away 3 years ago, a few days before that years alumni day.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Avoid Chineseclass123.com are Spammers

My blog has been Spam commented with Spam on four times so far by these Spammers, http://www.chineseclass123.com/ are spammers

And I have sent them three E-Mails asking them nicely to stop! So what can I do?

Here is a typical post by http://www.chineseclass123.com/ are idiots:

Hi, my friend! That's so great! You can study here www.chineseclass123.com, this is a wonderful school, here don't need to be afraid of time, you can have class anytime as you like! This is online course! You can save your time, you can study in office ,home any place where you can use internet. Just need to register here! You also can send email to this email-box: ChineseClass123_sale@seawolftech.com.
Good luck!!

Now, let's look at chineseclass123.com are spammers offering:

1. http://www.chineseclass123.com is very unprofessional and just annoying. I am not going to tell them how to fix their web site just from a design prospective.
2. Prices at http://www.chineseclass123.com for Learning Chinese, the less said the better.
3. More problems on chineseclass123.com - just look at their FAQ. How could anyone let this go live?


China's Increase in Nuclear Power

China Might Accelerate Nuclear Power Ramp Up - makes sense since China's leadership is a bunch of Engineers, and nuclear is one way to reduce imports of oil. China is also pushing coal gasification (making gas out of coal).


Chinese Hackers

China is usually a place you don't think of being on the leading edge of technology, but this story may give you pause. White House network pwned 'multiple' times by Chinese. The Obama and McCain campaign computer break the theory is either Chinese or Russian - Obama, McCain campaigns' computers hacked for policy data.

More background on this:


Thursday, November 6, 2008

China and Taiwan Expand Accords

China and Taiwan Expand Accords is major news. A friend of mine liked it, since before when he had to fly to Shanghai, he had to fly to Hong Kong taking 8 hours. Now a direct flight will take 80 minutes from Taiwan. From a business prospective, he is very pro it. He only wants the agreement to be business related.

The fear of many Taiwanese is it will somehow make unification with China more likely. There are many people in Taiwan who favor Taiwan independence, and don't want to be unified with China.

From what I can see the pact will just reduce business costs and hurt Hong Kong and Okinawa that were making money because of the barriers to direct plane and ship travel. Ships from China would dock in Okinawa, and then go to Taiwan.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama and China - Ponderings

With Barack Obama elected President, what does this portend for US China relations?

What is known:

1. His sister, Maya Ng-Soetoro, married an ethnic Chinese from Canada. His sister is a teacher and has a PhD in education. I view this as tremendously positive for helping in the education area, such as fixing NCLB!

2. One of his half brothers is living in China, Mark Ndesandjo and I understand fluent in Chinese.

3. China has found it easier to deal with Replicans than Democratic Presidents historically. Chinese attempt to dampen support for Barack Obama - Telegraph

4. During the campaign a quote on China from Mr. Obama:

China is a competitor but not an enemy

Q: Given China's size, its muscular manufacturing capabilities, its military buildup, at this point--and also including its large trade deficit--at this point, who has more leverage, China or the U.S.?

A: Number one is we've got to get our own fiscal house in order. Number two, when I was visiting Africa, I was told by a group of businessmen that the presence of China is only exceeded by the absence of America in the entire African continent. Number three, we have to be tougher negotiators with China. They are not enemies, but they are competitors of ours. Right now the United States is still the dominant superpower in the world. But the next president can't be thinking about today; he or she also has to be thinking about 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now.

Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate Dec 13, 2007

5. Mr. Obama supports the current one China policy.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chinese New Year Calendar of Events Update

Chinese New Year Calendar Events, Parades, and Festivals update is going well, it's a lot of work since so many organizations have not put up their 2009 events yet, even if in January. So then I get to E-Mail and call asking for updates which I am still doing. About 80% updated.


Monday, November 3, 2008

China, the Longer View

Where will China be in 20 years? In 10 Years? I know location wise no change would be the cute answer. I am thinking more economically as part of the global business world. China is either going to continue it's amazing rate of growth as more and more of the countryside people move to the city resulting in less people in agriculture, probably 500 Million. So what are those 500 Million going to be doing as China changes from a predominately agriculture based employment economy to what? Manufacturing is not going to need 500 Million more people, so this is going to be both an opportunity and a challenge. Agriculture employment in China is less than 50% of the population now.

Around 1900 in the US most people worked in agriculture, then it changed to manufacturing, and now to services. That transition took over 100 years, and now agriculture employment is less than 2% of the US population. Why the difference? Economies of scale that allow mechanization and automation. Same thing has happened in manufacturing, with increased automation increasing production.

My opinion is China is going to muddle through the current problems of food quality, environmental issues without falling part and keeping their high rate of growth with a focus on higher technology and improving their educational system that will result in a much more economicaly powerful China.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chinese New Year Coloring Pages/Pictures

Chinese New Year Coloring Pages/Pictures got finished. I still need to do the worksheets... I am very happy with the result and the page is more than just a collection of coloring pages related to Chinese New Year, but they explain the customs of Chinese New Year through pictures. I have done the same with the Chinese Moon Festival Coloring Pages/Pictures .

I also broke out the Free Chinese Coloring PBlogger: Helping Children to Learn Chinese Language -Childbook.com an Online Chinese Book store - Create Postages from the web page Free Coloring Pages & Projects, I now have seven different coloring pages grouped under Free Chinese Coloring Pages.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

China Food Update

China: Feed makers defied rule in adding chemical The Associated Press - This just feels like damage control. China has wonderful rules, constitution, and laws, the problem is they are usually not followed. One of the biggest problems in China is making it so everybody follows the same laws, instead of depending on who you know and how much money you have. Rule of Law will help China so much! Until then, for people without connections you are gambling.


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