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Friday, July 30, 2010

$250,000 = BA = Good Investment?

Book says many U.S. universities are waste of money - Yahoo News.

The high cost of a university education is a big concern of me. My daughter's 1 years away from college.

$250,000 is a lot. One college I visited the student guide kept on going on about the gourmet food available at the college.


China Second Largest Economy in the World

China overtakes Japan as No.2 economy: FX chief - Yahoo News.

An estimate for surpassing the US Economy is 2025. 15 years away.

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How to Say Happy Valentines Day in Chinese

How to Say Happy Valentines in Chinese? Pronouncing anything in Chinese is hard for beginners or non-speakers because you have to get the tone correct. Otherwise you may be speaking something else (prolly something offensive or ridiculous) and you don't know it!

To those who want to greet loved ones a Happy Valentines Day on Chinese Valentines, (that's on August 16, 2010) here is a pronunciation video guide for you from Youtube. It features Diana of VideoJug (Youtube name carpediem4utube) pronouncing "I love you" and "Happy Valentines Day." The happy valentines greeting starts at 00:47

For pinyin, Happy Valentines Day is qing2 ren2 jie2 kuai4 le4
Roughly translated, that means "lovers + day + happy"

It somehow sounds like "ching w-ren chiye kwai luh". Plus as usual, please note the tones.

Imagine the look on family and friends' faces when you teach this to your little one and your child suddenly greets them!

Don't forget our Early Chinese Valentines Weekly Sale, featuring love books and DVDs. See you there!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chinese Characters to Use for Greeting Happy Valentines Day

Chinese Valentines Day is on August 16, and you or your child may want to write a Happy Valentines greeting for loved ones.

The characters for Happy Valentines look like this:

Hope you have fun writing this out.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

Good article to read:

Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers - NY Times

Its puzzled me on why Early Education has not had more of an impact on kids. On why does the impact fade after a couple of years academically. Perhaps the right measurements were not being made. The headache is establishing a causal relationship. Correlations does not equal causation.

In other words there may be other reasons that kids with early education go to college. Perhaps its because parents who believe in early education are more likely to have their kids also go to college.

Personally, I am in favor of early education with a child. I view them as a Tabula Rosa and the question is what are you going to teach them? Or what are you going to let them learn. Even if you make no decision, you have still made a decision on your child's education.


Chinese Valentine Legend on Ballet

This year's Chinese Valentines Day is on August 16.  This week we are holding an Early Chinese Valentines Sale since you might want to plan ahead and celebrate with family.

If you want to share the Chinese Valentines legend with your family, you can read about it in our Chinese Valentines page. There you will find the story behind this special day, about 2 lovers separated by circumstance, and by a family that can only be reunited once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month.  There are also the Chinese customs about this celebration that you can learn from.  And for the kids there are coloring pages they will like to color.

Here is something on YouTube posted by Benben1999, about the Chinese Valentines legend, a ballet performance done this year at Robert Healy School.  Unfortunately, no other info was posted for proper credits.  It's also a nice video to show after your children learn about the legend.  Then they can identify the story as the dance unfolds.  I think it's just a preview (I'm not sure) and only shows the love story between Niu Lang and Zhi Nu at the beginning.  But still, it's a nice video to share with kids, especially those who love dance and magical tales.

Anyway, many thanks to the poster of this video.

(Part 2 will be shown at the end of the video)

Some Chinese Valentines materials you might like : 

A Can with Love Air Bilingual DVD Chinese/English 
Ms. Ding, the school teacher, introduces the property of "air" to simple-minded Shawn. Shawn is excited to find out more. This episode illustrates how Grand Auntie and Smarty get involved in Shawn's learning process, and how he is rewarded at the end.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
Based on her own life, the story of a mother who adopted a daughter from China.

From China with Love - A Long Road to Motherhood
When Emily Buchanan married, she assumed children would soon follow. Three miscarriages later she found herself doubting if she could, or should ever become a mother. She decided it was time to look at adoption and she eventually faced the mountain of bureaucratic and emotional challenge that will lead to the utter joy of bringing up Jade and Rose, her two Chinese daughters.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Job-Seekers Hitch Ride on Asian Economy

More Job-Seekers Hitch Ride on Asian Economy - NY Times

Makes sense:

The jobless rate in the United Stands is 9.5 percent, Britain’s is at nearly 8 percent and Spain’s is 19.9 percent. In Hong Kong, by contrast, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent. In Singapore — another hub of banking, legal and other white-collar positions — only 2.2 percent of people are registered as being out of work. In Australia, the jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent in June, the lowest level in nearly a year and a half.


Cantonese in China

More than 1,000 people gathered Sunday in Guangzhou, in southern China, to demonstrate against a local politician’s proposal to force a major local television network to stop broadcasting in Cantonese and switch to the country’s official language, Mandarin.

Move to Limit Cantonese on Chinese TV is Assailed - NY Times

The Mother of a student I tutored a few years ago I was surprised to find out did not speak Mandarin, but only Cantonese and she was from Guangzhou. Her kids both spoke excellent Mandarin. To me this shows how far the use of Mandarin in China has spread over the last 30 years.


Quan Quan, beloved giant panda, RIP

Sad what happened - Dead panda accidentally gassed, Chinese say

One way a parent handled this:

"Quan Quan went on a long trip," said a father comforting his son. "Let's come see her again in two years."

Its a hard decision to make on what to tell a small child, and what not to. How much can they understand? How much have they learned from TV about life and death.

It's hard to be a parent!


Friday, July 23, 2010

GM Sells more Cars in China than USA

How times change! I would never have thought this possible until a few years ago, for GM to sell more cars in China than in the US.

G.M., Eclipsed at Home, Soars to Top in China - NY Times.

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Forced Shopping in HK?

China warns tourists on "forced shopping" in Hong Kong - LA Times

It also happens on Chinese tours in the US. The tour operators often get a percentage of the sales made at a stop. So the visit to a store may be extended till enough items have been bought. A cousin's wife was a tour guide for a summer back East. Another relative of mine had an argument with a tour guide when this was tried on her.

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Era of Cheap Chinese Labor Ending?

Good discussion at the Economist about Is the era of cheap Chinese labour over?

My opinion is yes and no :-)

Or it depends on which products.

Or on the definition of cheap. For those areas where productivity can make a difference, the total labor cost in China is probably staying the same. For those areas where there is little room for increased productivity , yes, the labor cost per unit produced will increase. The result will be some products will move to other countries that have lower hourly wages to China.

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Kosher in Chinatown

My guess is most Chinese vegetarian restaurants would qualify for kosher. The local vegetarian restaurant (Happy Veggie Garden) in the 99 Market plaza on Nogales in Rowland Heights is one of my favorite restaurants. They also have a location in Monterey Park I have never been to.

Kosher in Chinatown - WSJ. Review of a NY Chinatown restaurant.


Spratly Islands - Next Taiwan?

There is a lot of atols and islands between China, Vietnam, Philiphines, and Taiwan (all of them claim some part). They vary in size. China seized in 1974 from the South Vietnamese some of them (never returned, even after Vietname reunified). The issue is the maritime boundaries and who the natural resources surrounding these islands belong too. After 1975 and the end of the Vietnam war, and later with the US leaving naval bases in the Philiphines, the Chinese have been more forceful in this area pushing their claim.

US secretary of Clinton mentioned the issue at a news conference at the ASEAN regional forum. It's an issue I am sure the Chinese government would rather not discuss.

U.S. Challenges China on Island Chain - NY Times.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aftermath - Wedding in Shanxi

It seems the central government has decided to reduce the influence of private business in the cooal mining business in ShanXi. China is turning independent coal mines into state-run operations, showing its impatience with private companies that get too big. - News Week

I believe this is a much better explanation. The excess shown in this post brought a reaction from the central government. Wedding in ShanXi, China. Ferrari's as escort cars. Roll Royce Phantom. And the wedding parade was filmed.

Another wedding had:

6 Jeeps as camera team
4 Ferrari leads
4 Rolls Royce main fleet
6 Mercedes
6 Bentleys
20 Audi A
8 Hummer's

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Monday, July 19, 2010

iPhone App for Kids Learning Chinese

Review: Chinese for Munchkins for the iPhone - Interesting how this is allowing new people in the Learning Chinese business. Exciting times.

I have not tried it yet.


Hungry Ghost Festival is Nearing

The Hungry Ghost Festival is coming up first before the Moon Festival.  This festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month. For our regular calendar, that is on August 24, 2010.

It's still a month off but humor me as I add some blog posts about information on this Chinese festival.

For starters, it was believed that the gates of the underworld are opened on the 7th month.  Hungry ghosts can now roam the earth when the gates are opened.  To appease these forgotten souls, the Chinese give offerings to these souls on the fifteenth day of the month.  Offerings of food and joss sticks are placed along the roadsides and temples.  These offering are not eleborate like the ones offered for family ancestors.

If you'd like to learn more about the Hungry Ghost Festival, please visit our main site. 

More next time.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

eBooks Transforming Books

Baby US Passports for under $10K?

With the huge mess that US immigration is, it makes so much sense to give a child a great gift of having a US passport and for under $10K!

Fee Estimates
$1,475 - Basic Fee
$3000 - Housing for 3 months.
$5000 Hospital Costs (since this is a business, I assume this is negotiated).

For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure - Washington Post.

My wife thinks there is a house around where I live that is providing this service. We keep on seeing groups of pregnant women walking around around twilight. Or they were walking around when it was cooler.

This pregnancy trade is an unintended consequence of the 14th amendment (which has no realistic chance of being changed). Because it's so hard to make changes to the US constitution, even the ERA amendment, it also makes the US constitution an incredibly powerful force in US Law.


2nd Home Invasion Robbery in Rowland in a week

2nd home invasion robbery in a week in Rowland Heights. Wow. This is just behind where I used to live. In a track of luxury homes that were built. I moved because it used to be a ravine behind me. A drop of 40 feet, that got filled to it was 5 feet above my house with luxury houses built on it. The builders had no idea about how to design for Asian buyers and were full fung shui issues. A blog post on good Fung Shui in houses.

I wonder if I should add a screen on our front door. Our old house was great. The previous owner were police officers and they had a gate and a fence in front of the front door, so our dogs had access to it. Our dogs loved to play the trick, where a poor person would ring the door bell and they would come running up, and then jump on the gate making it rattle. The house also had a dog run on the other side.

The house was designed like this, and the gate and fence connected to the front of the house.

___ gate and fence to wall |
| _ Door_ |
| |

Unfortunately where I now live is not like that.

May be time to buy a security screen door for the front door. That way we could also open the front door when it gets so hot (93 high today).

Women, children bound in Rowland Heights home-invasion robbery - SG Tribune


Friday, July 16, 2010

Mimi's Cafe RIP in New Chinatown

Another American Restaurant bites the dust in the Chinatown suburbs.

I had this cool coupon on Wednesday for 4 free muffins with a purchase, and we get there, and Mimi's Cafe was gone! And this Mimi's Cafe was pretty busy. I have no idea why they closed the City of Industry location. Instead, we went to a Northern style Chinese restaurant.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Core Standards - Good or Bad

I have been frustrated with the past Math Standards in California. They go for breadth, verses depth and mastery. Where Singapore that has a world class math program goes for depth and mastery of an area. I have felt with my daughter's math classes her textbooks are running a race. The problem is it looks better to have covered a lot more areas, then fewer. The real issue is the more areas covered translates into less mastery.

It's a crime when 40% of students in California who take Algebra in the 8th grade as required, are not proficient by year end. And 50% don't even take it in the 8th grade. Yes, my daughter took Geometry in the 8th grade. What is happening is the better schools can meet the standards, where the majority get left behind.

'Common core standards': education reform that makes sense - LA Times
The standards revolve around the fundamentals: what students should learn, and how they should learn it.


When Good Parents Have Bad Children

When Good Parents Have Bad Children - NY Times.

Good article. Each child is different and I strongly believe environment has a lot to do with how a person turns out, but there is some genetic influence. I have believe environment is more important than genetics in most cases. The article seems to article that parents have a limited influence on their kids, which I disagree with.


Home Invasion Robberies in New Chinatown

They do happen, unfortunately.

Chinese and Vietnamese are favorite targets because they often have a lot more cash in their houses, along with jewelry. than non-Chinese. You can see it at the local Chinese stores where $100 bills are used all the time. Me, I rarely have anything over $20 in my wallet.

Yes, I live in Rowland Heights. I just checked the map, it's about 5 blocks from my house.

Reference - Sheriffs seeking additional victims of alleged home-invasion robbers in Rowland Heights Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_15522644#ixzz0tmD9gT3P


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

UC increasing out of state enrollments

UC increases number of out-of-state and international students for the fall - LA Times

Looks like UC Berkeley reduced in state students by 20% last year.

As the parent of a in state senior, this is worisome.

Translating this paragraph:

UC Berkeley reduced its number of in-state students to 4,059, about 900 fewer than last year, and significantly increased the number of both out-of-state students and foreigners so that the two groups comprise 22.6% of enrolled freshmen, double last year’s share, according to the figures. Campus officials say that is part of a long-range plan to have about 20% of undergraduates from outside of California.


85C in Irvine

I believe my wife has been here with my daughter after a piano lesson. Their comment was long line and a bit pricey.

Rowland Heights has a couple of similar places. JJ Bakery sounds similar. Definitely for the buns. I am not sure on the drinks.

The Find - 85C in Irvine - LA Times


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Robot Teaching?

For those times where severe patience is needed, I can see where having a robot do repetitive work would be a win for the teachers and students. The example of working with a special ed student is a good one.

The challenge is for a great teacher, Teaching is an art, where you need to vary your style depending on the students. Sometimes you slow down, sometimes you speed up, and sometimes you just need to go to plan B, C, D, etc. till you find something that works.

Korea is actualy deploying hundreds of robots in classrooms as teascher aides and classroom playmates.

Students, Meet Your New Teacher, Mr. Robot - NY Times


China worries about losing its character(s)

China worries about losing its character(s) - LA Times

One point the article missed was with the increase in smart phones that allow the direct input of Chinese Characters, such as the iPhone, I believe this will change. Older phones just had a keypad, and if your lucky a keyboard. Many newer phones have a touch screen so you can draw with your finger Chinese characters.


Lotus Festiva in LA

Someday I am going to make it over to the Lotus Festival with my family :-)

Lots of visitors at Lotus Festival, but still no lotuses - LA Times
A scaled-back event in Echo Park is missing dragon boat races and a fireworks show, but food vendors and families are out in full force.

Its on my list of Dragon Boat events - Dragon Boat Racing Event Calendar


Made in China costs more in China?

Seems counter intuitive, but I have been hearing this for years. Short answer is exports are subsidized.

Products made in China often cost more there than in the West - LA Times

A good example:

That Apple laptop is made at a factory that's granted a rebate on China's 17% value added tax, as long as those computers are exported and sold abroad. Chinese buyers aren't so fortunate. Before that same machine can be sold domestically, it is first sent to Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, then returned to the mainland with a 20% import tariff, industry experts said.

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San Diego Chinatown?

Historically there was a Chinatown in San Diego and there is a bit left of the historical one. As part of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 that built all the buildings in Balboa Park, Chinatown got reduced. And then when the Chinese could move out after WW2 Chinatown declined even more.

Good article - A Closer Look at SD's Chinatown

My listings of Chinatowns of the US and Canada.

Now there are some heavily Chinese neighborhoods in San Diego. A good way to figure them out is see where the Chinese markets, book stores, and Bakeries are.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Future of DVD's

A variety show is super popular in the overseas Vietnamese community. The challenge is DVD sales have fallen due to piracy. Per the article online piracy (streaming video's) have reduced the sale of the DVD's. I would also guess the increase in youtube and equivalent for increased competition for similar video's. The shows themselves probably break even, but the real profit came from DVD sales. But with the overall decline in DVD sales has also hit this niche market hard.

Lavish shows unite Vietnamese diaspora in a celebration of culture and music - LA Times

My wife sells Girl's Ao Dai's on here site, but I am concerned about the future of selling DVD's, since I sell quite a few Learning Chinese DVD's.


Shanghai AppleStore

Apple has opened a world class Apple Store in Shanghai. Wow on the architecture!

It compares to the flag ship Apple store in NYe that I almost went too. For some reason somebody I know did not see why it would be so cool for to visit the Apple store in NY when I was there on vacation.

It will be interesting to see how Apple does in China. The NY Times has article - Opening a Big Store in China, Apple Remains a Market Underdog

What the NY Times article misses is Apple often becomes a luxury and life style statement. When it is seen as that, the price levels become much less important. The sale of luxury goods within China is at an amazing level.


Diversity & College Admissions

Chinatown with no Chinese Residents?

Fun to read article on Portand. It seems the Chinese residents now live across town. Portland at one time had the largest Chinatown in the US. My grandmother grew up in Portland.

My listings of Chinatowns of the US and Canada.


Chinese Bakeries & Cupcakes

My daughter is into cupcakes, but unfortunately there are no local cupcakes sellers. And for some reason none of the many Chinese bakeries in the area have gone into cupcakes. Yes, you can buy cupcakes at the local groceries and starbucks has a few. I am frankly puzzled by why the Chinese bakeries have not started to sell cupcakes. With the amazing cakes they make, I see this as a natural area for expansion. What I see is small incremental changes as they make buns that are no generic they can charge more for. Chinese markets have also gotten into the bakery area, but no cupcakes yet. May be because the Chinese bakeries are copying the latest fads in Taiwan.

Potential Business Opportunity - Open a cupcake place in Taiwan. A co-worker of my wife's a while ago when back to Taiwan and opened a Subway and did well. This was when Subway was just starting in Taiwan.


Kids & High Speed Internet

At a parenting class I attended by the assistant Principal of my daughter's Junior High, I got this nugget.

One of the most dangerous things is a teenager with high speed Internet with no supervision.

Which is why my daughter's computer got moved to a very public space in our house. And we got a Mac that has easy parental controls on it. Yes, my daughter can blame Mr. Carr for this. For parents in the Walnut/Diamond Bar school district if Mr. Carr is still doing the parenting classes, I highly recommend them. He is now the Principal of Walnut's Continuation High School.

A good story in the NY Times Computers at Home: Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality

This quote is so true:

When devising ways to beat school policing software, students showed an exemplary capacity for self-directed learning. Too bad that capacity didn’t expand in academic directions, too.

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Quality Counts - Bilingual Education

For Learning Chinese there are so many ways you can enrich your child's environment with Chinese. From singing along with them with songs in Chinese and English. To putting a Chinese CD in the car on your way to school. To reading them stories in Chinese. To using the touch pen for having the books read electronically in Chinese. Or even watching a DVD in Chinese.

Parents can have a huge impact on their children through the interaction. One of the reasons I am such a proponent of reading to young kids is because of the exposure it gives them. To vocabulary as well as concepts. I read to my daughter long before she could read (my wife thought I was crazy). My daughter turned out great. The only negative may be she reads too much :-) And now she's borrowing my books - which shows great taste, but I am working on the correct re-shelving part.

An area that frustrates me with bilingual education is so often it's just not done well. The majority of how California schools, pre 187 did Bilingual Education it was an example of badly done bilingual education. This quote from the story I find sad - In truth, English learners and most poor children fail because they are not taught English well.

Quality counts - LA Times

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iPhone as a parenting tool?

Great article, even if the title is very sensational.

iPhone: High-tech Child Abuse? - SF Gate.

The point made is the iPhone does represent instant gratification and I can understand how it may not help in developing patience, respect for others, and initiative.

Your child is an expert on you, and they know exactly how to get under you skin. Be it repeating "I am so bored" till you lose your patience to just grabbing your iPhone out of your purse. Please note these are hypothetical examples. Really...

The point is your kids know how to push your buttons because they have observed you since birth. They have done a huge amount of experimentation on you to find out what works. From a baby crying (hmm, did that get a response. If no, lets try louder. If yes, then this action can be repeated). Kids are incredibly smart and focused on achieving what they want. The trick is getting them to work on some of the necessary areas and learn to delay gratification to achieve their goals.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Google China License Renewed

I expected it to be renewed. The minor change where google.cn is not automatically forwarded to google.hk saves face for both sides.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kids Learning Chinese Product Suggestions

Some recommendations I just made to a customer for their child, age 4:

I like My First Chinese Words with 36 books and CD. It's a good way to learn Chinese through stories.You will need to decide if you are going to teach simplified or traditional.

For basic Chinese the Little Pim series does a good job

Touch Audio Pen and Books - They only come in simplified, but I like the concept.I am a big fan of Learning through music with kids singing songs as a way to learn Mandarin

These are very good: Practical Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Simplified

Page on Chinese Curriculums for ages 3 to 5

I like Better Chinese's My First Chinese Words since it's story based


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chinese buying Japanese Companies

Most mergers and acquisitions don't succeed because of cultural misunderstandings. A classic is in the US you use your thumb and forefinger next to it to communicate OK. In Brazil it is offensive. In Japan it means you want change.

There have been some recent stories about Chinese companies buying Japanese companies. The Economist article mentions some of the challenges.

Chinese Companies Go Shopping in Japan‎ - WSJ
Scaring the Salaryman - The Economist

It's important when your Learning Chinese to also understand a bit of the culture and history. To build up a bit of political sensitivity.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Saturday Postal Service Going?

One of the proposals to reduce costs for the US Postal Service is to drop Saturday Deliveries.

I have mixed feelings on this.

As a business owner that sends a lot of products via the US Mail it's nice to have a Saturday delivery.

But, it would also be nice if the Post Office can stop increasing the postage fees! And going to a 5 day schedule instead of 6 day schedule would cut their costs.

The challenge for the USPS is the amount of mail being sent, including junk mail, is falling. People are paying their bills online, using E-Mail to send notes instead of through the mail, and UPS and FedEx are competing for them on packages. The USPS is also stuck with a lot of physical locations that some are under used, while others are too small (like the one in Rowland Heights where I live).

Sides Form Over Threat to Saturday Mail Service - NY Times


Cheating Wars

Good read - To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery - NY Times

I find it amazing how cheating has evolved and how high tech. it has become.

Related post - China's civil service exam cheaters go high-tech


Last Air Bender - Why such a good opening Weekend?

I hope my last post on the Last Air Bender.

Why did Last Airbender do over $70 Million of business on the holiday weekend?

Everything I read about the movie indicated to me it was going to do terrible.

Oh, I see.

$150 Million dollar marketing budget will do it. Along with the tie in to Nickelodian that plugged it relentlessly.


Monday, July 5, 2010

China's rising Labor Costs

Good article showing the value chain of a product. It also mentions the contract manufacturers that have taken over so much of the assembly in the world with super high volumes and small profits per item. Much of the assembly in high technology has been outsourced to them due to reasons of cost.

IPhone Supply Chain Highlights Rising Costs in China - NY Times.


Au revoir for study of French, German?

Au revoir for study of French, German? - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The growth in Chinese is much higher than in German, French, and Spanish.

What was left out of the article unfortunately was a comparison of the number studying Mandarin in the US.

I like this quote:

"I don't want to disparage France. It's a lovely country. And we have a lot of history with France," said Mr. Schwartz. "But I think there is probably no civilization with as deep and rich a cultural heritage as China."


White Guy Strategy

Some Chinese businesses will deliberately hire & use White employees since the White employees are often treated better. It's called the White Guy strategy.

The challenge is making the society becomes less status focused and realizing that the color of a persons and/or background is meaningless. Of making it so migrant workers as well as others are treated with the same respect as anyone else.

I like this quote:

that won't change until Chinese learn to treat migrant workers and poor people with more respect.

China's Identity Crises - WSJ


Scary - Chinese born American Citizen in China Jailed

Chinese court sentences US geologist to 8 years - AP

Mr Xue Feng, an American Geologist born in China, was jailed for two years before China's government even admitted he was in jail. Then he was sentenced to 8 years in prison. His crime was facilitating the selling of a database of oil information to a US consulting firm he worked for under the Chinese state secrecy act.

Translation - if your ethnic Chinese and the Chinese government does not like what you did the state secrecy law can be used against you and there is no effective defense. You can be and will be found guilty as needed to act as a deterrence for others. The area in this was dealing with China's oil reserves. The state secrets act is vague and full of gray areas.

Related Posts:

Chinese business horror stories

Chinese Kidnapping

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

IB Program

International Program Catches On in U.S. Schools - NY Times

More schools in the US have the IB program. The challenge is it requires a lot of resources and usually a low percentage of students at a school finish the program. For those who do finish the program colleges look on it favorably. The IB program is a lot of extra work.

Disclosure - my daughter's in the IB program.


Chinese in Israel

Israel Grows Uneasy Over Reliance on Migrant Labor - NY Times


Chinese workers can pay up to $31,000 in fees to get work in Israel.
  • Chinese embassy in Israel is not very supportive of getting workers back pay.
  • Chinese workers in China are often taken advantage of and often need to work 2 years to be able to pay the fees back.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Last Airbender Update

Looks like the movie itself is a disaster.

The Last Airbender: An Expensive Disaster - Max Boot

At Rotten Tomatoes Airbender gets 5%.

A previous blog post - Whitewash of Asian Manga Airbender?

Some Guesses:

1. Alienate your core audience of Asian fans by casting all Whites in the main roles. My guess is they were trying to expand the audience!

2. Do a last minute conversion to 3D because Avatar did so well! Umm, may be Avatar had great cinematography. And an OK story. And looked great in 2D as well as 3D.

3. Rely on special effects instead of a good script. Typical Hollywood issue. Bigger is better! Bigger budgets will guarantee a block buster! Pixar shows why a great script is such a necessity for real success.


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