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Saturday, December 29, 2012

TextBook Pricing

The Chinese Textbooks I sell such as Chinese Made Easy for $29.99 and Chinese Made Easy for Kids at $19.99 are super cheap compared to college textbook prices. I have been buying textbooks for my daughter and the prices are amazing. $293 for an economics textbook! And then the publisher pulls the trick of coming out with a new edition, to kill the used book market. The new edition has minimal changes. Another tactic is the bundling of never used software with a textbook. A new one was including a one time registration code, which makes it so you can't resell the textbooks.

This chart is scary:



Never Pay Sticker Price for a Textbook Again - Slate
The open educational resources movement that’s terrifying publishers.1

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Only Taiwan’ holds any reins on China?

Something to think about. I am not sure I agree with it. The articles point is that Taiwan due to it's freedom of speech, vibrant political discourse, and open media political coverage is on the cutting edge of Chinese Culture.

Only Taiwan’ holds any reins on China - Washington Times

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Comparing US to Chinese Wealth

Biggest take a way - Wealthy Chinese are 16 years younger than their US counterparts. Chinese often got their wealth through Real Estate (35% vs. 6%).

A Tale of Two Riches: Comparing U.S. and Chinese Wealth, in Charts - Atlantic

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College Admissions Biased Against Asians?: WSJ Opinion

For those into Video:

And for those who like to read:
“Diversity” drive hits Asian-American students hard - C.I.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Higher Ed Bubble

A great post that defends the term Bubble in discussing the huge increases in the price of college. I am amazed by how much college costs have increased over the past 20 years. The amount of debt that many students graduate with is scary.

The Higher Ed Bubble Is Very, Very Real | Via Meadia


Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans?

My answer would be no, but it depends on your definition of fair!

The challenge with admissions is the process is very subjective, and it depends on what you measure in the application. If you measure just grades and test scores, yes, Asians (translation Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and Koreans) are discriminated against. But if you use life experiences, it's very subjective and from what I can see, the results are uneven.

Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans? - The Atlantic

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The Rise of Asia: U.K.-Style Education | Via Meadia

English style boarding schools are now appearing in China and Hong Kong! Many of them partnerships with English boarding schools. Just as many US and English colleges have opened up branches in China, so are boarding schools.

The article claims the typical English boarding school does a superior job to the average American school. The rise of English style boarding schools may have a huge impact on the culture of the upper classes in China in 20+ years, when graduates have more power.

The Rise of Asia: U.K.-Style Education | Via Meadia

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China's Impact on US Farmland Prices

The rise of a wealthier China is changing the world in many ways, but I did not expect it to result in an increase in US farmland prices for almonds and pistachios.

A burgeoning middle class in China has increased the appetite for almonds and pistachios, driving up prices for those crops — and the farmland that produces them.

Farmland in demand - LA Times
Investors snap up California acreage, pushing prices to record highs, as global appetites for almonds and pistachios increase.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why China and the U.S. Can Be Capitalist Comrades

I like the graphic - Why China and the U.S. Can Be Capitalist Comrades - Bloomberg

The amount of investment by Chinese firms in the US is amazing, $67 Billion this year so far. Another article makes a good point that the majority of investment is by state firms, so to get investments you need to focus on their state goals such as access to raw material access, jobs, and technology.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

USPS 2013 Chinese New Year Stamp

I like last years stamp a bit more. I cleaned out my local post office of all the Chinese New Year Stamps they had for Year of the Dragon.

My Mother liked the stamps from last year so much, she framed a set and gave them to me as a present.


Ramen around Rowland Heights

I like Foo Foo Tei - they have 945 Yelp Reviews!

  • Great price
  • Great food!
  • Authentically Japanese
  • Service is ok.
  • Wait can be long.
  • And it's crowded.

Future of College Education - online?

Great read to see how much the College experience is going to change soon. The $1 Trillion in students debt and with many private colleges charging $50,000 a year can't continue. After 4 years, that is $200,000 in costs! And this is charged by many 2nd and 3rd tier colleges for degrees who's worth is questionable!

Great article to read:

Does Online Ed Spell Doom for Traditional Universities? - Via Media

The $10,000 college degree in Texas I also see as a game changes, and this is being looked into by other states such as Florida and Wisconsin. UC's are about $30,000 per year currently. Just think what you could do with all the money you save, if you could get a good education for $10,000. I feel sorry for the students graduating with huge amounts of debt, that have to put their lives on hold.

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Samford or Stanford? Agent or Con Artist?

Good article about the huge market for education consultants, some of them that are a bit flaky.

Samford or Stanford? Agent or Con Artist? - NY Times

Smaller U.S. Colleges Try to Crack Chinese Market - NY Times

Chinese students are in high demand by US colleges, since they pay full price / overseas tuition. UCLA and UC Berkeley have a huge amount of Chinese students because of this fact. And for those who say they are recruiting Chinese students to make the campus more multi-cultural, it's a a smoke screen.


Anchor Babies from China - Can anything be done?

Anchor babies is where people from a foreign country come to the US for the express purpose of giving birth so their child has US citizenship. Agencies charge $5,000 to $15,000 for room and board. My guess is hospital fees are extra, as well as airfare.

So can anything be done about this?  My guess is nothing, since the current majority interpretation of the 14th amendment is automatic citizenship. A changing the US constitution is almost impossible - 27 ammendments in 200 years.

Key wording from the 14th amendment
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

A site that disagrees:

Some nations do not automatically give citizenship for having been born in a country. The long term problem is then you may have several generations of immigrants, who never become citizens to a country.

A surprising fact is that China and the US do not recognize dual citizenship. I have noticed lots of Chinese and Taiwanese have dual passports. It makes customs a lot easier when visiting China or Taiwan. One Taiwanese I know even changed his last name to an American name, he explained he got treated better when visiting China. My wife's was shocked an ethnic Chinese would do this, since the name has such a huge meaning.

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Why - $1 Million for Sale House in Rowland Heights?

My 2 cents.

There is a bit of a bubble if your house hunting in the Rowland Heights, and surrounding areas with good school districts. Lots of money coming in from China, that is inflating it.

I am surprised at the amount of houses for sale around $1 Million in Rowland Heights:

My wife and I saw one open house near where we live, where the house was for sale over $1 Million. The question is why? The house was rented out for a while and the person rented it out made a lot of changes to make it into a "maternity hotel". The owner came back and had to have a lot of work done to bring the house back to code. The renter added rooms and put a toilet in each room I heard.

Per the Daily Mail, packages for a person coming from China to an anchor baby is $5,000 to $15,000. I don't understand the pricing of the house, unless they are looking to the cash flow by making it into a maternity mansion again.

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Creole Cuisine in Rowland Heights

There are 5 Creole type restaurants in the Rowland Heights area! Seafood is always a big thing with Chinese I have noticed. I am surprised at the amount of Creole type restaurants in the area. My guess is sea food and slightly spicy. Boiling Crab seems to be the biggest creole sea food place in the area, I always see lines out the door.

I did a quick search on Yelp looking for a local restaurant that had cat fish for an employee who wanted some. Her family is from the Southern US.

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Twins & Teacher Quality

I am amazed how much difference there is between an amazing teacher, and an ok one. This is so true in any class. I have been lucky enough to have some great teacher, and unfortunately enough to have a few duds.

A lesson in teacher quality from my twin girls - NY Daily News

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Experience with the Yao

A blog from a former US diplomat that includes some of his experiences in China. Nice blog post. He also married a Taiwanese Lady.

A Model of Interethnic Harmony: Dogmeat Among the Yao


Monday, December 3, 2012

Red Bean Frapp!

I just found out that Starbuks in China has a red bean frappuccino! It would be nice to have it in the US! At least I can get a Green Tea Frapp here, even if it's not as good as the one in Japan (it's better if you double the Macha).

Starbucks Plays to Local Chinese Tastes - WSJ

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US charges 'Big Four' accountants over China

If I remember correctly, China has forced the Big Four accounting companies to make their operations in China, locally owned. And in China, state secrets are a huge danger of having issues with, if your not well connected enough. The Petroleum Engineer who went to jail was a prime example of this, over "state secrets", that nobody knew were until his arrest.

US charges 'Big Four' accountants over ChinaHong Kong stock exchange Many Chinese companies are listed outside the country, including on US markets - BBC News

The US financial regulator has charged the Chinese units of five accounting firms - including the so-called Big Four - over refusing to hand over auditing data on China-based companies.


Duolingo - Future of Automated Language Teaching?

Amazing idea for subsidizing the teaching of foreign language for Free. No Chinese yet, but Spanish and Italian.

The Cleverest Business Model in Online EducationA startup called Duolingo taps the power of crowds to make learning a language free - MIT Technology Review


Anger at California 'maternity mansion'

Good article, there is a huge amount of going to the US to have a baby going on. In the local Chinese phonebook, I saw one advertisement with an Asian baby boy with a cow boy hat. Nice adv. When I went to the web page, it just had a phone number.

Anger at California 'maternity mansion' where Chinese pregnant woman pay to give birth so their babies will be American citizens - Daily Mail.

Chino Hills is about 15 miles East from Rowland Heights, where I live. A great way to see where Chinese live in Southern California is look for Chinese Markets.


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China Leadership Style Changes

I view this as good news for China.

China's leadership change is disturbing the corridors of power - CSMonitor.com


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