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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lantern Festival Pictures

I want to go see this in Taiwan! Next year...


More great Chinese New Year pictures.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

China may axe 13-year console ban, games OK for kids after all

China may axe 13-year console ban, games OK for kids after all - The Register

I like this quote:

 I asked a young Chinese that was not even aware that such a ban existed. I saw plenty of them myself when I was living there.


China visa changes could attract job-hunting IT pros • The Register

Another reason on why learning Chinese may be good for your kids:

 China visa changes could attract job-hunting IT pros • The Register


Why are so many Chinese buying US Real Estate

Chinese buying in the US seems to have a couple of factors. My guesses:

1. Safe haven for money, especially money that is a bit hot. If it stayed in China, it may get confiscated if the owner is found guilty of corruption. It's amazing how much money is flowing out of China, when officially there is strict limits on getting money out. There is also a bit of getting the spouse and kids into the US and Canada, just in case things get worse in China.

2. Houses for kids going to US colleges. UCI for example.

3. Restrictions on buying a 2nd / multiple houses in China

4. Perhaps US real estate now is seen as less of a bubble than Chinese real estate.

5. Prestige of buying a house in the US.

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Best Restaurants in LA Chinatown?

Lots of non Chinese restaurants, and some of them are not even in Chinatown...  The comments are great!

Zagat's 11 Best Restaurants in Chinatown

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$85,000 - $95,000 for PR Person fluent in Chinese

A great example of why knowing Chinese is helpful, a position in the LA area paying $85,000 -$95,000, that requires the person to be fluent in Chinese.

 International Public Relations Manager – Chinese – California. Sponsored By Foreign Staffing, Inc. www.foreignstaffing.com


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Man reportedly outsources his own job to China, watches cat videos

I remember a Dilbert cartoon strip that had this idea. I remember one of the comments was make sure the programmers add in some mistakes, to make the programming look more natural.

Man reportedly outsources his own job to China, watches cat videos - LA Times

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can Academic Success Be Bought?

In the article it mentions some parents believe academic success can be bought. Great question! Schools can often make a huge difference in the academic success of a student. The better schools often seem to have better teachers.

Why pushy parents are the bane of private schools - The Telegraph
Under-pressure parents are increasingly complaining to their children's prep schools. But teachers know that academic success can’t simply be bought.


Chinese Tourism Tops LA Numbers

It's not just Chinatown, baby; Chinese visitors top LA tourism numbers - KPCC

The estimate that tourism from China will see double digit growth, each of the next four years. Overall the US has lost 30% due to security and more competition since 9-11.

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Controvery over Asian Egg Donor Adv. at MIT

The comments are a great read, that tell you a lot about our society.

Opinion: GUEST COLUMN:‘Genius Asian Egg Donor’ ad is offensive - MIT Newspaper

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New college application questions encourage creative thinking

College app questions are a headache. And you need to understand what they are looking for, so you get the right tone and answer. I am not sure this creative thinking is going to hurt the essay advising services.

New college application questions encourage creative thinking - LA Times


Can You Teach Teaching?

At the Drucker Exchange the questions is asked:
Can You Teach Teaching? - The Drucker Exchange

My answer is yes, but unfortunately my experience with teaching credential program is they are not teaching teaching, but a bunch of feel good stuff. The result is 1/3rd of teachers leave the teaching profession after 3 years, and 46% after 5 years. A big problem is discipline is ignored in teaching programs, and then most new teachers get the worst classes. Teach for America is doing a lot of exciting work, on looking at what works, and does not work.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cal State & UC Suggestions

I am very excited to hear the Gov. Jerry Brown is working to improve Cal State's and UC. There is so much work to be done! And yes, I am a proud graduate of a Cal State - Cal Poly Pomona. The UC's and Cal States have issues.

16% of Cal State graduate within 4 years!

Number of senior administrators has increased by 125% since 1997, while the number of students increased 33%.

 Jerry Brown pressing for efficiencies at California's universities - State Budget - The Sacramento Bee

LA Times - Gov. Jerry Brown challenges UC, Cal State to make big changes - LA Times

My 10 Suggestions for Fixing Cal States / UC's
  1. Force UC's and Cal States to accept relevant AP Courses. Why does my daughter who got a 5 on US History AP, not have the count for a history class at here college? It only counts for an elective. The answer on why is smart politics by the history department, to keep their employment up.
  2. Require each Cal State and UC to put their average graduation rate on the front page within 4 years and, starting salary. Require this also for the home page of each major.
  3. If a program is not ranked in the top ___ and has limited enrollment, close it. It used to be Cal Poly Pomona has a Masters in Philosophy. Why?
  4. Put on the home page the amount the college the ratio of teachers to students, and administrators per student.
  5. Simplify the credentialing needed to be a teacher for K-12. And if you go to a Cal State, the requirements are even higher. Focus on what creates great teachers, instead of just what creates more jobs for teaching teachers.
  6. Allow more High School students to take College Level classes. My cousin's kids both got their AA degree, while in High School. This reduces the amount of college needed by 2 years theoretically! Theoretically, since most community college students lose units when they transfer to a 4 year.
  7. Commuter Students are fine! It seems that many colleges anti commuter students, and have increased their on campus housing and are even forcing students who live outside a certain area to live on campus. Cal Poly Pomona was. Why? Did they build too many dorms?
  8. Team up with industry for a combination of Interns  and college at a Community College Level. This way technical industries can get trained workers they need. Something like a vocational training / apprenticeship.
  9. Allow students to take classes at other UC's and Cal States at the tuition they pay at their school. During the summer my daughter would have liked to take classes at a local Cal State, but the fees were much higher than her school. Instead, she went to a community college.
  10. Set a goal as Texas has done for a $10,000 degree!

    Bonus Suggestions:
  11. For each major on the department home page, and for each level, BS/ BA, MS/MA, and PhD, put the avg. starting salary and employment 1 year after graduation.
  12. Make changes to the tenure system. There are too many part time instructors, who are A+ teacheres, who can't get tenure. Is the tenure system helping provide A+ teaching? Should there be more of a separation of research and teaching?

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LA Chinatown History

CAM, a Chinese Museum in LA has a new permanent exhibit. Looks interesting, I"ll need to stop bye. It's nice they include information on Montery Park.

Museum Exhibit Looks at Evolution of Chinatown - LA Downtown News

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chinese Censorship - A Nuanced View

All is not as black or white as it appears, with Chinese censorship.

A Chinese Web censor snaps, goes on public rant - Washington Post

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Chop, fry, eat: Learning to cook Chinese in China

How fun, learn both Chinese Food cooking, and the Language at the same time in China! I would worry about the food safety issue...

Chop, fry, eat: Learning to cook Chinese in China - Gaazette Mail

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Beijing Air Pollution: Beyond ‘Crazy Bad’ | Via Meadia

I remember when LA used to have horrible air pollution, that gave me the worst headaches. And in London on a Jack The Ripper Tour, they spoke of a pea soup fog caused by coal fires, that caused a lot of deaths. I hope China improves their air pollution soon. It's a good sign this is being discussed in the Chinese Media.

Beijing Air Pollution: Beyond ‘Crazy Bad’ | Via Meadia

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California 'maternity hotel' where Chinese women pay thousands to give birth and make their babies American citizens closes

This was the one in Chino Hills. I was just at Target the other night and there were a bunch of FOB Mothers there. I assume they were from the apartments in the LA Times article.

California 'maternity hotel' where Chinese women pay thousands to give birth and make their babies American citizens closes - Mail Online

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Stanford Showcases 'Forgotten' History of San Jose's Chinatown

Chinese Restaurant Stereotypes in Movies

Great blog post!

Why Everyone Films At The Same Damn New York Chinese Restaurant - Scouting New York h/t cinemablend.com

I did not realize Chinese restaurants are stereotyped in film.

The stereotype:
  • Red Walls
  • Intricate Wood
  • Booths
  • Paper Lanterns
  • Dark
  • Ability to easily hold a conversation
  • Waiters in Chinese costumes
  • Lots of light - Good Feng Shui
  • White Walls
  • Crowded with people and tables
  • Noisy with cell phones, iPads, and super loud talking.
  • Mostly modern and minimalistic
  • Usually has a flat screen TV on the wall playing
  • Typical uniform is a white shirt / blouse, with black pants / skirt.
  • Some restaurants now wear ear pieces

MIB III Chinese Restaurant


And a Real One:



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Online High School Classes

If possible, I would recomend taking a college class, instead of a high school class. Compared to an AP class, it may actually be less work.

High schools, take the online course - USA Today


China blazes trail for 'clean' nuclear power from thorium

This is very exciting for the future of everyone.

China blazes trail for 'clean' nuclear power from thorium - The Telegraph

A blog post that discusses the meaning of this:
A Revolution in Nuclear Power? - Via Media

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Seeking Answers On Chinese Nuke Tunnels

Is it a really good idea to make it so their land based nuclear missiles are vunerable? What China has done is create a huge network of tunnels, and plays a shell game. Similar to what the US MX missile was supposed to do.

The US has a nuclear Triad of Land, Sea, and Air. China basically has only land. With current technology, the sea based leg of the US nuclear triad is considered the safest. China at this time does not have a reliable nuclear submarine fleet with an ICBM capability - but they are working on it.

A fact that is often not know by many, China has a very large and modern nuclear capability. And as with dominos, the competition between China-India, and India-Pakistan in nuclear weapons is making for a scary world - all three are nuclear powers, and are expanding their aresenals dramatically.

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Shale Gas in China

If China can access and get to market their huge reserves of shale gas, it will have a huge impact on the world economy.

China Has Plenty of Shale Gas, But It Will Be Hard to Mine - MIT Technology Review


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Guitar Mfg. made in US and China

A great example of how a company uses China for some mfg., and other mfg is done in the US. The company has a strong brand name, so they are not as worried about their product being copied.

Made in the Bay Area: Hill Guitar's low-tech product belies the complexities of modern manufacturing - Mercury News


Bay Area real estate market bolstered by investments from China

Bay Area real estate market bolstered by investments from China - Silicon Valley

I am seeing the same thing in the Rowland Heights area. My understanding is China's government has made it much harder to do investments in China 2nd house, etc Prices in the Bay Area are up 22% from a year ago, with lots of all cash offers.


Chinatown Bus Crackdown

The recent Oregon Bus Crash was also a Chinese tour group. I am surprised this was missed by the news media. My guess is because the other bus crashes have been back east?
Oregon bus crash: The tragedy focuses attention on the treacherous I-84 pass - Oregonian

Chinatown Bus Crackdown Makes Winners of Megabus, BoltBus - Bloomberg


Where do Chinese Hackers Go?

I wonder if this is true - my guess is yes.

Infamous Hacker Heading Chinese Antivirus Firm? — Krebs on Security


Ethan Allen Turns the Tables in China

I did not expect an American furniture manufacturer to be selling in China! Great article about how an American firm succeeded in the Chinese market.

Ethan Allen Turns the Tables in China - WSJ
Chain Pushes to Sell Its U.S.-Made Furniture to Affluent Chinese Shoppers; 'It Looks Expensive'


Don't Burn Your Books—Print Is Here to Stay

Another view on the future of physical books, that is very positive. The article has a beautiful first sentence. The e-book had its moment, but sales are slowing. Readers still want to turn those crisp, bound pages.

Don't Burn Your Books—Print Is Here to Stay - WSJ
The e-book had its moment, but sales are slowing. Readers still want to turn those crisp, bound pages

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China's Advances in Weapon Manufacturing

Great points in the article, lousy headline. Basically China in the last 60 years has gone from no ability on producing modern weapons, to having a respectable and modern arm's industry. From testing of stealth airplanes, building aircraft carriers, putting people in orbit, and other technology. And yes, I know about the, umm, charges of copying without license Russian and Western Technology.

China Shocks The World - Strategy Page

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Books go digital as print sales slump

It's amazing how fast this is happening.

Books go digital as print sales slump - Telegraph

I still have a preference for reading a physical book, especially a picture book or when I am reading to another and sharing it. Such as a picture book.

And also when I am reading in the bath tub or a spa, a physical book has an advantage :-)

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Maternity Hotels

Good article that includes a picture of an apartment complex in Rowland Heights. Trust me, there is a LOT of Mothers staying in that apartment complex.

In suburbs of L.A., a cottage industry of birth tourism - LA Times
Companies operating 'maternity hotels' cater to pregnant women from Chinese-speaking nations who want an American-citizen newborn.

163 comments on the LA Times article! The comments are vitrolic - mean.

Cute logo:

One of the reasons for getting a foreign passport I just found out, was so they can go to an International School. Also, China does not recognize dual citizenship.

Another blog post on this:  Birthright citizenship and East Asian elites - The Plaid Bag Connection

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

SAT Cheating Arrest

After Arrest, a Wider Inquiry on SAT Cheating - NY Times.com

I wonder how wide spread this is. What I find interesting is how it was found out. I wonder how long till handwriting recognition and matching is done standard on the SAT tests, as a way to deter testing. If I was the college board, I would do some investment to make this technology a reality.

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Architecture Pirates May Finish Copycat Building Before Original

Martial Arts History Museum – Burbank Groupon

Great little museum that includes Chinese martial arts. If your in the area, I recommend stopping by.

Martial Arts History Museum – Burbank

Martial-Arts Museum Visit for Two or Four (Up to 63% Off)

The Fry's Electronics is also a must when playing tourist, along with Halloween Town.


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