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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How potato invaded China

I was surprised to find out that China since 1993 has been the largest producer of potatoes. In my experience in the US with Chinese food Potato's have been rare. There was one Chinese restaurant that did a type of julienne, where they had thin slices of an almost raw potato.

How potato invaded China - ECN

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Arcadia Housing Bubble

I wish my parents had moved to Arcadia, instead of Monrovia back in 1965. Wow! The prices are because of Chinese buyers. Arcadia has an excellent school district. I am surprised about this type of price, since you can get something in San Marino, which is slightly better school district.

The Southern California flipper epidemic: A market in the middle of crosswinds. What a $2+ million flip in Arcadia will get you.

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Rowland Heights House Bubble Update

We just got a direct mail piece, saying how Ricky Li and his wife have been looking for a house with our floor plan for over a year with no luck. They are not going to repeat the mistakes that others made, so they have an all cash offer of 5% over the worth of our house.

  1. Suspicious that first name is close to  my last name. And last name is close to my wife's. A fun psychological fact, you truth those more that have a name similar to yours. It may be coincidence, but...
  2. Letter was a form letter mass mailed, in color. My guess is the mailing cost at least $1 per mailed piece.
  3. It shows the Rowland Heights market is super hot.

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Former Chino Maternity Hotel in Forclosure

Interesting, since the house is not up to code, it can't be occupied and it's in foreclosure. The 7 bedroom house was converted into a 17 room maternity hotel. The same thing happened to a house down the street, that was rented out and when the renter left, the owner was surprised at all the modifications and had to gut the house to bring it back to code. It was then sold, and my guess is again a Maternity Hotel.

Former maternity hotel in Chino Hills is no longer for sale - SG Tribune


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Moocs for Learning Chinese

Interesting, this may have a lot of impact on the Learning Chinese market. The classes include Mandarin and English.

 - Gigacom

Coursera is already partnered with National Taiwan University, Chinese University in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Not teaching Mandarin, but I did see an interesting class on Chinese history.

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Mulan at Segerstrom in OC

I missed it, the Segerstrom center was showing Mulan in Orange County, CA on July 22, 2013.

Mulan was my daughter's favorite movie when it first came out. We managed to get her the warrior Mulan costume, which unfortunate Disney stopped making. Disney focused on the Princess Mulan costume. Some place I have the cutest picture of my daughter on my Aunt's horse Sam, dressed up as Mulan.

On the Disney DVD of Mulan, there is also a Mandarin track. I am not sure if it's the mainland Chinese Accent or the Taiwanese. For the villain, the Beijing Accent version was done better.  The best Mulan voice was the Taiwanese accent version, where Coco did the voice and the singing.

I was selling the Chinese version of  Disney's Mulan on VHS. Obviously dating myself, by mentioning video tapes. Listening to Children's Mandarin DVD's is a great way to increase your Chinese ability.

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Las Vegas Chinatown

I have stopped by the Las Vegas Chinatown. It's a nice change from the amazing buffets in Las Vegas, and when you are entertaining visitors from China, as we did at a tradeshow I was a marketing consultant for, it was a good place for some comfort food.

I wonder how many Diamond Bakeries there are? And per Google, I found their website and they have 5 locations.

Nice article from Vegas.com
Las Vegas’ Chinatown full of shopping, dining gems

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Free Las Vegas Chinese Summer Camp

National program sponsors free Chinese language instruction - Las Vegas Review Journal

Some interesting tidbits in the article:

  • Startalk, a federally funded program, strives to improve America’s percentage by providing foreign language classes. 125 programs are offered nationwide this year.
  • Startalk was created seven years ago by the Department of Defense with the purpose of introducing Americans to foreign languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Russian and Portuguese.
  • 10 percent of native-born Americans speak a language other than English
  • A major obstacle in expanding the program has been a lack of qualified teachers. Because of this, a teacher training program was started in Nevada three years ago specifically to train Chinese language instructors. During the three-year span, 45 teachers have been trained through the program.

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Chinese Companies selling to Consumers From China

Chinese manufacturers aim to increase direct sales to Western online shoppers - Internet Retailer

My wife's company gets calls all the time asking, where are you located? She sells Little Girls Dresses.

My worry as a customer would be returns and exchanges. Sizing is a headache when you buy a girls dress. Lots of sellers on eBay selling directly from China. It seems the postage to ship from China to the US is dirt cheap for low weight products. Another challenge is delivery time.

USPS Gives eBay China Sellers Competitive Advantage - eCommerce Bytes

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Starting College at Age 12

And then starting her PhD at age 16. Amazing

And her parents comment, is anyone who spent 8 hours a day teaching their kids, would also have their kids in college by age 12.

My daughter advanced one grade, and I have mixed feelings on it. My wife and I saw no reason for her to repeat Kindergarten, but she had to do a bit of catch up. She came from a less academic school into academic 1st grade, and it was hard for her to catch up. And being a little older does help academically.

America's brightest teen? Girl who went to college at 12 now set to get PhD at 16 - Daily Mail
  • Tesca Fitzgerald began to play with computers at before the age of two
  • She skipped middle and high schools and went straight to college
  • Now a graduate, she is about to start her PHD later this year
  • Her two sisters appear to be just as clever

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Bug Bombs Chinatown Explosion

I have a huge amount of empathy for this. When ever my family has moved into a new place, we set off bug bombs. We open up all the cabinets and let it sit overnight, after being very careful to make sure all the pilot lights and such are off. I had nightmares about my house burning down. At least now I know my nightmare was based on real issues. I believe we used 4 for a house, so using 20 is a lot of overkill. Especially when there are shared walls and such. When ever poison is being used, I always worry about where it going. And this was the 2nd use of bug bombs, so a total of 44 were used.

Expert: Chinatown Building Explosion Shows Danger Of Bug Bombs - CBS Local
20 Bug Bombs Were Used In Building This Week, Officials Say

NYC Women Sets Off 44 Bug Bombs, Blows Up A Chinatown Building - Opposing Views


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

San Franscisco's Other Chinatown - The Real One

Great article! Older Chinatowns do have two faces, the real one vs. the tourist one. One has the usual tourist junk, and the other one is where the local people live, eat, and shop at. I have seen this in LA's Chinatown also.

San Francisco’s other Chinatown — the real one - The Seattle Times

Take a walk or a tour in a historic, bustling neighborhood.

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Chinese city halts U.S. school trips after Asiana crash

I did not realize that the US was such a popular location for Summer Camps for Chinese Students during the summer. My guess is another way to get an advantage on the college application, as well as improve their English. 70 of the 140 Chinese on the flight were students or teachers bound for US Summer Camps.

Chinese city halts U.S. school trips after Asiana crash - USA Today

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Regular Bedtimes Helps Improve Student Scores

 Having a set routine helps in building a habit. When I was subbing, I saw so many kids of all ages, who were so tired in class, because they had not gotten a good nights sleep the night before. Kids need sleep. Being sleep deprived I read is similar to being drunk. Think how good a student you are if you were drunk? And by having a set bed time, it helps for making it consistent. I know students who do all nighters to cram at the last minute, but to actually learn the material for the longer term, it does not help. You may pass the test, but if you ever need to use it again, you will need to re-learn it.

  • Irregular bedtimes can affect learning potential for life, scientists found
  • Sleep gives very young children's brains a chance to process and learn

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ADHD Drugs Don’t Lead To Better Performance In School

I was surprised at the results, but it makes sense. The problem is it increases focus, but it may be on the wrong thing...  I understand also, if you ever took medication for ADHD, you can't go into the military. Another issue is it does not build self control. A better solution may be in offering more exercise opportunities, so kids can burn off their excess energy so they can focus. Eliminating Recess and PE may be good theoretically to increase time in class, but effectively I doubt it helps. It just makes kids less focused in class.

ADHD Drugs Don't Boost Kids' Grades - Wall Street Journal
Studies of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Find Little Change

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