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Friday, September 27, 2013

China's Demographic Time Bomb

Will China become old before it becomes rich? A good read:

China’s Looming Pension Crisis | Via Meadia

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2nd Tier LawSchools keep Tuition High, Enrollment Drops

It's amazing how colleges keep on going up and up in price. Law and Business schools are often used as cash cows to subsidize other programs at colleges. As law school enrollment drops, it will be interesting to see how this changes college tuition.

Second-Tier Law Schools Feel The Squeeze As They Stubbornly Keep Tuition Rates High   

The Missing Half of School Reform

Great article understanding the history of School Reform in the US.

The Missing Half of School Reform - National Affairs

It's strange how we seemed to have come full circle on school reform. Originally scientific based methods based on mass production replaced the one room, craft style, schools.  And now we are going back to small scale teaching with home schooling.

The link is from:
Is Progressivism Derailing School Reform? - Via Media


Monday, September 23, 2013

Why are Majority of Top Colleges in the Anglospere

Great question. I wish the US was better at keeping more of the graduates. It's hard to go through all the hoops to stay after you graduate, unless you marry a US citizen.

Anglosphere Rules Global Education Roost - Via Meadia

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School Not Working? Flip It

I remember I class I took at Claremont, where you had to prepare a huge amount for the in class discussion. I found the class a lot of fun. Flipping is the idea watching lectures is done at home, and the actual interaction work, where an instructor had more value, is done in class. The challenge of so many classes, is the instructor is just repeating the same lecture again and again. What value does that have, vs. watching the same lecture on a video? Especially in a large lecture hall.

School Not Working? Flip It - Via Meadia

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Future of Work, as seen in a US Textile Plan

Automation, for better and worse, is the way forward. Definitely in the US, but also in China. Labor, no matter how cheap, costs. And with the danger of the working conditions scandal resulting in bad publicity, using a machine becomes even cheaper. And automation is spreading beyond the factory floor. Is your job one that can't be automated? Will a college degree help you? Is it the right college degree to avoid being automated?

 U.S. Textile Plants Return, With Floors Largely Empty of People - NYTimes.com

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

LA Times's Pics for LA Places for Moon Cakes

OK list, but 85 Degree C is offering Moon Cakes... It looks like you need to order them ahead of time.

Four great places to get mooncakes in Los Angeles - LA Times

My page on the Moon Festival

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China's Pollution Challenge

My 2 cents, this may be China's biggest challenge.

China’s Shotgun Approach to Fixing Pollution - Via Media

I did a Chinese Pollution lesson plan a few years ago, that is still pretty usable. Some of the recent articles I have seen on pollution in China are unbelievable.

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The Wacky World of Solar Subsidies

I like the idea behind Solar a lot, but the strange subsidiaries don't help. I favor spending a lot of money in research to make it more economical. Another article I read mentioned fire fighters have the headache that solar panels can't be easily powered off yet, which complicates fire fighting. The latest strange tariff is by China, against a US polysilicon that is used in some solar panels.

The Wacky World of Solar Subsidies - Via Media

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Price of Prestige

$57,500 for tuition at Yale. I wonder if this includes room and board?

And compare this to an online Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech for $6,600.  To get a Masters for $6,600 vs. over $200,000 for a degree? Georgia Tech degree in computer science is among the top 10 in the nation per US News & World Reports

 HOLMES: The price tag of prestige - Yale News


China’s transformation frays traditional family ties, hurting many seniors

It's hard being in the middle, where you are taking care of your parents and your children. In China it's worse, since their social net is limited, and the population is rapidly aging due to the 1 child policy.

China’s transformation frays traditional family ties, hurting many seniors - Washington Post

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8% of College Grads bring parent to Interview?


A 2012 survey of more than 500 college graduates by Adecco, a human-resources organization, found that 8% of them had a parent accompany them to a job interview, and 3% had the parent sit in on the interview.

Should You Bring Mom and Dad to the Office? - WSJ


WalMart in LA's Chinatown Opens

I am amazed that WalMart even managed to open their store in LA's Chinatown. There has been a huge amount of political pressure against it. I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand I understand how small businesses in the area may be hurt, but on the other hand it will help locals save a lot. For the small businesses, they need to focus on selling items that WalMart does not carry. In the Rowland Heights area their is a WalMart, Target, Sam's Club, and Costco and local Chinese owned businesses still succeed. How they do is by focusing on selling items so they are not competing with the generic super stores. There are so many grocery items for the Chinese market, the a generic superstore does not carry. The article also mentioned a 99 Market used to be located there, but closed. I would see the same type of issue of competition for small businesses.

Walmart’s Chinatown Store Opens … Under a Cloud - City Watch

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Difference Between Chinese Made Easy /Kids and Better Chinese Producdst

Customer Question:

What is the difference between Chinese Made Easy/Chinese made Easy for Kids and Easy Steps for Chinese?

Also, would completing Chinese Made Easy series equal to completing the Better Chinese series through Magical Tour of China? What are the difference between these two programs?

My Answer:

Chinese Made Easy and Easy Steps are about the same. They have different publishers, same author, and Easy Steps is a bit newer.

Better Chinese has this order:
My First Chinese Words
My First Chinese Reader / Discovering Chinese
Magical Tour of China - Simplified Chinese only

Chinese Made Easy for Kids focuses more on verbal, where Chinese Made Easy includes writing. Chinese made easy for kids is supposed to go before Chinese made easy, but I have seen teachers use both together.

Magical Tour of China is a little more advanced than Chinese Made Easy.

Better Chinese products are designed around a story based approach for teaching.

What I find is Better Chinese has an amazing amount of support materials, including CD Roms, worksheets, assessments, teaching guides with lesson plans that reduce the amount of work needed by a Chinese Teacher. The negative is it's pricier than Chinese Made Easy.

For value, I recommend Chinese Made Easy for kids / Chinese Made Easy. For overall quality and products available, I recommend the Better Chinese system.

I hope that helps,


Ray, Owner

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Chinese Made Easy Textbook Series Now In Second Edition

The ever popular and best selling Chinese textbook, Chinese Made Easy series is now in its second edition. Good news is it is available at www.childbook.com

Aside from the reviews this specific Chinese textbook series has gotten, I've received plenty of orders from Chinese schools around the country. This for me says a lot about how this book is one of the major textbook used in Chinese classes.

Chinese Made Easy Textbook Level 1- Simplified Characters
Chinese Made Easy, Simplified Chinese Level 1 Textbook with CD by Yamin Ma & Xinying Li
Our Price: $29.95

(9 reviews)

  • Learning Chinese textbook in Color with CD! 128 pages long, soft cover.
  • The primary goal of this series is to introduce to beginners, particularly primary school students,
  • Builds a solid foundation for learning Chinese as a second language.

Buying the right Chinese textbook can sometimes be confusing and difficult so I've compiled a buying guide for Chinese Made Easy textbooks that will prove to be helpful. Click here to view the buying guide.

Chinese Made Easy is available in both Simplified & Traditional characters.

It comes with Textbook (from Level 1-5), Workbook, and Teacher's Guide

Thursday, September 5, 2013

China Environmental Update

I hope the Chinese government is able to change this. Rule of law is an issue. It's amazing how much better the US environment is than it used to be.

China Slowly Poisoning Its Great Power Aspirations - Via Media


China's Moon Visit Plan


China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year • The Register

This dates me, but I remember watching the last Apollo mission on TV. It was right after I did something not so good, so my TV privileges had been taken away, but an exception was made for this.

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Battle heats up among Chinatown bubble tea shops

Typical - where one shop can do OK, then more open since the first is doing great. And then everyone suffers usually. I have seen this a couple of times. A family friend's Taiwanese restaurant had a competitor open next door to them, so they got into a pricing war. The family friend was furious that the property management company would allow a competitor next door. The end result was the other company finally closed, and my friend then sold their restaurant and the new owners had to close it. And the spot is still empty at that mall, so the property management company also lost.

Sometimes, it can actually be good to have a cluster of businesses in an area and it actually helps everyone. An example of that is all the Chinese wedding photography studios in Temple City.

Battle heats up among Chinatown bubble tea shops - Philly.com

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Video done by Taiwanese College Students

Very well done!

Deathigner from Deathigner on Vimeo.

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China Beats U.S. for Korean Students Seeing Career Ticket

Ouch... I am surprised that Learning Chinese in Korea is seen as a better career ticket. The headache is English is everywhere, so there is no advantage where Chinese is more unique.

China Beats U.S. for Korean Students Seeing Career Ticket - Business Week


Monday, September 2, 2013

How Can You Help Your Kids Get Good Grades?

School days are back and I thought of writing a topic that's close to my heart every time a school year starts. 

How Do You Help Your Kids Get Good Grades? 

First let's clarify that your children getting good grades doesn't depend on them alone. It needs team work and lots of patience from you and them.

Let's not expect our kids to get good grades when 1) we let them do all of the house hold chores during exam week 2) give them too much time for TV and less for study time 3)we do not look out for tell-tale signs of disinterest on certain subjects, worse on all subjects. 

There are these triggers that often are left unattended in hopes that the child will outgrow it only to find out it didn't. 

Here's a thorough article I wrote a few years back about this same topic, which I ressurected because I think it still applies to how we parents, can help our kids get good grades. 
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