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Interesting encounters in Japan

October 31st, 2011 57 comments

breakfast in Japan

My strategy for fighting jet lag returning from Asia is to have a large breakfast followed by a large lunch on the departure date. Minimal fluid around lunch and depart in the afternoon. Sleep little the night before. And then sleep all the way in a window seat on the plane. On numerous occasions, I managed to be out before take off and waking up as the plane approaches San Francisco. Picture to the left was my breakfast (a promise I’d show Allen during a chat) from yesterday while in Japan.

Seriously though, I had a number of interesting encounters during this trip to Japan. Read more…

Categories: aside, culture Tags:

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2010, by Richard F. Grimmett, Specialist in International Security

July 4th, 2011 5 comments

Larry from Bear Canada just passed along a copy of this report detailing instances of use of U.S. armed forces abroad from 1798-2010.  Thought it would be interesting to share this with everyone.  I’ve also placed this in the our Recommended Reading List, which is grossly incomplete, but does give some reference to some interesting reads. Read more…

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

March 31st, 2011 1 comment

This 20 minute video is worth watching if you have thought about how technology impacts education. A friend of mine who used to develop games at Electronic Arts is now writing software for Khan Academy. Their collection of ideas could have a significant impact in education. The organization has gotten Bill Gates very much excited too. Pay attention to the teachers dashboard. Pretty fascinating. Technology may finally make the type of inroads people have been predicting for the last few decades. Not because of technology per se, but because of the ideas.

Categories: aside, education Tags: ,

UCLA Girl Rant

March 28th, 2011 27 comments

Ok. So TonyP4 first brought up in the open comments this video of an anti-Asian rant that has become all the rage on the Internet and UCLA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Johj5WEYzZo

Here is a transcript (as found on youtube): Read more…

Categories: aside, Opinion, Uncategorized Tags:

Dalai Lama Retires…

March 22nd, 2011 60 comments

There is a lot going on in the world.  A natural disaster in Japan. Ravages of war from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestinian territories, to now Libya. The world is still in a recession. There is global warming. And population is still set to reach 9 billion by 2045.

Still I think there is still time for some comic relief. Obama made his NCAA picks last week.  And the Dalai Lama recently announced (as brought up recently in the Open Thread) that he is retiring from politics.

Dalai Lama – retiring from politics?

Yes! Read more…

To all bloggers, a reward for having great thoughts

March 3rd, 2011 2 comments

Nobody can argue the impact Sun Zi’s “Art of War” (“孫子兵法”) has had. Even Norman Schwarzkopf is a big fan. The U.S. military academy teaches it.

On a lighter note . . .

I write this post mainly because I want to share this thought with fellow bloggers. If you have great ideas, rest assured your thoughts will be held very closely; even few thousand years later.

This is as close as you ever going to get with people like Paris Hilton (or Schwarzkopf)!

Categories: aside Tags: , ,

An Anti-Interventionist Looks at China

January 20th, 2011 18 comments

Once in a while, I run across an article that resonates deep with me. 

Most discussion of China in the mainstream press, especially the left-liberal press, focuses on China’s “human rights” record, or freedom of press and speech, or labor issues, or family planning policies. One may argue endlessly about those matters. But they are China’s internal affairs, and for a genuine anti-interventionist, they are none of our government’s business and have no place in setting foreign policy. There is a world of difference between an anti-interventionist and an advocate for “humanitarian” imperialism, witting or not. How does an anti-interventionist look at China? Read more…

EU Investigates Google

November 30th, 2010 1 comment

The EU begins officially to investigate Google for alleged anti-competitive practices. According to this aljazeera report,

European Union regulators are to investigate whether Google has abused its dominant position in the online search market in what will be the first major inquiry into the internet giant’s business practices.

The competition watchdogs formally announced their investigation on Tuesday after complaints by rivals that Google gave their services “unfavourable treatment” in unpaid and sponsored search results.

Authorities will investigate whether Google’s services are being given preferential placement in search engine results, some of which may lead to consumer spending.

One of the complainants, British search site Foundem, said in a that its revenue “pales next to the hundreds of billions of dollars of other companies’ revenues that Google controls indirectly through its search results and sponsored links”.

French legal search engine ejustice.fr and Microsoft-owned shopping site Ciao also lodged complaints against Google with the EU commission in February. Read more…

The Miss World Controversy

November 4th, 2010 5 comments

I don’t understand this.  There has been all sorts of accusation that Miss Norway did not win Miss World in China because of the political rancors that have been raised since the recent Nobel fiasco.

Well – here are a picture of the two ladies side by side.

Read more…

Categories: aside Tags:

Surfing Tidal Bores in China

October 26th, 2010 2 comments

One of my surfing friends tipped me off to this recent surfing event in China. This is the first time I learned about the phenomenon of tidal bores. The Qiantang River appears to feature the biggest tidal bores in the world (up to a height of 9 meters or 30 feet!).

Seems pretty cool … at least from a distance…. Enjoy!

Friendships are Made on a Personal Level, One at a Time

October 19th, 2010 3 comments

Despite the recent China bashing, which I believe is serious and dangerous, I can’t but keep myself from smiling when I read stories like this, which reveal the thousands upon thousands of bonds formed between ordinary Chinese and Americans every year…

By Jeanne Kniaz, Voice Reporter

While most travelers abroad seem content to return with souvenirs such as porcelain or silk, Maria Schapman, 23, of Memphis brought home a living, breathing treasure made in China and nurtured here. Read more…

The Karate Kid – the biggest modern movie co-production thus far between an American studio and China

June 13th, 2010 2 comments

People should go watch the new karate Kid!  It’s a cool movie featuring some awesome martial art as well as a beautiful travelogue featuring scenes from all over China.  Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith give a performance that practically guarantees a sequel.

Some people might complain that the movie is too long … or that it’s got a misleading title.  I personally think if there is a problem, it’s the fight scenes – which can get a little graphic as far as children are concerned.  As for that misleading title?  My opinion is that while there are real differences between Karate and Kung Fu (and this movie features Kung Fu not Karate), this movie should be and can be enjoyed and celebrated by itself – for an inspiring human story, a beautiful travelogue, and high quality martial arts cinematography. Read more…

Categories: aside, culture Tags: ,

As Yelp Looks to Stop Extorting Money from Business Owners, will Google Follow Suit?

May 8th, 2010 10 comments

Yelp has been the target of lawsuits recently.  For example, according to this WSJ report:

Nine small businesses have joined a lawsuit accusing local business review start-up Yelp Inc. of extortion and fraudulent business practices.

The newest plaintiffs were officially added Tuesday in an amended complaint filed by two law firms…. The new plaintiffs include a Chicago bakery, a Washington, D.C., restaurant and a California furniture store, among others.

The original plaintiff in the putative class action suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, Calif., said it had asked Yelp to remove a negative consumer review that violated Yelp’s site guidelines. According to the complaint, San Francisco-based Yelp initially removed the review but it reappeared and Yelp later declined to remove it and other negative reviews. The suit alleges that Yelp’s sales representatives repeatedly contacted the hospital offering to hide any negative reviews if it bought advertising from Yelp.

In the amended complaint, the owner of Chicago’s Bleeding Heart Bakery alleged that Yelp offered in exchange for a paid sponsorship to push any bad reviews to the end of the bakery’s listings on Yelp’s site. The bakery owner alleged that one of Yelp’s sales representatives said they would personally remove reviews identified by the owner as “bogus.”

“Yelp’s practices are extortionate and especially harmful to small businesses, such as our clients, who are particularly vulnerable to reviews posted on the site,” said Jared H. Beck, co-managing partner of Beck & Lee, referring to the original plaintiff and the nine new ones.

Yelp denied any wrongdoing and said that it reviewed the amended complaint and still believes the suit is without merit. “The allegations stem from confusion over how our review filter works to protect consumers from fake, or shill, reviews and businesses from malicious reviews from competitors,” said Vince Sollitto, Yelp’s vice president of communications. Read more…

Translation: Chinese Humanitarian Chen Guang Biao and Fellow Air Travellers Donate to Earthquake Victims

April 18th, 2010 1 comment

[Originally published on Foolsmountain] The stories out of Qinghai tell thousands of tragedies but also many small acts of heroism.  Since the story is developing, with people still being saved, and since I am not on the ground: I will refrain from writing or commenting on the disaster.  However, I will try to translate small stories here and there in the coming weeks to give people more of a flavor to what is going on on the ground.

The following is a short story filed by a reporter from Wuhan regarding his experience traveling to Qinghai to cover the earthquake. The story itself may not be a big deal, but it does detail one of the many spontaneous acts of kindred kindness that people across China are showing for the victims of the disaster. Read more…

Social Media – Not a Fad , and Not Anti-China

April 11th, 2010 17 comments

Recently, in light of the stink Google stirred up leaving China, many pundits in the West have opined how the Internet is inherently anti-government, how the Chinese government is too draconian in its control of the Internet, even how the second law of thermodynamics and “freedom” will eventually triumph.

I find by and most these observations to be absurd. Read more…

Translation: Shen and Zhao’s Olympic Triumph After 18 Years of Challenges and Setbacks

February 18th, 2010 6 comments

What an invigorating way to start the new Year of the Tiger! I thoroughly enjoyed watching Shen and Zhao (after 18 Years of challenges and setbacks) finally win Olympic Gold!  Of all the performers in the night, it was probably Pang and Tong who shined the brightest.  But the crowd’s sentimental favorites Shen and Zhao did enough to make the the night theirs.

Here are links to Shen and Zhao’s short and long program at NBCOlympics.  Here is a link to Pang and Tong’s long program.

Below is a rough translation of a piece published in Xinhua after the performances of Shen/Zhao and Pang/Tong that magical night. Read more…

Who Holds the Family Purse in China?

November 6th, 2009 28 comments

Despite great strides made over gender equality in the last 60 years, there are still a lot China can do as a nation to promote greater equality and promote the livelihoods of women – especially in the rural areas.

But in the city at least, the power dynamics between men and women seems to be changing – at least on a family per family basis.

Here is an entertaining video from James Fallow on who holds the family purse in China? Read more…

Mmm, mmm, mm … Barack Hussein Obama!

September 25th, 2009 52 comments

Here is something interesting I found on Youtube.  For all the talk about China spreading propaganda and indoctrinating their children – you know teaching children about the greatness of their nation, their leader, their history … about the importance of social harmony …  instilling hope for a better future – does the U.S. really look that different?

Read more…

Opinion:On Dalai Lama’s Upcoming Visit to Taiwan

August 28th, 2009 65 comments

Dalai Lama is set to visit Taiwan next week. The Dalai Lama has been invited a group of local DPP officials representing several southern counties – where DPP support is especially strong.

The Dalai Lama has visited Taiwan twice, once in 1997 and 2001. However, soon after Ma took office on a platform promising to amend ties with the Mainland, a request for the Dalai Lama to visit was turned down by Ma, citing the timing as not proper. A Dalai Lama visit then could have derailed Ma’s plan for closer ties with the Mainland – and still has the potential to do so the same. Read more…

Hu Jintao meets with delegation of Taiwanese minorities, pledges further disaster support

August 20th, 2009 20 comments

President Hu recently met with a delegation of ethnic minorities from Taiwan, and pledged further support from the mainland for whatever help Taiwan may need.  Ethnic minorities in southern Taiwan, living often in remote villages, were the hardest hit group in Taiwan by the recent typhoon. Here is a translation of a story on the People’s Web by China News Wrap:

Hu meets delegation of ethnic minorities from Taiwan

Hu meets delegation of ethnic minorities from Taiwan

Read more…

other foot, form of flattery, crab meat

April 18th, 2009 56 comments

Here is something interesting. Please read to the end.

Tibetan Leader’s Secession Talk Stirs Furor

PARIS (AFP) — The Dalai Lama has touched off a political uproar by expressing sympathy for Tibetans who want to secede from China. His comments have made him a darling of exiled Tibetans, a target of abuse on Chinese state television and a target of criticism from regional Communist officials.

Read more…

Categories: aside, politics Tags: , ,

Quiet Reflection of the Sichuan Wen Chuan Earthquake

November 13th, 2008 8 comments

When historians look back to 2008, they may well consider China’s response to the 8+ magnitude Wen Chuan Earthquake as a key defining milestone in China’s long road to modernization. Read more…

Obama Wins the U.S. Presidency!

November 5th, 2008 70 comments

Ok – this is not exactly about China.  But heck, it’s been a big night!  What are your thoughts about the election?  Want to offer your predictions for the next four years (or eight if you are that high?) – esp. in terms of the global economy, energy policies, international politics, etc.?

P.S. I want to say that I do feel for McCain.  He is a great man and would have made a great president.  But symbolism can matter.  And unfortunately for McCain, an Obama presidency simply symbolizes “change” a lot more congently than a McCain presidency this time around…

Do you like the comment highlights provided here at Foolsmountain in the last month or so?

October 22nd, 2008 8 comments

Many members of this blog have noticed comment highlights that have been provided starting a month or so ago. The feature was started by the admin in response to some of us editors linking “sample comments” up at the top of their posts to help casual readers zoom in to some of the more thought provoking or relevant discussions (see example). Read more…

Beijing's New Air Pollution Control Measures

October 2nd, 2008 13 comments

Whatever your views on the proper role of government in societal, cultural, and economic affairs, few would argue against the government’s role (if not duty) in helping to confront the myriad environmental problems facing modern industrialized societies. Read more…

Cross-strait "Trash Talk": which side has the better cuisine?

September 23rd, 2008 32 comments

With all the arguments generated by our discussion on cross-strait politics, we need to start a topic that both sides can agree on.  One thing I think we can all agree is that Chinese Cuisine is an important aspect of Chinese Culture.  The only question is: which side of the strait has the better cuisine? 😉 Read more…

Malaysia's Ethnic Politics

September 11th, 2008 168 comments

Malaysia over the years has been known for its share of ethnic violence against Chinese and other minorities. Most recently, Ahmad Ismail, a district chief in the United Malays National Organization ruling party, has been quoted to pronounce: Read more…

Buxi is home – 7/25 update

July 25th, 2008 15 comments

Quick update… although we don’t use this as our personal blog, this is a good time to mention I’ve just arrived in Beijing.  Everyone in my family is fighting upper-respiratory infections (picked up in the US), and at times I wasn’t sure we’d make the flight… but we’re here.

Read more…

Categories: aside Tags: , , ,

Tall expectations on RMB

July 10th, 2008 13 comments

Here is a quick summary of Francesco Sisci’s take of what the G8 want with China’s currency RMB: Read more…

Categories: aside, News Tags: , ,

Translation error

July 6th, 2008 16 comments

The danger of relying on automated translation (and why Fool’s Mountain is better):

Read more…

Categories: aside, culture Tags: , ,