Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chinese too need life insurance: Chinese are not immortal

Chinese Immortality

There are plenty of tales about Chinese immortality. It seems there is a Chinese herb called Jiaogulan (jow-goo-lawn) that has such a long list of rejuvenating properties that in China they call it the "immortality" herb. Then there are "The Xian" Chinese Immortals blessed with the ability to fly, weightlessness, invisibility, longevity, mastery of the elements - earth, air, fire, and water. Add in the Ba Xian or Eight Immortals of Taoist mythology, well known throughout Chinese culture. There is a Chinese saying, "If you cannot get to heaven, then go to Hangzhou" with some Chinese claiming that Hangzhou is one of the great power spots in the universe which drew the most renowned immortality master in Chinese history, Master Ge Hong, the ancient Guan Yin community, the immense Buddhist influence at the Ling Yin temple and the majestic Song Dynasty capital. Qin Shi Huang referred to as "King Zheng of Qin" conquered the last independent Chinese state in 221 BC and ruled over the whole of China. In the final stage of his life, Qin Shi Huang feared death and desperately sought the fabled elixir of life, hunting for that elixir all over Zhifu Island sendin a Zhifu islander Xu Fu with ships carrying hundreds of young men and women in search of Mount Penglai, where the Eight Immortals lived. These unfortunate souls never returned, as they knew that returning minus elixir of immortal life will mean execution. Qin Shi Huang was buried in his mausoleum, with the famous Terracotta Army, near modern day Xi'an (Shaanxi province). Perhaps in that way, he had achieved some kind of immortality.

Why Chinese need life insurance

But are the common Chinese immortal? I haven't met one yet. Without immortality and especially if they have dependents, Chinese need life insurance like any other mortals on earth, to provide for their dependents if they leave their earthly life behind. Before Internet was invented, to get life insurance, you have to get it via a life insurance agent. But try to get term insurance, the purest form of insurance (protection) requiring the lowest premium and giving maximum coverage, from a life insurance agent. You are likely to be persuaded to get something else that promise things like getting your money back, etc. But these comes with higher premium and fatter commissions for the life insurance agents. This website Advantage Quotes is different. Prominently displayed on their website is this statement: "LIFE IS COMPLICATED....BUT TERM LIFE INSURANCE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE". Plus you can get an instant quote online. Just answer some question. After that (getting a quote), I do not know what happen but hope any readers who have experience will leave a comment to let us know how it went.

Term Life Insurance Calculator

Perhaps even before you fill in the online form, you should look at Term Life Insurance Calculator which helps you estimate how much life insurance cover you may need depending on your circumstances. To be even better informed before you request for an instant quote, read their Life Insurance Glossary so you can understand what you are involved with.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chinese in Spain

Chinese are all over the world, including Spain. Some says Chinese immigrants started arriving in Spain in the 16th century, but significant number of Chinese immigrants only started arriving in the 1920s and 1930s. They started with humble beginning, as peddlers. Then the Chinese started, you know it, Chinese restaurants and later became traders as well as ventured into the textile industry. The largest wave of Chinese immigrants into Spain was quite recent, in the 1980s. They congregate mainly around Madrid, the capital city of Spain, Barcelona, a popular tourist destination and the Canary Islands.

As usual, like other oversea Chinese of olden days, Chinese in Spain were not spared occasional persecution. In Elche, when the locals were unhappy over cheap imported merchandise from China which they felt deprive local workers of jobs, a Chinese-owned shoe warehouse was burnt down. The local Spanish also says Chinese make little effort to integrate into Spanish society.

There are almost 100,000 Chinese residing in Spain in 2006 and they ranked ninth among non-European Union foreign community in Spain.

So if Chinese are to visit Spain, they would not be without compatriots and if they hanker after Chinese food, Chinese restaurants are aplenty in Spain. Plus Spain is a popular tourist destinations.

Madrid, capital city of Spain

Madrid is the major financial center of the Iberian Peninsula, a city of great cultural and political importance with a modern infrastructure, but also had preserved many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Maybe if you visit Madrid, you may chance upon ancient mosaic works like the Mosaic Works Hercules you see below:

Mosaic Works Hercules
Photo of Mosaico Trabajos Hércules is property of Luis García

If you like to watch bullfighting, Plaza de Toros, the largest bullring of Spain is located in Madrid and Plaza de Toros is considered the world center of bullfighting. If this is your interest, you will have to go between March and October which is Madrid's bullfighting season. If the sight of blood turns you off, you can always go pub crawling for Madrid has an vast number of bars or just enjoy its very active nightlife which can last as long as until the sun rises at 7 am.

Europe is no stranger to me, but when I was traveling around Europe, Internet was non-existent. Now with my 24 hour broadband connection, if I ever visit Madrid, I will first book my accommodation online at websites like Madrid Hoteles. I am not going to waste my expensive tourist time hunting for suitable accommodation only upon arrival.

Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia

Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia lies on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of two rivers, Llobregat and Besòs. Every city seem to have its unique communication tower, and Barcelona is no exception. Here is a beautiful photo of its Sobre el cel de Barcelona:

Sobre el cel de Barcelona
Photo of Sobre el cel de Barcelona is property of Ramon

Barcelona is a city full of modern buildings, parks plus cultural and leisure activities. When you visit Catalonia in which Barcelona is located, make sure you bring along your handkerchief because your mouth will be drooling at its food is interesting, regarded as one of which some consider as the finest gastronomies in the world, with cuisine like Catalan cream, the bread with tomato (pan con ttumaca), the Catalan champaign (cava)

If you plan on visiting Barcelona, get your accommodation online from Barcelona Hoteles, online hotel booking websites which claims you can find anything from 5 star luxury hotels to hostals (hostels and small boutique hotels) at the last minute and year round at the cheapest price.

La Rambla, Barcelona

La Rambla is a 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in central Barcelona full of street theatre, cafés and market stalls and is the emotional hub of Barcelona. It is also referred to as 'Les Rambles' (Catalan) and 'Las Ramblas' (Spanish) because it is actually a series of shorter streets, and these are the plural forms of La Rambla. It must be a pretty iconic street to evoke Spanish poet Federico García Lorca to call La Rambla as "the only street in the world which I wish would never end".

La Rambla, Barcelona
Photo of La Rambla is property of Son of Groucho

For accommodation, surf over to La Ramblas Hoteles. This is a Spanish website, and I can only manage a few Spanish words like gracias and adiós, certainly not enough to understand what that website is all about. For Anglophiles like me, I will have to make do with Ramblas Hotels.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chinese in America

Chinese first started migrating to the United State of America, but the significant number of Chinese immigrants only started arriving in the States in 1848 during the California gold rush. Majority are male with low educational qualifications from the Guangdong province (who speak the Cantonese dialect). I understand they were not very well treated. In fact, Chinese were banned from migrating to the United States of America from 1885 to as recent as 1965 when the Immigration Reform and Control Act removed the ban. Racial relationship have since improved tremendously since then. Much of that I think is due to the fact that most Chinese are hardworking and do not like to interfere in the affairs of a country to which they have migrated and only want to be left alone to live their life.

However, according to a A 2001 survey of Americans' attitudes toward Chinese Americans showed that 68% of the those who responded to the survey negative or very negative attitude toward Chinese Americans. There are some positive result though. The study found that 91% had positive perceptions of Chinese Americans' strong family values, 77% had positive perceptions of Chinese Americans' honesty as business people and 67% had positive perceptions of Chinese Americans' high value on education.

Many Chinese reside in cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston, Plano, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Portland. In fact I myself have a nephew in Dallas, and niece in Houston and a distant nephew who did his tertiary education in Houston and frequently travel there. I also have a sister-in-law in Yuma, Arizona, but whose husband now works as a Pharmacist in Las Vegas. Chinese Americans represent nearly three percent of the population of California. You can find many Chinese restaurants spread all over the United States of America. My sister-in-law in Yuma in fact, owns a Chinese restaurant there.

Prominent Chinese Americans

Some Chinese Americans have succeeded in making some headway in American politics. Among them are Gary Locke, the first Chinese American governor in the United States, March Fong Eu, Hiram Fong, Thomas Tang, Daniel Akaka, Matt Fong, David Wu, Norman Bay, Elaine Chao and Leland Yee.

Others have done well in business. Some of them are Rupert Jee who owned of the Hello Deli and had made many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Andrea Jung, the Chief Executive Officer of Avon products, Charles Wang, the founder and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Computer Associates, An Wang, the computer engineer and inventor who co-founded the Wang Laboratories, and Alex Chiu, an eccentric promoter.

Many Chinese Americans have also done well in the scientific field, and in my field Physics I can count among them some Nobel laureate in Physics - Paul C. W. Chu (superconductivity), Steven Chu, Tsung-dao Lee, Samuel C. C. Ting, Daniel Chee Tsui, and last but not least - Chen Ning Yang.

And don't forget Ieoh Ming Pei, better known as I. M. Pei, a Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese American architect, considered as one of the most successful architects of the 20th century who have designed famous buildings all over the world.

Louvre and Louvre Pyramid
Photo of Louvre Pyramid is property of Stephen Carlile

The one I like best is shown above, the glass Louvre Pyramid in Paris, New York. Others include a landmark of Hong Kong, the Bank of China Tower, Raffles City in Singapore, The Gateway also in Singapore, Miho Museum in Shiga, Japan, Miho Museum, near Kyoto, also in Japan, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, Essensa East Forbes in Fort Bonifacio, Philippines, Tour EDF in La Défense, France, Torre Espacio in Madrid, Spain, Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha, Qatar, plus a very long list of projects in the United States of America itself.

Chinese are know not only for their hard working nature, but also for thrift. Thrifty Chinese Americans can sure use the Free Classified Ads. Free classified ads!!!! Which thrifty Chinese would not have use of free classified ads when they have something to buy, sell or rent. Perhaps I should draw my nephew in Dallas to Dallas Classifieds and my niece in Houston to Houston Classifieds. If my niece from Houston who is now in my home country for her sister's wedding find that useful, perhaps I should hind at a good "makan" (a 9 course dinner) for a favor done.

To make it more convincing, I have posted a test free advertisement at Offer: Freelancer for SEO jobs, freelance writer, help for bloggers which will tell me if I can use HTML. Conclusion. HTML is supported. I now know how to prepare a free classified ad and can assist anyone who want to post a free classified ad there, and will post a real classified ad when I have the time.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thrifty Chinese use VoIP calls

What is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol but is also known by other terms such as Broadband telephony, Internet telephony, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband. Pick your choice, but I think the one most people use is Voice over Internet Protocol. It uses the Internet to transmit voice over the Internet and can bring substantial savings as compared with conventional telephone calls over telephone lines.

Why thrifty Chinese likes VoIP calls

Chinese ancestors have had to endure very hard times in the past having experience famines and have acquired a habit of saving for the future. Chinese are generally thrifty people and given a chance to save on expenses will jump at it. So it is no surprise that VoIP calls to make telephone calls, especially international telephone calls. PC to PC VoIP calls are usually free, but require that both caller and receiver be online at the same time. This can be inconvenient, but it is possible to make VoIP calls from PC to fixed line phones and even PC to mobile phones, but these would of course not be free. They are however substantially cheaper than conventional fixed line phone to fixed line phone calls or fixed line phone to mobile phone calls or mobile phone to mobile phone calls.

Now you don't even need a PC (Personal Computer) as there are special adapters that you can connect to any regular phone and make calls as usual. These adapters are something like a specialized miniature computer stripped of many functions of a regular computer. I have tried one, and unlike a computer, these adapters boot up pretty fast.

VoIP Providers and call plans and charges

Enterprises that provide VoIP calls are called VoIP Providers or Internet Phone Service. Most of them will have various subscription packages such as Unlimited Long Distance Calling Plan. Different packages will have different Long Distance Phone Rates.

Chinese diaspora

About one in five of all living human being on earth is Chinese and they are spread all over the world. Many Chinese related by family ties live in different country and it is not uncommon for them to telephone each other. Furthermore, there is a tendency for Chinese to prefer to do business with other Chinese, although that tendency has been reduced to some extend in modern times. Whatever, people doing business with each other need to communicate, and businessmen wants instant communication with instant response, and not wait for other party to respond to an email. Thus international calls between Chinese businessmen from different part of the world are very common. This fairly modern invention of VoIP is a god sent for them.



Monday, January 14, 2008

Chinese are great entrepreneurs. Now Chinese should get into Internet Entrepreneurship.

Our Chinese ancestors went through very hard time in the past. Perhaps because of this, it has cultivated a hard working nature and an instinct for survival in their descendants. Perhaps also because of its very difficult past, Chinese also have an affinity for business and entrepreneurship. Look at the oversea Chinese (Chinese diaspora). They dominate the economy in many countries in which they have settled, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand (but under Thai names), etc. Look at China. From the day the Communist ruling party became more business friendly, China rose like a shooting star within a very short span of time to become a very significant player in the world's economy.

Now the new frontier - the Internet. Look at Baidu, now the leading Chinese search engine. Baidu can search websites, audio files, and images. Baidu have an index of over 740 million web pages, 80 million images, and 10 million multimedia files, and will be more by the time you read this post. Baidu even started the Japanese version of its search - Baidu also started Baidu Baike, the Chinese competitor of Chinese Wikipedia. Within 3 weeks of launching of the test version on April 20, 2006, the encyclopedia grew to more than 90,000 articles, more than that of Chinese Wikipedia which had been around for a longer time. It had been reported that Baidu Baike have more articles than the German Wikipedia and other editions of Wikipedia, only exceeded by the English Wikipedia. Baidu Baike is now growing at the rate of about 50,000 articles per month. Baidu has become the first company from China to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index in December, 2007.

A Chinese, Jerry Yang, co-founded the hugely successful Yahoo! together with David Filo. 32-year-old William Ding founded Internet portal Inc., and is now China's richest person with a personal fortune estimated at $900 million.

Where Chinese Internet entrepreneurs have not yet make a mark is as online merchants like and similar enterprises like eBay. This should be the field that Chinese should enter and hopefully excel. However, to succeed as an online merchant, you need a Merchant Account so that you can have Credit Card Processing Services. Without the ability to accept credit card payments, an online merchant is greatly handicapped as it is the most convenient and secure way of getting paid for goods (physical products or downloadable digital products).

Accepting Credit Cards on Website is the lubricant for aspiring online merchants and will help speed you on your way to success. Minus that lubricant and expect an uphill endeavor for your venture into online merchant entrepreneurship.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chinese Coffee?

What exactly is Chinese Coffee?

That is a real good question - "what is Chinese coffee?". Chinese are known for drinking Chinese tea, the sugarless type, not the English tea contaminated with unhealthy sugar and milk or creamer. Well, the most famous "Chinese Coffee" is not real coffee at all. It is a well known play by Ira Lewis made into a film for the Tribeca Film Festival, starring Al Pacino and Jerry Orbach.

Ipoh White coffee made by Chinese

Don't know if you would call this Chinese coffee because it goes by the name of "Ipoh white coffee", but it was invented by the Chinese proprietor of Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia and highly popular with tin mine workers in the 19th century. Ipoh White Coffee has now spread far and wide and is now even available in instant variety.

Do Chinese drink coffee?

Now that is not a good question, but a silly one. Of course!!! Chinese are just another race of the human species. I am Chinese myself, and I drink coffee. However, I don't particularly go for the Ipoh white coffee. I go for the regular black ones. But I am also that sub-species of human which may perhaps go by its scientific name "lazy human" or something like that. I prefer convenience, but not to the extend of purchasing instant coffer or the now highly popular and highly over-prized 3-in-1 types. I prefer coffee powder, but I don't like the time consuming, traditional way of making coffee boiling it, then filtering off the coffee powder. Give me a coffee maker anytime. Add coffee powder, water, switch on, and go back to my computer. No messy cleaning of filters, etc.

Krups DuoThek 324 20-Cup Coffee MakerBut there are so many brands of coffee makers. However, out of all these brands, there is the Krups coffee maker. Krups is a German kitchen appliance manufacturer that is the world's leading manufacturer of coffee and espresso machines. And everyone knows the German reputation for technical expertise and manufacturing reliable products. According to the above products review website which uses WIZERANK, a simple number form 0 to 100, 0 being the worst and 100 being the best, the highest ranked Krups coffee maker is Krups DuoThek 324 20-Cup Coffee Maker with a WIZERANK of 94, which places it in the "buy with confidence" category. However, that is a 20 cups coffee maker, and I can't drown 20 cups of coffee in a day, much less in a single sitting. This Krups FME4 12-Cup Coffee Maker might be more suitable for my small family plus my bank account as its price range is only from $55 to $90 compared with $190 to $229 for the Krups DuoThek 324 20-Cup Coffee Maker although it has a lower WIZERANK of 87 which still places it in the category of "Might meet your needs" which to me is sufficient as what I want is for my needs to be met, and other factors are less important.