Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chinese need mortgages too

Ethnic Chinese have often been compared to the Jews. Just as the Jews have the Jew Diaspora, Chinese too have their Chinese Diaspora. In can find Chinese in almost every corner of the world including Asian countries where they are often regarded as rich towkays (business boss) associated with wealth. It is not surprising for Chinese ancestors have gone through very hard times and have honed their survival skills to a fine degree. Many have prospered because of hard work and emphasis on education. However, one cannot say all are rich. Many will need mortgages either to buy houses, to finance their business ventures, to finance their children's education. I know. I was one of them who had to get into debt to finance my children's education in foreign countries because it is almost impossible for them to get into subsidized public universities in my country. Even if they can get admitted, they will not likely to get their choice field of study. Further, because of flawed policies, none of my country public university made it into the top 200 universities of the world.

Chinese in United Kingdom

Wikipedia reported that the Chinese are the fastest growing non-European ethnic group in the United Kingdom, growing at 11% per annum between 2001-2003 with growth coming almost exclusively from immigration. Immigrants are not likely to be rich and obviously will need a roof over their head. So they will likely need to purchase residential properties. I doubt any significant ethnic Chinese in United Kingdom can afford to purchase residential properties with 100% cash. That can only mean one thing - mortgage. What exactly are mortgages? According to Wikipedia, a mortgage is a method of using property (real or personal) as security for the performance of an obligation, usually the payment of a debt. In most cases, the debt will be in form of a loan as part payment for a real estate property or to secure working capital for a business.

For ethnic Chinese living in the United Kingdom, it is obvious that if they ever need a mortgage, they will end up with a UK mortgage. It is most natural and most convenient.



Friday, February 15, 2008

More high IQ kids in China than in whole of North America

Did you know? Sometimes size matter. If you're one in a million in China, there are 1,300 people just like you. In India, there are 1,100 people just like you.

The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQs is greater than the total population of North America. In India, it's the top 28%. Translation for teachers: they have more honors kids than we have kids.

Did you know? China will soon become the number one English-speaking country in the world. If you took every single job in the US today and shipped it to China, it still would have a labor surplus.

During the course if this presentation

  1. 60 babies will be born in the US.
  2. 244 babies will be born in China.
  3. 351 babies will be born in India.

The US Department of Labor estimates that today's learner will have 10 to 14 jobs by age 38. According to the US Department of Labor, 1 out of 4 workers today is working for a company for whom they have been employed less than 1 year.

More than 1 out of 2 are working for a company for whom they have worked less than 5 years.

According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, the top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn't exist in 2004. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet.

Name this country

  1. Richest in the world

  2. Largest military

  3. Center of world business and finance

  4. Strongest education system

  5. World center of innovation and invention

  6. Currency the world standard of value

  7. Highest standard of living

England, in 1900

Did you know? The US is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration (Luxembourg just passed us). Nintendo invested more than $140 million in research and development in 2002 alone. The US federal government spent less than half as much on research and innovation in education. 1 of every 8 couples married in the US last year met online.

There are over 106 million registered users of MySpace (as of September 2006). If Myspace were a country, it would be the 11th-largest in the world (between Japan and Mexico). The average MySpace page is visited 30 times a day.

Did you know? We are living in exponential times. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month. To whom were these questions addressed B.G. (before Google)?

The number of text messages sent and received everyday exceeds the population of the planet. There are about 540,000 words in the English language, about 5 times as many as during Shakespeare's time. More than 3,000 new books are published, daily. It is estimated that a week's worth of New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. It is estimated that 1.5 exabytes 1.5 x 1018 of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That is estimate to be more than in the previous 5,000 years. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.

For students starting a new four-year technical or college degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study. It is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.

Third-generation fiber optics has recently been tested by both NEC and Alcatel that pushes 10 trillion bits per second down one strand of fiber. That's 1,900 CDs, or 150 million simultaneous phone calls, every second. It's currently tripling about every 6 months and is expected to do so for at least the next 20 years. The fiber is already there. They're just improving the switches on their ends, which means the marginal cost of those improvements is effective $0. Predictions are that e-Paper will be cheaper than real paper.

47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year. The $100 laptop project is expecting to ship between 50 to 100 million laptops a year to children in underdeveloped countries. Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computing capability of the human brain. By 2023, when 1st-graders will be just 23 years old and beginning their (first) careers, it will take a $1,000 computer to exceed the capabilities of the human brain. And while technical predictions farther out than about 15 years are hard to make, prediction are that by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities for the human race.

What does it all mean? Shift happens. Now you know, share.

This is exactly what I am doing. And the easiest way to share is to embed the video presentation into a blog post, put it on the web and publish a transcript. Enjoy.



Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chinese likes to travel, especially to Spain

From ages ago, Chinese have been traveling. Admiral Zheng (Cheng Ho) explored the world with his mighty fleet and now some even claimed he was in the American continent before Columbus. Other Chinese traveled for different reasons. At one time in the past, Chinese in China faced great hardship, and many migrated hoping to find greener pastures and you now can find Chinese in many countries of the world. Just as you have the Jew Diaspora, you also have the Chinese Diaspora, except in my opinion, the Chinese Diaspora is more widespread.

Now modern Chinese travel for different reasons. Many travel because they have found their pot of gold and travel for vacations. Others are Chinese businessmen who travel for business. And they travel not only from China, but from all over the world because of the Chinese Diaspora.

Spain as a tourist and business destination

There are many things in Spain to attract the Chinese there. There is of course the pleasant sunny, warm Mediterranean weather plus the beautiful beaches. Then there are fellow resident Chinese in Spain itself plus their Chinese restaurants and the Chinese textiles and trade industries for Chinese businessmen. Some may want to catch a glimpse of He Zhi Wen, a world-ranked table tennis player.

Costa Brava, Spain

Costa Brava, Spain
Photo of a Costa Brava beach is property of S Khan
Costa Brava is a coastal region located at the northeastern part of Catalonia, Spain. The name itself conveys an impression of a rugged or wild coast for "Costa" is the Spanish word for "coast" and Brava implies "rugged" or "wild". You can find many rocky cliffs in Costa Brava, which is a long 60 kilometer coastal stretch from Blanes to the French border. It is now not so "wild" for in the Spanish Franco government in the 1950s identified Costa Brava as a region to be developed as a holiday destination, especially for package holiday tourists from Northern Europe and particularly the United Kingdom with it gloomy and frequently rainy climate. There are now large numbers of hotels and apartments in various seaside resorts like Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Blanes, and l'Estartit and the tourism industry is rapidly taking over from fishing as the major economic activity of the Costa Brava.

Online accommodation booking available at Costa Brava Hotels.

Costa Del Sol, Spain

Costa del Sol, Spain
Photo of Costa del Sol is property of Yareeh

Costa del Sol which is Spanish for "Sun Coast" or "Sunshine Coast", is the southern region of Spain as part of the autonomous region of Andalusia. This 150 kilometer stretch of coastal region had been transformed from a series of small, peaceful fishing settlements to a modern world tourist destination with a mixture of modern high-rise buildings and resorts and old styled low-rise local Andalusian architectural multi-dwelling blocks. You can still find those narrow streets that you see in the photo above which not be able to take the modern cars but which are tourist attractions in pockets of Costa del Sol.

Some towns, particularly Marbella, have become playgrounds for the super-rich and famous visitors. Recently, many high quality golf courses, mostly centered around Marbella, have been developed and now Costa Del Sol is attracting golfers from Europe as well as the rest of the world.

Online accommodation booking is available at Costa Del Sol Hotels.

Alicante, the Spanish province

Alicante is a Spanish province in which there is also an Alicante city and also the costal Valencian coastal municipality, Benidorm, both of which will be described in more details below. Alicante, the province, is located in the southern part of the Valencian Community.

Alicante, the city

Alicante city, Spain
Photo of a street in Alicante city is property of The Joneses

Alicante, the city, is the capital of the Alicante province and also one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain. It is also a historic and still active Mediterranean port with regular ferry services to Algeria and the Balearic Islands. So Alicante can be your launching pad for visits to Africa.

Like the other places, Alicante economy is largely based on the tourism industry with its popular beaches. The influx of tourists has stimulated a construction boom which has transformed a formerly rundown port into a sophisticated city with clean beaches, world-class museums, wide attractive boulevards plus a new harbor complex. This also means you will be seeing the stuff that comes with a construction boom - tall cranes, half completed buildings, cement mixers, etc. But the old part of the city is largely preserved and active with bars, restaurants and shops.

Online accommodation booking is available from Alicante Hotels.

Benidorm, Spain

Benidorm, Spain
Photo of Benidorm, Spain, belong to Juan Carlos

Benidorm is a costal Valencian coastal municipality located in the province of Alicante beside the Mediterranean Sea. Benidorm can boast of having many tall buildings and is sometimes referred to as the "Manhattan of Spain" because of a similar skyline featuring many tall hotels and apartment buildings you don't find in other parts of Costa Blanca. The photo at the top shows the degree to which Benidorm skyline resembles that of Manhattan of the United States of America.

Benidorm is much frequently by British and Dutch tourists, particularly the British. It is possible that in the more touristy part of Benidorm, you may hear more people speaking in English or Dutch than Spanish. The extent of the overwhelming presence of British tourist can be seen in many Benidorm pubs touting the fact that they have "authentic British menu". Looks like what many people consider British cuisine as rather bland, British still prefer their own "bland" English food. Pretty much like many Chinese who when touring a foreign country, will head for a Chinese restaurant rather than sampling the local cuisine, something I, a Chinese, find strange. If I am in a foreign country, I would rather try out what the local cuisine taste like rather than sticking to the same old familiar food. Benidorm is also a popular tourist draw because starting from around 9pm and continuing into the early hours of the morning, there are free cabaret acts.

For online accommodation booking, try Benidorm Hotels.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, the capital of Spain. Barcelona lies on the Mediterranean coast and is both a major economic center as well as one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports. Chinese businessmen should be attracted to Barcelona like bees to honey. For Chinese tourists, there is Barcelona's rich cultural heritage and architectural buildings designed by world renown architects of old, like Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Antoni Gaudí. Their creations have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Photo of La Rambla is property of Andy Wright

The center of attraction of Barcelona is probably La Rambla or Las Ramblas, a very busy 1 over kilometer pedestrian mall lined on both sides by trees as you can see in the photo above. La Rambla is much visited by tourists as well as locals, although the tourists will likely be the majority here. La Rambla can be very crowded during the major tourist season, and the photo above is very likely taken during the off-season. You can find many cafés, theaters, small shops and market stalls there, as you can see from the photo above. You may also see various street performances by actors, mimes, etc. The thrifty Chinese tourists are not likely to patronize the cafes and restaurants here as prices can be pretty high.

Online accommodation booking is available from Barcelona Las Ramblas Hotels.



Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lucky panties for Year of the Rat

Chinese calendar is based on the moon (lunar) and each year is associated with an animal. The coming new year is Year of the Rat and now it seems wearing panties with an image of a rat is lucky for the wearer for that New Year. Here is an example of what Chinese seeking good fortune may be wearing (it is a combination of 2 photos):

panties with photo of a rat

This photo is a combination of photos belonging to Crystal Foxx and Beau Wade

Want to try it ladies? Maybe it can bring good fortune for non-Chinese wearers of such panties as well. Who knows? You my win a million dollar lottery as a result of this tip. If you happen to get such good fortune, please do not forget me.