Startup Grind Guangzhou Hosts Greg Bernarda (Value Proposition Design)


Greg Bernarda is a thinker, creator and facilitator who supports individuals, teams and organizations with strategy and innovation. He works with inspired leaders to (re)design a future which employees, customers, and communities can recognize as their own. His projects have been with the likes of Colgate, Volkswagen, Harvard Business School and Capgemini. Greg is a frequent speaker; he is a co-author of Value Proposition Design (Wiley, 2014); he co-founded a series of events on sustainability in Beijing; and is an advisor at Utopies in Paris. Prior to that, he was at the World Economic Forum for eight years setting up initiatives for members to address global issues. (more…)

Ginger or Mary Ann?


Ron's Blog

Article first published as Politically Correct Gingerbread on Blogcritics.

I had fun doing research for this article. My entire ten minutes was wasted, however, as I’m writing about the hot and spicy root plant called ginger, and not Ginger, the hot and spicy castaway from Gilligan’s Island.

Be that as it may, I did discover I’m somewhat in the minority. It seems Mary Ann consistently outpolls Ginger in which-one-do-you-prefer competitions. In support of Ginger, let me just refer you to this wonderful 1957 recording of Tina Louise singingIt’s Been a Long Time.

Chinese love ginger. I also think some of them may get a perverse pleasure out of tricking me into sucking on a mouthful of it. My first experience was on a bus during a school field trip to the China countryside. Somebody was passing around a bag of ginger candy and WOWEE! Chunks of ginger are not…

View original post 335 more words

Lose Weight and Save Money by Switching to an Asian Diet


Ron's Blog

My friend told me a joke the other day: “Have you heard obesity in America has hit a plateau? Yeah, we’ve gotten as fat as we can possibly get!” Not so funny, huh? My friend weighs over 300 lbs.

The other alarming trend – and this is no joke – the rate of poverty is also on the rise. The latest statistic I read is 1 out 7 Americans lives at or below poverty level. And there’s certainly a lot more of us struggling to make ends meet.

How can this be? Wouldn’t you think if so many of us are just scraping by, there would be a lot more skinny Americans? It can’t be just lack of exercise. Something else must be going on. My guess is that we are eating the wrong things in the wrong way.

Here are some steps to help you take control of your…

View original post 207 more words

Happy Thanksgiving – Don’t Forget the Pie Plant!


Grandma's Rhubarb Pie

Grandma’s Rhubarb Pie

Consider the humble pie-plant. That’s what rhubarb is sometimes called.  Like tomatoes, it belongs to a small group of identity-challenged fruits, I mean vegetables, I mean fruits. Apparently rhubarb got into some legal difficulties in New York back in 1947 and had to go to court to prove its fruitishness.

Rhubarb is a card-carrying member of the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. Now doesn’t that make your mouth water? It’s leaves are toxic and it’s roots are perennial. It’s green-to-reddish stalks, however, are the stuff of childhood memories. At least the stuff of my childhood memories.

My grandpa on my mother’s side was an insurance salesman. But he spent all his free time in his beloved garden. Now when I say garden I mean backyard farm. He was a beekeeper and organic hippie without the beads and long hair. He was cool and didn’t even know it. Nor did I at the time. Rhubarb reminds me of him.

Apparently there is something called the Rhubarb Triangle in Jolly Olde England. If you have nothing better to do, look it up. No ships have been reported missing, however local residents apparently harvest rhubarb stalks by candlelight. Are they Rhubarbarians? Nobody knows for sure.

My sister-in-law compiled a family cookbook a few years ago. On page 47 is a recipe for Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie. The recipe actually came from an old newspaper clipping my mother found. Although it calls for a cup and a half of sugar, it’s not a big deal because the recipe was written back in the days when sugar was good for you.

Ingredients:

2 cups diced rhubarb (more or less)
1 cup sour cream
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 ½ cup sugar

Directions:

Put rhubarb in unbaked pie shell. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over rhubarb. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees and 40 additional minutes at 375 degrees. Pie will begin to set up as it finishes baking.

Sister-in-law Becky adds this note: This easy recipe makes a very rich dessert. I have often used other fruit such as blackberries, raspberries or peaches. It’s especially good when made with the first rhubarb from the garden in early Spring.

Spring is still a long way off, but don’t let that stop you. Rhubarb, with it’s cheerful shades of red and green is also a Christmas fruit. Or vegetable.

How To Interpret Dreams


Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball

Did they have pepperoni pizza in ancient Egypt? Was Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and the seven skinny cows the result of a late night snack, or something more meaningful? Joseph’s take on it was that “interpretations belong to God.” (Genesis 40:8).

We spend a third of our life in slumber. A good part of that time we spend in dreamland. Westerners have a habit of approaching life from a scientific, analytical viewpoint; we’re naturally suspicious of mystic mumbo-jumbo. In contrast, other cultures have no problem jumping in with both feet.

For the sake of balance, let’s just take the position that dreams are interesting… weird, but interesting. Here are some steps you can follow if you want to do your own dream study.

Step 1

Get a notebook and put it by your bed. This is going to be your dream diary. Since we’ve already agreed that dreams are weird, you should take whatever steps necessary to protect your privacy. Enough said.

Step 2

Before going to sleep, you should write down a summary of the day’s events. You should also write down anything you’d like to “work on” during the night. You know – string theory, world peace – stuff like that. Or maybe you just need a seven letter word for “rash.”

Step 3

If you wake up in the middle of the night, note the time and what you were dreaming. You might also like to make a note to fix that leaky faucet.

Step 4

When you wake in the morning write down everything you can remember about any dreams you may have had. Then call the plumber.

Step 5

Don’t rush into dream interpretation just yet. You’ll need to get used to this routine and collect sufficient “data.” (Even though I’m taking a light-hearted tone, I think this is actually pretty important stuff.)

Step 6

There’s a scientific principle that states you cannot observe anything in nature without changing it. In this case, that’s a good thing. You should start to remember more and more of your dream life.

Step 7

Once you’ve collected a couple of weeks worth of data, it’s time for phase two. Read over what you’ve written. Look for patterns, insights and connections between your dream time and your awake time.

Although there’s a wealth of material available on the subject of dream interpretation, steer clear of it at this point. The question is “what do YOU think your dreams are trying to tell you?”

Step 8

As much as possible, share your experiences with those who are closest to you. Ask them for ideas. And yes, it’s okay now to go to the Internet, library and (if you must) your local psychic. If you’re really concerned, make an appointment with your doctor.

Tips and warnings

Most of us probably don’t get the quantity or quality of sleep we need. Now is the time to do something about it. Clean your bedroom, put fresh sheets on your bed, flip the mattress. (Not necessarily in that order.)

How much caffeine do you consume in a day? If you think it may be too much, cut it out altogether for a short period and see if that affects your sleep or your dreams.

Diet and exercise have a profound effect on sleep and dreams. I guess you knew that already, huh?

This is enough for one article, so good luck with your study and, of course, sweet dreams!

How to Find a Chinese Bride


China Bride Blog

She's Out of My League She’s Out of My League

Dear China Bride Blog,

I just finished watching a movie called She’s Out of  My League. In the movie a guy who is a 5 or a 6 gets the girl who is a 10. Do you think this is possible? I consider myself to be a 5, but if I shower and stuff I could probably be a 6.5 or possibly a 7. The problem is I always go for 10’s. What’s your advice?

Loveless in Lake Wobegon

Dear Loveless,

Dude, it’s a movie! However, you might want to read the following article…

How to Find a Chinese Bride

Step 1
Be serious. Chinese women do not like players either. Their culture is intensely marriage and family oriented.

Step 2
Be stable. You don’t have to be rich (although it helps), but most Chinese women want to know if you own a house…

View original post 213 more words

Angry Birds, Angry Words


http___web-assets.angrybirds.com_abcom_img_games_223_Icon_download_ab_223x223“What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?”

Enjoyed this post.

Angry Words

How to Lose Weight and Save Money with an Asian Diet


My friend told me a joke the other day: “Have you heard obesity in America has hit a plateau? Yeah, we’ve gotten as fat as we can possibly get!” Not so funny, huh? My friend weighs over 300 lbs.

Chinglish Movie Poster

Chinglish Movie Poster

The other alarming trend – and this is no joke – the rate of poverty is also on the rise. The latest statistic I read is 1 out 7 Americans lives at or below poverty level. And there’s certainly a lot more of us struggling to make ends meet.

How can this be? Wouldn’t you think if so many of us are just scraping by, there would be a lot more skinny Americans? It can’t be just lack of exercise. Something else must be going on. My guess is that we are eating the wrong things in the wrong way.

Here are some steps to help you take control of your food budget, weight and health by switching (slowly) to an Asian Diet.

Step 1
Drink iced tea instead of soda. You can sweeten the tea naturally with fresh fruit. Green tea also has fat-burning properties. For more on this, see my article How to Lose Weight with Green Tea.

Step 2
Learn the art of stir-fry. Use little slices of meat to complement the vegetables. You’ll be surprised at the flavors you can get out of meat scraps, bits of fat and even bones! Check out my article, How to be a Stir-Fry Hero.

Step 3
Learn how to eat with chopsticks. It’s a fun way to make yourself take small bites and slow down while eating.

Step 4
Purchase a bamboo steamer and use it. Vegetables retain more nutrients when they are steamed.

Step 5
Plant a vegetable garden. You can even grow vegetables indoors in the wintertime.

Step 6
Learn how to sprout beans and seeds. Use them in salads and other dishes.

Step 7
You don’t have to stop eating potatoes; after all, they’re cheap and nutritious. Try substituting rice, noodles or pasta for a change of pace.

Step 8
The number 8 is lucky in China. So, good luck and good fortune to you! If you want to learn more about cooking Asian food, see my article on How to Cook Chinese Style.

How to Travel the World and Get Paid to Do It!


The Bucket List

The Bucket List

Is your bucket list full and bank account empty? Perfect. Now’s the time to plan an extended vacation abroad! Sound crazy? Not really. If you have portable skills or residual income, there are many countries where your talents are in demand and your money will stretch a lot further.

Even if you aren’t in the group just mentioned, don’t despair. You may be able to put your ability to speak English and your knowledge of Western culture to practical use. Ever thought of teaching English as a Second Language? Here are the steps.

Step 1

Update your resume. Having a college degree is a definite plus, however there are courses you can take towards certification as an ESL teacher. These courses usually take about one or two months to complete and can often be done online. Check out the Internet to learn more about different types of ESL certification.

Step 2

Place your resume online. There are numerous websites where you can browse ESL jobs and also post your resume. Before you put up personal information, however, be sure to read the website directions and disclaimers.

Two of my favorite ESL sites are ESL Teachers Board and Dave’s ESL Café. By the way, some countries prefer a CV, which is like an expanded resume concentrating on your academic experience.

Step 3

Get your passport. If you’ve never had a passport, you’ll need to apply in person at your nearest passport facility, which is quite often the local U.S. Post Office. Details are available on the official government website: Travel.State.Gov

Step 4

Screen carefully. After you post your resume online, you’ll start getting invitations to teach. Unfortunately, not every invitation you receive may be legitimate. The ESL websites I mentioned in Step 2 have a wealth of information about finding the right teaching position and being safe in the process. Do your homework.

Step 5

Negotiate a contract. This is sometimes easier said than done, however a good way to tackle this chore is to ask the school if you can speak with one or two of their current or former ESL teachers. If the school has nothing to hide, they should be willing to let you do this. If they are reluctant, keep looking.

Step 6

Get ready to travel. Many schools will offer some reimbursement for your travel expenses, so be sure to ask. Travel lightly. If you’ve established contact with another ESL teacher at the same or similar school, ask them what to bring. The best thing you can take along is an open mind.

Tips and Warnings:

In addition to your passport, you may need a visa for travel to certain countries. Once you know which country you will be working in, check out the official website of their Embassy or Consulates for more information.

Prepare yourself for jet lag and culture shock. Perhaps the best preparation you can make is just be aware that you will experience them.

Never put yourself in a position where you don’t have enough money to leave if things don’t work out.

Get ready for the experience of a lifetime. I’ve been living and teaching in China since August, 2004. Every day is an adventure. Good luck and good journey!

Opposites Attract!


How to Find a Chinese Brideillustration_painting_artwork_of_Chinese_beauty_in_ancient_costume_bi41230

One of the most common interracial pairings is Western man and Asian woman. The attraction is very real, and for good reason. After all, opposites do attract! If you are about to give up on finding Miss Right, perhaps it is time you went looking for Miss Wong! Here are a few pointers to help you in your search for marital bliss.

Step 1
Be serious. Chinese women do not like players either. Their culture is intensely marriage and family oriented.

Step 2
Be stable. You don’t have to be rich (although it helps), but most Chinese women want to know if you own a house and a car.

Step 3
Be willing to stretch a little. By this I mean you should be interested in Chinese culture and language. The good news is that the Internet makes it possible to become a scholar overnight. Well, not exactly, but close.

Even if you don’t speak a word of Mandarin and she speaks no English, translation software can help you communicate. Check out babelfish.com. Just remember the KISS principle, however. Keep It Short and Simple!

Step 4
Now that we’ve checked you out, it’s time to check her out! A quick Google search for “China Bride” or “Asian Dating” will yield a goldmine of results. Remember that most of these sites require a fee at some point. Do your research before you pull out the plastic.

Step 5
Be indirect. This is a tough one for us Americans. Naughty talk will come eventually, but don’t push it. Be very, very patient.

Step 6
Be ready to travel. China is a fantastic country. Even if you’re not ready to pop the question, you should at least take a look at her side of the world. And by the way, culture shock is a very, very real thing; you should carefully consider where you both will live once the knot is tied.