Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

More Important Than You Think……

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I realized just tonight that the internet is WAY more important and useful than I thought.

It can be the biggest waste of time ever (which is how most people use it) OR, it can be used in a way to completely change your life for the better.

This is all obvious and probably sounds like its not new at all.  It seems like it was an article written in 1996, not 2013…

Just stay with me here; please.  I think you’ll see what I mean.

If you’ve read my blogs (You really should) or listened to our hundreds of podcasts (The best are here in the VIP)

then you already know I don’t have a lot of respect for formal education.  I think it’s pretty much a waste of time and money (except for the social and partying parts of it)

I just didn’t really know WHY I thought this so strongly.  I had an idea why, but it really wasn’t SUPER clear until tonight.  That’s why I’m writing this blog now.  It’s fresh in my mind and I actually want to share it with you guys.  It still amazes me that I can connect with people all over the world with an idea, and do it instantly from my bedroom in Shanghai.  Imagine doing this only 20 years ago?

…Anyway, here is my point.  I was thinking about how fast information is changing, and how being good at searching for information really makes a lot of school a complete waste of time.  With information changing so fast all the time, school often becomes a joke because they are teaching stuff that isn’t useful TODAY.  How could it be?  Even our cultural values and beliefs change because society is always so different now.  Old people have very useful advice on what things to appreciate in life, and some huge and important general wisdom they’ve learned from years of life experience.  But they often, not always, but often have really pathetic advice for what is currently possible in today’s world.  They just don’t get how easy it is to learn new stuff and how we can change our lives quickly with that new info.

It used to be such a great skill to be a lawyer.  ”WOOOO, he/she has a law degree”  It was such a big deal in the past, and people had such respect for this kind of thing.  Now, it’s really not a big deal at all; at least it shouldn’t be.

Sorry if you are a lawyer, and I’d love to read your comments if you are, but laws are not secrets.  20 years ago, or even less, if you didn’t know how some legal thing worked, then how would you find the information?  You’d have to contact a lawyer and ask them.  You’d have to pay a bunch of money as well, even just to ask them a question.

I mean, would you find some info on laws in a book you found in a library?  I highly doubt it.  It was the same with accounting, the same with medicine, the same with even cooking foreign foods.  If you didn’t know how to cook an Indian curry 20 years ago, you had no chance in learning.  Now you’d be a fool if you couldn’t find that info in 2 minutes.

In today’s world, if you know how to search the internet well, you can really find out anything.  This concept is not new, but what is new (at least to me) is what this all means……

It means that most of what we learned in school, from our parents, and from our culture is garbage.  (Well, it’s not all garbage, but a lot of it is very very wrong)

How we learn now is different.  The speed we learn is different; it’s much faster.   Each person can become so much more knowledgeable than people in the past; like 50 times more knowledgeable.  It should make us run our lives in a completely different way.  We really don’t need so much formal education.

If you want to know about marketing, you can find about it online.  If you want to know about accounting, you can find it online.  Even though many of the articles are basic, you can at least find a good book on Amazon and order it if you want something more advanced.  We should be able to do many more jobs than before, and we should be able to learn a lot about them quickly.  We should be able to do so many more things than people in previous generations did.  We can just find the information we don’t know about in a couple seconds.

I think we’re only beginning to realize how powerful the internet can be.  This is just the beginning.  The earlier you TRULY understand this concept and apply it to your life, the better your life will be.

Most people still are not taking advantage of the opportunities that lie on the internet.  Do you agree with me?  Why or why not?

How could you use it to improve your life?

Love to read your comments!

See you in the VIP room

Fat tax?

Monday, July 8th, 2013

I’ve always found this to be an interesting story and I’ve heard this being discussed for years now.  I’ll post a link to the CNN article I read at the bottom of this post.

Here is the basic idea:  The fuel (gas) costs for airplanes is HUGE.  Doing anything to save fuel costs is a very important business idea for any airline company.  The problem is that this can be a very sensitive issue.  We all know that it costs more money (a lot more) to fly with very expensive luggage.  But what about if you are fat yourself?  It’s not very easy for the airlines to say, “sorry sir, you are too fat. We need to charge you extra money to pay for the extra fuel required to fly your fat ass all over the world”.

I even remember a debate from years ago about charging super fat people double price.  This idea was not because of the fuel price, but because some people were so fat that they literally needed to sit on 2 seats.  We all know that airplane seats aren’t very big in economy class, and it’s easy to imagine that its absolutely impossible to put 3 super super fat people side by side in 3 seats.  (If you don’t believe that there are many people who are really that fat, then, well, I guess you’ve never been to the USA!)

Anyway, this topic is about any extra weight on a plane costing the airlines money.  Due to “political correctness” and an overly sensitive world (especially in the West) it’s impossible to charge passengers based on their body weight.

One Indian airline company recently had an interesting idea.  They announced that they are going to hire mostly petite (small) female staff.  A lot of airlines do this anyway, but they are making it a policy (rule) and their reason is that it will save them money on fuel costs.  I think it’s obvious that most airlines want to hire attractive young female flight attendants for other reasons, like for all the male passengers who love staring at them (even though men don’t easily admit this).  It’s good for almost any business to have attractive females deal with the customers.  But it’s not easy to just say “we are only going to hire attractive women”.

Anyway, the Indian airline gets to have the “best of both worlds”.  The way they are selling this idea to the public is they are saying that they want small females because it saves them “gas money”.  Apparently, just hiring mostly small women will save the company $500 000 USD per year in fuel costs.  That is a lot of money, AND it’s better for the environment.

I know what a lot of “western people” think about this topic, and I’m interested in your international opinion.  Please share your comments as usual in the comments section below.

1.  Do you think it’s ok for airline companies to start charging heavy people more money to fly?  Why or why not?

2.  Do you think people in the west are “overly sensitive” about these things?

3.  Do you think it’s ok to hire only small females for this job?  Is it fair?  Why or why not?

There are really no right or wrong answers, all of this stuff is just personal opinion to get you guys talking and practising English.  I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

We’ve got the live chat set up now and some more cool movies in here:  Live chat and more cool movies

Here was the original article from CNN.

Can’t wait to read your thoughts!

Our Food!! GMO’s

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

I’d love to hear the “international view” of this topic.  It’s about “GMO” food, and it’s a topic that I’ve been quite interested in lately.  (GMO) stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms”.   “Organisms” mean “living things”.  ”Genetically modified” means that the genes (genetics) have been changed (modified).  In this case, it’s essentially talking about fruits and vegetables that have been changed by scientists.

This is big business:  HUGE business.  There are several large multi-national corporations that are trying to change and control the food we eat.   They hire scientists to play around with the natural genes in plants and some animals.  They want to make fruit and vegetables that are bigger, more colourful, more difficult for insects to eat, better at growing in hot/cold weather…

That sounds great if that’s the whole story.  Unfortunately, it’s not even close!

The reason I started looking into this topic was because I was doing some research on the types of foods that will make me healthiest.  I want to change my diet to eat only the stuff that will make me look and feel the best, live the longest, and give me the most energy.

When I was researching this stuff, I saw a lot of information about how “big business” is controlling our food.  I sort of knew they were doing it, but I recently found out that it’s MUCH worse that I thought before.

There are many problems with GM food.  One of them is that the companies don’t test them for long enough before allowing the people to eat them.  They don’t really know if these foods are healthy or not for us in the long term.  They just “hope for the best” and only care about whether or not they are making money.  It’s much easier to grow and sell GM foods, and big business is ONLY about making money.

To be honest, I don’t really care if some companies are playing “mind games” with us and trying to get us to buy an iPhone instead of a Samsung; it’s just a phone.  What makes me sick, however, is the idea that they do this with everything, even the food we eat and the water we drink.

Another problem with GM food is that it’s horrible for local farmers.  These companies own the legal rights to their seeds and they force farmers to grow and sell these foods.  The farmers have no choice, because if they are growing a big field of rice or corn, they won’t have control if one little patented GM seed blows in the wind and onto their field.  If this happens (which ALWAYS happens) the big company can take the little farmer to court and say that the farmer is cheating by stealing their seeds.  This is even true if the farmer only has 0.01% GM food by accident.  It’s sick!

Many people are starting to “wake up” to the problem with GM foods, but these companies are so strong and tricky.  Just a couple weeks ago there was a big court battle about this topic.  Of course, the rich companies won…..  What happened was this:  One state in the USA wanted to force people who grew GM products to put a GM label (a sticker) on the food.  This was to let the people know what they were buying.  That seems totally reasonable right?  People should absolutely know if the food they are buying has been played around with by scientists or not.  But the court said that the GM companies DO NOT have to put labels on the food.  This is crazy, and this means that we don’t know if the food is GM food or not when we are shopping.

I watched a couple AWESOME documentaries about this topic.  They explain about the whole modern farming industry and what is going on by these insane companies.  They show what happens when mice eat these GM foods (It’s really scary and I hope this won’t happen to us later.  Many mice get sick or get cancers from the GM food).  They show how difficult life is for the farmers from all over the world.  They interview one Canadian farmer who took the company to the biggest court in Canada.  The company, Monsanto, tried to scare this farmer and this company does it to farmers all over the world.  I’ve shown my friends and family these documentaries and they all thought they were awesome.  I put BOTH full length documentaries here in the special VIP community for you guys to watch and discuss.

I’d love to know what you think or know about the topic of GM food.  What is the news saying about this in your country?  Do you believe it?  What do you think we can do to fight for healthy food?  Do your farmers have to grow this stuff?  Be careful.  I hope these large companies lose and they don’t control the world’s food.  ”Google this” and do some research on GM food in your country and please share with us.

911 Conspiracy Theory

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

I haven’t talked to you guys yet about a “conspiracy theory” but I’d love to.  I’ve been getting interested in these lately and I want to get your thoughts.  It’s interesting to talk about, get international opinions about, and also great for teaching new and useful English.

First of all, here is the correct pronunciation of the word “conspiracy”.  It’s pronounced like this:  ”conspeerasee”.

A “conspiracy theory” is basically a theory that is a complete contradiction to whatever the government and the media want the “stupid people” to believe.  There are many conspiracy theories, some are true, some are not true, but many are interesting to at least think about.  It’s always better to hear both sides of an argument and think for yourself.  It’s terrible to “take anyone’s word” for something.  If you “take someone’s word” for something, it just means you believe them without questioning them.

One example of a conspiracy theory is the many people wondering if astronauts from the USA “REALLY” landed on the moon in the 1960′s OR if they just “faked it”.  Some people believe it was definitely true, some people are suspicious and believe it was fake.  That type of thing gives you an idea of what a conspiracy theory means.

Any time you hear “911″ or “9 eleven” you are either hearing about the emergency police and fire phone number in the US and in Canada, OR you are hearing about what happened on September 11th, 2001.  That was a day that changed history.  I personally HATE the way the US reacted to this tragedy when the airplanes flew into the buildings in New York city.  I think they over reacted and made the world LESS safe, not more safe.  What do you think?

There are many conspiracy theories about what exactly happened on that day.  Many people believe it was a huge “cover up” by the government, which means that the government wanted to hide the truth and the real facts from the people.  No one really knows exactly what happened on that day or why it happened, but it’s important that people ask questions.  I’m not sure if the government is lying or not, but I do know that there are a lot of “unanswered questions”.

One of the unusual things that happened was the fact that the government claimed that they couldn’t find the black boxes in the airplanes.  In case you didn’t know, there is a “black box” in every major airplane.  This is basically a super protected box that has the audio or “sound recordings” of what happened during a flight.  These are important to investigate any plane crash to see EXACTLY what happened.  They make these “black boxes” almost “indestructible”, which means that they can not be destroyed.  They ALWAYS find the black boxes after a plane crash, but this time, they said they couldn’t find either of them.  That is TOO WEIRD to believe.  It certainly seems possible that there was something that happened on those flights that the government doesn’t want the public to know about.  Are they hiding them?  Why?  What exactly happened?

Also, there are stories of another building called “building 7″ that fell down with no plane hitting it.  Why did it fall down?  There are no good answers from this.  The government calls all this stuff “top secret”.  Also, on August 6th 2001, the government was warned that there would be attacks from airplanes, but they did nothing with this information to protect anyone.

It’s possible the government totally messed up and are super embarrassed so they want to hide the truth.  Some people believe that they even allowed these attacks to happen to have an ‘excuse’ to go to war with Iraq.  That was a TERRIBLE idea to go to another war, but with no 911 attacks, the government couldn’t get the public to agree with war.  If they used these attacks for an excuse to go to war and simply pretended that these attacks were done by “the bad guys” to convince the public, this is called a “false flag operation”.  That is when the government does something terrible to it’s own people while pretending it was an enemy who did it.  The reason to do a horrible ‘false flag operation’ is so that they can make more people believe that a war or some other retaliation is a good or sensible idea.

The truth is that I don’t really know what happened on that day; obviously.  But, I do know that there are some serious unanswered questions and it bothers me that the US government is hiding this info.  I’d love to know what happened.

I watched a very interesting documentary about this.  I think you’ll really like it and also learn some good information from it.

I got a free copy of it and I will include it for free in our awesome private community.  You can watch it there and discuss it with us in the private group.  It’s fun to watch, interesting, and great for learning English.  Looking forward to discussing it with you guys here.

Love to hear your comments.  What have you heard about this in your own country?  What do you think happened?  Do you have any questions about the vocab that I was explaining in the blog?  Is there any other English words you’d like to know that I didn’t explain?

Please feel free to write whatever you want.  I love reading what you guys have to say.  Please let me know any blog topic suggestions you might have…

Again, watch and discuss the 45 minute conspiracy documentary with us here.

Why I like Youtube more than TV News

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

This blog post is actually more of a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of “Youtube” or “independent news” VS “mainstream news”

Mainstream news would be stuff like the news on TV, or major newspapers like the New York Times.  If it’s a big company making news, it’s “mainstream news”.  They have the advantage of having more money than independent bloggers or people making news on Youtube.  They can use all that money to send their staff to find out the real story.  They might (not always) be more attractive (if they are on TV) or talented at writing (If they write for a major newspaper).   Sounds like they should be a lot better right?  Well…

The problem with mainstream news is that it’s almost impossible to tell exactly how fake it is and how much BS they are feeding us.  Why would a major news organization want to make fake news if they can just tell the truth?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately for some reason.  (I’m weird, I know.  You can say it.  Lol :)

Companies pay millions of dollars for advertising to the mainstream news companies.  So, even though the news organizations can theoretically write or say whatever they want, it’s the companies who are actually in control because they are paying the money.  They are not in direct control of the content, but they will take their advertising dollars to another place if they aren’t happy with the content of the news.

I read somewhere that climate change was hardly talked about at all last year by anyone in the mainstream media.  This is a perfect example of the power companies have with the advertising dollars.  Do you think that big oil companies will want to advertise on a news channel or newspaper that talks about how terrible oil is?  No way!  Do you think that Walmart will want to spend millions of USD on advertising to news channels that talk about how Walmart loves paying terrible wages to their workers and how they also try not to give them health insurance?  Obviously not.

So all private news stations and newspapers are corrupted by the people who pay them money.  It’s a huge problem and it leads to a very brainwashed society.

When I was growing up, I remember learning that government owned news networks are terrible because they always lie to make their own country look good and other countries look bad.  That is totally true, BUT, as I’ve grown up, I’ve also learned that news from private news companies is also a huge joke.  It’s almost impossible to get reliable news because there is so much bias in mainstream media.

Independent news shows on Youtube and people are blogging about the news are a lot better in the sense that they can say or write whatever they want because they don’t deal with advertisers directly, but the problem with them is that they don’t have the money to get the real information themselves.  If a blogger wants to write about a news story, they can’t send someone to the actual place the event is happening, they can only follow the mainstream news and then make their best guess from that.  It’s sick!

Hopefully this will change with “new media”, but it’s going to take some time.  BTW, “new media” is basically a term that describes the ways of getting information on the internet.  ”Youtube, Twitter, Blogging, etc”.  It’s in contrast to “traditional media” which is print newspapers, online newspapers, and TV news.

The news is different in every country, and it shapes our cultures and our understanding of the world.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on how you think the news is covered in your country, how you think it’s covered internationally, and what you think a possible solution is.  Do you even think it’s a big problem like I do?  Very curious to hear your thoughts on that below.

Add and I are also SUPER excited this week since the launch of our brand new private English community.  I’ve got a very strong feeling this is going to kick ass more than anything we’ve ever done, BY FAR.  Thanks to everyone who is in there already, and thanks especially for sharing your stories and helping to make it kick total ass.  Hope to see more of you in there… (It will be awesome; just sayin…)    :)

Looking forward to your comments as always guys!

Have a great day!