Video Hold Chopsticks China, How to Hold Chopsticks, Learn Hold Chopsticks

How to Hold Chopsticks - Chinese EtiquetteCLICK HERE: Learn how to Hold Chopsticks – Video

Hold the bowl in your palm, and study this video to learn how to hold chopsticks. The Chinese hold foreigners in high esteem if they can propery hold and use chopsticks.

There is no other way to learn than to practice, so watch, pause, study, and re-watch!

For Pete Sake Be Careful!


China is a spooky place. If you don’t believe me, see the Sanya beach photos below. Be careful!

BTW, the video is choppy for one reason and one reason only: I bought the value pack of TDK DVs from Costco in 2003. I didn’t know DVs went bad. But every tape I is pretty much corrupted. Well, it could be the Diet Coke spill all over my camera, I dunno. Time for an upgrade.

Adobe Lightroom Review with Video Tutorials and Screenshots

Adobe Lightroom Review, Tutorial, ScreenshotsLightroom Tutorials, Screenshots, Review

I just finished my review of Adobe Lightroom. Basically, it is the answer for people who:

Don’t use a Flash on a mountain shot
You know how to shoot, you have a digital SLR, and you take good pictures

Are tired of iPhoto’s poor layout and weak architecture
You liked it in the beginning, but after your library grew, iPhoto couldn’t keep up

Are looking for “a better way” to manage and present their photos
File management, slideshows, export to web, print — Lightroom has it all.

Read and learn here. 6 hours to create this tutorial.

Video: Closer Look into China, Chuxiong, and the Person who made your iPod

ipod.jpgI shot this video last year when our house wasn’t completely finished. If you are wondering what Chuxiong is like, or even Yunnan, then this video can take you in a little deeper.

For clarification, when I’m talking about “check your facts, bro, Mr. SF Gate” — it is in reference to this San Francisco Chronicle article where Kathleen E. McLaughlin writes about how bad the Chinese workers have it in Shenzhen, China, building iPods with a monthly salary of a mere $80 USD per month. It turns out her article addresses the farmers in western China, and admittedly, her “facts” are correct.

I was simply pointing out that there are many other people in China who have it much worse, and don’t have the benefits provided by those factories in the bigger cities (specifically, discounted rent and canteen.)

In the video you can see someone cleaning and sweeping the sidwalks of this rich community in China, Yi Ren Gu Zhen, and she makes 300-400 RMB a month (roughtly $40 USD).

While I don’t agree with the current trend of US companies exploiting the cheap labor of Chinese citizens (which is seemingly condoned by the Chinese government), it’s a fact of life here. It’s an opportunity. It’s more money than picking carrots.

A lot of the people who work in those “sweat shop” factories come from the “nong cun”, or rural areas of China. They migrate to the eastern populated cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen and take jobs where they can make 2-4x what they can make on the farms. Some send the money back home, some don’t.

I’m aware of this because, well, I live in China, but also because my wife (who is Chinese, and is from the “nong cun”) has a relative who currently works making clothes, books, and even made iPods, all to be shipped to the USA.

Here, let’s make it personal, she’s the 19-year-old girl in the photo, back left (blurred so she doesn’t get fired.) On average, she said she works 12 hours a day, trying to accumulate as much over-time as possible.

My point is, China is a populated place, and when people start ranting about how bad it is for the people who make iPods, I say, take a look at the people who work in the fields and make up to 10x less.

Should iPod makers be making competitive wages? Yes! Should Apple kick back the huge profit they make on these iPods to the people who make them? Why not!

The problem is, it is not in line with the current economy in China, and if Chinese workers who made iPods were suddenly making more than local doctors, well, that’s a problem in and of itself.

Just another prospective on this issue. Do one of two things – pay them more, or cut the price of an iPod by 75%. Or stop buying iPods. And then we have ‘that’ discussion again.

Click here to watch the video.

Video: Washing a Car in 49 Seconds

carwashpic.jpgWATCH MOVIE

Why take it to Touchless down the street for $1.25 USD? It takes 30-40 minutes every time! Welcome to Bob’s Carwash.

If you watch it twice, notice how the water on the ground evaporates because of the time-compressed video at 1600% (just pick a spot on the left, say, and watch the water slowly evaporate.)

Title Bob’s Carwash in under 15 mins
Video 800 kbps, 2-pass VBR
Audio 80 AAC, mono
Dimenions 700×360, preserve aspect ratio (crop)
Format Flash Video
File Size 5.3mb
Length 0:49 (FCP compression time= 3-4 mins)
Sound? Yes, light music soundtrack
Rated G (All audiences / work-friendly)
Notes Sped up 1600%

Passing a truck loaded full of people on a one-lane narrow mountain road

Screenshot_9.jpgWATCH MOVIE

Title says it all. I just wanted to get a clip of this road that I’ve been telling people about. It’s a 5,000 foot drop off on the right side there.

Update: This POS Sony T-33 digital camera uses multiplexed MPEG-1/2 encoding. The Sony saved this 11-second clip as 15 megs. Converting it to FLV is 1.4 MB and, well, it’s about the same quality.

Next P&S digital I buy must have H.264 or On2 encoding, or I ain’t buying it.

Best Way to Upload Video to YouTube on a Mac

First of all, here’s the official You Tube water buffalo movie.


DECEMBER 10, 2008 Now that YouTube expanded the viewing area to 640x360px (HD), here are some new settings I tried that work well:

First of all, if you are in Final Cut and you simply ‘Save’ the movie as a Quicktime file (without compression) — as of this post, YouTube will reject it.

Export Quicktime Compression and use H.264 two-pass at 2400 kbps. Set the audio to ACC Stereo 128kpbs.

Processing video on YouTube is slow! I know. Once you have an exported version, upload to YouTube — HD videos take significantly longer to ‘process’ (you’ll see “uploaded (processing, please wait)” — this is normal. Until they fix this, it might take 1-3 hours to process an HD video. Be patient, it works, and will probably be faster in the future.

Best way to upload in SD to YouTube (Standard Def — just like you used to upload before HD)

UPDATE JUNE 21, 2007: Apple announces h.264 for the iPhone — that probably means it works, or will work soon for regular uploads to YouTube.

UPDATE JUNE 1, 2007: Who knows what the future holds, as Google has just announced that it will encode H.264 movies for the Apple TV (and probably the iPhone, look out for those data rate fees to watch those cat videos). Can Apple convince Google to abandon’s current Flash Video format for H.264? Check back soon for more updates.


On to encoding and uploading. (Personal note: I can’t believe You Tube doesn’t accept the latest Quicktime H.264 or On2 Flash Video 8 codecs.)

Here are optimal export settings for Final Cut, iMovie, Quicktime:

– Export to Flash video, using FLV MX (not the latest FLV 8 On2 codec)*
– Can use 2-pass VBR
– Scale to 320×240**

– Video = 1024 video kbps
– Audio = 128 kbps MPEG-3 audio

The Water Buffalo Movie was exported with those settings, and although You Tube resizes the dimensions to 424×318, it still looks good. It was a 50 meg export and You Tube probably chopped it down to 7-10 megs.
If anyone knows of other formats to export (from Quicktime) and upload to YouTube, please advise. (Ideally, it would be great to export to Quicktime H.264, 2-pass, 1024k video, 128 AAC, at the YouTube dimensons, and export a .MOV file to upload — unfortunately this doesn’t work well with YouTube.)

*I’m using On2 Flix Exporter, and choosing the MX option. If you have Flash Video Exporter installed, I think you need to choose “Sorensen” as the export, not On2.

**It looks like You Tube’s dimensions are 424×318 (4:3), which does not include the play/pause bar, of course. I’ll give that a go next time I export to see if the video quality is better.

This personal wiki page explains a lot about which formats work, don’t work, YouTube error messages (ie, “Rejected – length of video too long”, etc).