Saturday, March 4, 2017

Aladdin was Chinese--probably from Fujian's Quanzhou (Zayton) 阿拉丁是中国人!

Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

I loved Disney's 1992 cartoon Aladdin--largely, of course, because of Robin Williams' inimitable Genie. But if Disney had followed the original story, Aladdin would have been Chinese--as depicted on the cover of this 19th century children's book. In fact, his story probably took place in Quanzhou (the Arab's legendary port of Zayton) just 50 miles up the coast from Xiamen!

The classic story begins and ends with China! The 1st line: "Aladdin was the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor in one of the rich provinces of China." And when the Princess tricks the evil magician into drinking the poisoned wine, "she asked the magician to changes cups, as was the custom, she said, between lovers in China." 
Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Ashab Mosque Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人

Aladdin Chinese Sinbad Cinderella Amoy Xiamen Fujian Quanzhou Zayton 阿拉丁,辛巴得和灰姑娘都是中国人So why would an obviously Arab tale (part of the 1,001 Nights, though added later) take place in China? Because Muslims who traded with China via the Silk Road of the desert and Quanzhou's Maritime Silk Route viewed China as the most distant and exotic place on earth.

And the "rich province of China" was probably our Fujian province because 2,200 years ago, Fuzhou's Mawei built China's first oceangoing ships, Fujian merchants and fishermen were known all over Asia and Africa as China's greatest seafarers, and Quanzhou (known by the Arabs as Zayton) was the richest, greatest port on earth according to Marco Polo and famed Arab explorer Ibn Battuta. Marco Polo said that for every ship in the west carrying pepper (spices), Quanzhou had 100 ships.

Columbus carried Marco Polo's Travels with him on his 1492 voyage to find not a new world but a shortcut to India and China's Zayton (of which my own Amoy was a part of :) ). Columbus had underlined Marco Polo's descriptions of Zayton's fabulous wealth. Had Chris ended up in Zayton instead of the New World, gold would have flowed not to Spain but from it, because South Fujianese were known for 1,000 years as China's toughest business folks (fair, but tough).

1000 Years ago, Quanzhou had 40,000 Muslims (as well as Jews, Nestorian Christians, Manicheans, Hindus, Jain, Tibetan Buddhists, etc.) and 7 mosques, including Ashab Mosque. Modeled after a mosque in Damascus, it was considered the most beautiful mosque outside of the Middle East.

As the greatest and richest port in the world, and a center of culture and religion, it's no wonder the legendary Zayton figured in tales of Aladdin, Sinbad (who was probably Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He, aka Sanbao), etc. South Fujian--especially Zayton and Amoy, are truly magical places,

In closing, I do love Disney's Aladdin--but it would be fun to see an Aladdin movie in the setting for which it was intended--China!

To learn more about Zayton and Amoy, try my "Discover Xiamen and South Fujian" Amazon eBook, which has 200 additional pages over the print version, including history, culture, etc.)

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blue light Filter for PC (Notebook, desktop) & Android Phone!

Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomniaAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

For years, I've used blue light filter software on my Android cell phone to combat the insomnia created by blue light. Even worse than insomnia--AMDF (American Macular Degeneration Foundation) warns that blue light causes retinal damage and can lead to (or worsen) macular degeneration.

So for years, I've wanted an Android-like blue light filter software for my computer--and it only occurred to me today to Google for one. And in seconds I found an amazing little blue light filter program that works on my Windows computer just as well as the blue light filter software on android or apple phones! It's called F.lux--though at first I was afraid to download it....
Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia

To avoid malware, I only download android software from Google Play (and even there, folks have had problems). I'm also cautious about downloading Windows applications for my computer from unknown sources. Even software with starred reviews from have been found to be full of bugs, viruses, trojans, malware, etc. But in September, 2016, PC Magazine reported that Microsoft is finally getting on the blue light bandwagon and testing a blue light filter for Windows 10 (it's about time!), and they mentioned it will be like F.lux, which can be downloaded now for free. If PC Magazine recommends it, I trust they've done their homework.

It look me less than one minute to download and install F.lux--and for the first time since I started using PCs (over 30 years!), my face doesn't glow blue when I huddle over the screen in the dark.
Computers with blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia

F.lux is totally non-intrusive, doing its work behind the scene automatically. It turns on at night and shuts off by day (and like android or apple blue light filter software, you can adjust the filter level--from dim incandescent light to full day light). After a bit of use, you completely forget it's there!
Android phone Computers blue light filter software F.lux macular degeneration insomnia
Amazing app--and amazing it took me until now to figure out to Google blue light filters for Windows computers! Save your eyes and download F.lux today. And by the way, check out Google Play to download F.lux for Android (the device must be rooted, but hopefully they're working on a non-rooted version as well). But no need to wait.

For years, I've used the Android Bluelight Filter for Eye Care software, which has over 300,000 reviews (4 out of 5 stars--the low reviews primarily by people who don't even know how to use the software, or what it is for).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Lantern Festival from Amoy (Xiamen) China

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China)--and Happy Lantern Festival!
Lantern Festival Xiamen February 1992 Shannon Matthew Brown Amoy 元宵节 厦门中国福建

Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāojié,元宵节  is the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar.  We love the light shows at Xiamen's Zhōngshān (Sun Yat-sen) Park, and when the boys were young we bought them battery-powered plastic lanterns and join the parades of parents and children walking up and down Zhongshan Rd. I had as much fun with the lanterns as the boys did--perhaps more fun! I wish our granddaughter, Katherine Ruth, were closer so I'd have an excuse to buy a lantern (she's in Arkansas; Matt moved to Arkansas because the Bible said to "go to the uttermost parts of the earth"; just joking--we all love N.W. Arkansas, though S.E. Arkansas is.... different).

According to tradition, on Lantern Festival, young lassies prowl the streets at night, hanging around the lanterns or pulling up people’s vegetables--all to boost their chances of getting married.  I don’t see why uprooting veggies will increase their odds at matrimony and domestipation--unless she wants to get her husband a higher celery? (Sorry, I was too puny to resist that punishing opportunity; I hope you don't retaliate with punitive measures).

Girls eligible for marriage cast divining blocks, and then set out to stroll in some auspicious direction until she meets a person--any person at all. She memorizes the first word that they say, and then she seeks out a fortune teller who explains (for a fee, of course) if the word is lucky or unlucky, which determines whether she will marry that year or not.

Whether you're hankering to get married or not, or just getting your kicks from pulling up innocent vegetables (should make a Veggie Tales episode about this1), enjoy Lantern Festival!

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cancer survivor's guide to Easy High Fiber Diet with Optifiber (wheat dextrin)

Optifiber Benefiber Costco Kirkland best  anti colon cancer fiber diet 

Ahoy from Amoy! (historic Xiamen, China).

Since battling colon cancer in 1999, I've kept a high-fiber diet, healthy diet. Although healthy food can be expensive, hospitals are  more expensive than healthy food--and a lot more painful. And thanks to Costco's Optifiber (see below), which I thought was a trademark for a hi-tech fiber-optic firm, an high fiber diet can be inexpensive.

I'm not fanatical about it health food, of course. As a wise man, Redd Fox, once said, "One day the hospitals will be full of a lot of health nuts feeling pretty stupid when they're dying of nothing." I know my days are numbered not matter what eat, but I'd like my remaining days to be healthier than they used to--and I do not miss the junk food.

Health on a Budget Over the years, I've found ways to cut sugar and salt, increase fiber, and eat healthy on a budget. For example, we spend only about $60 a year on breakfast, but it's tasty and nutritious, and packed full of some of the best fiber out there: oatbran and blueberries. Blueberries can be expensive, of course, but each year we buy a 4 pound box of Traverse Bay dried blueberries and Bob's Oat Bran from Amazon, which we rehydrate overnight in a glass of water and add to each day's oatbran (which we spice up with cinnamon, and sometimes add frozen banana slices). a 4 pound box of dried blueberries lasts us an entire year--as does 50 pounds of oat bran.
Traverse Bay dried blueberries

And Goodbye (almost--see below) Metamucil! Thanks to Optifiber, Costco's Kirkland version of Benefiber, I've almost said goodbye to that monstrous fibre fix, Metamucil. For years, I tried to stomach Metamucil, that slimy, slick concoction made from psyllium seed fiber. It works--but it's gross. And if you don't use enough water, it can actually swell up in your mouth and choke you.  I much prefer Optiber. In spite of it being 100% wheat dextrin, it is has so little gluten that it qualifies, by a long shot, as gluten-free. However....

Does wheat dextrin lower cholesterol? Sadly, dextrin does not lower cholesterol as well as Metamucil and other psyllium seed preparations--and I do have high cholesterol (DNA--it's high regardless of how well I watch my diet). It's the very mucus-like properties of psyllium seed that helps it bind the bad stuff in the intestines. While dextrin may help lower cholesterol (as any fiber might), it does not seem to be as good as Metamucil. But if you don't have a problem with cholesterol--go with Optiber!

Optiber mixes with any liquid--juices, or even coffee and tea--and it dissolves instantly. It is tasteless, odorless and there is absolutely no texture. It really is like nothing there. I simply add 2 teaspoons of it to my coffee or tea and it is the most painless way you can imagine to get a healthy dose of fiber! And believe me, when you take Optifiber, it really does work out well in the end!

Try my inexpensive breakfast of oatbran and Traverse Bay dried blueberries (I've tried many brands, and these are the best), with two teaspoons daily of Obtifiber. You won't regret it!

Enjoy Amoy!
Bob's Red Mill Oat Bran best high fiber anti colon cancer

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Homemade Weighted Juggle Balls ($9, not $66--and no sew!) EZ!

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

I wanted heavy bean bags (only 1 pound each, so no strain) to exercise while I juggle, but the cheapest I found online was 45 USD for 3 bags--plus $21.65 Shipping! Total cost: $66.65 for 3 balls!
Make your own cheap weighted juggling exercise balls
Baby Socks and BBs--DIY weighted juggling balls!

I made my own, no sewing, for under $10!

You need:
1. BBs (click here for about 4 pounds of Crosman BBs, only $8.49, on Amazon)
2. 3 Pair of baby socks (3 pair for only $1 at a Dollar Store).
3. Small plastic bag and tape.

Steps to Make Your Own One Pound (or heavier, up to you) Weighted Juggling Exercise Balls
Pour the BBs into 3 small plastic bags (or make the bags from plastic sheet and tape). Tape the bags shut and reinforce well with the tape.

Place the plastic bag of BBs in a baby sock, then twist the top and fold the leg of the sock back over the ball. It will hold without sewing.

For extra strength, place the sock of BBs in another sock and, again, twist the sock just above the ball, then fold the leg back over the ball. This too will hold without sewing.

Now juggle to your hearts content with 1 pound weighted juggling balls that cost you less than $10 instead of $66!
Easy Make Your Own No Sew Weighted Juggling Exercise Balls with Baby Socks andn BBs
Make your own No-Sew Weighted Juggling Balls (Socks 'n BBs!)

If you're muscle-bound, you can make 5 pound weighted juggling balls, or 10 pounders, but even one pound weighted juggling balls are enough to give you some good exercise while still having fun and without straining yourself (I may be 16 at heart but my body's 61 so I have to strike a balance).

Enjoy Amoy! And enjoy your juggling.

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Friday, November 4, 2016

Chinese Trump and Clinton Cake Joke from Mainland China

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton cake joke magic trick Are these two really the best can can come up withAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).

America's presidential campaign is getting pretty bad when even people on the streets of Mainland China are cracking jokes about it--but I do like this joke, which fairly well reflects both Hillary's and Donald's special skill sets. I attach the  Chinese joke below the English. [The joke originated in the U,S., of course, but everyone in China knows it as well, and they improve upon it].  Enjoy! Dr. Bill

After a TV debate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were hungry so went to a bakery to grab something to eat, only to find that neither of them had any money.

Hillary hesitated but a moment, but as soon as the baker turned his back, she grabbed three cakes and stuffed them in her pocket. "See how smart I am?" she said to Trump. "The baker saw nothing, and I don't even need to lie. That's why I'll beat you in the Presidential election."

Trump laughed, "I can do better than that. I can eat three cakes right in front of the baker and not get in trouble!" And he said to the baker.  "I'm the Republican presidential candidate,"Donald Trump, and if you'll hand me those 3 pastries I'll do a magic trick." 

The curious baker handed him the 3 pastries, which Trump swallowed one after the other. The baker was getting angry. "When's the magic going to happen?"

Trump smirked and said, "Look in Hillary's pocket!"


要吃点东西补充能量。他们一起进了一家面包店,可两人发现身上都没带钱。希拉里犹豫了一下,然后趁店员不注意,伸手取了3块糕点藏进口袋。 她小声对特朗普说:“你看我多聪明,店主什么都没看到,而我甚至都不需要撒谎,我一定会战胜你赢得美国总统宝座!” 




此时店主有些纳闷,就问特朗普到底魔术何时会出现。 特朗普答曰:“现在是见证奇迹的时刻了,刚才的三块蛋糕都在希拉里的口袋里。”

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Amazon China in English!

China Amazon in English Xiamen granite stone mill Amoy Xiamen UniversityAhoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen)

When we arrived in China in 1988, we could buy almost nothing from abroad. We searched all over Xiamen Island and used up our FEC--Foreigners Exchange Certificates, the money used only by foreigners,  which cost us twice the real exchange rate) on our quota of staples like toothpaste in the not-so-friendly Friendship Store. I searched everywhere for toilet paper that didn't burn one's buns like 3M sandpaper. And no cheese, or good bread (I made a 3-day trip to the countryside to lug back a 200 pound granite stone mill so I could pay my sons (yes, child labor) to grind wheat for my homemade bread).

Today, we can find just about anything we'd want in Xiamen, and Taobao (China's eBay) has great selections and prices (though it's hard to pay for stuff), and we have Amazon! But it is now almost impossible to use Amazon.

We used to be able to order things from Amazon back home, but the past year or two, China has required that you must show a Chinese ID card to clear customs. So in effect--only Chinese can use Amazon. But the good news is that China's Amazon site, though not as extensive as ours back home, does have a fairly good selection--and you can surf it in English now!

Here's the link for China Amazon in English.

But here's the bad news: just about everything I wanted on Amazon China was shipped in from Amazon US, with shipping and customs fees costing over half the price of the items themselves--and you still need a Chinese Residence card (in other words--foreigners not allowed). 

Oh well--if you can find it on Taobao, it's cheaper than Amazon anyway (but read the reviews to make sure you get a reputable dealer and a genuine product).

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University

Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Conservative Intelligence Briefing Scam (Trump Presidential Black Card )

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen)! Trump Presidential Black Card Scam Elite Membership Make America Great Again

I get ridiculous pleas for donations from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's camp, but some are wild even by Clinton and Trump's standards and have to be Political Scams--such as the plea today from  Conservative Intelligence Briefing ( 

Trump (well, they write as if it is Trump, which I don't believe) asked for $35 to "join the highest ranks of the campaign" to activate my "Elite Membership" and get a "Presidential Black Card"--a Trump Card. He said over a million will be at his inauguration but only a select few will have the Presidential Black Card showing they were of the few who swept the campaign to victory--and all for just $35?

I looked up the site but found little.  I did find it partnered with Harper Polling in 2013 and is owned by Conservative Connector (which rents email lists, which is why when you donate in good faith to one, you get hundreds of pleas for money from everyone else). According to one site, David Freddoso, the site's editor, said they are independent and 'we have no donors or contributors....'

If that's true, why are they sending endless emails asking me for donations?  I doubt these so-called donations go to Trump or anyone else. If you want to support Trump or Clinton, you'd best send your pennies directly to a legitimate site. But regardless of whether we end up with Trump or Clintin, I think the Last Trump has sounded.

Below is the email asking for donations from the site that has no donors or contributors! [I changed all links so no does donate to this suspicious site. You can easily Google Trump's and Clinton's legitimate sites.]

Donald Trump Pending Final Upgrade Activate your Elite Membership Presidential Black Card

Trump Presidential Black Card Scam Elite Membership Make America Great AgainYou should get one of these, friend.

Contribute a one-time induction fee  of $35 to activate your Donald J. Trump Elite Membership now.

At my inauguration next year, there will be upwards of a million people there, but only a few will have Presidential Black Cards and the recognition as leading Trump supporters who really drove our campaign to victory.

This is the final round of Presidential Black Cards our campaign will be issuing so please respond before tomorrow at 9 AM to guarantee yours.

Our effort to defeat Hillary Clinton and turn this country around is more than just a campaign, it is a movement.

In all 50 states, proud Americans are standing up and joining our movement by the millions. Many of them have never been involved in politics before. Until now, they’ve never had anyone speaking up for them, against the DC elites who have sold us out and rigged the economy against working families.

So while Hillary Clinton calls us “deplorables,” I am 100% PROUD of the people standing with us...patriotic people who see radical Islamic terrorism, out-of-control crime, jobs shipped overseas, Washington corruption and career politicians doing NOTHING about these problems.

And our people are going to kick the DC elites to the curb so I can bring real leadership to the White House.

I hope you will emerge as a leader of our movement to rescue America before it is too late, friend.

Please join the highest ranks of our campaign with a contribution of $35 to activate your Elite Membership now.


Donald J. Trump

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
Academic Director, XMU OneMBA
School of Management, Xiamen University

Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown
Xiamen University

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Top Email Scams: Free WalGreens Certificate, Home Depot, even Google!

Ahoy from Amoy!

I get lots of SPAM and Phishing Attempts but the last two weeks they've really gone through the roof--especially political scams like the one asking me to Donate $35 to Trump to get a Presidential Black Guard and be a member of the Elite. [For only $35!?]

Below is a screen capture of less 40+ scams (less than one day). The biggest scams these few days (I receive main variations, daily, of these) are
1. Fidelity Life Insurance: Rate Drop: Quarter of a Million Dollars Coverage for a  Buck Approved for you as ....
2. Change you life, get Lasik! (Give them your credit card info for appointment to get very cheap surgery).
3. Considered Senior Housing? Consider your options! (Seniors, sadly, are gullible and vulnerable).
4 Your name was selected for a $5 Walgreen's charge card (many each day).
5. Warning! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have gone up beyond 580 points?
6. Order confirmation! Dear, your customer, Mr. Faisal.... (this works because those who are cheated are open to cheat the person whom they think got their email by mistake).
7. Heads up! Were you informed that your creditworthiness could have risen past 720 points this month?   In case that doesn't work, they follow it with...
Spam Phishing Lasik Fidelity Life Insurance Walgreens Card Home Depot Roofing Albert Heijn Senior Living  Most Common email scams8. NOTICE: Did you know that your ability to obtain credit could have dropped beyond 620 points...
9. Surprise voucher in the mail!
10. Walgreens, Fidelity, Lasik, CenterParcs, Nespresso, etc.....

The Screen Capture of my SPAM folder shows scams received just the past day!

I keep reporting the Phishing to Google but they're evidently ignoring it--just like the FTC has ignored my dutifully filed reports of phone scammers claiming to be Dell Computer and having noticed my computer is being attacked. It's pretty convincing; they know my name and my kind of computer, and I never received such calls until I bought a Dell Computer--and within a year I received over 600 fake Dell calls! (I contacted Dell and they said it was scamming--duh--but have obviously done nothing about it).

But many people are people fooled by such phone scams and email scams and phishing; if there wasn't a lot of money in it, it would stop.

So just a reminder--if you receive an email even from a company you know offering to save you money or give you anything free-do not reply! If you are at all curious, look up the phone number from you records (or use the one on your credit card)--never use the phone number in the email--and phone to ask if it is legitimate. No reputable company will ever send an email or phone you out of the blue and ask for private information.

Just today, I received these amazing email offers!:

Congratulations! As a valued Walgreens customer, we have selected you for a $50 gift certificate! (I never received these until I started paying for my mother-in-laws medicine with a Visa at Walgreens; now I get a dozen a day. Walgreens insists of course there is no connection)

Click Here for a Free Credit Check! Of course, to get that check you give them your private information--everything from social security number to age, date of birth, height, weight and shoe size.

I've also received a dozen or more scam emails from some foreign site (Netherlands?) called CenterParcs, and many from Nespresso and Home Depot.

Home Depot Roofing Scam? Several emails a day from Home Depot saying the roofer needs to visit my home again. I've never had a roofer from anywhere to my home. And not surprisingly, I never received a Home Depot scam until after I opened an online Home Depot account. Is there a pattern here? Yes, they may have hacked my email to see what companies I work with, but I doubt that because I have 2-level email security (even I can't get in myself sometimes!).

Google Annual Promotion: I won £950,000.00! Even as I was writing this, I received this email:
Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta draw which your email address won Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling (£950,000.00).

Winning Notification! You have won the UK-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery! Click Here for your millions... Immediate Line of Credit Guaranteed!!! (Never trust anyone, not even your mother, who uses multiple exclamation marks. Even on is bad enough!!!).

You are approved for XX Credit Card with a billion dollar credit limit!

You are the Beneficiary of a 50 million dollar estate! Greetings from Nigeria, our solicitor, John Whittlebottom Esq., has determined that you are the sole surviving relative of Edna Withersfork, the heiress of a vast diamond fortune in Swoozyland.

GREETINGS MY DEAR, in the Name of God (this does get some off guard but the use of "all capitals" is as much of a tip-off as the use of multiple exclamation marks!!! ). My husband, Monobutama Haseem a rocket scientist in Mobumbo, just passed away and I am asking good honest people like you to take part of his multi-million fortune, asking only that you donate the proceeds to worthwhile charities. You may, of course, keep a small percentage of the millions for your trouble. Please send me your name, address, bank information number, and the contact number for your psychiatrist because anyone stupid enough to believe this needs a shrink. (But this scam works--and it works because of people's greed and lust to get something for nothing. As Confucius might have said, "If a diamond ring only costs ten cents, it's probably only worth a dime."

Subject: Career Opportunity from Globalfinances Group! We are looking for reliable people like you to represent us... You can work from home... make thousands per month....

Subject: You won a cruise! You have just won a cruise for two in Europe. This cruise, valued at USD 8,730, is yours because...

The sheer creativeness and ingenuity is astonishing. If these people put their efforts and energy to worthwhile causes, they could earn a decent living, solve world hunger, end wars and usher in a new millennium. Okay, maybe just make a decent living, but that's not bad in this day and age when people are making less money but battered by media and unSocial media to keep up with the Kardashians (who are famous only for being famous). But modern marketing and Consumerism is a socially accepted scam worse than everything else. (How is it that no one minds that their role in life is to be nothing more than a mindless Consumer?).

I think legitimate business, marketers and media could teach Scammers and Phishers a thing or two.

And in that vein... if you think us consumers are dumb, well so are businesses. Billions have been lost the past year from the "Bogus Boss" scam! Someone sends an email to an employee claiming to be the boss and telling them to immediately transfer company funds to another account... "I'll explain later." The harried employee does it--and they lose their head.

And with that in mind, I'm going to click now on the exciting notification that I have just won millions of dollars from the Google Annual Promotion so I too can keep up with every other  Tom, Dick and Harry (or Tang, Ding and Hong, as the case may be here).

Just for fun, I'm going to jot down all of the Scams I receive in 24 hours and later I'll add them below. But I have to run because I just got an email from Susan Marie telling me to transfer half of our retirement account to an offshore account to pay her hairdresser.

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Solved: Missing or Grayed Out Network Icons in System Tray, Windows 10

Ahoy from Amoy! (Historic Xiamen).

While Windows 10 is certainly better than Windows 8 (though I loved Windows 7), I've had lots of the Blue Screens of Death with Windows 10 (Windows 7 never had them). And after almost every major update, I have lots of glitches and issues I have to fix. One of the most frustrating is that the Network or Internet icons disappear from the system tray and they are grayed out in settings so I cannot turn them on. This has happened several times on both my computer and my wife's (Dell and Toshiba).

In early September, I explained an easy way to usually restore missing system tray internet or wifi icons-but it did not always work. Now I've found a surefire guaranteed fix for missing internet or wifi icons in the System Tray, even when they're grayed out in the settings: delete their values in the registry files and reboot.  This has fixed the problem in both our Dell and Toshiba computers.

Though I'm hesitant to edit Windows Registry Files, this operation is painless and foolproof.
  1. Open "Run" window: at the same time, hold both the Windows Key and the “R” key.
  2. Open "Registry Edit": Type “regedit“ and hit “OK“.
  3. Step by step, go through the registry until you reach the last step: Tray Notify
  2. Classes
  3. Local Settings
  4. Software
  5. Microsoft
  6. Windows
  7. CurrentVersion
  8. TrayNotify
            Find both Iconstreams and PastIconStream
            Right-click and Delete each of them.
            Close the registry editor and reboot. 
The computer will restore new, uncorrupted entries for Tray Notify and the Internet Wifi icons will have magically reappeared in your Systray (Taskbar Notification Area).
Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Friday, September 30, 2016

Ancient Roman coins unearthed in old Japanese Castle!

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China).
Ancient Roman coin unearthed discovered found old Japanese Castle

A few days ago, I wrote about the discovery of 2000-year-old Chinese skeletons in ancient Londonium (Roman London). And now they've discovered ancient Roman coins at an old Japanese castle! Ancient Japanese coin collector?

History just gets more exciting as we discover more about our past (thanks in part to new technology that has allowed us to read even ancient scrolls that have completely unburned; absolutely incredible to me).

I've collected coins since I was a child, and my favorite is a Roman "Widow's mite"--a Roman lepton, which was minted long before Christ lived but because it was the lowest denomination coin, was likely the two coins the poor widow gave at the temple. Her offering may have been a joke to the wealthy Jews who ostentatiously gave small fortunes, but Jesus said she gave more than all the others because she gave all she had.

Each time I hold the Widow's mite in my hand, I am reminded that life is short, and that we all need to give all we have--perhaps not money (if we don't have it!), but at leave give all of our self to whatever we are called to do in this brief life.
Widow's mite Roman coin lepton drachma ancient unearthed Japanese castle

When my wife and I gave up a six-figure income to teach at Xiamen University for $90 a month (almost exactly 100 times less than we made in business), we felt like we'd given up everything, but we ended up with a much richer and fulfilling life than we could have imagined as we have witnessed firsthand (and even helped in miniscule ways) China's development. Of course, what excites me about China's development is not the changes in the country but the changes in the people--individual Chinese whom we have seen rise from abject poverty to, at the least, fairly comfortable lives, and some have become multimillionaires, even billionaires, but it's the farmers' stories that I love, perhaps because farming was my passion as a child. (I was in Future Farmer's of America--FFA--for 4 years, including positions as Chaplain and President, and captained Florida's state-winning forestry team in high school--so it was fun to lecture at Fujian's School of Agriculture and Forestry in Fuzhou!)
Indiana Bill Jones ancient Roman coins unearthed discovered found old Japanese Castle Amoy Xiamen Fujian China

But though I love agriculture, in my next life I want to be an archaeologist: Indiana Bill!

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chinese Lived in Roman London 2000 Years ago?!

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China),
Ancient Chinese in Roman Cemetery of Londonium London 古代的中国人在伦敦罗马
Unearthing Ancient Roman Chinese!

Archaeologists just found 2000-year-old Chinese skeletons in a Londonium (Roman London) cemetery on Lant street, according to the Sept. 24th Daily Mail. While this has surprised lots of folks, I'm not surprised at all. If anything, I've long expected scientists to find that Chinese were everywhere on the planet much earlier than we expected. [Sept. 30 2016 update: even weirder, ancient Roman coins were just discovered in an ancient Japanese castle! Scroll to bottom].

We know Chinese have engaged in global trade for at least 4,000 years or so because they've found 3,800-year-old Caucasian Mummies on N,W, China's ancient silk road. One 6' 6" "Celtic" mummy had blue eyes and blond-hair and wore "Austrian" salt-miner twill. And I've visited 2,000-year-old underground tombs in Gansu that have colored paintings of foreigners with their light hair and hooked noses.

Ancient Chinese in Roman Cemetery of Londonium London 古代的中国人在伦敦罗马
Ancient Roman Chinese Does Look Familiar
It's generally thought the world came to China but China never went far beyond its own borders but after the discovery of 2000-year-old Chinese skeletons in ancient Roman London, we know that's not true. And it stands to reason the Chinese traveled the world. In 800 B.C., they were trading in gold and jade, and in 130 B.C., the Han Dynasty sent 10 embassies each year to central Asia (Chinese liked their horses). In 126 B.C., Zhangqian 张骞, an official, described Western nations. Most telling to me is that archaeologists have found silk in Egyptian tombs dating from 1070 BC. It's not likely anyone but Chinese made silk that early because it wasn't until 522 AD that a Nestorian monk stole the secret and Byzantium began silk production. [That's another interesting point. It's said the first Nestorian monks came to China in 635 AD with Alopen, but a monk stole silkworm eggs in 522 AD? I suspect Christians came to China in the first or 2nd century AD. St. Thomas is said to have started the church in India and afterwards went to China. Historic references from the 700s suggest Nestorian Christians were in Tibet as early as the Tibetans].

In 43 A.D., Pomponius Mela wrote that the Seres [Chinese} of Serica were "a race eminent for integrity, and well known for the trade..." (Many think that the name Serica comes from the Chinese word for silk, Si 丝.

Ancient Roman coin unearthed found discovered Japanese castleWe may never know just how early and how far Chinese traveled, but thanks to new technology like that used to identify "foreign" skeletons in ancient Londonium (Roman London), we may get a better picture.

On Sept. 28, 2016 National Public Radio reported the discovery of ancient Roman coins in an old Japanese Castle! (I have an actual Roman "widow's mite"--my most prized coin. Just holding it is an experience, knowing that it was  used by contemporaries of Christ).

I love history. In my next life I'll be an archaeologist! Indiana Bill?

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill 
Indiana Indy Bill Jones China Amoy Xiamen Fujian ancient Chinese skeletons Roman cemetery London Londonium 2000 years

School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

Friday, September 23, 2016

Ancient UFOs in China 古代中国飞车

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China)!
Shen Kuo UFO ancient China 沈括飞车古代中国 USAF OSI USAFOSI UFO
Shen Kuo, 1031-1095, saw "pearl" UFO

I've been interested in tales of UFOs since my time as a Special Agent of the Air Force OSI (AFOSI), which handled the Air Force's Project Bluebook (now declassified and available online). I'm convinced I did see a UFO once. I saw a bright light hover above a field perhaps half a mile away for half a minute, after which it shot straight up at a rapid speed and vanished. I can't imagine a weather balloon or the planet Venus doing that. But while about 700 of Project Bluebook UFO reports remain unexplained, most were easily explained, and many were outright fraud.

But I'm surprised at how many Chinese report seeing UFOs, and believe that ancient aliens visited China in UFOs. Lots of these stories, supposedly dating back centuries, are actually traceable to Western frauds like Erich von Daniken--farfetched tales like the Dopa Stones on the border of China and Tibet. There supposedly were hundreds of round, flat grooved discs that a Chinese deciphered to reveal the story of little aliens with big heads who had landed in China and were killed by the ignorant locals. Shades of E.T.! First--why would aliens with that kind of technology use stone disks? At the least, vinyl, like Pink Floyd used for their spacey compositions. Just Google Dopa Stones and you'll find several sites clearly refuting every aspect of them--though nothing is enough to deter True Believers--or True Frauds like Erich von Daniken, who wrote about them knowing the tales were false.

But, interestingly enough, ancient Chinese did write about unidentified flying objects--but that is not surprising because the ancient Chinese wrote about everything, and they watched the skies so closely for so long that NASA was able to use 3,200 year old Chinese observations to calculate how much the earth's rotation had slowed down! For the record, the earth now turns 47,1000 of a second slower than it did 3,200 years ago; so reset your watch.

But given that Chinese not only observed and wrote about everything but also invented everything, it may well have been some of the things the ancients saw were some strange flying invention. After all, 2,000 years ago they experimented with manned kites to spy on the enemy. It wasn't very safe, and the pilots of these kites were often people being punished: "Either lose your head on the ground, 100% or take your chances at going up and coming down alive. Up to you."

The ancient Chinese invented parachutes, hot air balloons (even today, on holidays they fill the air and look very alien as they glow and sputter--and sometimes move quite fast or erratically as they're buffeted by high winds).

So who knows if ancient Chinese UFO sightings were really extraterrestrial or actually from China (which to me is much like another planet in the first place; my masters was in Cross-Cultural Studies but I increasingly think Inter-planetary studies could have been just as appropriate).

One researcher claimed that over the centuries preceding 1918, Chinese had recorded over 700 UFO sightings. One was recorded in the Astronomical Record II, April 13, 905 AD.

One might suspect these night watchers had sipped too much rice wine or saki, but some of the men who reported UFOs 飞车 were outright geniuses--people like Shen Kuo 沈括 (1031-1095), who in his "Dream Pool Essays" 《夢溪筆談》  , "Strange Happenings," 《異事》, gave an amazing description of a UFO. Of course, the internet is full of supposed "ancient Chinese accounts of UFOs" but most of these are as fake as the Dopa Stones--they're not really in ancient Chinese records (of course, Marco Polo isn't in them either--which leads me to agree with Mark Twain--that he was never there, but just compiled his fanciful tales from stories told by jailmates).
Shen Kuo UFO ancient China 沈括飞车古代中国
Shen Kuo, 1031-1095, saw Yanghou "pearl" UFO

Shen Kuo, however, was real, he did see a UFO, and he was a genius: Just look at his accomplishments and you'll see why his claim to have seen a UFO is not easily dismissed. Shen Kuo was a head of the astronomy bureau, he observed that climates change naturally over time and suggested techniques to avoid deforestation, he developed a pinhole camera (1000 years ago!), made raised-relief maps and two atlases, used predator insects for insect control, he determines that rainbows were light refracted through water droplets, he was an art critic, etc. His fields of study and research included: Geology, Astronomy, Archaeology, Mathematics, Pharmacology, Magnetics, Optics, Hydraulics, Metaphysics, Meteorology, Climatology, Geography, Cartography, Botany, Zoology, Architecture, Agriculture, Economics, Military strategy, Ethnography, Music and Divination.

So if Shen Kuo says he saw something, I believe him! He wrote that a bright object like a pearl hovered over the city of Yangzhou 扬州 , and that it's door opened and blinding light appeared from within, after which it shot into the lake. Ancient Chinese weather balloon? No idea, but I'd believe Shen Kuo before I believed Erich von Daniken.

Do I believe in UFOs? Well, if they exist, why haven't one of the billion people around the world with cell phones photographed one? And I mean a photo that was not clearly photoshopped (like recent Chinese reports of cities appearing in the sky; a fata morgana does not appear that high above the horizon, as far as I know).

Oh well, still fun to read about, though. I myself am quite certain that this universe is too large for just us, but I don't think aliens capable of crossing interstellar space would be playing games with us. They'd have the technology to either remain invisible altogether or to make their debut once and for all.

 Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University

School of Management, Xiamen University
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University