Monday, September 15, 2014

Scientists Base a Hearing Aid Design on the Ears of a Fly

VOALearningEnglish: Scientists Base a Hearing Aid Design on the Ears of a Fly
Published 08/25/2014
Scientists at the University of Texas are developing technology based on structures in the tiny ears of an unusual fly.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

While We Sleep, Our Brains Are Hard at Work

VOA Learning English: While We Sleep, Our Brains Are Hard at Work

What happens in the brain when we sleep? The answer may surprise you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chinese Publisher Profits From Growth of Houston’s Asian Population

VOAVideo: Chinese Publisher Profits From Growth of Houston’s Asian Population

The rapid growth of the Asian population in and around Houston, Texas, has helped make the fourth largest city in the United States one of the country’s most diverse cities. Many Asians come to Houston to fill high-paying jobs in the city’s energy and medical sectors. But many also come to start businesses in a relatively inexpensive city. And, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the Asian influx has helped one Chinese immigrant build an empire. Originally published at

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Palm Reading Palm Reading

Can you tell something about a person just by looking at their hands? Some people like to think that you can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, California!

The Star-Spangled Banner is the name of the national anthem.
What is the name of state anthem of California?

I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.

Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.

I love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.
I love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.

I love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards stretching far.
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.
I love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.
I love you, California; I just can't help loving you.

I love you, Catalina, you are very dear to me.
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.
I love you, Land of Sunshine, half your beauties are untold.
I loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.

Also see bendstunde49: "I Love You, California" - Prince's Orchestra (1914) California State Song (instrumental--great old pictures)

Monday, September 8, 2014


NTDTV: "Mooncake Mania" on Chinese Holiday

As Chinese around the globe celebrated the Moon Festival this weekend, many found themselves swept up in the search for the perfect mooncake.

For Chinese people around the world it's that time of year again...

Every year as the Chinese Moon Festival approaches, from Hong Kong to Shanghai to London--Chinese people around the world are buying boxes of sweet bean paste pastries as gifts for family and friends.

They're called mooncakes. And, like the holiday fruitcake in Western culture, the mooncake in Chinese culture is more important for its symbolism and tradition than for its taste. In fact, many of these cakes are said to go uneaten.

But that may be changing.

As Chinese tastes become more "global," there is an ever-greater variety of mooncake flavors on the market. It's no longer just limited to the traditional lotus seed paste or red bean paste. Now mooncake enthusiasts can enjoy dainty custard-filled cakes, or delicate white sugar powder confections. Flavors like green tea and even shark's fin have come into fashion.

And jumping on the trendy mooncake band wagon, ice cream giant Häagen Dazs has created a line of high-end, ice cream-filled mooncakes for those really seeking to make an impression. In these "cakes," the traditional preserved duck egg yolk is replaced by a sphere of mango sorbet.

Some mooncake purists are, of course, crying foul--commenting that these days anything round can be called a mooncake. But the cornucopia of new mooncake flavors and styles is sure to bring one welcome change: more mooncakes in the belly and less in the bin.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mooncakes and the Moon Festival Mooncakes and the Moon Festival

Mooncakes are special pastries. In the middle of a mooncake is a thick filling made from bean paste or lotus seed paste . . .Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Moon Festival in many parts of Asia. (read more)