Friday, February 29, 2008

Indian Labors Out Numbered and Out Paid Chinese Workers

According to numbers released by the Labor Department, 85,000 PERM were issued to applicants from 176 countries and areas in FY2007, among which 55,214 are H-1B type visa intended for solving the shortage of high-skilled workers, mostly in the Informational Technology field.

PERM issued in FY2007
Indian Chinese
Total Number 24573 6846
Average Salary $75,646 $63,585

Comparing the top 2 populations in high-tech immigrants. Chinese are better trained (4 times PhD owners over Indian), doing advanced work (much higher EB2/EB3 ratio), but paid much less. For Chinese, there are much to learn besides work skills.

PERM is an abbreviation of Permanent Employment Certification. Category EB2 type visa is issued to applicants holding advanced skills or graduate degrees, while EB3 for normal workers.

Little Inflation in Scinece and Engineering Doctorates Awarded in the Past Decade

The graph shows the doctorate recipients in Science in the past decade in the US from 1996 to 2005. It's a visually flat line, with an actual negative slope after linear regression. The blue line represents the total doctorate degrees in science awarded from 1996 to 2005, and the red line indicates the number of non-US citizens.

Similar trend can be observed in the engineering field as shown by the graph on the right. Again it's a visually flat line with an actual negative slope after linear regression.
According to NSF data of year 2005, 11.3% of PhD degrees were awarded to students from China. The largest population of foreign PhD recipients, second by 3.2% from India.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Made In China Refrigerator Sank Japanese Warship

Japanese warship was burned down last December, days after Japanese media criticized visiting Chinese destroyer was not properly fireproof. At the time it was a big irony, maybe not as much because it was just revealed that a Made-in-China refrigerator was responsible for the fire.


DDH-143 しらね (Shirane) Helicopter Destroyer was complete construction in 1980, and went through modernization in 1984. The warship belonged to First Escort Flotilla. With standard displacement 5,200T (full displacement 6,800T), the ship carries three helicopters and was the first Japanese warship to be fitted with 3D radars.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fresh PhD Graduate Salary Survey 2006

Among 23 disciplinarian surveyed:
1. Business Administration/Management: $81,438;
2. Electrical/Electronics & Communications Engineering: $81,297;
3. Metallurgical Engineering: $80,667;
4. Computer Science: $76,630;
5. Chemical Engineering: $75,659;
19. Psychology: $49,374;
20. Humanities: $48,938;
21. Social Sciences: $48,487;
22. Biological Sciences/Life Sciences: $43,916;
23. English Language & Literature/Letters: $41,405

The origin and accuracy of this survey, which appeared mostly in Chinese media, are not clear.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Frederick area the No 2 smartest in the US

An article published by Forbes ranked the Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick 'metropolitan division' the No. 2 'smartest cities' in the US. With a population of 1,158,319, among those ages25 and older, 49.88% hold a bachelor's degree or higher; 4.30% hold a Ph.D; 5.60% hold a professional degree and 89.92% graduate high school.

Also, the area is the only ranked that is not a college town or sits a major research university. The No. 1 area on the list is Boulder, Colorado and the No. 3 is Ithaca, New York. Washington D.C. and its northern Virginia area ranked No. 13 on the same list. No. 14 is Durham, North Carolina.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dalian Medical University Caught Exporting Chinese Prisoner Bodies For Profit

A for-profit company affiliated with the Dalian Medical University (DMU) was found to have supplied bodies on commercial display in the US with those of executed prisoners.

Medical Universities in China have been accepting bodies unclaimed by relatives of executed prisoners for teaching purposes without any fees. Some, such as the Dalian Medical University in Dalian, Liaoning Province rediscovered this a new source of profit. Picture on the left shows DMU staff were preparing bodies before they were sold to commercial companies at around $200 to $300 a piece.

The black marketing of prisoner bodies had caused troubles when an exhibits of human bodies toured Japan. It was again caught in spotlight as the attorney general's office of New York State initiated an investigation of whether similar exhibitions in the US properly disclosed the source of the bodies int heir brochures and promotional materials.

The techniques to preserve a body to show condition was developed and pattened by a Germany doctor. The Chinese bodies were obtained through the DMU Plastination Labs, a for profit branch of the DMU. The president of DMU distanced the university from the plastinations labs by claiming the labs operates on its own budget. The incident will be covered by an ABC 20/20 program to be aired on Friday Feb 15, 2008.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Big Bang near Guangzhou Last Night

Chinese Internet surfers reported hearing three big explosions last night. It seems the explosion happened in Sanshui, a town in Foshan, close to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. The official Foshan Daily reported it was a firework warehouse. All four security guards were able to get out safely with one minor injury. Fireworks can be see from the picture published by the Foshan Daily.

From one of the pictures posted by an Internet user on the left, it seems to be explosions behind a barbwire fence. Some online forum posts suggested it might not be a simple warehouse accident because:
1) The scale of the explosion is huge. Glasses were broken on buildings more than 1 mile from the explosion; steel doors bended; and ceiling tiles dropped;
2) Many claimed they heard sound similar to jet engine approaching around the time of the explosions;
3) Online discussions about this accident were deleted by moderators;
Some suspected the firework published by the Foshan Daily was digitally created. Some even suggested a military base was attacked by either Taiwan or the US, and the CCP government decided to cover it up. Some suggested the town was visited by UFOs. Perhaps, the essential and probably more important issue here is: whatever the truth it may be, it may never be known, until independent journalism can survive in China.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Whale Slaughtering Photos Shocked Australians

Australians were shocked when they saw the photo of a whale and its calf were dragged in a Japanese whaling ship. The picture was taken by an Australian customs ship Oceanic Viking on an official mission of monitoring and evidence collecting targeting Japanese while hunting activities in the Australian declared While Sanctuary. The Australian government, with a moral burden carried over by pre-election promise to protect the whale sanctuary, plans to bring legal action against the Japanese whaling practices.

Despite the fact that many whales, such as fin whales were on the list of endangered animals to be preserved and that Japan was a signature country of the international treaty, Japan continue to send whale hunting fleet escorted by armed coast guard warships.

The ICR of Japan issued a statement on its website disputed Australian media's description of the two whales in the picture as mother and its calf. The ICR claimed that the two whales were 'random samples' of varied size whales in a research program in order to get accurate statistic data (as the banner over the whaling ship read). However, spokesman of Peter Garrett, the Australian environment minister claimed to have received independent scientific advise saying they were in fact related.

On the other hand, the Japanese government threatened that if they had too much hassle in continuing the scientific research, they could withdraw with the treaty and start commercial whaling overnight. The majority of Japanese support whaling. "What about lambs?" angry Japanese asked western journalists.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

China's Big Chill

China's Big Chill
--What are the causes and why does it matter?

Half of China had been in a mess in the past two weeks. It started as a heavy snow in the south, which was rare. However, what made the biggest natural disaster is the frozen rain following the snow. Millions of people mostly migrant workers who went home for the traditional Spring Festival were stuck either at train stations (those who were lucky) or in the middle of no where along frozen railways and highways.

The head of the China Meteorological Administration apologized to the public for not forecasting the bad weather to its full extend. However, it's never easy to forecast any humanitarian disaster, especially when it is compounded by many seemingly unrelated factors.

The butterfly effect started when the national electricity company agreed on a price raise asked by the coal companies in the once a year negotiation before the winter heating season. It usually works in a way that the state council will agree on a subsequent price raise on electricity. It didn't work as expected. Under mounting pressure to stable retail price on consumer goods, the state council denied electricity company's request to raise retail electricity price. That is not exactly a disaster, but it made their profit paper thin. The electricity companies scrambled to fight the decision by making a case that they are having trouble with this new price structure. Many plants did not stock up coal storage before the winter season, and instead limiting its output wherever they see fit. TV channels and newspapers are flooded with reports of shortage of electricity. Electricity companies wished it could change the state council's mind.

And it came the perfect winter storm. The storm cut the fragile transportation network in south China. The rail system had just been upgraded to electricity system. With touch cables frozen by ice, electricity engines could no longer work. The highway system was also frozen because there's no deicing equipment at all. Airports were all frozen too. Some power transit towers were brought down, partially by the unexpected storm, and partially by poor design and construction.

As a result, a large part of China, the more active part of China is stuck in the situation that transportations were dead waiting electricity to drive. Power plants couldn't generate electricity as they do not have fuel, plus power transit towers collapsed. In the mean time, millions of people are living in the dark and drink snow collected along the road. However, what caught the headline of every newspaper is the millions of migrant workers stuck in the railway stations and on the road home for the Spring Festival.

It's a BIG deal.

It's a HUGE deal, nothing bigger to Chinese than going back home in the Spring Festival, nothing, especially to the migrant workers from rural China and work in the southern cities. They work the whole year for the day to go back home. If they couldn't, they would be mad, literally. With millions living in the dark in their cold homes and millions going insane on the street with nothing on their heads, it came the largest humanitarian disaster in modern China.