All Female Chinese E-sport Team Dominating Competitions

The Rise of Esports

15 years ago, if you told someone that one day people would gather like they do at a Soccer or Baseball game to watch teams compete in video games, you would be laughed at. Today however, E-sports has become a global phenomenon and, according to some estimates, will be worth over $1 billion by the end of 2019. It is no surprise then, that professional gamers can now attend college on an e-sports scholarship, make 7 figures, and fill arenas with tens of thousands of fans to watch them play. Similarly to sports in real life however, there is a dark side to gaming.

For years, gaming has been a male-dominated space, where instances of harassment, sexism, bullying, and even threatening have run rampant against female players. Things got so bad in 2014 that the animosity against female gamers became a movement; known as Gamergate.

Today however, women are making big moves in the e-sports space, and have been making strides to competing with and even overtaking males in the competitive gaming scene.

Who are PandaCute?

About a year ago something rather unprecedented happened; an all girl gaming team was formed. Not only were they formed, but they dominated competition and took home multiple trophies in their first year. They were then signed by a major professional gaming company to a 3 year contract, and have been with them ever since, competing on the professional level. The groups name is PandaCute, and was formed when the leader wanted to play in a local tournament and needed to recruit a team. Their success has not come without trials however, and each member has faced vindication individually as well as a team for the sheer fact that they are women competing in video games.

Shek Hoi-Yee (one of the members) said, “Once I had a guy who came up to me and stuck his finger on my forehead after losing…I was so puzzled. What did I do wrong? Why can’t girls play better than guys?”

Training Regiment and Equipment

As their fame grew however, the team learned to laugh off criticism and harness it as motivation to do better in competitions. They say they now train 10 hours per day, and only take weekends off to rest their tired eyes.

In terms of equipment, rumor has it that they use DXRacer gaming chairs (find some of the top DXRacer reviews here), as well as Astro gaming headsets to get an edge on the competition.

PandaCute Playing Outlast

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Who is Guo Jingming

Guo Jingming – Most Hated Male Celebrity or Author Extraordinaire?

Guo Jingming was born in 1983 in Zigong, Sichuan and is a Chinese young adult author who is also known as Edward Guo. He is the founder of Ke Ai Entertainment Company (established in 2004), and has written a number of best selling books including “City of Fantasy”, which sold over 1.5 million copies and ranked second on the best-seller list. Guo has had an incredibly successful career and was worth approximately $3.6 million dollars in 2011. Success did not come without controversy however, and Guo has been accused of plagiarism and was featured as China’s #1 most hated male celebrity on Tianya.com, one of the biggest forums in the country. In this post we will examine his career, life, and controversies.

Early Life and Works

Guo was born in the southwest of China to a middle-class family and developed a strong propensity for writing and reading at a very young age. During middle school he began delving into famous Chinese works of literature, including books by Gu Long, and began writing for a local magazine by the time he was an early teenage. Shortly after this, Guo had a poem published in the national Rensheng Shiliuqi magazine titled “Loneliness”, which described his feelings during his school years. He earned $1.50 for his work, but although the monetary amount was small, it would spur him to pursue a career in writing. In 2003 Guo published his first novel, which sold 800,000 copies in the first few months and has sold more than 1.5 million copies since. His first published work was “The City of Fantasy“, which again sold 1.5 million copies and ranked second on the best seller list. Since then, Guo has published three more novels, with each being met with similar success. He attributes their popularity to both his style of writing and his beautiful book cover design, which he says is paramount to getting new readers to pick up his works.

Controversies

In 2004, while still studying at university, Guo published his second novel “Never Flowers in Never Dream”. Although it sold over 600,000 copies in the first month, a court found that it shared 12 major plot lines and 57 other similarities with a book that had already been published. Guo was accused of plagiarism and was ordered to pay the original author a fee of approximately $25,000 and publicly apologize. While Guo did pay the fee, he refused to apologize and the backlash was fierce. Many angry critics referred to him as “Super Plagiarism Boy” and an author with “no sense of decency”. He was then rated China’s #1 most hated male celebrity on one of countries most popular forums, and most recently, accused of sexual harassment. Despite the controversies however, Guo has maintained his innocence and vowed to prove his critics wrong, no matter how long it takes.

Current Projects

Guo is has been transitioning from the written world to the big screen with his entertainment company, and most recently produced show; “Rush to the Dead Summer”. The show aired on Chinese television from June 11th to July 8th, 2017.

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Chinese Drywall & Mold

What is Chinese Drywall?

The term “Chinese drywall” refers to more of an event than drywall itself. Between 2001 and 2009, the United States went through a massive surge in development and construction demand. The demand was so great, that the US ran out of the materials needed to complete the projects and began outsourcing to other countries, including China. Unfortunately, what resulted was the import of tonnes of defective drywall that resulted in mold infestations and affected an estimated 60,000 – 100,000 homes.

What Caused the Shortage?

The shortage in materials was caused by devastating hurricanes that hit the United States Southeast regions in the early 2000’s and a simultaneous boom in the housing market. Both the rebuilding and the construction of new homes resulted in an estimated 550 million pounds of drywall being imported into the United States from China since 2006, with the majority of it originating from the primary manufacturer of contaminated drywall; Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin. The majority of the contaminated drywall from Knauf (an estimated 52 million pounds) was sent straight to New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina, while another 37 million pounds from the same company was shipped directly to Florida.

Health Concerns and Result

The defect in the drywall products caused them to emit large levels of sulfur gases, which not only negatively affected other materials in the home (turning copper green etc), but caused significant health issues for those exposed. According to a guide released by the CDC, homeowners that were exposed to the contaminated products experienced symptoms such as sore throat, coughing, asthma attacks, bloody noses, headaches and memory loss. Unfortunately, a number of unscrupulous characters began taking advantage of the widespread panic, and a number of fake home testing kits began popping up on the market. Similarly, a large number of remediation companies began cropping up and, an investigation found, over 90% of them were run by fake contractors with no licenses or experience.

Mold Growth and Sulfide Concerns

As mentioned before, the defective Chinese drywall emitted large amounts of sulfur gas, which erodes copper wiring, covers and any other mechanical component made of copper. This means plumbing systems, HVAC internal components, electrical wiring, and other functional elements of thousands of homes were compromised. On top of this, the intense humidity in the areas affected combined with the emissions led to a spike in mold growth in homes.

Should I be Concerned?

If you are experiencing symptoms listed by the CDC for either sulfur exposure or mold exposure, you should contact a home inspection specialist to check the indoor air quality of your living space. If you find mold, call a mold removal company in your area and they will inspect further. If defective drywall is found, it will need to be replaced. In either instance, you should contact both your landlord and insurance company to ensure that the costs are covered.

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Chinese Mothers and Zuo Yuezi

Chinese Postpartum Traditions

Dating back to 960, Chinese mothers have been practicing the postpartum tradition of zuo yuezi (or “sitting the month”), which requires that, depending on the interpretation, the abstain from anything that could drain their bodies more. This could mean not taking showers, not leaving the house, adhering to strict diets, and avoiding any physical activity. The idea behind this is that childbirth drains a mother of her chi, which is said to be carried in ones blood by traditional Chinese medicine. Like many ancient traditions, it is being met with ever-loosening interpretations as the generations continue, but is still widely practiced in modern Chinese culture today. In this article we will discuss the ideology behind zuo yuezi, and the impact of modern postpartum practices on this ancient tradition.

The History of Zuo Yuezi

Ancient Chinese medicine has been focused around the idea of balance, both in the body and in life itself. According to tradition, a persons good health is brought on by a balance of Yin (dark/cold) and Yang (light/hot). These two opposites combined with chi (life force) are what keeps everyone healthy and in a good state of health. When a woman gives birth to a child, she loses chi through the loss of blood and fluids, which inevitably throws the balance of yin and yang off center. This, in turn, can lead to poor physical health and other complications. By practicing zuo yuezi, a woman will reduce her loss of chi, and begin naturally restoring the balance within herself.

How This Translates to Modern Postpartum Practices

While many mothers across China still practice zuo yuezi, the rise of social media and the inevitable modernization of the country and its traditions has loosened the restrictions they place upon themselves. Instead of abstaining from air conditioning and basic hygiene, new mothers are spending up to $27,000 per month to stay in care centers specifically designed for them to recuperate from childbirth.  In these centers, round the clock nannies apply damp washcloths to foreheads, utilize breast pumps (like the one here: http://www.yourbreastpumpreviews.com/review/spectra-s1), and turn up air thermostats to aid the recovery process. Many mothers simply do not adhere to the practice at all anymore, and even otherwise traditional parents scoff at the notion of “sitting the month”.

What is the Trend Moving Forward?

While it is clear that modernization has slowly been pushing more extreme traditions to the wayside, the fact remains that many mother still do, and will, continue to practice zuo yuezi. How the practice continues to evolve with time is something that remains to be seen however, and if the trends continue the way they have been, it seems that it will inevitably transform into something different all together in the near future.

Zuo Yuezi Video Discussion

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Buying Gifts for Chinese Friends

Is Gift-Giving That Different?

Giving gifts to your friends and loved ones originates from the predominance that Chinese culture puts on interpersonal relationships and the value of give and take dynamics. Bartering, gift-giving, and exchanging are all core pieces of Chinese culture that not only help define it, but shape it and builds the community closer together.

If you are not familiar with the culture, it can be quite intimidating having to pick a gift for a Chinese friend or family member. Heck, even if you are familiar, it can still be a daunting task! In this post, we will discuss the best ways to pick out gifts and come up with ideas when you are completely stuck!

How to Properly Exchange Gifts!

Pick a Gift Catered Toward Their Personality

Regardless of the nationality of your recipient, picking a gift should always be done after taking their hobbies and interests into consideration. Once you have an idea of what they like, you can begin researching gift ideas around those subjects specifically. For example, if the person you are gifting to is a huge Pokemon fan, you can find gift lists (like the one here: http://epicgifts.net/15-pokemon-gifts-for-true-fans) that will point you in the right direction. If you are gifting specific products, it is important to check to make sure they are high quality (more on that below).

Something Traditional Vs. Not?

Many people think a traditional Chinese gift may be a good idea, but that is not necessarily the case. As we mentioned above, it is important to think of their individual personality/interests. If they love traditional Chinese things, then a traditional gift would be great! However, if they are very into outdoors activities for example, you may want to consider getting them something like a Berkey water filter instead. Regardless of whether you go traditional or not, it is important to make sure it is heartfelt and something they will enjoy.

What About DIY Gifts?

If you are relatively crafty, you can create a beautiful DIY gift for your family, friend, or loved one for a fraction of the cost of buying something from a store. DIY gifts have the added value of being highly sentimental, and will mean a lot to the person you are gifting to. If you decide to go this route, it is highly advisable to be familiar with the recipients personality (do they like sentimental things or practical things for example) as well as your own crafting abilities. You can find some great DIY blogs that have some really awesome ideas for you to check out.

 

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Classical & Modern Chinese Philosophy

According to researchers, Confucianism is considered as one of the best philosophical schools creatively developed from the unique teachings from the Analects of Confucius. It is a type of system that is associated with religious, political, social and moral thought which has had tremendous influence in the history of Chinese culture. There are some Westerners that recognize Confucianism as their state religion of imperial China. Confucianism also influences other countries including Japan and Korea. Most of the Confucian concepts include “ren” which means humaneness or humanity, zhengming or also known as rectification of names, xiao or filial piety, zhong or loyalty and ritual. Confucius is also the one who taught negative and positive versions of the well known Golden Rule. The concepts of Yang and Yin represent the two opposing forces leading to change and perpetual contradiction.

Daoism

Daoism developed into a religion that is based on Dao Te Ching. The term Dao means way or path however in Daoism, it is typically referred as meta physical term. It is also focus on what is being perceived and this is one of the reasons why they strive hard for harmony and at the same time minimizing the harmful interference with human affairs and nature.

Legalism

Legalism is a Chinese political philosophy made by a philosopher named Han Fei. According to him, rulers must govern their subjects with Shi — charisma, power or legitimacy, Shu — statecraft, art, tactic and method, and Fa — principle or law. In connection with this, Legalism is considered as the chosen philosophy of Qin Dynasty. The Han Fei and Shang Yang are the one that promoted the adherence to the law. It is a fact that philosophy is highly progressive and it is extremely critical to Mohist and Confucian schools.

Naturalists

The Yin-Yang school is a part of Warring States period that synthesize the overall concept of five elements and yin-yang. The founder of this school is Zou Yan and most of his theory explain basic universal forces. The yin agents include negative, female, cold and dark and the elements of yang includes positive, male, hot and light. The five elements or phases include earth, metal, wood, fire and water. In the recent year, this kind of theory is being associated with the states of Qi and Yan.

Mohism

This kind of philosophy school is founded by Mozi wherein it promotes mutual benefit and universal love. According to Mozi, it is very important to love one another impartially and equally to prevent the occurrence of war and conflict. Mozi was against the ritual of Confucian. Mozi instead emphasized pragmatic survival in the form of statecraft, fortification and farming.

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