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Fenghuang—- a wondeful place to travel in China

Before I came to U.S, I travelled to some other places in China. Fenghuang, a well-known place in Hunan province.

You could see there are so many houses beside the river in the picture, and that the most beautiful time of this place one day. At this moment, many locals, tourists and even lovers come here and hang out, they may see the appealing scenery, bathe in the gentle wind, and hear the local ballad. That’s really a fairyland in the world.

At the same time, you could choose to stay in a bar, drink some beer and try your best to feel the special atmosphere.

In a word, if you have chance to visit China, don’t ignore this wonderful place!




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The Xiabu—-my favourite hotpot restaurant

This is a famous hotpot restaurant in Beijing, and it’s my favourite restaurant.

When the 2008 Olympics was held in Beijing, I was there and walked around. Suddenly, I felt hungry and found a place to eat, of course, this is Xiabu.

I like this restaurant for three aspects. First, the waiters here were nice and friendly to customers. When I went into the restaurant, I was guided by a waiter and assigned to a place to seat. Second, the price was appropriate, I just spent 4 dollars and enjoyed different kinds of dood, like shrimp, pork, beef, eggs, mushroom, noodles and so on. Third, the atmasphere was helpful for the meals, when you stayed there, it was just natural for you to order more food.

I have been there many times, and I really hope to get another chance to go when I went back to China.


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The Chinese National Library

This is the Chinese National Library, a place full of books.

When I ended my GRE course in Beijing in 2009, I just felt lonely and didn’t know what to do. However, when I passed by this building, I felt shocked in my heart and decided to go in.

After I entered into that, I found that was really a palace, occupied by many kinds of books.

In the end, I spent totally a week to stay in this palace and enjoy the feeling of reading books! That’s amazing!


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My favourite theatre

This is the “one hundred year lecture room” in Peking University, a place full of cultural presentation.

In the summer of 2009, when I was taking GRE courses in Beijing, I always came to this place and watch different kinds of performances. For example, the world famous ballet “Swan Lake”, some piano concerts, and even some movie shows. From these excellent elegant arts, I become more and more engaged in art and enjoyable to our life.

I hope to go back and see the show one day.


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Red-roasted meat—-a special kind of Chinese food

 This dish was made by myself last night, an it has a special name——Red-roasted meat.

 It is very famous in China, which belongs to one of the well-known food in Hunan province. Most people in China love this food because the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao zhedong or Chairman Mao, deeply appreciated this dish and spent most of his lifetime enjoying it.

 I completed this dish in three main steps: First, I put the meat, which is half fat and half thin, into the boiled water for twenty mintues, thus making the meat become almost ripe. Then I sliced it into small pieces. Second, I stir the ginger pieces, garlic pieces, and Mexico hot pepper with hot oil and fried them, then I put down the meat and mixed it with the above-mentioned stuff. Third, I use a pot and cooked the meat with litte fire. After one and a half hour, a delicious red-roasted is ready to eat.

However, this kind of food is full of fat, we need to control the amount that we consume, and appropriate amount would make us feel energetic and warm.

Just have a taste of this food when you have chance to visit China.


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Eight life rules I’ve learned along the way

When I graduate in December of this year from UGA it will be exactly 10 years since I earned my undergraduate degree.  It is amazing to me how the past decade has truly flown by.  Ten years ago I never would have suspected that I would be completing my eighth year in the military, or preparing to move to my tenth city in a few months. As some of you prepare to enter the “real” world for the first time, I thought I would share some of the lessons I’ve learned through the years that have helped me to make this decade what I consider a personal success (insert eye roll here).

1.    Eliminate the word “never” from your vocabulary.

I said I would never live in the state of Georgia* when I was a kid, and I swore I would never make a career of the Coast Guard. I’m now living in Georgia for the SECOND time in 10 years, and it has taken me 8 years to accept that the Coast Guard is the right career for me. The surest way to make something happen is to declare that it will never happen.

* So as not to offend all you Georgia natives, this is really because my only experience with the state was as a little kid traveling through the state on I-75 to get to Florida; long, and BORING.

2.    You don’t always have to have a five-year plan, but make sure you set some goals for yourself.

 Some people thrive on having every aspect of their life planned out. I’m not one of those people, and never will be. Never feel like you are stuck on one path for the rest of your life. Life will present you with opportunities; take those opportunities! Decisions may lead to change, but change is always a good thing. Nothing in life is constant, so you must learn to adapt or risk being left behind. I have found that making tangible goals for myself is key to my growth as a person. Now that I have attained my goal of attending graduate school, the time has come for me to set a new goal. I’m not sure yet what that goal will be, but in the near-term I plan on running in Athens half marathon in the fall. This will give me something small to strive for while I try to come up with the next big life goal.

3.    Realize what you know… and especially what you don’t.

One of the biggest challenges many people face in their careers, especially when placed in management positions, is to recognize that you won’t always know exactly what to do in every situation. As a junior officer, I am often in charge of people with infinitely more experience in certain positions than I have. You must recognize when these people know more than you, and when they don’t. Be humble about asking for assistance, and never be afraid to admit that you need help.  The biggest challenge many have with this situation is to understand how to ask for help without compromising your position of authority.

4.    Every perceived failure is an opportunity for growth.

I enlisted in the Coast Guard not because I wanted to gain valuable work experience before going to officer candidate school, but because I applied after graduation and was not accepted. This was the first time I had ever been rejected. Rather than giving up, I decided it was more important to me to be a member of the Coast Guard than just to be an officer. Enlisting was the best decision I could have made for myself. I appreciate my commission far more now because I really had to work for it.

5.    You can’t always be the best at everything.

This is probably been the most challenging for me. At work, I’m not the best ship driver, or the fastest runner, or the most knowledgeable search and rescue controller, but I am very good at understanding people. Find the thing you’re best at, and use that to your advantage. This is not to say that you shouldn’t continue to develop your weaker areas; you should never stop trying to improve yourself. It simply means that if you know you gave your all to a project, then count that as a success.

6.    Your parents/friends/loved ones don’t always know what’s best for you.

If I had allowed my parents to make decisions for me regarding the school I would attend, the career I would pursue, the location in which I would live, or who I should date/marry, I would be an architect right now. I would be living in Lexington, and I would probably have a couple of kids.  None of these are bad things, but they just aren’t me. You must define success for yourself, and trust yourself to make the right decisions about what’s best for you. Most of my family members were emphatically against me joining the military, but if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here in Athens, Ga.  and earning a free master’s degree in mass communication.

7.    It’s okay to change jobs, but make sure the new position will help you grow in some way.

Some of you may know that the first job I had after graduation was as a quality control technician at a sausage factory. Was it awful? Absolutely. But it did lead me to my next position as a chemist at an environmental testing lab.  I also had multiple jobs in retail and the service industry, and I took each new job because it offered something more, whether it was a higher salary, added responsibility, or a better working environment.  Realize that more than likely you won’t fall into your dream job immediately after school. Work hard, make smart decisions, keep a positive attitude, and forge relationships with your coworkers. If you do these things opportunity will come knocking.

8.    Cultivate your friendships, because they can help get you through hard times in ways that your parents can’t.

I can’t stress the importance of quality friendships enough.  When you decide to make that move across the country, or take that job in New Mexico, you will not want to tell your parents that you’re homesick, or that your boss is a jerk. This is one the most important things about great friendships. You can complain to your friends about life’s little irritations, without worrying your parents.  They’re already worried enough about you, so why worry them with the little things.


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Athens Farmers Market – local and sustainable… and very cool.

The Athens Farmers Market is back in business for the season, and I recently decided to check it out for the first time a few Saturdays ago.  Being the yuppy that I am, I love a good farmer’s market; it strikes just the right balance between giving me a sense of superiority  and helping my local farmers that only comes from purchasing unwashed organic carrot bundles.

The Athens Farmers Market is a non-profit run by local artists, farmers, and musicians that strive to bring healthy, affordable, and sustainable foods to the people of Athens.  The market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Bishop Park and every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Little Kings’ Shuffle Club, and features not only local fresh produce, dairy, and other foods, but local musicians and artists.

I attended the market on both a Saturday and a Wednesday.  On Saturday there seemed to be more families and a wider age range in attendance, and there were far more booths to explore.  Wednesday’s crowd was younger and hipper, and many seemed to be there as much for the Little Kings salsa lessons as for the farmers market itself.

The vendors and volunteers both days were extremely friendly and welcoming, and far less concerned about turning a profit than having a good time and interacting with their customers.  I asked for a recommendation for a good dark roast from local Athens coffee roasters 1000 Faces and they suggested Aldo’s Blend, my new favorite coffee in the world.  With my fresh new pound of coffee and a hot cup of joe for the road, I was enamored.

If you are looking for an interesting break from your Saturday morning hangover or just in the market (so to speak) for some really delicious and fresh organic foods, go check it out.  Plan to eat lunch at one of the booths, where you can pick up wares such as freshly made empanadas and grass-fed burgers.  There is ample parking, and the atmosphere is great.


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Social Media and My Graduate School Life

Technology has changed so much since finishing undergrad in 2007. Although, it doesn’t seem like so long ago, when I arrived to graduate school my communication experiences didn’t resemble anything from 5 years before. From being friends with my professors on Facebook and Twitter to establishing multiple blog sites to publish work and establish a voice, my digital presence greatly increased. Now as graduation approaches and I pursue my post graduate plans I found some great pointers at for maximizing your social media presence. 

1. Know your audiences

  • Know your audience – What segmentation are you talking to and who are you targeting? Identifying the stakeholders in your business environment and understanding what they want to hear from you will ensure that not only your social media presence is successful but also help across your entire marketing communications.
  • Reach more audiences – Social media can help you tap into audiences which previously were at a great distance away; you can monitor activity or become part of the community.

2. Plan your content

Planning your content across a period of time can save a great deal of time and resource. Consider some of the following simple steps:

Create a theme or subject
Instead of writing copy or developing communications for one marketing activity, why not create a theme or subject which can be used across a multitude of media? Traditional communications activities and promotions can also be integrated into the social media presence – it’s simply another way of getting a targeted message to your audience.

Collect a content library

Content is definitely the hardest component of social media presence. It’s a constant, ongoing demand on an organisation’s resource so having ‘timeless’ content or snippets of content to hand can fill in those gaps of information.
Publish 3rd party material
Contact other parties to publish their materials. The web is all about collaboration and sharing – gone are the days of shielding content to/from the outside.

3. Use readily available tools

Use one or more of the freely available social media tools. There are many, many tools and applications that make using social media a great deal easier. Such tools help you to:

  • Ensure your content is coordinated and give your marketing communications an integrated approach
  • Measure effectiveness and monitor your presence (instant notification of your organisation being discussed on social media opens your eyes to a whole new intelligence gathering mechanism)

So social media is a great platform for measuring and monitoring but what exactly are you looking to measure and monitor?

Don’t measure and monitor for the sake of it. Make it meaningful to your business or your campaign objective. For example, do you want to get a certain amount of followers on Twitter? If so, make it in for a particular audience instead of across the board.

4. Don’t use in isolation

Be sure to integrate social media with your other marketing & PR activity. Your social media presence is a bit like your own TV channel or billboard, but instant. It goes out to a mass audience straightaway and often on a personal 1-2-1 level. For those used to a B2B market this can, in some cases, be daunting and difficult to comprehend. Don’t forget to:

  • Plan your social media inline with your marketing and PR activity. When one campaign or activity is planned this should be combined with social media as it lends itself perfectly to integrated communications.
  • Make sure your communications across your other marketing activities and media match your social media or are the same.
  • Use the freely available social media tools. The tools available also aid integration. One tool for diffusing your communications across a multitude of platforms. How cool is that? Yes, but also how dangerous is that? It needs thought, planning and resource. Watching some companies hand over their social media presence without a clear strategy or thought is certainly an eye opener.



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Gotham Needs A Hero

“When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the first line of defense.” – EFF

Who is this super hero: this silent guardian… our dark knight?

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In 21st century, there is an ongoing debate (or more accurately a tug-of-war or barroom brawl) about where the protections of the constitution end, as pertaining to our digital lives.

Founded in

1990 by  John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor, the EFF sets out to defend free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights, along with championing the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights. As an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization, The EFF “provides funds for legal defense in court, presents amici curiae briefs, defends individuals and new technologies from what it considers baseless or misdirected legal threats, works to expose government malfeasance, provides guidance to the government and courts, organizes political action and mass mailings, supports some new technologies which it believes preserve personal freedoms, maintains a database and web sites of related news and information, monitors and challenges potential legislation that it believes would infringe on personal liberties and fair use, and solicits a list of what it considers patent abuses with intentions to defeat those that it considers without merit.”

With every passing day, the question of digital rights becomes an increasingly important issue. In the past few months, instances of law enforcement using social media and social networks themselves censoring content, among other things, have brought attention to the still evolving concept digital rights.

Funded by donations he EFF has won a number of notable court cases against major players such as the FCC, internet service providers and entertainment companies in the name of defending the civil liberties of web users.

The EFF is also involved in a number of ongoing projects. Chilling Effects is a project that works with several law schools to index take-down requests on a variety of sites, in hopes of drawing attention to individuals and corporations who are using “intellectual property” and other laws to silence other online users. Additionally, the EFF has written a number of whitepapers “ reflecting the results of EFF’s clear thinking on issues at the cutting-edge of law and technology.”

The EFF are not the only champions of digital liberties out there, but they are certainly the heavyweights in the room. Other key players in the battle for digital rights include The Association for Progressive communications and events like the World Summit on The Information Society, a United Nations sponsored conference aiming to help bridge the digital divide.

Organizations such as the EFF will take an increasingly important role in shaping internet legislation as bills like SOPA and PIPA continue to appear before congress and in the news.

[Originally Posted at Big Data Really Gets Me]


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Be The Match – Save Lives

Social media platforms are changing the way we do business and are providing cost-effective and efficient ways for organizations to reach new and diverse audiences.   I spoke with Jennifer Goodman, Account Executive for Be The Match in Jacksonville, Fla. to discuss some of the ways in which non-profit organizations are benefitting from the use of social media to reach a richer, more diverse audience.

AD: What is Be The Match, and what do you do for the organization?

JG:  First off, I really hate people thinking I’m a dating service.  Be The Match is the name for the National Bone Marrow Registry.  My job is to recruit new potential donors to the Registry and to fundraise to support that.  It costs us about $100 every time we add a potential donor to the Registry.  The hardest part about my job is overcoming people’s misconceptions about what they think they know about bone marrow donation.

A bone marrow transplant is a treatment option for over 80 diseases; most notably, leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.  Most people who have seen any recent movies or t.v. shows think we’re going to take their bones, or drill into their spines with no anesthesia, or that it’s just extremely painful.  The truth is, it’s just not.  The technology has improved so much that that’s just not the case anymore.  In fact, at the Mayo Clinic here in Jacksonville, one of our lead bone marrow transplant surgeons states that over 90% of the time apheresis is used for the collection process to get the stem cells used for the transplant.

AD: What is apheresis exactly?

JG: Apheresis is essentially the same process  you go through when you give blood.  At the Mayo Clinic, you’re sat  on a comfortable bed and you watch a flat screen t.v. while blood is taken from one arm, spun in a centrifuge, and returned back into the other arm.  The whole process from start to finish usually takes a couple of hours and they can take what they need from that blood to save somebody’s life.

AD: Do they still do use the old methods of extracting bone marrow that most people envision when they think about donation?

JG: At the Mayo Clinic, they do still conduct bone marrow harvest about 5 – 10 % of the time, however the technology has advanced to the point that it is NOT what you think.  In fact, you’re given anesthesia, it’s outpatient, and you leave with a BandAid. Some people say that they feel like they worked out hard, especially in the hip area, but it’s a small price to pay for saving a life.  Especially since a lot of the recipients are children suffering with sickle cell, strokes, or even being in medically-induced comas awaiting the transplant.  One of the really cool things about being a bone marrow donor is that after a one year waiting period you have the opportunity  to meet your transplant recipient. Most people say it’s a life-changing experience.

AD: In what ways are Be The Match and you specifically using social media to connect with people?

Be The Match has its own YouTube Channel that shares donor recipient meetings and information about the donation process.  You can also hear from some of our celebrity spokespeople like Shaquille O’Neal and T-Boz that really aim to connect with people in specific ethnic groups like the African-American community and really express the need for donors in those communities. Finding a match is very closely related to your ethnicity.  You’re far more likely to find a match within your own ethnic group.  Right now African-Americans, much like other minority groups, are severely under-represented on the registry.

One of the great things about social media is I can connect with vast amounts of people and it’s totally free- and I’m pretty sure that our target demographic, which is college students, is not checking the newspaper every day.  Twitter is definitely a favorite because some of the schools and organizations that I partner with can repost tweets that might involve the same audience.  I also use Facebook to post pictures from events, because everybody loves to be in pictures and if you think there’s a possibility that you might be tagged in a picture there is a million times better chance that you might visit that Facebook page.  That does a lot of the work for me.  There are so many ways to help the organization, and social media makes it really easy to get involved and lets people determine their own level of engagement.

AD: How can people get involved with Be The Match?

JG: You can join the Registry if you’re between the ages of 18 and 60 and meet the health guidelines,  you can make a donation to help add new members to the Registry, or you can volunteer.

To get involved with Be The Match or for more information, contact Jennifer Goodman at or (904) 254-0841, or follow her on Twitter: @BeTheMatchJax. 


by | April 28, 2012 · 12:04 am