How it ruins our elementary school kids

I hate homework.

Well, not personally, as it never really bothered me back in my American junior high and high school. Today we see it in earlier and earlier grades. Here in Shanghai, it starts from grade one, at age six. An hour a day, usually more.

Of detestable homework. What bothers me is not the homework itself, but the concept of homework for kids at this age. And how destructive it is.

The Chinese love homework. At least the parents do. Shanghai recently reduced the amount teachers can assign in the early years, and how did many parents respond…


Why can’t we have this in the USA?

I saw four doctors today in Shanghai.

Not because I’m sick, but as I’m leaving China to move back to the USA next month, I needed a couple annual exams, a few follow-ups, and to get final advice and prescriptions for a variety of things. I’ve been here 15 years so I have lots of medical things to organize, and I dread finding new doctors in the US, mostly because medical care is so good and easy here.

Earlier this week I simply scheduled all these appointments for the same day, at the same clinic. Sometimes it’s hard to get…


Ode to Johnny Cash’s 50-year-old song of the downtrodden

Johnny Cash

I grew up listening to country music, including the great Johnny Cash. He’s of course the country music pioneer well-chronicled in the excellent movie, Walk the Line, and he passed away in 2003.

As a long-time fan, I thought I knew all his songs, but some years ago I discovered one I hadn’t heard, “Man in Black”, written in 1971 during the Vietnam War and counter culture protests.

This song, which Johnny wrote to explain why he always wore black, still speaks to us 50 years later, describing many of the challenges we still face here in the 21st century…


More alike than different & history all the same

I’m from Maine, a pretty libertarian and freedom-oriented place.

And while Maine is sadly still the whitest state in the union, we usually don’t care who our neighbors are, as long as they (and the government) don’t bother us. They could be blue and from Mars for all we care. Or at least I’d like to think that’s how we think.

Europe’s recent immigrant challenges, especially the EU’s limited ability to understand and integrate Muslims and other immigrants got me thinking about these issues, including how we look at others, especially conservative religions and their “oppressive” traditions across our history.


More alike than different & history all the same

I’m from Maine, a pretty libertarian and freedom-oriented place.

And while Maine is sadly still the whitest state in the union, we usually don’t care who our neighbors are, as long as they (and the government) don’t bother us. They could be blue and from Mars for all we care. Or at least I’d like to think that’s how we think.

Europe’s recent immigrant challenges, especially the EU’s limited ability to understand and integrate Muslims and other immigrants got me thinking about these issues, including how we look at others, especially conservative religions and their “oppressive” traditions across our history.


Shanghai scooter & bike safety

Helmets are for other people, at least here in Shanghai, and more broadly across China. Few, if any, scooter drivers or bikers wear them. Thus, you would think they are just not necessary, or perhaps drivers are unaware of them.

In an effort to further reduce safety while zooming through intersections and around cards, drivers often pile a kid on the front or back of scooters as they head to school, shopping, etc. Sometimes they add a wife, too, which is quite a sight, with two adults and a child on a single-person scooter, weaving through traffic.

Nuts, methinks. Absurdly…


End Menstruation Stigma & Period Poverty

Let’s talk about periods. The female kind.

As a strong supporter of women and girls, I’m a big believer in removing the stigma of women’s periods, which hurts them in so many ways. After all, half the world’s population has to deal with them a dozen times a year, for 40 years. But it’s something we never talk about.

Menstruation is hardly a common discussion topic, certainly not in polite circles, and certainly not by men. This’s exactly why men need to talk about it and be much more supportive.

Avoiding the topic, making crude jokes, or embarrassing girls are…


A Kazak / Korean Barmaid & Medical Student in Shanghai

Here in a Shanghai beer bar a barmaid is pouring a dozen countries’ brews. She’s in China, but she’s from Kazakhstan. She looks Asian, but her native tongue is Russian. I chat with her in Chinese, but her English is much better and her accent American.

She wouldn’t stand out in any American city, nor hardly in the countryside. And that’s the point. She’s Koryo-saram, something I had to look up. It refers to hundreds of thousands of Koreans forcibly moved by the Soviets to various USSR states in the 1930s, mostly to Kazakhstan. So she’s Kazak, but not really…


Some blue-collar observations & lessons for life

Construction crew and concrete truck on job site.
Construction crew and concrete truck on job site.

I spent nearly 20 years in school, have multiple degrees, run companies, and live on the other side of the world in a city of 25 million. But I never forget that I grew up in my family’s small construction company in rural Maine.

This means I NEVER forget that our family’s nice house, cars, clothes, toys, and my education came from moving dirt and pouring concrete. Day after day. For decades. And my dad is only now slowing down, after 60 years of seven-day workweeks.

I’m as white-collar as they come, though I’m also an engineer and very much…


Lessons & Guidelines Learned

Docker is everywhere and there are many ways to make Dockerfiles, and many examples, all very simple, with few really good ones around. And the good ones are rarely annotated or explained on why they are good or what you should do.

So, this article is about useful standards and guidelines I’ve found useful in creating more complex Dockerfiles and is related to my DockerFile Annotated Example.

General Concepts

First, there are some general guidelines, mostly centered around long-standing good engineering practices that also apply to Dockerfiles. …

Steve Mushero

CEO of ChinaNetCloud & Siglos.io — Global Entrepreneur in Shanghai & Silicon Valley

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