Category Archives: Advice

World’s richest man shares thoughts…

William Henry Gates III better known as “Bill Gates” is the world’s richest man (at least for now) according to Fortune Magazine.  Many people are fascinated about the man who’s accrued more wealth than anyone else for most of the years Fortune has compiled their list for the past 20 or so years.  I’ll admit I also wonder what the richest person in the world thinks and wonder if what he says and thinks that may inspire me to do the same.

So, where can we find these profound thoughts?  He wrote “The Road Ahead” in 1995.  So, here’s the first chance beyond his emails and communication to his coworkers and friends that the public could read about what he was thinking.  He followed up in 1999 with “Business @ the Speed of Thought. ”  Of course Gates is profiled in the media quite often, but since that’s unpredictable when he’ll be quoted, there’s a few other ways to follow this very successful individual. Continue reading

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It’s pronounced Kim Yuh-Na or Kim Yeon-ah not Yoo-Na

kim yuna

kim yuna

Korea’s incredibly proud of it’s figure skating champion which many forms of media have spelled her name “Kim Yu-Na” or “Kim Yu Na.”  However, as it would be phonetically pronounced when reading the name from the west, people are calling her “Yoo-Na” which I think she’s probably gotten used to by now.

Her name in Hangul is “김연아” which if you want to be more accurate in pronouncing her name correctly, her name is pronounced “Kim Yeon-Ah” as the characters are spelled out.

However, this has been an age old problem with Korean people pronouncing words in English and for English speakers to pronounce Korean names spelled in English, but are Korean.  For example, the surname “Cheh” or “Chae” is spelled “Choi” instead because the Korean characters which make up the last name actually are combined to sound like “Choi” if you separate the characteres “ㅗ” and “ㅣ” which represent the sounds “Oh” and “Ee.”   Continue reading

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Advice to help you be happier in life

The first story’s titled:

5 Things That Will Make You Happier

Clara Moskowitz
LiveScience Senior Writer
– Mon Feb 22, 11:50 am ET

Some scientists have argued that happiness is largely determined by genetics, health and other factors mostly outside of our control. But recent research suggests people actually can take charge of their own happiness and boost it through certain practices.

“The billion-dollar question is, is it possible to become happier?” said psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside. “Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change.”

Lyubomirsky spoke here Saturday at the annual meeting of theAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science. She and colleagues last year reviewed 51 studies that tested attempts to increase happiness through different types of positive thinking, and found that these practices can significantly enhance well-being. The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Here are five things that research has shown can improve happiness: Continue reading

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This summer’s sleeper (in Korea)



The summer’s been littered with box office hits here in South Korea like Haeundae and Transformers (from the states).  GI Joe starring Lee Byung-hun as well is up there in the charts with Harry Potter making it’s usual splash on the cinema front.  However, a movie that’s been creeping up a bit and I’m thinking is going to be this summer’s sleeper, if not 2009’s is “Gukga daepyo” (국가대표) or in English, it’s been translated as ” State Representative” (literal translation), “Take Off”, which describes a bit about what the guy does in the movie or “National Team” being what he’s doing it all for.

국가대표 is based on a real story and one of ski jumpers in the movie named 강칠구 is a real national team ski jumper.  Interestingly enough, Mr. 강 received the bronze medal from K-95, one of the international ski jump games held in German on the 15th of August (this past Saturday).

**What’s a sleeper?  Answer’s up next… Continue reading

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Brady’s Laws for Understanding of the Young

kidsHomeThis should be mandatory reading for CDI and other English teachers in South Korea.  I found it to be entertaining.  I got this from a book of essays of high schoolers who obtained admissions in the best Universities in the U.S.:

I.  Kids always say it’s theirs when it isn’t (i.e., cookies), and claim it’s not theirs when it is (i.e., a mess).

II. The ability of kids to do as they’re told is inversely proportionate to the number of kids in the group.

III. The worse you feel, the friskier they act. Continue reading

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Great weight loss and physical health tips from my roomate

workoutMy roomate Devin Nowroski gave some of the best advice to me the other day about working out, your food intake and not being misled about the misconception that running for example equals more energy or that you lose weight via traditional methods.  I’ve been running about 5-6 kilometers 2-3 times a week, but still feel my gut getting bigger or less “thinner.”  I do have to admit I’ve been reducing my stomach and back exercises a bit recently, but Devin’s advice still is some great stuff I don’t ever want to forget.

I pointed him to an article here on Time magazine which points out that exercise doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose weight.  The writer actually argues the contrary.

He replies:

“Thanks for sending the article. It was an interesting read. The author was not entirely inspiring though. I feel like the average person who reads it could be less inclined to exercise all together, which is not really ideal. The point they are trying to make is fine, and correct in my opinion, but not giving enough info to the reader. Stuff like that makes me angry. Continue reading


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Hagwon Advice…

esl kidsI’ve been around the (Korean) block a few times…

More specifically, I’ve been in the English as a Foreign Language (and as CDI or Chungdahm Learning likes to call it their patented ESL programs) industry for more than five years in Korea.  I get questions constantly about how to enter the industry, who to choose for work and honestly what to do if interested in this field if you want work.

Well, I just got another question (or should I say set of questions) asked of me about work here in Korea as an English teacher.  Instead of just answering this gentleman directly and minimizing the impact, I thought I’d write it up here so a few more can read and hopefully benefit from my advice.  In addition to reading the following, you can also read my piece called “Advice for Teachers” (they titled it that way even though I didn’t) which should actually be named “Advice for ‘Prospective’ English Teachers (in Korea).”

The guy asks: Continue reading


Filed under Advice, Busan stuff, Business, Business practices, Entrepreneurial life, Entrepreneurship, ESL, Expat, Impressive, Inspirational, Jobs, Korea life, Kyopo - Korean American, Kyopo life, Rants, Theories by Brandon, Unfortunate, Work

More motorcycle issues (possibly resolved?)

This is honestly just for my own record keeping, but after visiting a local bike shop near Pusan National University, the shop owner told me that the regulator was the problem. He even said he’ll bet on it and will give it to me for free for now & if it helps start the engine consistently for more than the 2 weeks maximum the starter seemed to work without a battery recharge that I go and pay only and only if it works beyond 2 weeks. So far, so good…but it’s only been 2 or so days. Continue reading

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Tags which wreak havoc on WordPress templates

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broken image

broken image

I think I finally figured it out. I’ve already found that copying content/text from Microsoft Word into posts here into this WordPress blog do create a design problem. Other documents sometimes copied into WordPress seem to make these templates break down as well. However, I think today (thanks to Matt Strum, btw for telling me the new template was looking funny), I think I figured it out.

Here are some snap shot of a working blog where the posts are fine in the middle and on the left.  On the right hand side, there is a sidebar with many different widgets that are properly ordered and placed on the right hand side. Continue reading


Filed under Advice, Interesting..., Opinions, Random finds, Technology, Theories by Brandon, Web Dev

Studying for the AP exams for free? From Korea? Top 5 study tips

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A past student of mine asked for some help studying for his AP Exams: Economics, Psychology and World History. Being here in Korea, he doesn’t have lots of texts he can buy at the local bookstore or at & get it a few days later. Korea also doesn’t have a lot of American texts and the accessibility is pretty sad to be frank. So, I thought up as many solutions he could take advantage of via the Internet and emailed him away.

I thought since he’s probably not the only one studying for the exams abroad, perhaps my tips might be useful to some kid in Ghana or in Fukuoka, Japan. It wouldn’t hurt I thought given there are 37 AP Exams on 22 subject areas and many standardized tests like it that many countries use as Academic standards to gain entrance into the top institutions. So, here they are:

1. Downloading Torrents (I reminded him that this is illegal & that he needs to do it with his parent’s permission & with caution; it was for educational purposes though and so I felt o.k with sharing this resource for now)

  • First you need to download the application at
  • A good site that many find texts on in .pdf format is
  • He wasn’t familiar with how to do it and so I told him basically you have to “type in “[thing you’re looking for] torrents” into google or‘s search” Continue reading


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Customer Service Contact information is still a pain to get – even in Korea: Case in point – SK Broadband

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SK Broadband

SK Broadband

I recently moved.  I’ll definitely be posting about the experience here because it’s literally the 5th time I’ve moved here in Korea in my less than 3 years here and has to be the 100th time I’ve moved in the past 17+ years.  Let’s just say I’m a professional mover at this point & no, I’m not the one moving the “stuff.”  Rather, at least, I’m not the one who’s getting “paid” to move the stuff — I’ve been doing most of the paying.

Anyhoo, the reason I’m writing this post is to dedicate this to all of you who are looking to set up or change your Broadband provider in South Korea and happen to already be using SK Broadband.  If you need to get a hold of them and wanted to find their phone number conveniently online, you’re basically out of luck.  Similar to what I’ve said before about it being a pain to obtain customer service contact information like emails from ironically “online companies” (’s being one of the more difficult ones to find online despite being a HUGE ONLINE advocate) , this experience to try and find SK Broadband’s customer service department’s phone number before they closed was stressful.  Another similar example was finding a place or other way to contact the customer service department of one of the biggest online companies in the world at this point (Google)Continue reading


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If, then… I wish someone would develop a contingency software tool!

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if then

if then

Many of us work hard — very hard for that matter.  We’re willing to put many hours into our work and at times are incredibly efficient.  Howeer, many of our coworkers ask us “Is xyz done yet?”  “Can you tell me where abc is right now?”  We’re usually waiting for someone else in the big puzzle we call work to finish something that would let us do our job ultimately.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some form of project management or task management software that helped us point out the true kinks or dependencies we have in our daily “to do” lists?  Perhaps the ideal software could also help us understand how long the delays are and if the things (or people) who hold us up continue to do so & at what frequency?  Perhaps, it will ultimately become an HR or rather a Human Resources tool which helps us understand who’s more efficient in an organization?  Continue reading


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Korean websites where you can find computer/laptop deals

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kohjinsha laptop

kohjinsha laptop

My coworkers recently showed me some Korean websites to shop for computers since I said I was looking for a cheap laptop to replace my current solutions.  I have a couple old laptops that take forever to bootup.  One also has problems with the keyboard where it seems like a hotkey is stuck and the regular keyboard keys don’t function — basically, I can’t type anything on it or navigate properly.  The other one has problems connecting to my wireless LAN and I have to pull it out and insert it along with sometimes rebooting it.  It’s sad though when I think about the fact I’m complaining about moving my hand just a few times and being patient a few minutes longer.  It’s funny how society’s become more and more impatient about just a few minutes (or maybe it’s just me?).  Anyway, the websites are: Continue reading


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Who wants to be a millionaire – Indian style…

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Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Tried to watch this movie a month plus ago, but after being reminded by IMDB‘s MOVIEmeter Top 10 list (#6 on the list recently), I was finally able to get a hold of Slumdog Millionaire & dedicate a good 2 hours to watch it.  Lately, I’ve been watching movies while distracted by other things I’m working online or the stock market.  However, I was really able to focus on this one which does help improve my appreciation for whatever flick I end up watching. Continue reading


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