May 13th, 2010


Free lodging in China, but only if you speak English

Visitors seeking to see China on a budget would do well to brush up their English language skills to take advantage of a scheme that offers free lodging in Chinese homes in exchange for English tutoring.

With the cost of one hour of English tuition costing up to 500 yuan ($73.26) -- unaffordable for the vast majority of Chinese -- a not-for-profit Chinese organisation called Tourboarding launched the initiative last month.

Lodgers must speak at least two hours of English a day in return for their keep while their Chinese hosts can learn for free from a resident live-in English teacher.

"In the past 30 days, 5,000 Chinese families have signed up," said Ken Chen, 38, one of the founding members for Tourboarding.

Chen said the aim of the company, which is run online (, is not to make money but to provide opportunity for the millions of Chinese keen to learn English.

Posted via web from crasch's posterous


Poly tarp tape supplier in the Bay Area?

A friend of mine is working on a poly tarp dome cover for Flipside. Unfortunately, due to a shipping snafu, the tape she ordered to seal the tarps hasn't arrived. Does anyone know where she could find a) a local (SF Bay Area) source for the tape (or suitable substitute) b) someone who might know of a local source ? I've attached the tape requirements below. Thanks for any suggestions!

"The tarp material is called "Flashgro."

The description says the black backing (which is the side I need to tape) is "poly." My best guess is that this is the same "poly" as in poly tarps. Apparently there are 2 types of tarp, vinyl and poly, and in the context of tarps, "poly" stands for polyethylene.

I'm looking for polyethylene tape, at least 1.5" wide, which can be used to seal seams on poly tarps. Apparently very few things stick to poly tarps very well (and I can verify this, because I have this ferocious double-sided tape called 3M VHB - Very High Bond - and not even this sticks to it well, it peels off easily).

I'd like a black color to match the tarps I'm working with but I'll consider anything if I can get it before the weekend. I need 100-120 yd.

The exact product I ordered was this: (on the manufacturer's website:

I tried contacting the manufacturer (Covalence Adhesives which is part of Berry Plastics), by looking on their website for retail outlets, and wound up having a phone conversation with one Jim Engel at a local manufacturer sales office, and he called around and the only place he could suggest that sells it is White Cap Construction Supply in San Jose, but I called them and they said they don't carry it.

BAC Industries also seems to make a tarp tape (see: and but that brand seems to cost more ($4 for 35' as opposed to $6 for 30 yds) and there is less information available about adhesive type, etc. I haven't called BAC yet to find out about distributors, I guess I will try that tomorrow morning."

Posted via email from crasch's posterous