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15 Things to Never Say at the Dinner Table

15 Things to Never Say at the Dinner Table

Just don’t ever say them — like, ever

Please avoid these topics at all cost when having dinner with the family.

We’ve all been there before — at the table, in the middle of eating dinner with a mouthful of pasta, and all of a sudden someone says something so horrific/embarrassing/depressing/uncensored that you’d rather crawl under the table than sit upright in your seat.

Family dinners should be about family bonding and catching up with light, funny banter that should never be confused with the update on your bowel movements or your recent breakup.

Learn this and never forget it — no matter who you’re sharing a meal with, there are just certain topics you should always avoid when eating.

While we’re pretty sure that everyone knows the general rules of thumb when it comes to table manners (don’t chew with your mouth open, no elbows on the table, etc.) you should be very aware of where conversations can lead if you open up the floor for discussion.

So without further ado, let’s talk — or not talk — about the things you shouldn’t say at the dinner table.

  1. When Are You Two Getting Engaged?: If you’ve known the couple long enough, you know enough about the status and/or length of their relationship to know that a proposal is either on the horizon or it’s not. Also, it’s most likely a discussion they’ve already had and don’t need to be reminded of. If they have something to share, they will.
  2. What Exactly Is This?: No, no, no. Even if you have a genuine curiosity, just wait for the host or hostess to explain what’s for dinner because nine times out of 10, your question will sound rude.
  3. I Can’t Do This Anymore: Whatever it is — live at home, date your girlfriend, talk to your parents — have this conversation after dinner and somewhere in private. It’s just going to create a super awkward atmosphere for everyone else.
  4. Man, This __________ Is Going to Go Right Through Me: This should be a given. No one wants to hear about your bathroom woes, ever.
  5. Heard You Got a Raise — That’s Awesome, How Much?: Never, ever ask someone about money. It’s right up there with religion and politics. A big, fat NO. If they want to share, they will on their own.
  6. Haven’t You Had Enough?/Someone’s Hungry: If they want another serving of mashed potatoes or more pasta — who cares? Let it be.
  7. Can I Take Your Dish? If they have a fork or spoon still in their mouth, chances are they aren’t finished eating, so let them throw their napkin on the dish and set their utensils down before asking them this question. And while we’re at it, it’s also rude to get up from the table when other people aren’t finished eating, so sit back down!
  8. That Looks… Interesting: Even if you really mean it, use the word "good" instead, otherwise your chef for the evening will assume you mean it looks unappetizing to you.
  9. Oh My Gosh, Did You Hear About That Gross________: Thanks for ruining everyone’s appetite, jerk.
  10. Your Father/Mother and I Are Getting a Divorce: Who wants to eat after hearing that? No one.
  11. I’m on a Diet/I’m Not Hungry: Sure you are. Please tell us how what we’re eating is horrible for our bodies too while you’re at it.
  12. This Is Great, but It Would Be Better with _____: Do you want to cook? No? Then shut up.
  13. Who Are You Voting For? This is an easy one and will never end well, so just avoid it and say "How about them Yankees?"
  14. Whispering: Everyone else at the table is going to assume you’re talking about them. Like the saying goes, "secrets, secrets are no fun, unless they are for everyone." Boom.
  15. Nothing at All: Silence speaks volumes, and even worse are facial expressions. No raised eyebrows or scrunched faces ever.

15 Things Never, Ever To Do At A Business Lunch

Many people aren't sure what's polite and what's not when you're dining with co-workers or networking contacts.

Here's a list of 15 things never, ever to do at a business lunch!

1. Ask a stranger to lunch "to pick their brain." If you value someone's opinion, then their expertise is worth more than the cost of their lunch! Ask someone to lunch because you want to meet them, not because you want them to consult with you for free.

2. Extend an invitation to a stranger and specify the restaurant, date or time. You don't want to signal to anyone that your needs supersede their own! If you invite a stranger to lunch, the question is "Would you have time to have lunch with me?" Don't ever, ever specify a restaurant, a date or a time when you invite a stranger to meet you.

3. Invite someone to lunch at a spot near you but far away from them. It is impolite to reach out to a friend and say "Want to have lunch next time you're close to my office?" If you want to see them, you can meet them halfway.

4. Ask a stranger to lunch without offering to pay for their lunch. If someone you don't already know is willing to have lunch with you, you must pay for their lunch.

5. Invite someone to lunch without checking to make sure the restaurant will be open for lunch -- and making a reservation if appropriate. Do not subject your lunch partner to the pain of waiting in a long line to be seated for lunch. Check out any restaurant you suggest to make sure you'll be able to dine at the hour you prefer.

6. Drink to excess. The days of the three-martini business lunch are thankfully over. Do you really need a drink with your lunch?

7. Argue with your server about the food or the service. If your food was cold or the service was bad, so what? Don't make a pleasant lunch date unpleasant by arguing about it. Just let it go.

8. Make or accept a lunch invitation without clarifying the financial arrangements. Never assume that someone who invites you to lunch will be paying for your lunch. An easy way to determine who's paying is to reply to a lunch invitation with "You know, I'm watching my budget but perhaps we can have coffee one day." If your friend intends to pay for your lunch, they will reply and tell you so.

9. Cancel a lunch date at the last minute except in a true emergency. A true emergency is when you, a dear friend or a close family member is physically ill or injured. That's it. If you cancel a lunch date at the last minute because you're too busy at work, then you don't deserve any more lunch dates.

10. Order a dish that will inconvenience your friend. People are busy. They don't want to have to sit with you while the chef prepares the house paella or any time-consuming dish for you.

11. Take a phone call, answer texts or fiddle with your phone during lunch. The minute you get to the restaurant, put your phone face-down on the table, or put it in your pocket. You are at lunch with someone who deserves your full attention. Leave your phone alone!

12. Let your subordinate pay for their own lunch. If you are a manager and you invite someone on your team to have lunch with you, you pay for their lunch -- no exceptions. The company pays for your subordinate's lunch if the policy allows it, and you personally pay for it if the policy doesn't allow. You asked someone on your team to give up their private lunch time to hang out with you, so you foot their lunch bill.

13. Talk about other employees. It is astonishing what people will say aloud in a crowded restaurant. Don't make your lunch partner or other diners uncomfortable by talking about private company matters at lunch, no matter how much you insist that nobody else cares. It's impolite and tacky to talk about people behind their backs, and doubly so in public.

14. Bushwhack someone. Many a struggling executive has been taken to lunch by their CEO only to be told "We're going to have to let you go" right over their dish of pasta. Bushwhacking someone at lunch is a horrible management technique. It's a technique used by cowards who need to deliver bad news in a public place so the recipient of the bad news can't react to it the way they would in a private place, like the office.

15. Fail to say "Thank you!" when someone buys you lunch. The fact that good manners require the boss or the person who made the lunch invitation to pay the bill does not mean that the person whose lunch was bought for them doesn't need to say "Thanks for that wonderful lunch!" They do. Even if the lunch was atrocious and the service abysmal, you still have to say "Thanks!" After all, it's the thought that counts.


Ridiculous Things I Never Want to Hear a TV Chef Say Again

Call it petty, but we all have that thing that turns us into a grouch. And this is mine.

One of my favorite forms of entertainment is watching food shows on TV. I love the oldies. Julia, Jacques, put on any of the British ones… I’m happy. I love some of the new ones like NewScanCook, Nigella, and ATK. The only ones I really can’t get behind are the competition shows and the ones where they take you to restaurants or fairs where (usually) a man eats enough to feed a family of 4 for a week.

However, having said that, there are certain things about all of these shows that instantly turn me into the grouchy neighborhood “You kids get off my lawn!” guy. And most of them revolve around things I never ever want to hear a TV chef say again.

Probably the top spot on my list goes to chefs kneading dough. At some point in the process, they will look at the camera and say, as if it’s a brilliant thought that JUST occurred to them, a variation on 𠇋oy, I guess I don’t have to go to the gym today.” Yes. You do. Kneading dough for 5-10 minutes is not a workout. End of discussion.

Then we move on to � some sugar for sweetness.” RIGHT… And I was going to add the sugar for a meaty bitter note. This aggrvation also entails � some lemon for tartness,” and � some pepper for heat.” No kidding, Chef.

Another frequently repeated phrase that&aposs started to grate my nerves is "give it a good stir" (as opposed to a bad one?). One might suggest “stir it.” But what do I know?

Now, this next one makes me want to turn off my TV. When something needs to be pounded, such as a chicken breast, do they all have to say, “If you had a bad day at work, this is the PERFECT way to get your aggression out.” One, that’s not how you should pound a chicken breast. And two, what did that poor chicken even do to you.

This next one may not bother anyone but me. But. “Scatter the breadcrumbs over top.” Unless I’m much mistaken, the phrase is over the top.

Broccoli rabe is a bitter green. No question. I assume, if you are going to eat it, you like bitter. Otherwise, why? So would someone please explain to me why at least half of any recipe preparation for this gloriously tasty and bitter green is taken up with the chef telling us how to remove or tame the bitterness? I get it. It’s bitter. Why buy it and then spend all of your time changing it into something else?

I could go on forever. But don’t worry, I’ll stop—with just one more. One that I have to lay at the feet of my beloved Julia. When she basically invented food on TV all those decades ago, she signed off with her now famous 𠇋on appetit!” So, with that single sign-off, she had the best and only catchphrase. And ever since then, we have been subjected to TV chefs searching for that magical catchphrase that will cement their image in the minds of the viewers.


12 Things to never say to someone with breast cancer

Breast cancer can be one of the most harrowing ordeals someone can go through, and yet many fighters report friends or loved ones disappearing from their lives, just when they are most needed.

“It’s normal for people to avoid things that make them uncomfortable and cancer can definitely do that,” says Ginger Johnson, a survivor and founder of HappyChemo.com.

But, this is an opportunity to connect with and help your friend or loved one, even if you don’t know the perfect thing to say. “Just think before you speak and keep the questions or comments focused on helping them &mdash not about you or your life experiences,” Ginger advises.

Don’t say: “How are you doing?”

Instead try: “Want to grab a coffee and chat?”

Don’t say: “You don’t look sick.”

“I really am sick and I know that I actually do look sick most of the time,” Mary Smith, a survivor of over five years, says. Plus, the implication is either that you think they are lying about having cancer or you think they are getting the secret, easy treatments no one knows about. Instead, Mary says she appreciated any comment about her body that wasn’t related to the cancer.

Instead try: “You have gorgeous eyes.”

Don’t say: “My aunt/sister/friend had stage 4 cancer and lived.”

“Every cancer, like every person, is different and having your cancer compared to someone else’s sucks,” Jen Embry, a three-year survivor, says. “Hearing how someone had a 99 percent chance of survival and didn’t make it is not what we want to hear right now.” Also, breast cancer doesn’t refer to one uniform illness, but rather there are four main types with a dozen rarer varieties, each with their own prognosis and treatments.

Instead try: “If you want to talk about it, I’d love to hear about your diagnosis.” (Take care though, as several women said they hated talking about their cancer, so if the person doesn’t want to answer, don’t force it.)

Don’t say: “Do you miss your breast(s)? Does it feel weird only having one?”

“Of course it feels weird!” Rosemary Meier, who had cancer in her 20’s, says. You know what else feels weird? This question. Losing part or all of their breasts can be different for each person, but for many women it’s intensely emotional and painful.

Instead try: Nothing. It’s not cool to ask anyone about their breasts and having breast cancer doesn’t change that. If they bring it up, then go ahead, but let them talk about it first.

Don’t say: “I just know that you are going to be fine.”

“How can you possibly know that?” Mary asks. “I don’t know that. My doctors don’t even know that.”

Instead try: “You are strong and tough and smart.” Mary says she loved any encouragement to fight the cancer, but at the same time, she also loved it when people gave her permission to not have to be brave or strong all the time.

Don’t say: “Don’t cry, God only gives you what he knows you can handle.”

“I cried not because of my situation, but because I was in pain,” Estella Cardoza, a five-year survivor, says simply. Bringing up religion as a way to dismiss their suffering is never kind. Plus, as Jess Hodgson, who is currently battling her second round of cancer, explains, it can make you angry. “You think God can let up and give me a break already?” Because religion is such a personal subject, wait for them to bring it up if they want to.

Instead try: “This totally sucks! It’s OK to cry.” That helped Mary. Or, Jess suggests something more general like, “I’m praying for you.” Or, “I’d like to put your name on the prayer list at my church &mdash is that OK?”

Don’t say: “Did you get a second opinion?” Or, “Have you tried this diet?”

“No, I just cut off my boobs and am going to poison myself six times over the next four months without ever double checking to see if there are other options,” Mary says sarcastically. Unless you actually are the person’s doctor, any medical opinions or advice should be left alone.

Instead try: “I’m so glad that you have a great team of doctors to help you through this.”

Don’t say: “Why don’t you wear a wig instead of a scarf?” Or, “Well I guess you don’t have to shampoo your hair anymore!”

Estella explains that for her losing her hair was the most emotional part of her treatment and that comments about their hair or lack of it were painful. Plus, she says wigs are a lot more uncomfortable than people think and when you’re already in pain adding one more level of discomfort just doesn’t feel worth it.

Instead try: “You look radiant, I love that color on you.” Jess adds she loved it when people said: “Your bald head is beautiful!”

Don’t say: “Let me know if you need any help.”

“Yes, I’m going to need help. But it’s really difficult for anyone, let alone cancer patients, to admit that,” Jen explains. It’s much more meaningful if you think of a specific way and time you can help.

Instead try: “Can I make you dinner on Tuesday?” Or, “Can I help with your laundry this weekend?” Or, “Can I watch your kids, so you can take a nap?”

Don’t say: “What’s wrong with you?!”

“My mom didn’t make it,” explains Lindsey Lynch, “but while she was sick, she didn’t want to talk about it at all. She had lymphedema and her arm was really swollen. She hated it when people asked what had happened to her arm, especially strangers.”

Instead try: Nothing. If you’re a stranger, you needn’t comment on anyone’s appearance. And if you’re a friend, then simply let them know you would love to listen if they want to talk. Lindsey adds that if you do bring up their illness, be understanding if they don’t want to talk or even if they get angry with you.

Don’t say: Anything that starts with, “At least….”

“At least it’s curable.” Or, “at least it’s not as bad as it could be.” So what if it isn’t the worst-case scenario? Saying what something isn’t doesn’t change the reality of what it is &mdash and that reality can be very terrifying, says Mandy Powell, a three-year survivor.

Instead try: “Cancer is really going to regret messing with you.”

Don’t say: “But, you’re not a woman.”

It’s much more rare &mdash men make up about one percent of breast cancer cases &mdash but they can get breast cancer. And as Joshua Anderson, currently suffering with the disease, points out, when people think of it as only a “woman’s disease,” it makes it that much harder on male sufferers to talk about it and get the support they need.

Instead try: “I’m so sorry, that must be scary. How are you feeling?”


10 things you should never do at a dinner party, according to a longtime butler

(Shutterstock) When it comes to dining etiquette, the butler knows best.

Whether attending a dinner party for business or pleasure, there are certain things you just shouldn't do.

You may also find yourself in a sticky situation where you're not sure what to do.

Here are 10 pearls of wisdom from his 26 years of experience.

1. Never wear your napkin as a bib.

Unless you're at the beach with friends casually chowing down on buttery lobster, don't tuck your napkin into your collar. Instead, place it across your lap and use when necessary.

2. Never use the table as an elbow rest.

We know it's tempting, but avoid putting your elbows on the table. "Keep them tucked into your body, especially when lifting food into your mouth," MacPherson advises.

3. Never overreact if you spill something on yourself (or someone else).

We all have embarrassing moments, but there's no reason to make a big deal out of it. Clean up the mess in a quick and quiet manner. If there are servers, ask for additional napkins. If you spill on another guest, don't wipe them off yourself. Instead, offer your napkin and apologize.

(Flickr/louisdumont) Keep calm and clean up quietly if you have a spill.

4. Never talk with your hands while holding cutlery.

If you're one of those people who can't tell a story without getting an arm workout, remember to put your silverware down before you start talking. You should also put your cutlery down while chewing.

5. Never reach over the table for the salt.

Simply ask the person beside you, "Would you please pass the salt?" It's less intrusive than your arm in his or her face.

6. Never hover over your plate to shovel food into your mouth.

Instead of leaning over your plate, MacPherson says to bring your fork to your mouth. (Seems self explanatory, but try eating spaghetti sitting up straight.)

7. Never talk with a mouth full of food.

MacPherson knows this is a given, but it bears repeating.

(Flickr/l_farrow) Don't be this guy.

8. Never turn your nose up to the food being served.

Picky eaters aren't given a free pass. If you don't like what's being served, take a deep breath, try a few bites (MacPherson says you don't have to finish it), and then fill up on water until dessert.

9. Never attempt to discretely blow your nose at the table.

There's nothing discrete about blowing your nose. Excuse yourself from the table and go to the restroom or another vacant room.

10. Never leave your napkin on the chair after dinner.

After the meal, place your napkin on top of your plate — don't leave it on the chair.

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(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast.One of Africa’s largest sovereign wealth funds rode the wave of U.S. technology stocks to a banner 2020. Now, it’s betting Europe will play catch-up.The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, fresh off a 51% surge in assets that took the fund above $2 billion, is boosting its exposure to European stocks and will add some Japanese equities, Chief Executive Officer Uche Orji said in an interview. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. alumnus sees opportunity as Europe begins to open up from Covid lockdowns.“Last year, Europe underperformed America big time” as investors moved funds to technology companies profiting from the shift to online services at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Orji said. As the global economy reopens, countries with broader industrial bases and services such as Europe “will become more interesting,” he said.The Euro Stoxx 50 equity benchmark has climbed almost 11% this year, buoyed by expectations of a rapid recovery as vaccinations against the coronavirus progress while fiscal and monetary policies across the region remain loose. It’s outperformed both the S&P 500 Index and MSCI All Countries World Index, which have risen 9.6% and 7.5% respectively in the year-to-date.Expanding FootprintThe NSIA has $2.1 billion of assets under management. About a third of that amount is held by its Future Generations Fund, which buys equities in developed and emerging markets. The authority had 25% of the FGF invested in stocks last year, with the “bulk” in the U.S., while European stocks accounted for less than 4%, Orji said.“We are just going to add more capital to expand our footprints in Europe and Japan, but Europe in particular is an area where we have not had a big presence,” he said.Orji, 51, has more than two decades of experience in international banking, with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to his appointment as CEO of the NSIA in 2012, he’s had stints at Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Securities.The NSIA reported a four-fold increase in profit last year to 160 billion naira ($390 million). Returns this year will likely trail 2020 as a rally in global equities eases up and as it invests in infrastructure projects that can take longer to generate income, Orji said.The authority plans to establish a $200 million fund that builds health-care facilities to treat diseases including cancer and orthopedics. Africa’s most populous country has for decades lacked adequate investment in health care, prompting citizens including President Muhammadu Buhari to seek treatment abroad.The NSIA plans to finance the health-care projects with co-investors, Orji said, without providing more details.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Trudeau Tightens Up Mortgages After Macklem Sounds Housing Alarm

(Bloomberg) -- Canadian officials escalated efforts to cool the nation’s booming housing market, moving ahead with tighter mortgage qualification rules after the central bank issued a fresh warning against buyers taking on too much debt.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government set a new benchmark interest rate on Thursday afternoon to determine whether people can qualify for mortgages that are insured by Canada’s housing agency. The move matches an April decision by the nation’s banking regulator to do the same for uninsured mortgages.The regulator -- the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions -- announced earlier Thursday it would implement its new rules June 1.Those steps coincided with a stern warning from Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem in the morning cautioning that Canadians should neither assume interest rates will remain at historic lows nor expect recent sharp gains in home prices to continue.“It is vitally important that homeownership remain within reach for Canadians,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.The moves come amid a surge in housing prices that’s raising concern among policy makers and economists. Cheap mortgages and new remote-working conditions have spurred a frenzy of demand for more spacious homes, with house hunters bidding up prices across the country.Canadians are so alarmed by the red-hot housing that nearly half the respondents in a Nanos Research Group poll for Bloomberg News say they’d like to see the Bank of Canada raise borrowing costs to curb demand for real estate and stabilize prices.Still, the measures announced Thursday are seen as incremental steps rather than representing a fundamental shift in policy.With the changes, home buyers will have to show they can afford a minimum rate of 5.25%. The current threshold, based on posted rates of Canada’s six largest lenders, is 4.79%. Economists have been estimating the tighter qualification restrictions would reduce the buying power of households by about 5%.The changes will have little impact on current housing price dynamics, according to Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.“This is not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination and it was highly expected,” Tal said by phone from Toronto.The measures from the government and the regulator came only hours after the Bank of Canada released its annual financial stability report, which highlighted the growing vulnerabilities associated with overleveraged households and speculative housing activity. It flagged three urban markets -- Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal -- as showing excess “exuberance,” with the national capital of Ottawa on the cusp of crossing that threshold.‘Not Normal”At a press conference, Macklem said some people have taken on “significantly” more debt, with many carrying very large mortgages relative to income. Borrowers and lenders need to understand that interest rates won’t always be at historic lows, and home buyers won’t be able to rely on rising values, he said.“It is important to understand that the recent rapid increases in home prices are not normal,” Macklem said. “Counting on ever higher house prices to build home equity that can be used to refinance mortgages in the future is a bad idea.”Outside of the warnings Thursday, it’s not clear how much the central bank can do to cool the market.Growing household vulnerabilities could give policy makers more reason to consider raising borrowing costs, for example, but higher rates would also inflate risks -- such as slow growth or a price correction. Macklem’s next interest-rate decision is due June 9 and the Bank of Canada has said it won’t consider raising its 0.25% benchmark rate until he economy is recovers fully from the Covid-19 pandemic.The Bank of Canada’s financial system review did find that Canada’s lenders could absorb a significant amount of losses in the case of another shock. The central bank said household debt and housing market vulnerabilities probably don’t pose a significant systemic threat to bank solvency, even though they could undermine future growth.“We have to look at the whole economy,” Macklem said at the press conference. “There are important parts of the economy that remain very weak, and the economy needs our support.”(Updates with context throughout.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Big European states warm to U.S. proposal for minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%

France, Germany and Italy said on Friday that a new U.S. proposal for global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15% was a good basis for sealing an international deal by July. The U.S. Treasury Department offered on Thursday to accept a minimum rate of at least 15%, significantly below its proposed 21% minimum for U.S. multinational firms. It made the proposal at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where nearly 140 countries aim to reach broad agreement this summer to rework rules for taxing multinational groups and big technology companies, such as Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc.

Analysis: Retail investors learn to love the crypto rollercoaster

"Investing in crypto is not for the faint of heart," said Bettencourt, a 32-year-old photographer in Toronto who has owned bitcoin and ether over the last year-and-a-half to complement his stock portfolio. This week, cryptocurrencies were buffeted by factors ranging from critical tweets by Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk to governmental controls in China. Leveraged positions in bitcoin and ether futures fell sharply last week, said Vanda Research, which tracks retail trades.

Billionaire Founder of China Property Giant Dies of Illness

(Bloomberg) -- The billionaire founder of KE Holdings Inc. has died of an unspecified illness, a shocking development for a Chinese property company that pulled off one of the strongest U.S. market debuts of 2020.Zuo Hui, who turned the company known as Beike from a nationwide chain of real estate offices into China’s largest platform for housing transactions and services, died May 20 after an “unexpected worsening of illness,” his company said in a statement without elaborating. KE Holdings’ board will announce follow-up arrangements within two weeks, it added.Zuo, 50, has been the driving force behind the company’s success, headlining the bell-ringing ceremony when it went public and holding 81.1% of voting shares under a dual-class voting structure as of end-February, according to its annual report. The company’s American depositary receipts fell 0.8% to $49.85 in New York on Thursday, paring an earlier decline of almost 10%.Zuo was backed by some of Asia’s most influential startup investors, including Hillhouse Capital Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd., and ranks among SoftBank Group Corp.’s most successful bets. KE Holdings almost doubled on its August U.S. debut, vaulting Zuo into the ranks of the world’s richest entrepreneurs with a fortune in excess of $20 billion at one point, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index.Its shares were up 151% from their New York debut through Wednesday’s close, conferring on the late chairman a net worth of $14.8 billion.In an interview with CCTV aired in April, he downplayed the significance of the IPO and the riches it bestowed.“Why should I feel excited?” he said, dressed in jeans, a dark blue vest and black sneakers. “This makes no difference to me.”Read more: Founder of China Property Site With No Profits Worth $20 BillionBorn in 1971 in Shaanxi province, Zuo graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 1992 before getting into sales and establishing an insurance business, where he made his first fortune, according to local media. He then founded Beijing Lianjia Real Estate Brokerage Co. in 2001, when China’s property market was still relatively young, and started Ziroom in 2011 to offer long-term apartment rentals. In 2018, he incorporated KE and launched Beike, becoming one of the country’s most celebrated entrepreneurs.Beike uses artificial intelligence and big data to improve its service and provide market insights, according to its website. As of June, the company boasted 226 million homes on its platform and 39 million monthly active users on mobiles. That’s swelled to more than 48 million mobile monthly active users and half a million agents.The platform also draws in others by allowing decorators, renovators and financial institutions to connect with buyers, creating an ecosystem of property and related offerings.(Updates with closing share price in third paragraph)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Fourth stimulus check wins new fans in Congress, adding to the squeeze on Biden

Over 80 lawmakers are now urging the president to OK more cash for struggling Americans.

Giant New Iron Ore Mine May Aid China’s Push to Cool Prices

(Bloomberg) -- BHP Group’s start up of production at its $3.6 billion South Flank project in Australia -- combined with existing operations at the site -- will create the world’s biggest iron ore hub. It may also help temporarily cool a hot market.Iron ore futures are trading below $200 a ton after China’s cabinet called for tougher oversight of commodity markets and protection for consumers from soaring prices. While South Flank was a replacement mine, the announcement of a big mine coming on stream can add short-term to negative market talk, according to Peter O’Connor, mining analyst at Shaw & Partners Ltd.Commodities have tumbled as international markets are gripped by inflation fears and the authorities in Beijing continue to try to jawbone and manage prices lower. China’s cabinet expressed concerns Wednesday about the surge in prices for a second week in row, calling for more effort to curb “unreasonable” gains and prevent any impact on consumer prices. The meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, also called for a crackdown on speculation and hoarding.Against this backdrop, where steel margins were getting compressed in China and Li was trying to talk commodities down, “it weighs on that narrative as opposed to really weighing on the market,” O’Connor said. “But when you get these sort of extremes -- that subjective narrative can be a key driver.”South Flank has been built to replace the depleting Yandi mine -- and together with the existing Mining Area C -- will form a hub with annual production of 145 million tons a year. South Flank’s higher quality product will also lift the average iron ore grade across BHP’s Pilbara operations. In the short-term, there was potential for a squeeze higher in BHP’s ore exports as South Flank and Yandi operated in tandem, although the overall physical impact on the market was likely to be small, said O’Connor.The start of production of 80 million tons a year at South Flank, matching Yandi, comes at a time when top exporters Australia and Brazil have been challenged in meeting strong demand from Chinese steel mills. Pilbara shipments were down 6% in April compared to the year-ago period, while Brazil’s exports were flat, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. BHP’s current guidance is for annual production at the upper end of its range of 276-286 million tons.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

UPDATE 2-Ford Motor, SK Innovation announce EV battery joint venture in N. America

Ford Motor Co and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation on Thursday announced they will form a battery joint venture in North America to support the No. 2 U.S. automaker's electric vehicle rollout. The companies said they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the formation of the venture, called BlueOvalSK. Reuters on Wednesday reported plans for the joint venture.

UPDATE 4-Canada to tighten mortgage lending rules as central bank frets over housing market

Canada said on Thursday it would tighten rules on mortgage lending starting next month after the Bank of Canada earlier warned that the hot housing market and high household debt levels had left the economy more vulnerable to economic shocks. The country's financial regulator and the Finance Department said separately that borrowers of both uninsured and insured mortgages must show that they can afford loans that are the higher of their current rate plus 200 basis points, or 5.25%.


2. Plastic

The Danger: Harmful chemicals

There is no such thing as a safe plastic to use in your oven, no matter how low the heat setting. Doesn’t matter if it is a super durable plastic item like a Tupperware or Rubbermaid container, or the disposable deli container your leftovers are in, or a plastic wrap like Saran: Plastic is always going to be a non-starter for your oven. And yes, I know some of your frozen meals come in plastic, but those are commercial grade specially designed and treated trays, and not available to the home cook. And no, you cannot re-use them, since once they have fulfilled their initial purpose, the plastic has degraded, so it will not be safe for a second go-around. Even if the plastic doesn’t melt creating an oven disaster, it can leech harmful chemicals into your food as it heats up. Stick with appropriate oven-safe materials at all times. (Note that silicone items designed for cooking𠅍ifferent than plastic𠅊re fine.)


Top Ten Things to Never Say at The Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Three pounds of turkey, two scoops of green bean casserole, a mound of stuffing, a heaping pile of sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows on top, plenty of mashed potatoes, a bowl of my Aunt Gail’s green jell-o salad and twenty-seven sweet pickles, followed up with two pieces of my mother’s famous pumpkin pie is pretty close to what I eat on Thanksgiving. And this is only the first round. The second helping, after a two hour nap, is usually followed up with three or four turkey sandwiches. Every year I eat so darn much that I get sick. It’s not too often that I get a good home cooked meal. It’s usually a sub-par burger from an Applebee’s along an interstate somewhere, although, I am a big fan of the Shrimp and Parmesan steak.

I think it’s safe to say, in the best way possible, that I’m the black sheep of our family. (Side note, I like that song by John Anderson.) I’m always taking things a little too far, cracking the first joke and saying the wrong thing. It’s all about timing. But I do get a lot of laughs. When my grandparents laughed, I knew it was a good one! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year and I’m always excited to spend it with my family. When family gets together you never know what crazy things can spill out during Thanksgiving dinner. So, let me hear ’em and have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! Tuuuuurrrrrrrrkkkeeyyyyyyyy.

Here’s mine: This turkey tastes like it’s been cooking in the TOASTER since 1973!

Write your funniest ideas in the comments section for the chance to win an ASAP Survival Gear Pack.

Congrats captjim. Funny stuff! Actually, there are some darn good ones here. I like it. Enjoy the gear Jim, and have a terrific Thanksgiving everyone!

10.) from JM1993: Use a pair of wire cutters so that you dont have to touch the wire in the first place.

9.) from Matt Eckholm: Hands across america style….so everyone in the hunting party feels the wrath of this heart stopper.

8.) from from jh45gun: Hang a dead mouse from it and let the local critters test it for you.

7.) from trapper vic: Always carry a live cat in your game bag. They’re not good for much but they sure will let you know if the fence is hot. Besides they’re good for 9 trys if you can catch them after the first one!

6.) from Hurckles: just tell your kid brother to “go grab it, it won’t hurt.” after all, he’s already forgotten taking your advice last week and wiping his rear with skunkweed. or the week before when you told him the crawfish pinchers were “just for show.”

5.) from William A: If the pheasants in the back pouch of your shooting vest come out roasted, glazed and under glass, the wire’s hot.

4.) from Jnelson64: If you wake up ten minutes later with a burnt taste in your mouth, boots melted, and hair smoking, its probably hot. Although a second opinion wouldn’t hurts….or does it?

3.) from Wayno: Try to buy it a drink. If it declines, its probably too hot for you.

2.) from twa32: Married men discover they still have testicles!

1.) from captjim: Back the “Toaster” up until the bumper touches the fence. If a blond pop tart jumps out it’s hot.


15 Things You Should Never (Ever) Do at a Wedding

Showing up too early is just as bad as showing up late.

Even though some wedding etiquette is well-known (don't wear white, people!), the reasons behind it isn't always clear. Not to mention all the things guests do but don't even realize is considered rude. Luckily, these wedding planners are spilling all the details for us.

Anytime earlier than 30 minutes prior to the ceremony could create an awkward moment for the hosts if they're not ready. " It's better to wait in your car than go into the venue and risk stressing out the bride by seeing her before the ceremony," says Holly Patton Olsen, founder of Perfectly Posh Events .

On the contrary, showing up after the ceremony's start time is also a hard no. "If you can't get there 10 minutes prior, you are better off not showing up," says Brandi Hamerstone, owner of All Events Planned . "Walking in as the bride (or groom) is walking down the aisle in incredibly rude and ruins video and photos that are being taken."

Or take pictures. Most couples hire professionals to capture their big day for them. "An image of the bride walking down the aisle is quickly ruined when it's filled with guests in the background holding up their cell phones," says Kimberly N. Rhodes, owner of Hitched Events .

"Couples are now opting to either have a hashtag (think #TheMillersAreMarried) or choosing to have an 'unplugged wedding," says Briar Johnston, owner of Epic Events. And as a guest, it's your job to respect the couple's decision. Wait to share details (like the bride's dress or bouquet) until the couple gives you the okay too.

This is especially frustrating during the family portrait session. "They distract the subjects and hence their eyes are looking at different directions instead of the photographer," says Agnes Neusse, owner of Neusse Photography. Her solution? "I usually politely tell the guests to let me go first, then I let them go."

This seems like a given, but it's worth repeating. "Nothing looks worse than standing next to the bride and basically matching her," says Hamerstone . It's the bride's day, so let her shine &mdash plus, you have every other color in the world to choose from.

The only thing more frustrating than receiving an RSVP with two names, when only one was invited, is when a guest brings a date they didn't even RSVP for. Don't assume children are invited either. "If it's not clear, ask the couple if it's a family-friendly or adult-only event," says Lindsey Nickel, wedding planner at Lovely Day Events.

If you're not a fan of your table location (it's all the way in the back!) or who you're sitting with, it's best to suck it up and deal with it. You'll only be there for an hour or two (tops) and the bride and groom probably sat you there for a reason.

Tifany Wunschl, etiquette expert at Gourmet Invitations, says most people don't know it's poor etiquette to bring a gift to a wedding and you should send items to the couples' home instead. This way, the couple won't have to figure out how to get boxes home at the end of the night.

Even if it isn't of huge interest to you, it's an important moment for the couple and the family member or friend speaking. Hamerstone says a good guest will put down their phone down, stop talking, and enjoy the moment with them.

And when it comes to speeches, more is not better. If the couple didn't ask you to say a few words, it's safe to assume they don't want you to address their guests.

Even if the couple serves cupcakes or other individual treats instead of cake, it's tradition to wait for the couple to have their cake cutting moment before you dive head first into your sugar coma.

"The bar closes to keep guests at their seat during dinner service or to keep costs down for the couple," says Hamerstone. That's why you shouldn't expect to get served the entire time you're at a wedding. Complaining to the waitstaff won't help and could cause drama for the bride and groom.

This should go without saying, but creating a scene by drinking too much is never okay and only takes away from the happy couple's day. If a bartender (or a loved one) cuts you off, it's probably for the best.

Even though at some weddings the flowers are given away to guests afterwards, you shouldn't assume that's always the case. Sometimes, the vases or candles are rented and the bride and groom could get stuck with an unexpected bill if you take items without asking.


The bread basket

Shutterstock

We already know it has empty calories—but there are other reasons to skip the bread basket when you're dining out. According to former server and author Debra Ginsburg's Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, bread baskets tend to circulate from table to table. Yes, you heard that right.

The bread in your basket could likely be the scraps from your neighbors' table. Bar snacks call for even more unwanted sharing. Many hands have passed over your popcorn or peanuts, which may have been sitting out for days by the time you eat it.


15. “Reverse racism …”

Ok, don’t even go there. It does not exist. It does not go both ways. None of that. POC in majority-white societies cannot be racist to white people. Racism is prejudice + power. Nevermind what the dictionary says, it’s inaccurate anyway and is written by white men the same way history was so it’s not very reliable in comparison to what goes on in real life. POC might be prejudiced, sure (which I might add is usually in reaction to how poorly we are treated by white people), but we hold no societal/structural/systemic power to discriminate. So to reiterate: Reverse racism doesn’t exist . It’s not up for debate. Discussion closed. The end.

Having been on the receiving end of these and more, I can tell you it honestly is damaging and hurtful especially coming from friends. I could probably handle seeing the KKK on my front lawn because at least I know where they stand in their beliefs and I’ll know what I’m up against, but what I cannot take after so many times is someone who claims to be a good friend, yet refuses to show empathy, compassion and understanding for those who are adversely affected by things that don’t affect them as much, if at all.

I expect better from those I call my friends, I demand better, I insist on it. The time to choose which side of history we’re on is NOW. Each of us must make this choice. Neutrality or apathy is not an option. And I want, no I need , to know that my friends stand with me the same way I stand with them. It starts with being humble, acknowledging our faults and owning when we slip up and hurt our most vulnerable friends, and realizing there is much work to be done both within ourselves and out in the world.

Everyone must play their role in the resistance against fascism which is rising again so quickly. And we must get to work now. Or we all lose.

Miranda Deebrah is an Indo-Guyanese writer and storyteller based in New York. Proud of her roots and heritage, she is an advocate for South Asian voices not yet heard and the stories not yet told. She is passionate about the arts and their ability to create change in the world and hopes to make her own contributions through her work. Her interests include traveling, reading biographies, spending evenings at the theater, reenacting choreography from Lady Gaga’s music videos, taking flying trapeze lessons, and making all kinds of magic happen.

Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for community building and empowerment.