Fortune Cookie Restaurant Serves American-Style Chinese food

The interesting thing about most Chinese food served in the United States is that it’s only distantly related to traditional Chinese cuisine. Yet American style Chinese food has become so popular, not only in America but throughout the world, that many people feel like they’re missing something when they visit China. That’s the motivation behind a new restaurant in Shanghai, called, appropriately enough, The Fortune Cookie.

Why Shanghai’s First American Chinese Restaurant is Taking Off

Two friends from the U.S. started the Fortune Cookie in order to give both locals and tourists in China’s largest city the chance to enjoy American style dishes like sesame shrimp and orange chicken. One of the partners, Fung Lam, is a Chinese-American whose family has prepared such dishes in the U.S. for many decades. As the name of the restaurant suggests, they also serve fortune cookies, another delicacy not usually found in China. The origin of fortune cookies is disputed. Some trace them back to Japan; another theory is that they were first served in San Francisco restaurants.

There are many differences between authentic Chinese and Westernized Chinese food. These include cooking methods (in China, foods are not fried as frequently as in the U.S.) and different ingredients. Yet, as cultures merge and people travel more and more, these differences are likely to get less pronounced. Restaurants such as The Fortune Cookie are one way the gap is being bridged.

Differences Between Authentic and Westernized Chinese Food

Fortune Cookies as a Marketing Tool

Fortune cookie marketing is one of those ideas that sounds intuitive once you hear it, but it hasn’t been used all that much in advertising history. Yet it has been tried a few times, often with impressive results. One example takes us back to 2003, which, in internet terms, is practically ancient history. As reported by AdAge, Mark Hughes, CEO of BuzzMarketing, launched a huge fortune marketing campaign to promote the launch of a reality TV website called (a website that’s no longer active). His ambitious campaign arranged for 7 million fortune cookies to be distributed to promote his campaign.

For the full story, see: Rise of a Fortune Cookie Advertising Mogul

This is one example of how fortune cookies can be used as a marketing tool. The effectiveness of this strategy lies in several simple facts. One, fortune cookies are ubiquitous, something customers expect to find whenever they dine at a Chinese restaurant (or order takeout). Secondly, almost everybody opens and reads their fortune. Compare this to emails, where open rates are often 20% or worse. This may be a perfect example of a low tech type of marketing that may become more popular as digital marketing becomes saturated.

Creative Ways to Pick Numbers

If you believe in lucky numbers, how do you find yours? You may have your own system that’s based on personal experience. If this is the case, you should stick with those numbers when you play lotto, roulette or any games of chance. If you’re still trying to locate your personal lucky numbers, there are a few systems you can use.

The most basic is based on your birth date. As an example that’s easy to calculate, let’s say you’re quite young and you were born on New Year’s day in 2000. In numerology, that translates into 1 (for January) + 1 (for the date) + 2 (for 2000). So, if you’re looking for a 3 digit number, it would be 112. You can then add up these 3 numbers, which brings the total to 4. You can use similar calculations for any birth date.

You might have other, less “rational” ways to choose lucky numbers. This might be based on your cat’s birthday, the day you got married or the inning when you hit a grand slam home run. Your lucky numbers might even change over time. That’s why some people, when playing lotto, let the random number picker do the job. Or they choose numbers they found in their fortune cookie with dinner. Since lucky numbers and numerology are not proven sciences, you’re free to use whatever system appeals most to you. If you want to get creative with lucky numbers, you may want to devise your own system. You could, for example, use a deck of playing cards and pick numbers using the numbered cards. Tarot cards can also be used in this way. Still another option is to make a device that selects numbers whenever you need them. The video below provides you with one option, showing you how to make an origami number picker.

Homeless Man Wins $500 Million Lottery

The life of a homeless man in Colorado quickly did an abrupt turnaround when he bought a scratch off lottery ticket for $10 that turned out to be a $500 million winner. The 61-year-old man, whose name is Michael Engfors, is from Aspen, Colorado, a ski resort area known for its high cost of living as well as for its natural beauty.

Engfors is a builder by profession. Since the recession, however, he was unable to find work. His financial problems eventually resulted in him becoming homeless. After taxes, Engors is estimated to walk away with between $300,000 and $400,000. This will give him a chance to rebuild his life. He’s been living in a homeless shelter in Aspen but will now have far more attractive options.
While scratch-off lottery tickets have the ability to change lives, the odds of winning big are astronomical. Some people believe that there are things you can do to improve your chances of winning.

One strategy that will increase your chances of winning is to buy them in bulk. This doesn’t mean you should spend your weekly paycheck on lottery tickets. However, if you have a certain weekly or monthly budget for lottery tickets, it would be better to buy them once per week or even once per month than one at a time. That’s because some winners are usually included in every batch.

Chinese New Year Approaching

If you like to eat in Chinese restaurants, you may soon notice that decorations will appear welcoming in the next Chinese New Year. The Chinese calendar works differently from the one people in the West are accustomed to. It’s a lunar calendar, which means that the New Year does not always occur on the same date -though it’s always between (according to our calendar) January 29 and February 20. The next Chinese New Year will be on Monday, February 8 and is the Year of the Monkey.

Each year is represented by an animal. The Monkey is considered an auspicious animal by the Chinese. Qualities associated with the monkey include intelligence, curiosity, personal magnetism and playfulness. People born in monkey years are believed to have these qualities. These traits are also attributed to the year as a whole.

Chinese astrology is much more complex than this, of course. If you study it, you will find that each year has its own lucky numbers, colors, directions and seasons. Each sign also has a corresponding element. For example, the next New Year is the year of the Red Fire Monkey. If you’re interested in finding out more about your own Chinese horoscope, or what is predicted for the coming year, there are many books and websites dedicated to Chinese astrology. Your favorite local Chinese restaurant may also provide you with some lucky numbers in your fortune cookie during the New Year.

What to do With Leftover Fortune Cookies

If you order Chinese take-out frequently, you may find that your kitchen is accumulating a variety of unused extras, such as packets of soy sauce and mustard -and maybe fortune cookies as well. While some people open, eat and read their fortune cookies right away, others eagerly consume the food they ordered and forget all about these plastic-wrapped desserts.

If you have fortune cookies piling up on your counter top or in a random bowl in your home somewhere, why not re-purpose them? They are, after all, sweet and tasty. You can find some good recipes online that include fortune cookies. Just remember to take out the fortunes first!

If you don’t want to have to deal with all these fortune cookie leftovers, the easiest solution is to consume them right away. Don’t forget to read the lucky numbers often found in fortune cookies -they sometimes yield big winnings!

Kung Fu Panda 3 Fortune Cookies

People attending the animated movie Kung Fu Panda 3 over Thanksgiving Weekend received free fortune cookies. Instead of traditional fortunes, these cookies contained “Po-isms,” sayings of the movie’s hero. This third installment of the Kung Fu Panda series is scheduled to open in theaters on January 29, 2016. Certain fortunes also contained free trips to the film’s opening in Hollywood. This is another example of how fortune cookie marketing is being used to promote a variety of products and events.

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a sequel featuring the voices of many well known actors, including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen. The story involves Po, recently reunited with his father, given the task of training a whole village of pandas to face the villain Kai (J.K. Simmons). Kung Fu Panda has become a popular franchise. We’ll have to wait to find out how critics and audiences rate Kung Fu Panda 3.

Man Wins $1,000 on Lottery Ticket, Then $10 Million

There are all kinds of strategies for winning the lottery. One of these, which was successfully used by a Modesto, California man, involves parlaying smaller winnings into a big jackpot. As regular lottery players know, it’s fairly easy to win small amounts, whether on instant scratch-off tickets or lotto games. Prizes of free tickets or $5 – $10 are common. However, with the addition of newer and more expensive scratch-offs, such as ones costing $30, smaller jackpots are getting bigger.

A man named Rodney Meadows recently won $1,000 on a $30 scratch-off game. This isn’t exactly “small” -but it’s not exactly a huge jackpot, either. So Meadows decided to buy more tickets. He didn’t even have to buy $1,000 worth of tickets. After buying only a few more at the same convenience store, he won a $10 million jackpot!

This is consistent with the popular gamblers’ theory that winnings come in streaks. That’s why slot machine players will keep playing the same machine after winning a small jackpot -they hope that’s just a sign that a bigger one is on the way. Are winning lottery tickets grouped in batches? That remains an open question, but this turned out to be the case for one lucky winner.

Fortune Cookies in Movies and TV

Fortune cookies haven’t been featured that often in movies and TV. There are some notable exceptions, though. The Fortune Cookie, a 1966 film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau was the first time these two famous comic actors worked together. Despite the title, the movie doesn’t really have anything to do with fortune cookies; it is, rather a complicated farce about an insurance scam.

More directly related to our topic is an episode of the classic TV show, The Twilight Zone. In an episode called The Misfortune Cookie, a ruthless food critic enters a Chinese restaurant whose fortune cookies predict the actual future. As with many Twilight Zone stories, this episode imparts a lesson. The critic, whose reviews have caused much misery in the world, gets his karma in the form of scary fortune cookies that foretell his fate.

The latter story was recreated in the New Twilight Zone, which is no longer exactly new, having aired in the 1980s. This episode starred Eliot Gould as the critic.

Another, lesser known TV show from the 1960s also aired an episode called the Misfortune Cookie, no relation to the Twilight Zone episodes.

The Mystery of Multiple Lottery Winners

The odds of winning a large jackpot are quite daunting -so how is it possible that some people win more than once? A lotto player in Massachusetts named Constance Carpenito, for example, just won a million dollar prize for the second time. She claims that she bought both winning tickets, one in 1996 and won last week, at the same Shop & Stop location. In addition to this, she also won $20,000 once.

Even more impressive is the case of Richard Lustig, a 7 time lottery winner. Although he didn’t win any single giant jackpots, his total winning amount to more than $1 million. This type of occurrence raises the question of whether some people are just extremely lucky or if there may be hidden scientific secrets to winning the lottery.

People have been studying the possibility of lottery and other gambling “systems” for centuries. Theories may involve picking numbers based on numerology, astrology or biorithms, the latter being mysterious forces that allegedly govern human events. You can also find lots of people selling the latest lottery picking software program or app. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to suggest that any of these systems work.

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