Fund This: Kero One's upcoming album Color Theory

I've been really looking forward to hearing Color Theory, the upcoming fourth album from one of my favorite musicians, Bay Area-based emcee/producer Kero One. Instead of going the traditional route, to fund the album's release, he's turning to Kickstarter and asking for your help to make it happen. Here's a video with Kero One explaining what's up:

snigdha nadipati wins scripps national spelling bee

Big congratulations to 14-year-old Snigdha Nadipati, spelling bee champ. On Thursday, the eighth grader from San Diego beat out eight other finalists to win the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee: 'Guetapens' doesn't catch National Spelling Bee champ off guard.

The winning word: "guetapens," a French-derived word that means an ambush, snare or trap. A challenging word for mere mortals like you and me, but not a problem for young Snigdha. She had it covered:

nickelodeon celebrates asian pacific american heritage month

I don't watch a whole lot of Nickelodeon, but this is pretty cool... As we shut down the month of May, check out this great youth-oriented Nick News program, "Who Am I" -- featuring some really cool kids -- that the channel aired in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:

aaldef launches youth group for dream act-eligible students in new york and new jersey

Have you heard? The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a proposed federal law that would give undocumented college students a chance to become legal residents, under strict guidelines.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is collaborating with Asian DREAM Act-eligible students in New York and New Jersey to launch a youth group that will serve as a safe space for Asian youth to share their struggles, find and voice and get guidance on the issues they face.

Here's a message from a couple of DREAMers:

What to Read: Uncle Swami by Vijay Prashad

Heads up. Just wanted to make sure you know about Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today, the new book from celebrated scholar and commentator Vijay Prashad, due out next week.

The book is an update and continuation of the ideas discussed in his groundbreaking classic, 2000's The Karma of Brown Folk, tracing the evolution of South Asian American identity through several generations, and examining the complicated realities of post-9/11 America.

Looking forward to reading this. Here's the publisher's description:

miyazaki club kids tees

Something cool for the little Ghibli fans in you life... If you dig artist Martin Hsu's Miyazaki Club t-shirt, inspired by the classic Mickey Mouse Club design, you'll be happy to know that the designs are now available in kids' sizes (2, 4 and 6 year olds). By popular demand!

That's Asher and Vivi above, rocking the shirts like good little anime fans. Too freaking cute. Order your kids a shirt on Martin's website here.

judge dismisses charges against diane tran

Looks like the judge had a change of heart. The truancy charges against 17-year-old honor student Diane Tran, which landed her in jail and received national attention, have reportedly been rescinded: Charges dropped against honor student jailed for truancy.

According to court records, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty signed an order that vacates Tran's contempt of court conviction, which would allow for the issue to be expunged from her record.

Tran, whose parents split up and left her on her own, was working two jobs to support two siblings, on top of trying to keep up with homework for her heavy course load. Understandably, she's exhausted, and missed a few classes.

The judge previously said that he wanted to make an example out of her, but it's pretty clear now that he wasn't aware, or never even bothered to understand, the extenuating circumstance behind Diane's absences:


aj rafael invites you to the red roses formal, june 22

Want to go to prom? Singer/songwriter AJ Rafael and The Music Speaks Committee cordially invite you to the Red Roses Formal a benefit night to raise awareness for autism. The evening will include a sit-down dinner, live musical performances and celebrity guest appearances.

It's happening Friday, June 22 at the Royal Vista Country Club in Walnut, California. Here's a cute promo video featuring AJ and Cathy Nguyen:

apply to toronto reel asian international film festival's youth summer production workshop

Calling all young filmmakers in the Toronto area... The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is launching its first ever Youth Summer Video Production Workshop, which will take place this in Toronto this summer.

They're looking for youth applicants (ages 16-24) of East and Southeast Asian heritage who are "short on filmmaking experience but unlimited with their creativity and desire to tell their stories."

Six individuals will be selected to complete their own short films, which will premiere at the 2012 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Here are some more details about the workshop:

greg pak launches a "pakcast"

Hey, check this out! Our old friend, filmmaker and comic book writer Greg Pak, is doing something a little different. He just launched his very first "Pakcast," a series of short videos updating you on some interesting things he and his friends are working on. In episode 001, he visits Kim Ima, the proprietor of the Treats Truck Stop in Brooklyn:

man arrested for armed robbery of ann arbor grocery store

Last Friday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, police arrested one of two men suspected of robbing a grocery store at gunpoint last month: Ann Arbor police arrest man suspected of robbing Broadway Party Store.

20-year-old Joseph Bailey was reportedly arrested after lengthy foot chase, and charged with armed robbery, possession of a shotgun and assaulting, resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Here's surveillance video footage of the April 9 robbery:

the mandarin is indeed the supervillain in iron man 3

Some movie news... So last month, we heard that Ben Kingsley had joined the cast of Iron Man 3 as the movie's villain. But according to sources close to the production, Sir Kingsley would not be playing Tony Stark's longtime archnemesis from the comic books, The Mandarin.

But hold up. Now we're hearing that The Mandarin will indeed be the superhero sequel's main bad guy, in some capacity. But probably not the classic evil yellow peril Fu Manchu version we know and love from the comic books. But you never know:

chinatown phone booth, 1971

Time machine! Just for the hell of it, check out this cool old photo of a big red Chinatown phone booth (remember those?) in New York City, circa 1971.

a criminal vehicular homicide conviction ain't so bad... if you're amy senser

Did Amy Senser receive special treatment in the criminal vehicular manslaughter case that killed Anousone Phanthavong? Of course she did: Amy Senser case: Suspects in similar cases aren't so lucky, and serve jail time.

According to Pioneer Press, which looked at all 17 criminal vehicular manslaughter cases filed in Hennepin from January 2009 to September 15, 2011, Amy Senser was the only defendant who didn't spend at least a day in jail after arrest or while awaiting trial. This really can't be a surprise to anyone.

Senser, who failed to report herself as the driver that killed Phanthavong, was found guilty earlier this month. She remains free until her sentencing in July. Meanwhile, the average criminal vehicular homicide defendant spent a lot more time behind bars:


retrofit republic wedding styling & engagement lookbook model call

Attention, hot couples. Our stylin' kickass friends at Retrofit Republic are seeking a real life engaged couple to be models for their upcoming Summer Engagement & Wedding Lookbook. Submit yourself or nominate a couple to win a full styling package, hair and makeup, and photography -- all covered by Retrofit Republic. Here are some more details on the contest:

white house/ecaasu youth summit, july 6

This one's for all you students... The White House Office of Public Engagement and the East Coast Asian American Student Union invite you to participate in a Youth Summit aimed at engaging, educating and empowering youth in the AAPI community.

It's happening Friday, July 6 at the White House in Washington D.C. Space is limited, so you have to apply to participate. Here's some more information:

album preview: we are hypergiants by gowe

Heads up, some fresh new music coming your way soon... Seattle-based emcee Gowe has given us a preview of his forthcoming debut album, We Are Hypergiants, due out next month. It features guest spots from the likes of Travis Graham, Paul Kim, Jennifer Chung, Erin Kim and Sam Ock. And based on these cuts, it sounds pretty good. Take a listen:

tae kwon do instructor accused of sexual contact with minors

Ugh. Disgusting news out of the D.C. area... In Springfield, a martial arts instructor faces charges of inappropriate sexual contact with teenage students who trained at his studio: Tae Kwon Do instructor indicted for inappropriate contact with minors.

38-year-old Quyen Vinh Phan Le, the founder of Phan University of Martial Arts, is accused of luring 15 and 16-year-old girls into sexual relationships while they were enrolled at his school. He faces seven felony charges of taking indecent liberties with minors and possessing child pornography:

national film society joins pbs!

Cool news from our good friends at National Film Society. They're joining PBS! Filmmakers Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco, after 8 1/2 months of making "brainy, offbeat and ridiculously good-looking YouTube videos," just released a video (with help from Grace Su) announcing that their channel is joining PBS Digital Studios:

jeremy lin's "year of the dragon" nike destroyer jacket

Check out this kickass custom "Year of the Dragon" Nike Destroyer jacket, presented to Jeremy Lin earlier this year at the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend. The detailing includes a tip of the hat to Jeremy's hometown of Palo Alto and an homage to his alma mater, Harvard University. Pretty sweet, but don't expect to pick it up off the rack. It's one of a kind. Here are a few more photos:

racist crowd violently targets asian football fans

Damn. European football fans take their racism to another level. This is a disturbing segment from BBC's Panorama about wildly violent racist fans at a Ukraine soccer match: Asian fans racially abused in Euro 2012 stadium.

In this clip, filmed at a match in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the crowd viciously gangs up to kick and punch a group of Asian men -- who happen to be there to support the home team. They just pick them out and start beating the crap out of these poor guys, just because they happen to be brown.

The violence is so bad, one former footballer told fans to stay at home, watch the matches on television and keep the hell away from the stadium:


student filmmaker wins national competition for short documentary: the constitution and the camps

This is really cool. Matthew Shimura, a student filmmaker from Honolulu, recently won the grand prize in C-SPAN's 2012 StudentCam competition for his short documentary, The Constitution and the Camps: StudentCam 2012 Grand Prize: The Constitution and the Camps - Due Process and the Japanese-American Internment.

StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. This year, students were asked to create a short video on a topic related to the competition theme, "The Constitution and You."

Watch Matthew's award-winning film here. And more info here: Hawaii Student Matthew Shimura Takes Top Honors in National Competition.

hyphen issue 25 release party, may 30

New York social activists! Hyphen magazine is celebrating the launch of Issue 25, The Generation Issue (which features George Takei!) with a night of partying with NYC-based community organizations, including the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families and the Museum of Chinese in America.

Be socially active with social activists! It's happening Wednesday, May 30 at The Gallery Bar. Here's some more info:

music video: "growing up" by monsters calling home

A while back, I told you that Monsters Calling Home was my new favorite band. Allow me to show you why. Here's their gorgeous debut music video for "Growing Up," shot in and around their hometown of Los Angeles. Take a look:

two tourists stabbed to death in attempted robbery

Some awful news out of New Jersey where a woman was arrested last week for the stabbing death of two Canadian tourists near an Atlantic City casino: Woman charged in NJ deaths of 2 Canadian tourists.

According to authorities, Antoinette Pelzer repeatedly stabbed 47-year-old Alice Mei See Leung and her mother mother, 80-year-old Po Lin Wan, who were visiting from Ontario. Pelzer was apparently trying to steal Wan's pocketbook in broad daylight, when things turned horrifically violent:

jeremy lin's greatest moments (so far)

According to New York Knicks GM Glen Grunwald, the team plans on bringing back Jeremy Lin for the 2013 season, which is pretty much what everyone else with the organization has said thus far: Knicks expect to sign Jeremy Lin.

That's great. Let's hope Jeremy ends up where he needs to be next season. Meanwhile, let us revisit that magical month of Linsanity with this awesome twenty-minute MSG highlight clip counting down Jeremy Lin's Greatest Moments (So Far):

thief incriminates himself on stolen camcorder footage

Asians behaving badly... stupid self-incriminating camera thief edition! A few weeks ago in Milwaukee, a particularly dumb thief stole a camera from someone's car... and proceeded to record a clip identifying himself and confessing to the crime: Houaka Yang, Suspected Thief, Confessed And Identified Himself On Tape With Stolen Camcorder.

20-year-old Houaka Yang was eventually arrested, and the camera was returned to its owner, Chris Rochester, but not before Yang recorded his ridiculous message to no one in particular, which includes footage of his home, his family and his television program of choice, Big Bang Theory.

Here's the mastermind criminal's video:

century-old immigration records released by national archives

Last week, the National Archives publicly released records for millions of Asian immigrants to the United States, dating back to the early 20th century: 'A-Files' Allow Asian Americans to Connect to the Past.

The case files -- some of them a hundred years old -- for thousands of Asian immigrants include information such as photographs, personal correspondence, birth certificates, health records, interview transcripts, visas, applications and other information on all non-naturalized alien residents, representing over a hundred different countries of origin.

The records were originally intended to be destroyed and headed for permanent storage. Now they're available for viewing at the National Archives facility in San Bruno, California. From National Archives' press release:


read these blogs

It's More Than Okay to be Takei: Hyphen interviews the man, the myth, the legend -- from Star Trek's's Sulu to social media master and civil rights icon -- the one and only George Takei.

Dreams Deferred: A compelling article about undocumented Asian students, who face a lack of visibility within the larger immigration movement and silence within their families and communities.

Poetry and Prose by Undocumented Students: Online Exclusive: As an extension of the article above, Hyphen got three undocumented students to share their stories.

Hit List: In honor of Hyphen's 25th issue, here's a highly subjective list of the 25 best Asian and Asian American characters on television and in the movies.

Asian-Americans Seize Political Spotlight in 2012 Presidential Campaign: Obama is giving us attention, and there are more of us hitting the polls. Joie Chen speculates why we're getting so much political attention lately, and our potential impact.


save the date: v3con, august 24-25

Heads up, blogger buddies. The V3Con Digital Media Conference is going down this summer in Los Angeles. It's going down August 24-25 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Save the date.

Built on the event formerly known as Banana, the conference is a two-day gathering of "thought-provoking AAPI online journalists, creative social media communicators, seasoned bloggers and those interested in engaging on digital platforms." Presented by AAJA-LA in partnership with IW Group.

Want to go? Make your plans and register. If you reserve your spot by June 8, you'll get 60% off the full registration price. For further information about the conference, and to sign up, go to the V3Con website here.

aziatix's awakening interactive playlist

Just got a chance to listen to Awakening, the new album from Asian American R&B group Aziatix, and I'm really digging it. The EP debuted earlier this month at #1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul charts in America, Japan and Korea. That's pretty impressive, and a testament to the powerful, loyal fanbase they've been able to build in a relatively short amount of time. Want to hear the album? Check out the Awakening interactive playlist:

honor student thrown in jail for missing school

This is completely ridiculous... This week in Houston, a judge had a high school student thrown in jail for missing school. But this is no ordinary truant: Honor student placed in jail for tardiness and truancy at school.

17-year-old Diane Tran, an 11th grade honor student at Willis High School, is exhausted. She works a full-time job, a part-time job and takes advanced placement and dual credit college level courses. Her parents are out of the picture and she's trying to support her siblings.

It sounds like what she could really use is a break. But this judge saw it as a simple case of a girl cutting class too many times, and was more interested in making "an example" out of a truant student:

angry reader of the week: david fung

People, gather round. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is David Fung.


apaba panel discussion on bullying, hazing and discrimination, may 29

Hey, Los Angeles. On Tuesday, May 29 come to the Asian Pacific American Bar Association presents a panel discussion on bullying, hazing, and discrimination affecting our community. Congresswoman Judy Chu will make opening remarks, with panelists ranging from an L.A. Superior Court judge to a school psychologist. More details:

the fifteenth annual asian american literary awards

The Asian American Writers' Workshop is currently accepting submissions to be considered for The Fifteenth Annual Asian American Literary Awards, the highest literary honor for writers of Asian American descent.

Past winners of the award include Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, National Book Award winner Ha Jin, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Susan Choi, Booker Prize Finalist Amitav Ghosh, American Book Award winner Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, and Guggenheim Fellow Arthur Sze, among many others.

They're accepting submissions in fiction, poetry and nonfiction. Here are some more details on what they're looking for:

new music: "in a faraway place" by the shanghai restoration project

Check it out! I'm always pleased to share the latest music from Dave Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project. He recently dropped a new single, "In a Faraway Place," featuring Taiwanese cellist Mimi Yu. It's described as a hip interpretation of a famous Chinese folk song. Here's the accompanying video:

bei bei shuai, arrested for attempting to commit suicide while pregnant, is out on bail

This week in Indianapolis, a woman who was arrested and charged with murder for attempting to take her own life while pregnant was released from jail on bail: Woman Who Tried To Commit Suicide While Pregnant Gets Bail.

Bei Bei Shuai is facing murder and feticide charges for ingesting rat poison in December 2010, when she was 33 weeks pregnant. She survived and gave birth to the baby, but the child died three days later.

The case has received national attention, mobilizing women's rights and abortion rights advocates, who say the case against Shuai could set a dangerous precedent for the prosecution of pregnant women whose infants die:

g.i. joe: retaliation pushed back to 2013

For those who were looking forward to seeing G.I. Joe: Retaliation, it looks like you'll be waiting a lot longer. The summer sequel, directed by Jon M. Chu, has been uprooted from its June 29 release date and pushed all the way back to March 29, 2013: Paramount Bumps 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' to 2013.

Damn. The movie was scheduled to open next month! It'll be a little while before you get to see the ab-tastic Lee Byung-hun again. Does that mean that Paramount doesn't have confidence in the movie? Studio sources say they're moving it back to convert the movie to 3D, and do it right. It's business:

ridiculously photogenic asian guy

Spotted over the weekend at the 2012 Bay to Breakers in San Francisco: the Ridiculously Photogenic Asian Guy. You have to admit, considering that the guy is in the middle of a cross-city footrace, he is looking pretty darn photogenic. That said, did you really have to go there with that unnecessarily annoying "ching chong" font? We get it, Ridiculously Photogenic Asian Man.

man found guilty in assault over dog

Yesterday in Vinita, Oklahoma, a jury found an angry pet owner guilty of aggravated assault and battery for attacking a man who accidentally ran over his dog: Jury Returns Guilty Verdict, Recommends Sentence For Vinita Beating.

47-year-old Neng Yang was brutally beaten and wounded after he accidentally backed over and killed Scott Osborn's dog. Yang says he apologized to Osborn and offered to pay for the dog repeatedly, but was knocked out, and when he came to, was covered in blood.

Osborn says he acted in self-defense, which is complete bullshit considering the severity of Yang's injuries. Yang spent four days in the hospital, requiring reconstructive surgery after suffering shattered bones in his face, as well as two broken ribs and bruises on his leg:


team janet presents perfect 10 awareness concert, may 28

Los Angeles! Here's a good one. On Monday, May 28, come to Chinatown's Grand Star Jazz Club for Team Janet Presents: Perfect 10 Benefit Concert.

Catch performances by Victor Kim, Andrew Figueroa Chiang and the Blazing Rays of the Sun, the Fung Brothers, and more. The night will include stories from blood cancer patients and a bone marrow drive in the continued effort to bring awareness to Janet Liang's cause and find more matches to save lives.

More information:

apply for bay area solidarity summer 2012

This is a call out to South Asian American teenagers in the Bay Area... You're invited to take part in the Bay Area Solidarity Summer (BASS), a five-day, four-night camp where participants will learn about progressive issues, gain organizing skills, connect with South Asian activists and practice leadership. It's happening August 2-6 in Berkeley. Here are some more details:

mashbox premieres on myx tv

MashBox, a new Asian American pop entertainment news magazine show, premiered this week on MYX TV. Hosted by Adrian Zaw and Grace Su, the show is an interactive multiplatform program that promises to innovate the way we watch TV, bridging the digital divide between new and old media. Here's the 30-second promo:

will marion barry say he's sorry?

So get this. Tomorrow, D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry will join a coalition of Asian American advocacy groups, the Say Sorry Barry campaign, at a press conference to address derogatory comments he recently made about Asian businesses and Filipino nurses. For real?

Councilman Barry will be joined by David Chung, a commissioner in the D.C. Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. So is he going to apologize? Is he actually going to say sorry? I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Here are some more details about the press conference:

jeremy lin named to 2012 usa select team

So it was established a while ago that Jeremy Lin would not be playing this summer in London as part of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. That doesn't mean he won't have a role with Team USA: Jeremy Lin's Olympic Role.

According to the official team website, Jeremy is one of the thirteen players chosen for the 2012 USA Men's Select Team that will train against the National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, July 6-12:

music video: "the ikea song" by brad go

This is pretty sweet. Singer Brad Go takes you on an average, everyday musical adventure through your favorite furniture store (or is it someone's Swedishly furnished home?) in the music video for "The Ikea Song"... or is it an IKEA commercial? Doesn't matter. It's pretty darn fun. Take a look:

man arrested for slapping noisy kid at the movies

Asians behaving badly... movie theater rage edition! Last month at a movie theater in Kent, Washington, a man was arrested after slapping a 10-year-old boy who was making too much noise while they were watching a movie: Man accused of hitting noisy kid at Wash. theater.

21-year-old Yong Hyun Kim, who says he thought the guy he hit was a grown man, was charged with second-degree assault. The kid suffered a lost tooth and a bloody nose. The boy was reportedly with friends, making too much noise and causing a ruckus, when Kim lost it:


literasians 2012: writers converge on the apia literary continuum, may 24

San Francisco, this one's for you! The API Cultural Center, Kartika Review and Zellerbach Foundation have rounded up some established and emerging writers to come together on Thursday, May 24 at SF's SOMArts building.

Literasians 2012: Writers Converge on the APIA Literary Continuum will put the likes of Sandra Park, Aimee Phan, Lysley Tenorio and Andre Yang on a panel to talk about the state of APIA literature. Here's some more information:

internship opportunities: oca-gla civil rights fellowship and cto summer internship

Hey students! If you're in or around the Los Angeles area, here are some internships opportunities with OCA-GLA...

OCA-Greater Los Angeles Chapter is currently accepting applications for two internships, available to recent graduates and current students in Los Angeles: the 2012-2013 OCA-GLA Civil Rights Fellowship and the 2012 Chiyo Tanaka Okamoto (CTO) Summer Internship.

Here are some more details about these opportunities. Pass it on:

music video: "fast life" by kero one

One of my favorite hip hop artists, Kero One, recently dropped this cool music video for "The Fast Life" featuring Esna. It's the final video -- and one of my favorite tracks -- off his album Kinetic World before moving on to new musical adventures. Check it out:

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