Angry Reader of the Week: Patricia Ja Lee

"My taxes have me labeled as a performing artist. However, I identify most often with being a student."

Hello, my friends. Please gather 'round, because it is 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 Patricia Ja Lee.


Happy Lunar New Year from President Obama

"May this be a year of prosperity for you and your families..."

From the White House to your house, it's the Year of the Horse. For the record, here is a video message from President Obama extending best wishes to all in the AAPI community celebrating the Lunar New Year:

Sheng Wang on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Comedian drops truth about group exercise classes, strip clubs and bed bugs

Hell yeah. Check out one of my favorite standup comedians, Sheng Wang, performing the other night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And killing it. Learn why Sheng is not getting down with the edible underwear:

So who's getting a red envelope?

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Happy Lunar New Year! Best wishes to you and your loved ones in the Year of the Horse. Been seeing this handy graphic passed around, and thought I'd share, in order to maximize the proper distribution of blessings.

Do You Need to Give This Person a Lai See?

According to tradition, some of our brothers and sisters will be ringing in the new year by giving and receiving blessings in the form of lai see, those red envelopes containing -- hopefully -- hella cash money. Or maybe just a little bit of money. But the relationship dynamics of who gives and gets can be complicated.

So refer to this guide, and distribute and accept those blessings accordingly.

University of Illinois Chancellor responds to Twitter hate

"Racist, intimidating or culturally derogatory epithets have no place in any debate in any circumstance."

Earlier this week, Chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the student, faculty and staff of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign informing the campus community that in spite of a bad weather forecast, classes would be held as usual on Monday. The unpopular decision set off a tide of ugly twitter hate.

I wish Chancellor Wise had a Twitter account. I wish she had thrown her hands up, said, "oh hell no" and put all those haters on blast. Alas, the "tweet" above is a Photoshop job for your amusement.

Moving Past Digital Hate

Instead, the Chancellor offered a much more classy, measured response to the hate, acknowledging that the negative comments are protected by free speech, but calling for a higher standard in debate and discourse:


2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival

February 6-9 at Ark Lodge Cinemas

Seattle! This is for you. Film and community come together again for the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival, a four-day showcase of feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest. It's going down next week, February 6-9 at Columbia city's Ark Lodge Cinemas.

They've got a really great lineup, starting with the February 6 opening night screening and party for the hit Sundance feature documentary Linsanity, director Evan Jackson Leong's behind-the-scenes look at the rise of NBA superstar Jeremy Lin, and his incredible and unlikely underdog story.

Here's the full rundown of SAAFF programs:

Shanghai Restoration Project's 'The Classics' available now

Remaking all that jazz from Shanghai's lost era

Thank you to all who entered last week's giveaway to win The Shanghai Restoration Project latest album, The Classics. If you didn't hear from me (check your direct message on Twitter), you didn't win. Sorry.

But hey, it's all good. The Classics is now available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes. If you're the sort who still purchases physical albums, I highly recommend the CD, which includes a handsomely packaged booklet with lyrics, pinyin pronunciation, and English translation.

The album takes The Shanghai Restoration Project's signature sound, blending traditional Chinese instruments with hip hop and electronica, and applies to contemporary remakes of 1930s and 40s Shanghai jazz standards. Check out this fun medley of songs from The Classics set to video animated by Sun Yunfan:

Suspect arrested in attack on journalist Randy Gener

24-year-old Leighton Jennings charged with second-degree assault

In New York City, police have made an arrest in connection with the brutal beating on journalist Randy Gener. Contrary to initial speculation, authorities say the assault on Gener, who is openly gay, was not a hate crime.

Police Arrest Queens Man in Midtown Attack on Journalist

24-year-old Leighton Jennings is accused of attacking Gener, a well-known journalist and editor in Manhattan's theater circuit, in the early morning hours on January 17. According to detectives, Jennings was seen by witnesses and on surveillance video getting into a confrontation shortly before the assault.

Students chant racist taunts at Indian basketball player

"We want Slurpees"

Oh hell no. Thumbs down to the group of asshole students at a recent New York high school basketball game who chanted "We want Slurpees" while a player of Indian descent shot free throws. That's racist.

High School Students Chant "We Want Slurpees" At Indian Basketball Player

During a basketball game between Brighton and Pittsford Sutherland high schools last Friday, a group of Pittsford fans started chanting at a Brighton descent of Indian student as he took a shot at the free-throw line. The taunt, of course, refers to the stereotype of Indians running 7-11 stores.

The incident was caught and video reported by the local news:


Giant Robot presents Year of the Horse

February 1-19 at GR2

If you're in Los Angeles, Giant Robot invites you to ring in the lunar new year with an art show. Year of the Horse, running February 1-19, is a group exhibition featuring works from over fifty artists. Things kick off this Saturday, February 1 with a reception at GR2. Here are some more details about the show:

Help get these high school students to ECAASU 2014

ECAASU's High School Leadership Ambassadors Program needs your help

The East Coast Asian American Student Union is a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower those interested in Asian American and Pacific Islander issues. You may have heard of the annual ECAASU conference, the oldest and largest Asian American collegiate conference in the United States.

In 2013, the High School Ambassadors Leadership Program (HSALP) was started in an effort to expand ECAASU's constituency to high school students. I recently heard from Olivia Lu, who has been mentoring a group of eight students from the DC and New York metro areas in AAPI issues and advocacy work.

This year, the plan is to send the HSALP students to the 2014 ECAASU Conference, going down next month in Washington DC. In order to make that happen, they need to raise funds to the finance the trip. Can you help get them to the conference?

Run River North on Last Call with Carson Daly

So Cal "gangster-folk" band shares their story

Check out one of my favorite bands, Run River North -- self-proclaimed makers of "gangster folk oriental music -- getting profiled on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly. Get a little glimpse into how the six-member band came together, how they craft their unique sound, and how they're chasing that yo yo guy who defeated them at Kollaboration. Glad they stuck together after that.

CHOPS presents Strength in Numbers

Asian American music collaboration features "more names than you can fit in your homie's Honda Civic"

Heads up. Strength In Numbers, the Asian American music project from celebrated producer CHOPS, drops this week. Chops, a founding member of the pioneering hip hop group Mountain Brothers, has assembled thirty different artists for one epic album collaboration. Maybe you heard about the Kickstarter campaign. Maybe you slept on that. No matter. The album is now available on iTunes and Amazon.

The album features "more names than you can fit in your homie's Honda Civic": Ann One, Baiyu, Bambu, Catzie of Yellow Rage, Connie Lim, Decipher, DJ Bonics, DJ Neil Armstrong, DJ Roli Rho, Dumbfoundead, El Gambina, Erika David, Hopie, Hoya, J-Key, Joanlee, Kiwi, Lil Crazed, Matt Cab, Mic Barz, Mountain Brothers, Nikko Dator, Paul Kim, Prometheus Brown, Rekstizzy, Rocky Rivera, Ruby Ibarra, Tasha aka Yoonmirae, Thai, Tiger JK, Timothy Flu, Verbal of M-Flo / Teriyaki Boyz, and Yellow Boyz.

Preview the whole damn album below:

Bingbing and Booboo on Empire's epic X-Men cover(s)

Days of Future Past's Blink and Warpath have got each other's back, teleportation style

Yesterday, Empire Magazine released a gigantic series of 25 covers for its latest issue, each featuring a different character from the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. If you stick them all together, side-by-side in order, they make one long, super-giant image. (I wonder if anyone's going to buy all 25 covers. Reminds me of the good old days when Marvel launched the multi-cover X-Men #1. Ah, the nineties.)

The much-hyped Days of Future Past, which connects the timeline threads between the original X-Men trilogy and the groovy prequel X-Men: First Class, features a massive ensemble of X-characters, old and new -- including Fan Bingbing as Blink and Booboo Stewart as Warpath, who also each got a cover.

Check them out. If you look carefully, you can see they're actually standing on opposite ends of Blink's teleportation field (the pink swirly circle thing):

The Jeremy Lin XC60 Workout

Watch Jeremy Lin get fit with his new workout partner from Sweden

As you might know, Jeremy Lin reps Volvo. He signed on to be a spokesman in his first major post-Linsanity endorsement deal. But did you know that Volvo has become an integral part of Jeremy's latest training routine? It's The Jeremy Lin XC60 Workout. This video shows how he gets fighting fit with his new workout partner from Sweden, the Volvo XC60. Check it out:

Kim Pham's organs donated to five transplant patients

Beating victim's heart, kidney, lungs, pancreas and liver transplanted

While the shocking death of Kim Pham, the 23-year-old woman who was brutally beaten outside a Santa Ana nightclub, continues to resonate, her tragic end will at least have a life-giving legacy. Her organs have already been donated and used to help sustain the lives of five patients waiting for transplants.

Nightclub victim's organs have 'saved five lives,' agency says

Pham's heart, kidney, lungs, pancreas and liver were donated to patients on the national organ transplant waiting list. She also donated tissues including "skin used for burn dressings, bone to repair fractures and prevent amputations, and bone marrow for orthopedic use."

Pham died of complications from blunt force trauma to the head after she was punched, kicked and knocked to the ground outside a nightclub on January 18. She was declared dead the next day, but remained connected to a ventilator for two more days to make sure her organs would be available for transplantation.

Here's the statement from Pham's family, issued through the non-profit organ recovery group One Legacy:


Identity and Place: The Changs Next Door to the Diazes

Thursday, January 30 at The Crawford Family Forum

For those of you in Southern California, KPCC invites you to a discussion on diversity and demographics in the suburbs of San Gabriel Valley. Immigration and Emerging Communities reporter Leslie Berestein Roja talks to author Wendy Cheng about her latest book The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California. It's happening Thursday, January 30 at The Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena.

Here are some more details about the event:

Who will be the next Mr. Hyphen?

Looking for a few good men to compete for the crown Mr. Hyphen 2014

It is on, my friends. It is on. Men, do you seek fame and riches... for your community? Hyphen magazine wants you. They are looking for a for a few good men to compete in the eight annual Mr. Hyphen pageant, a community fundraiser highlighting leaders and advocates within the Asian American community.

It's all going down April 19 in San Francisco. The worthy one crowned Mr. Hyphen 2014 will win a $2,000 cash prize benefiting the nonprofit organization of his choice. Do you have what it takes? Apply now! Glory awaits.

Here are some more details:

Fund This: DJ Qbert's Extraterrestria

The much-anticipated new album from the legendary DJ Qbert

Awwwww yeah. The legendary DJ Qbert has been hard at work on not one, but two new albums, Extraterrestria and Galaxxxian, and he's launched Kickstarter to deliver them from the cosmos.

Extraterrestria is the turntable deity's much-anticipated follow up to his groundbreaking debut album and feature film Wave Twisters. The album features Qbert's signature skratching, plus contributions from the likes of cellist and trombonist Dana Leong, super producer Chad Hugo and DrunkTronica duo Tipsy. It's described as "a wide collection of various types of music from other planets and dimensions from around the galaxy."

The second record, Galaxxxian, is a compilation featuring DJ Qbert's skratching paired with an incredible roster of talented emcees, including Kool Keith, Del The Funkyhomosapien, Bambu, Soul Khan, Mr.Lif, El-P, Madchild, DZK, Roscoe Umali, Tassho Pearce, The FMD & Z-Man.

New York University student falls 15 stories to his death

Titan Lee-Hai was seen stark naked and apparently high on drugs before he died

Another tragic story out of New York City, where a college student, reportedly stark naked and apparently under the influence of drugs, fell 15 stories to this death from the room of a dormitory.

NYU freshman, 18, was naked, on mushrooms just before fatal fall: sources

18-year-old Titan Lee-Hai, a New York University freshman from Trinidad, fell from NYU's Third North dorm at 3:20am on Monday, the semester's first day of classes.

According to one student, Lee-Hai was tripping on mushrooms. A classmate who encountered him in the elevator just before he died says Lee-Hai -- completely naked and "not in his senses" -- punched him in the face:

The best snowboarder you won't see at the Olympics

13-year-old Chloe Kim is the youngest Winter X Games medalist in history

You won't see American snowboarder Chloe Kim competing at the Olympics. At 13 years old, she's too young. The Olympics' age requirement requires athletes to turn 16 during the Olympic year, meaning Kim would've had to turn 15 by December 31, 2013 to qualify to compete. Too bad, because she's amazing.

Over the weekend at the Winter X Games in Aspen, the eighth grader from La Palma, California proved she would have been a podium contender in Sochi, taking second in the women's halfpipe behind veteran Kelly Clark and becoming the youngest Winter X Games medalist in history.

Here's video of Chloe's silver-winning run from Saturday. Just watch:

Justin Lin to adapt 'Battered Bastards of Baseball'

Lin's Perfect Storm acquires remake rights for Sundance sports documentary

So what's Justin Lin working on now? Add yet another movie to his giant, growing pile of projects. The Fast & Furious director's production company Perfect Storm beat out several buyers at the Sundance Film Festival to acquire the narrative remake rights for the documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball.

Sundance: Justin Lin to Adapt 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' Doc (Exclusive)

The sports documentary, which premiered last week at Sundance, tells the unheralded true story of the late Hollywood veteran actor Bing Russell -- father of Kurt -- who in 1973 created the only independent baseball team in America at the time, the Portland Mavericks, a ragtag underdog team that defied the odds.

It's just one of those feel-good sports stories. You can see why studios like Columbia Pictures, Fox Searchlight and DreamWorks were all clamoring for a shot at the remake rights. But Justin's got 'em.

So you didn't get a snow day. Respond with racism and sexism.

Stay classy, University of Illinois.

This is the email that set off a Twitter tide of racist, misogynist bullshit.

I hate cold weather. I admit, being a west coast kid, I can't relate much to polar vortexes and snow days as of late. However, my college days did see their share of Midwest winters. And man, they suck. But that's neither here nor there. I say this as a fellow human being: grow the fuck up, University of Illinois.

After Being Denied A Snow Day, University Of Illinois Students Respond With Racism And Sexism

I'm speaking specifically to the asshole students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who participated in the Twitter hashtag "#FuckPhyllis." On Sunday night, University Chancellor Phyllis Wise emailed the student body saying in spite of the weather forecast, school would be in session on Monday.

Some students, suddenly shocked that the college they chose to attend is subject to shitty weather, were compelled to take to Twitter and bellyache about the fact that they had to go to school. You know, like students. The complaining quickly devolved into racist and sexist hate directed at Chancellor Wise.

It got ugly fast.

Journalist brutally beaten in possible hate crime

NYPD hate crimes task force investigating attack that left Randy Gener with severe head trauma

Disturbing news out of New York City, where authorities are investigating the brutal beating of a gay Filipino American journalist as a possible hate crime.

Randy Gener, Gay NYC Journalist, Recovering From Brain Surgery After Alleged Hate Crime

46-year-old editor, writer and artist Randy Gener was assaulted on January 17, shortly before 4:00am after leaving a party in Midtown Manhattan. He was found unconscious in a pool of blood near 54th Street and Seventh Avenue -- a block from his apartment. The attack left him with severe head trauma requiring brain surgery.

Gener, a beloved and respected figure in the theater community who has reported and written for the New York Times, National Public Radio, the Village Voice and New York Magazine, is listed in serious but stable condition. According to his sister, he is unable to answer questions of what happened the night of the assault.

The suspects did not steal Gener's wallet. The NYPD says it's looking at the attack as a possible hate crime.


Read These Blogs

Investigation into Santa Ana beating death hits a wall of silence: Some of Kim Pham's friends may hold the clues that could bring her killers to justice. But so far, no one has come forward and no one is talking.

How Well Does the Media Cover Race? [Report]: Jay Smooth drops some knowledge about Race Forward's Moving the Race Conversation Forward, a new report that aims to reshape and reform the way we talk about race and racism in the our country. Watch the video and read the report.

Arexis Fongman: A Case Study on Casual Racism: Why is it that so many who justify their actions behind the excuse of "satire" have no idea what it actually means? Case in point: Ms. Alexis Fishman, also known for a hot minute by her racist alter ego "Alexis Fongman."

Seeing none, Korean-American community works to recruit foster parents: Recruiting foster parents in Los Angeles County is tough. Finding Asian caregivers, particularly Koreans, even more so. A new partnership between the county's Department of Family and Child Services and Korean organizations is amping up outreach to the county's Korean speakers.

Indians a rising force in California politics: A growing roster of Indian American candidates and elected officials are emerging in California politics, despite their relatively small population in the state.

How George Takei Made It Through Sundance: BuzzFeed shadowed Star Trek icon and human rights activist George Takei, the subject of the new feature documentary To Be Takei, as he and husband Brad Takei braved the wilds of the Sundance Film Festival.


I Think I Am In Friend-Love Valentine's Day Book Tour 2014

A seven-city celebration of Friend-Love

If you're a fan of comic book artist/illustrator Yumi Sakugawa's I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You, then you're invited to meet the mind behind this marvelous little book during one of several stops on the seven-city I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You Valentine's Day Book Tour. The fun kicks off next Thursday, January 30 at Mission Comics in San Francisco. Here's the list of tour stops:

Two women arrested in deadly beating of Kim Pham

Police release photo of third "person of interest"

In Orange County, two suspects have been arrested in connection with the brutal beating death of 23-year-old Kim Pham, who was hit and kicked by multiple assailants outside a Santa Ana nightclub last weekend. Police say a third woman is being sought in connection with the incident.

Second woman arrested in Santa Ana nightclub beating; third sought

Pham died Tuesday after being taken off life support. According to friends, the fight might have been set off when she accidentally walked in front of a camera as a another group posed for a photo.

25-year-old Vanesa Zavala, accused of taking part in the attack, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the case. She pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail. According to her attorney, Zavala apparently feels "devastated" by Pham's death.

A second suspect, identified by police as a 27-year-old woman from Santa Ana, has been taken into custody.

Police have released the photo of a third "person of interest." Authorities initially said that five people were being sought in the beating, but have since clarified that only three women were believed to be involved in the incident.

Angry Reader of the Week: Julianne Hing

Hey, everybody. You know what time it is. 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 Julianne Hing.

Welcome to America, Masahiro Tanaka

Classy as always, New York Post.

Got this passed along to me from multiple people... Not that I expect anything less than tastelessly exploitative from the New York Post, but take a look at this cover from Thursday's metro edition. The headline heralds the New York Yankees' signing of Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a $155 million contract.

No doubt, that's a pretty big deal, but does it warrant the accompanying image of a Japanese World War II aircraft? Decades later, people still seem to go out of their way to invoke war imagery with anything related to Japan. How about trying a little harder? And stay classy as always, New York Post.

Dinesh D'Souza charged with campaign fraud

Conservative author accused of making illegal contributions to 2012 Senate campaign

Asians behaving badly... illegal campaign contribution edition! In New York, best-selling conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted on charges that violated campaign finance laws.

Dinesh D'Souza Is Charged With Using Straw Donors

D'Souza is accused of directing $20,000 in illegal contributions to be made to a U.S. Senate candidate. According to federal prosecutors, D'Souza encouraged others to donate to the candidate's campaign and reimbursed them for the donations. Election law caps donations at $5,000 per donor to any one candidate.

The candidate wasn't identified in the indictment, but it appears likely that it was Republican Wendy Long, D'Souza's former Dartmouth classmate who lost her challenge to Democratic incumbent New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in last year's election -- and the only federal candidate D'Souza donated to in 2012:


Reintroducing the First Asian American Superhero

Read a preview tale of Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero

This is so cool. You know I love the work of graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, author of award-winning works like American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. His forthcoming graphic novel with illustrator Sonny Liew, The Shadow Hero is the untold story of The Green Turtle -- the first Asian American superhero!

They Came Here Not to Save Us, But to Live Among Us

The story behind character is pretty fascinating, and kind of subversive. The Green Turtle was an actual obscure Golden Age comic book hero (first appearance: Blazing Comics #1). According to lore, The Green Turtle's creator, Chu Hing, intended for the character to be Asian, but was prohibited by his publisher. So he always drew him masked or with his face partially obscured, so one could imagine he was Asian.

The Green Turtle's run was short lived, but Gene and Sonny have resurrected and reinvented the character to explore the immigrant experience through the genre of superheroes. In their take, Hank Chu, the son of Chinese immigrants, circa 1930s, dons the mask of The Green Turtle -- the first Asian American superhero!

Tor.com has posted the first seven comic strips, originally published in black-and-white in the Shattered comics anthology, in color for the first time:

Jenny Yang shows you how to freak out like a little kid

Jenny wanted soy.

Oh, you're a funny gal, Jenny Yang. Check out my good friend, comedian and writer Jenny Yang (former Angry Reader of the Week and guest on the Sound and Fury podcast) digging deep and channeling her inner child in a pair of hilarious videos for BuzzFeed. First, watch her epic, award-worthy freakouts in this video from a few months ago, What If Adults Had Tantrums Like Toddlers?

Louisiana school district sued for religious harassment

Federal lawsuit alleges sixth grader was routinely belittled for being Buddhist

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana school board, alleging that officials at one school routinely harassed and proselytized a sixth-grader because of his Buddhist faith.

ACLU accuses La. school of religious harassment

The federal lawsuit was filed against the Sabine Parish School Board on behalf of two parents, Scott and Sharon Lane, and three of their children, including their son, "C.C.," who is a lifelong Buddhist of Thai descent.

According to the complaint, C.C. enrolled at Negreet High School earlier this year and quickly became the target of religious harassment by the school's staff. In addition to the school board, the lawsuit specifically names Superintendent Sara Ebarb, Negreet High Principal Gene Wright and science teacher Rita Roark:


Fred Korematsu Day Celebration, January 26

"Stand Up For What Is Right"

If you're in the Bay Area, the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education invites you to the fourth annual Korematsu Day Celebration. This year's event, "Stand Up For What Is Right!," will feature Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, activist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas and Congressman Mike Honda. It's happening Sunday, January 26 at the Morris Daily Auditorium at San Jose State University.

Here are some more details:

Fund This: Post-production for Twinsters

A documentary about twins, separated at birth, reconnected through social media

If you're like me, you were fascinated to learn about the story of Korean American adoptee Samantha Futerman, a working Hollywood actress, who heard from a stranger across the internet and discovered she had a long lost twin sister: Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London. Whaaaaat.

Here's Anaïs' first Facebook message to Samantha. Imagine this showing up in your inbox:

Justin Lin to direct remake of The Shaolin Temple

Fast & Furious director to take on a 3D Mandarin-language blockbuster for the Chinese market

Whoa. The busiest man in Hollywood just added another project to his to-do list. Justin Lin, who recently wrapped up duties on the wildly successful Fast & Furious franchise and got handed the next movie in the Bourne series, is set to direct a 3D remake of the 1982 kung fu classic The Shaolin Temple.

Justin Lin To Direct Chinese-Language 3D Remake Of 'The Shaolin Temple'

There's no start date yet, and it doesn't even look like they have a script. But the film will be produced as a collaboration between Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment, Beijing Enlight Pictures and Bruno Wu's Seven Stars, and aims to be an ambitious Mandarin-language blockbuster for the Chinese market.

This kid's 'India's Got Talent' audition will make your day

8-year-old Akshat Singh's got the moves. The other contestants can go home.

You know what my day really needed? An awesome video of a chubby dancing Indian kid. Luckily, I was blessed with this video of 8-year-old Akshat Singh and his highly entertaining Bollywood medley audition for India's Got Talent. Yeah, he's definitely got some moves, but really, his performance is like 95% swagger. He gets a standing ovation from both the audiences and the judges. Auntie approved.

Nightclub beating victim taken off life support

Fight might have been set off when Kim Pham accidentally walked in front of a group photo

Kim Pham, the 23-year-old woman was severely beaten in a fight outside a Santa Ana nightclub, died Tuesday after being taken off life support. According to one friend, the fight might have been set off when Pham accidentally walked in front of a camera as a another group posed for a photo.

Woman who was badly beaten outside Santa Ana nightclub dies

I'm sorry, but that has to be the stupidest reason ever for getting into a fight.

There still aren't a lot of details about how the altercation unfolded, but police say the argument broke out between Pham's friends and another group in line outside the club, then escalated into a physical fight. Witnesses say Pham was hit, kicked and stomped on by several people even after she fell to the ground.


Peace brokered between McDonald's and Elderly Koreans

Flushing restaurant reaches agreement limiting number of hours customers can sit

It seems a little silly that a congresswoman and state legislators had to get involved to settle the much-publicized dispute between a McDonald's location in Queens and a group of elderly Korean patrons who refused to leave in a timely fashion. But that's what it took. They've apparently made peace.

Elderly Patrons End Dispute With a McDonald's in Queens

The Flushing fast food restaurant has become a regular gathering place for local Korean seniors who take up seats and stay for hours, much to the management's dismay. The situation has escalated in recent months, and police have actually been called in to remove customers. And now the community has gotten involved.

But it seems they've reached an agreement. Management has agreed to ease the 20-minute seating limit during off-peak hours and post signs stating the policy in Korean and Mandarin. In turn, the seniors will give up their seats during the busy hours if other diners are looking for a place to sit. Boycott averted.

The Shanghai Restoration Project presents The Classics

New album features contemporary remakes of popular 1930s & 1940s Shanghai jazz songs

The Shanghai Restoration Project, aka our friend Dave Liang, makes awesome music, blending Chinese instruments with the western sounds of hip hop and electronica. SRP's latest album, entitled The Classics, features contemporary remakes of popular 1930s & 1940s Shanghai jazz songs. I got my hands on an early preview of the album, and it's super-cool, like hopping into a sexy Shanghai time machine.

The Classics drops next Tuesday, January 28. Want to win a copy? Scroll down to the bottom for details. But first, watch this cool teaser video, featuring singer Zhang Le and directed by Lawrence Chen:

The Raid 2 trailer is bigger, badder and just plain crazier

How much asskicking can you fit in one movie?

Boom. How much asskicking can you fit in one movie? The 2011 cult hit action flick The Raid: Redemption failed to properly answer that question, because I simply lost count. So much asskicking. Its highly-anticipated sequel The Raid 2 premieres this week at the Sundance Film Festival. If the new trailer is any indication, the movie looks determined to up the asskicking ante -- bigger, badder and just plain crazier. Take a look:

Somebody just realized this candy is racist?

Haribo pulls "Skipper Mix" after complaints of racist caricatures

German candy manufacturer Haribo, known for making intestine-destroying gummy bears, recently had to pull a line of black licorice in Sweden due to complaints that the candy's face-shaped designs were racist.

German racist candy pulled from shelves

Haribo's "Skipper Mix" contains licorice pieces in the shapes of distorted black faces, African masks and oriental caricatures. According to a company spokesman, the sweets were themed around items "a sailor who traveled the world" might have encountered and brought home.

Biker mob attack victim files claim against New York City

Alexian Lien accuses the police department of failing to properly train officers

Remember that crazy motorcycle mob attack? The man who was chased down, dragged from his SUV, and beat down by a pack of bikers has filed a legal notice saying he intends to sue New York City over the incident.

Alexian Lien, Man Attacked By Motorcyclists, Files Legal Claim Against New York City

Alexian Lien, who was pursued and assaulted by a group of motorcyclists -- including undercover NYPD officers Wojciech Braszczok and Matthew Rodriguez -- on September 29, filed a formal "notice of claim" against the city last month. His wife and two-year-old daughter were both in the car when the mob smashed their windows, pulled Lien from the driver's seat and beat him in the street.

The claim accuses the police department of failing to properly train officers:


Asian Redefined: New Voices in a New Era

Saturday, February 8 at University of Pennsylvania Law School

If you're in the Philadelphia area, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at the University of Pennsylvania Law School invites you to its 13th annual conference, Asian Redefined: New Voices in a New Era, celebrating the past, present and future of Asian Americans in the legal profession and beyond.

This year's conference, happening Saturday, February 8 at Penn Law, focuses the future, and the next wave of Asian Americans forging new paths and breaking barriers for our community. The keynote speaker is the Honorable Pamela Chen, the first openly gay Asian American to serve on the federal bench.

I'll be participating on the morning panel, "A Seat at the Table: APA Inclusion in the Legal Profession and Beyond," with Nermeen Arastu and Bruce I. Yamashita. Hope to see you there.

For the full the schedule, and registration information, visit the Penn APALSA website.

Apply to CAPAL's Scholarship and Internship Program

Summer opportunities with the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership

The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) is now accepting applications for its 2014 Federal Internship Program and Public Service Scholarship Program in Washington, DC. This year, in honor of its 25th anniversary, CAPAL is aiming to fund 25 summer interns and scholars.

CAPAL's internship and scholarship programs are great opportunities for students to gain exposure and real-world experience in government and public service and to receive funding for their internships. The programs also include weekly leadership seminars, networking opportunities, and individual mentorship.

Here are some more details about the programs:

Run River North has a killer time in "Fight to Keep"

A man, a band, and a happy camping trip gone horribly wrong

One of my favorite bands Run River North (you may have first heard of them when they were known as Monsters Calling Home) recently released their new music video for "Fight To Keep," the first single from their upcoming self-titled album. The video features actor/comedian Diedrich Bader and the band on a happy campy trip that quickly turns very dark. It's weird and silly and violently disturbing. Kind of scratching my head over this one. Check it out:

23-year-old woman brutally beaten outside nightclub

Several suspects sought in fatal assault that left Kim Pham brain dead

Shocking news out of Southern California, where friends and family are mourning the death of a woman who was brutally beaten and left brain dead outside a nightclub in downtown Santa Ana early Saturday morning. Authorities are asking for the public's help identifying suspects involved in the assault.

Arrest Made in Beating Death of Kim Pham, 23, Outside The Crosby in Downtown Santa Ana

23-year-old Kim Pham was brutally beaten by a group of five people outside The Crosby, a popular nightclub. The incident apparently started when Pham, who was waiting in line with friends, got into an argument with another group that escalated into a physical altercation. According to witnesses, the group -- three females and two males -- kicked and stomped on Pham even after she fell to the ground.

OC Weekly has posted a video of the assault, anonymously sent to a friend of the victim:

Still no Asian Americans on Saturday Night Live

38 years of SNL's diversity problem, all in one chart

After a recent revival of criticism over a lack of diversity on Saturday Night Live, this weekend marked the much-hyped debut of Sasheer Zamata, the show's first black female cast member in seven years.

In honor of the occasion, here's an interesting and informative Huffington Post infographic outlining the sketch comedy institution's legendary lack of racial diversity in its 38-year run. It specifically points out, as I am reminded every time we inevitably revisit these discussions of SNL's notorious race problem, still no Asians.

Check it out:

Casting Call: Fresh Off the Boat

Do you know any Asian kids who can play the young Eddie Huang?

If you enjoyed chef/restaurateur/provocateur Eddie Huang's memoir Fresh Off the Boat, you'll be pleased to know it's being adapted into an ABC sitcom. But who will play young Eddie? This recently posted casting call is looking for Asian boys, ages 7 to 14, to play Eddie and his younger brothers Freddy and Gary.

Fresh Off the Boat, written and produced by Nahnatchka Khan, is a comedy about an Asian American family that moves from multi-ethnic Washington DC to an all-white suburb in Orlando, and the culture shock that ensues. I know casting has been going on a while, so it looks like they're doing a wider search for the kids.

Here's the casting notice:

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