hollywood chinese screening/curator talk with arthur dong

If you're in the Southern California, here's a cool film history event happening this Thursday at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles... Join filmmaker Arthur Dong for a "Curator's Talk," including a screening of his award-winning documentary Hollywood Chinese.

Hosted by Giant Robot editor Martin Wong, the evening will feature a discussion on movie memorabilia research and the creative challenges of transforming a documentary film into a museum exhibition. Here's some more info:
Hollywood Chinese Film Screening and Curator Talk with Arthur Dong

Thursday, December 3, 2009 / 6–8 p.m.
CAM at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument
Co-presented by Visual Communications

Lights, camera, action! Watch the film that inspired the exhibit—Arthur Dong’s Award-Winning documentary, Hollywood Chinese! The 90-minute film screening will kick-off with an insightful Curator Talk with Arthur Dong, where he will discuss the origins, inspirations and motivations for the Hollywood Chinese project.

FREE. December 3, 6–8pm. RVSP at rsvp@camla.org, with the subject heading, "Curator Talk," or call 213/485-8567.

Museum hours extended for this event, 5–9pm. Visit the exhibition before or after the "Curator's Talk."

Chinese American Museum
425 N. Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection is currently running through May 30, 2010 in Los Angeles. If you're in the area, and interested in film history, this is a must-see showcase of some really rare and amazing movie memorabilia. To learn more about the exhibition, go to the Chinese American Museum website here.

And for those of you who can't make it to the screening, but are interesting in watching Hollywood Chinese, they're currently offering the home video DVD for 25% off, at the holiday sale price of $22.46. Just enter the promo code "Sale2009" at checkout. To order your DVD, go to the Hollywood Chinese website here.

evil chinese drywall!

It appears that American-made drywall is just as dangerous as Chinese drywall. Take that, China bashers. A federal probe of tainted Chinese drywall has broadened because a small number of homeowners are reporting that American drywall is causing some of the same problems: a sickening, sulfurous stench and corroded pipes and wiring: Drywall investigation expands into US products.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is conducting the largest investigation in its history after thousands of homeowners complained and filed lawsuits. The vast majority of complaints center on China-made gypsum board imported during the recent U.S. housing boom, when domestic building materials were in short supply.

But it's apparently not just the Chinese stuff. Sporadic reports are surfacing from owners of homes built with American drywall, and the symptoms they report are similar to those reported with the Chinese drywall: a rotten egg odor that makes occupants sick, corrosion of copper pipes, and ruined TVs and air conditioners.

All these homeowners coming forward, thinking they've been cursed with damn drywall manufactured by the damn Chinese. Turns out, their houses were rocking drywall made in the good ol' U.S.A. Yes, of course, the imported drywall is bad. But it looks like we've got plenty of the bad stuff right here too!

music video: "lovely to me (immigrant mother)" by taiyo na

Check out this awesome, newly released music video for "Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)" by Taiyo Na, from his debut album Love Is Growth. I think it's great. Here are some thoughts from Taiyo:
A tremendous shout out must go to its director Gary San Angel. A couple filmmakers expressed interest in making a music video for this song when the album first came out, but nothing panned out, and perhaps it was meant to be. Gary put his heart into this project, and I could not have been more honored and proud to have him as my director for this music video. With a couple of incredible state-of-the-art cameras and a wonderful team, he grasped the very feeling of the song and enhanced it with the beauty of Philadelphia, a city I've come to love dearly over the years for its grit, good food and people.

The footage of the families are tender and strong. The portraits of the people in Love Park are luminous and stunning. When I watch this music video, I am reminded of why I do what I do. I hope it does the same for you. I hope these faces bring you back to the reasons why you do legal work or medical work, why you teach, write, work at that non-profit, take those classes, work the 9 to 5, make art... why you care.

If it moves you, please rate, comment and share. Gary tried to get this in around this time as a gift to folks for the holiday season. In my opinion, it is a true gift.

Thank you for your support.

Taiyo Na
And here's a note from the video's director, Gary San Angel:
To commemorate this Thanksgiving weekend. I thought it would be appropriate to send this beautiful music video out to the world called Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother) by New York based artist Taiyo Na from his debut album Love is Growth. I completed the final cut of the music video on Thanksgiving day and thought it would be nice to give thanks to our moms and to all the people who shared part in raising us.

I want to give a very special shout out and thank you to Taiyo Na for trusting me and for allowing me to take his song on this journey, to back up his beautiful song with visuals and stories from our community here in Philadelphia from Chinatown to Love Park and beyond.

A very big thank you to David Lin and the Asian Arts Initiative for helping to produce this project. As well as Eric Law and Wai Man Ip from Chinese Arts and Crafts, Inc. and Karen Thai from QT Vietnamese Sandwich in Chinatown.

This is not just a music video it's a community arts film project involving so many voices and volunteers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who were apart of this vision. I could not have done it with out you. I was merely the conductor orchestrating all these amazing moments. I only hope that what you see is something that is unique, honest, and powerful.

Please share this with your friends, family, loved ones close and far. I hope this is a reminder to us all where we all came from.
Shout out to the all the immigrant mothers out there, my own included. To learn and hear more from Taiyo Na, visit his website here. And his album, Love Is Growth is available for download from the usual online spots like Amazon or iTunesicon.

nba bans kings scout for gambling

Asian behaving badly... sports gambling edition! The NBA has banned former Sacramento Kings assistant director Jack Mai for betting money on league games, including those involving the Kings: NBA bans Kings scout for gambling on team.

The league informed teams in a memo last week that an investigation revealed Mai bet on NBA games "limited to small amounts of money among acquaintances and there is no evidence that he ever attempted to use his position with the Kings to influence the outcome of any NBA game."

The NBA told teams they can never employ, nor use Mai in a consultant's capacity. League rules forbid employees from betting on any NBA games, especially those involving their own teams. Mai apparently bet on the Kings' games for years, "some for, and some against."

Business partners of Mai reportedly tipped the NBA to his betting. After eight years with the organization, the Kings fired Mai early in 2009. Besides the gambling investigation, Mai apparently had "questionable business dealings with Korean and Chinese basketball teams and leagues."

Oh, not the shady Asian dealings! According to a league source, Mai was using his position with the Kings to make business deals for players, equipment, etc., and appearances by NBA players in Asia for money. Looks like he'll have to take those questionable business dealings elsewhere now.

quest and fm in snoop dogg's "I wanna rock" music video

Check out the guys of Quest Crew completely tearing it up and dancing their asses off in Snoop Dogg's "I Wanna Rock" music video. The Far East Movement guys also make a brief appearance, just standing there looking cool, of course. You like that?

purdue student accused of 'terroristic mischief'

Earlier this month at Purdue University, a college student who attempted to pay for a parking ticket found himself arrested and accused... of terrorism. 'Terroristic mischief,' to be precise: Purdue senior accused of 'terroristic mischief.'

21-year-old Roy C. Sun was arrested after a suspicious package led officials to evacuate the Purdue University Visitors Center. Sun, a senior in the College of Engineering, was arrested on suspicion of terroristic mischief and possession of stolen property.

According to a university press release, three college-aged people entered the Visitor Information Center with a package they placed in the lobby. They then moved the package to a hallway and left. Okay, that's kind of suspicious, I guess.

Police evacuated about 10 people from the building, then used a portable X-ray machine to examine the box. The box contained a wheel lock, a parking ticket and $20.

Purdue Parking Services had written the ticket found in the box and placed the wheel lock on Sun's vehicle the previous day because the car allegedly displayed a parking permit that didn't belong to him. Don't know if this was his idea of a joke, but I'm fairly confident that this was the wrong way to go about paying for the ticket.

Under Indiana law, terroristic mischief is a Class C felony. It's defined as knowingly or intentionally placing a device with the intent to cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a weapon of mass destruction.

As of last week, Sun still hadn't formally been charged. The prosecutor's office is waiting on more information to determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed against him. Meanwhile, a group of students has organized a "Free Roy Sun" campaign and protesting on his behalf: Protest follows Purdue student's arrest for 'terroristic mischief'.

ah, so this is what racist peanuts taste like...

This photo, of some kind of foreign peanut candy called "Japones," was submitted through Twitter by leftyventricle. As you can see, the packaging features a cartoony rendering of what I presume is a peanut. But not just any peanut -- an Oriental peanut, complete with slanted eyes, buck-teeth and that conical-shaped hat we all know and love. I don't know how a racist caricature makes this particular snack more appetizing or appealing, but there you go. That's racist!

UPDATE: A little more background on these snacks, from an informative email I received the other day:
The "foreign peanut candy" you mention are actually a type of peanut product from Mexico--they're called cacahuates japones (Japanese peanuts) and date back to the 1950s, when a Japanese immigrant introduced them in Mexico City. Hence, the name--kind of like how the Cleveland Indians were named after a player with part-Native American heritage!

Here's some images of various packaging. As you'll see, some are more racist or stereotypical than others.

As for the actual taste? Usually roasted in soy sauce, crunchier than usual. Not exactly Mexico's best peanut-based product, but cacahuates japonés are very popular.

On the Mexican Asian-bashing scale, I'd rank cacahuates japonés below the china poblana ("Chinese girl from Puebla," the name given to a famous style of woman's dress) but much above a cuento chino ("Chinese tale," an idiom meaning a tall tale).
Thanks, Gustavo.

teen arrested in fatal chinatown stabbing

Guy gets stabbed death... over "a look"? Last week in New York, police detectives arrested a 17-year-old Victor Fong in the fatal stabbing of a young man in Chinatown nearly two weeks ago: 17-Year-Old Is Held in Fatal Chinatown Stabbing.

According to police, Fong was charged with second-degree murder after he showed up with his lawyer at the Fifth Precinct station house on Monday to surrender.

The man who was killed, identified by relatives and officials as 18-year-old Nelson Rafael Pena was returning home from his job at a Foot Locker store on November 18 when he was attacked and stabbed in the leg and chest. Another 18-year-old man who was with Pena was stabbed in the neck, but he survived.

Pena and his friend were walking on the street when they were approached by two men who had confronted them in a dispute a short time earlier. The men knew one another through people in the area, and the assailants were apparently upset "over a look."

Police say the assaults were not gang related, and investigators were not seeking a second suspect. The district attorney's office declined to say whether Fong would face additional charges. He is due in court on Wednesday.

"A look"? That's all it takes to get stabbed to death? Ridiculous.


dawen's american me tour, new york

This one's for you, New York! Our friend Dawen is performing a handful of shows next weekend, December 4-7, at various venues around New York. Here's some info:
Friday, December 4
Silk Road Cafe
Five Points Variety Hour
With Special Guest Alfa

Saturday, December 5
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

Sunday, December 6
The Bitter End
Singer-Songwriter Sessions

Monday, December 7
Google's Lounge
with Cynthia Lin
Come out and hear the smooth, soulful sounds of Dawen performing songs from his recently release album, American Me. For more information, just take a look at the flyer above, or visit Dawen's official website here and his Facebook page here.

lazy link roundup

San Francisco D.A. Kamala D. Harris Talks To Kimberly Marteau About Her New Book Smart On Crime: The Huffington Post has an interview with San Francisco District Attorney (and candidate for California Attorney General) Kamala D. Harris, talking about her recently published book Smart on Crime.

Chinese Americans find community on their radio dial: Pasadena-based KAZN-AM (1300) was the nation's first 24-hour Chinese language radio station and remains the dominant voice in the Chinese American community in Los Angeles.

Center helps Asian Americans combat mental illness: The Asian Pacific Family Center, based in Rosemead, California, provides resources and services to help Asian immigrants battling mental illness -- an issue that is too often misunderstood, invisible and taboo in parts of the community.

Conjuring Genghis Khan: Albert Yu-Min Lin is one of the National Geographic Adventure Magazine's "Adventurers of the Year" for his obsession with the story of conqueror Genghis Khan, which turned into a real-life expedition to create digital projections of the Ikh Khorig -- the "Forbidden Zone" -- of northern Mongolia.

A doctor without borders: The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Abraxis BioScience Chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong, who is putting his billions to work to bridge the gap between science and medicine and to erase the disparities in healthcare between rich and poor.

Vietnam's diaspora urged to return home: Nearly three decades after hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled their country after the Communist victory over the US-backed forces of South Vietnam, the Hanoi government is trying to lure some of the diaspora back to the country to help it modernize.

Hawaii among several destinations luring Chinese: In an attempt to lure Chinese vacationers -- and tourist money -- U.S. destinations are spending significant sums on marketing campaigns in China's most populous regions, and are urging embassy officials and Chinese airlines to ease the logistical burdens of flying to the United States.

Hong Kong director takes on Mulan with real actors: This ain't no Disney movie. More than a decade after Disney made a blockbuster animated tale about the Chinese female folk hero, Hong Kong director Jingle Ma has made a live-action version of Hua Mulan story, starring Zhao Wei and no wise-cracking dragon sidekicks.

Negotiations Begin For Pacquiao-Mayweather: Let the talks begin. Formal negotiations in an effort to make a megafight between pound-for-pound boxing king Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first part of 2010 began last week.

More Asians in TV Spots? It's About Time: No, your eyes do not deceive you -- you have indeed been seeing more Asians in television commercials lately. And not the kung fu chopsocky/foreign businessman variety. We're talking about your average, English-speaking Asians as "regular" people doing "regular" things. I know! Crazy!

wtf trailer: to save a life

This movie trailer, for the indie film To Save a Life, landed in my in-box the other day. Outside of its obvious movie-of-the-week cheese factor (from the looks of it, it's being heavily marketed towards Christian audiences), I'm shaking my head at some of the really troubling racial implications to the story.

In short: Jake, the popular blond, blue-eyed high school teen questions his privilege and status when his childhood friend, Roger -- now a high school outcast -- "walks onto campus with a gun in his pocket and pain in his heart and makes a tragic move." Popular white kid finds himself "looking for the next Roger and reaching out to the outcasts and lonely." This, of course, could cost him his own friends, his girl, and his reputation.

And who is the sad and lonely loner outcast kid Jake reaches out to? The Asian kid, of course. Jonny, the Asian kid -- the most likely suspect to become a school shooter, I suppose. You know he's a loser/loner because he likes to wear his hood. "When Jonny is accused of making a bomb threat to the school, it's Jake who has to decide if his friendship with Jonny is worth the risk of sticking up for him."

I'm sure there are some audiences out there that will gobble up this movie as a moving tale of high school tolerance. And I'm sure the people behind this movie had the best of intentions. That said, I wonder how many teens will emerge from the theater clinging to an extremely misguided moral: hey white kids, be nice to the people of color at your school, because you never know -- they might just be the next school shooter. (Thanks, Oliver.)


jenna ushkowitz sings "true colors" on glee

I know there are a lot of Glee fans out there. Thought I'd share a clip from this week's episode of Glee, where we finally got to see Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) get her own full-fledged solo, singing lead on the glee club's rendition of "True Colors." Also check out this video clip about casting the role of Tina.

ifc's podcast talks ninja assassin and asian actors

Some good for thought... Wanted to point you to the latest edition of the IFC New Podcast: Forbidden Kingdom. This one centers of the release of Ninja Assassin, using it as a jumping off point to discuss the plight of Asian actors in Hollywood:

hot chinese woman sits behind obama, becomes famous

One young Chinese woman has become something of an overnight internet sensation... simply by sitting behind President Barack Obama (and looking pretty, of course): Wang Zifei, 'Beauty In Black Beside Obama,' Becomes A Sensation In China, Speaks Out.

Wang Zifei, a student at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, attended Obama's town hall at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, and happened to have sat in a spot that resulted in her appearing in a number of photos from the event.

Soon after, she became known as the "beauty in black beside Obama." Her appearance and attire -- a now-infamous bright red coat -- caught a lot of people's attention. While initially anonymous, her identity was, of course, uncovered by internet users. And there you have the makings of an internet sensation.

The scrutiny apparently became so intense that Wang eventually broke her silence and came forward on her personal to insist that people stop discussing details of her personal life. Ah, stardom. And all she did was take off her coat. More here: Mystery woman in black behind Obama at the town hall meeting becomes popular and speaks out.

fra black friday t-shirt sale

Real quick, for all you Black Friday deal seekers out there, here's a good one. Our friends at FRA are having a mad sale -- all shirts are just $10! You can get the FRA Signature in red or the wicked cool Nevermind design, or any one of their many cool designs, all for just ten bucks today, Friday.

the casino pilgrimage: a thanksgiving tradition

Ah, Thanksgiving. A holiday full of American traditions. Some get together with family, do the whole turkey-and-stuffing thing. Some get in line early for that crazy Black Friday shopping discount. And some -- many -- Chinese Americans apparently head to the casinos: A Tradition That Cherishes Poker, Not Pumpkin Pie.

Heading to casinos first became a Thanksgiving activity for Chinese immigrants decades ago because the holiday is one of the only days that Chinese restaurants are either run by a skeleton staff or closed. Thousands now make the annual pilgrimage to casinos like Mohegan Sun for pai gow and pop stars.

tiger woods injured in car crash

Don't worry. Tiger's okay. The New York Times is reporting that golfer Tiger Woods has been released from a hospital in good condition after being injured in a car accident early this morning: Tiger Woods Injured in Car Accident, Mayor Says

Initial reports, citing the Florida Highway Patrol, said earlier that Woods' car struck a fire hydrant and a tree in Florida's Isleworth community, near Orlando. They said he was transported to a hospital in Ocoee in serious condition. No one else was in the car.

But if it's confirmed that Woods was only treated for facial lacerations, and is already out of the hospital, I'm guessing it's probably not that serious.

The highway patrol says the crash is still under investigation, and charges are pending. However, the highway patrol said the crash was not alcohol-related. Maybe he ate too much turkey? More here: Woods injured in crash near home.


totally awesome chinese finishing the game poster

This is another one of those too-good-not-to-share images... the 2008 Taiwan/China release poster for Justin Lin's Finishing the Game. The Photoshop job is pretty awful, which, to me, makes it that much more awesome. Enjoy. (Thanks, Roger.)

steve kim running for illinois attorney general

In Illinois, Republican businessman Steve Kim is running for Attorney General in 2010 against two-time incumbent Lisa Madigan, who is seeking re-election to the post she has held since 2003: Illinois Races: Steve Kim for Attorney General.

Kim is the first Asian American to run for statewide office in Illinois as a Republican. He currently works as a legal adviser for small businesses and was a former adviser to Gov. Jim Edgar. Kim has also held executive positions with the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, AT&T and Time Warner Cable.

free downloads from paperdoll

Attention! Fans of free music! Just wanted to make sure you're aware that the super awesome band PaperDoll is giving away free downloads. Every month, they're making a song from their album Ballad Nerd Pop available for free. Rather than paying for the track, they just ask that you recommend it to at least one friend.

You may have heard one of PaperDoll's songs, "If Nothing Happened," playing in a national TV commercial for DayQuil. I saw it the other day and was pretty surprised to recognize the song. It's short, but exposure is exposure.

I'm a fan of this nerdy pop sound, particularly the kickass vocals by ex-opera singer frontwoman Teresa Lee.. To learn and hear more from PaperDoll, go to the band's website here. Also check out their YouTube channel, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

angry reader of the week: clifford song

Time again 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 longtime reader Clifford Song.

crazy cute movie trailer: babies

Yahoo! Movies just dropped this ridiculously cute trailer for Babies, a documentary that follows four babies from around the world -- from birth to first steps. Kind of like Disneynature's Earth, except with, you know, babies. Guaranteed to stir your biological clock.

Among the four kids are Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; and Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan. I imagine the film is a lot of cut shots of kids falling down and stuff. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters in April from Focus Features.

disney's making a chinese high school musical

Who is the Chinese Zac Efron? Disney is reportedly making a Chinese version of its wildly popular High School Musical movie, in an effort to reach the millions of teens in the massive Chinese market: Disney takes 'High School Musical' to China.

Disney High School Musical: China will tell the story (in song!) of two friends who overcome odds to win an inter-school singing competition. Featuring six newcomers, the film will be shot in Shanghai and is scheduled for a summer 2010 release.

The film will be a co-production with Chinese companies Shanghai Media Group and Huayi Brothers Media Corp., allowing Disney to bypass China's annual quota of 20 films that foreign studios can share profits in. It marks Disney's third co-produced film in China after 2007's The Magic Gourd and this year's Trail of the Panda.

This all makes a lot of sense. There's obviously plenty of money to be made in China, and the High School Musical has already proven itself as an international smash hit film franchise, airing in more than 30 languages in some 100 countries.

What's most interesting to me is who's directing. Chen Shizheng is better known as a stage director, but his first feature film was the 2007 independent drama Dark Matter, the story of a troubled Chinese astrophysics student studying in the U.S.

I've seen the original High School Musical movie. It wasn't very good -- I'm definitely not the intended audience. But I'll admit, I'm actually mildly curious to see what a Chinese High School Musical looks like. Probably squeaky clean and fantastically cheesetastic, just like in America, only everybody's Chinese.

the (two) women of red cliff

John Woo's Red Cliff, which opened in theaters in New York last week, opens in more theaters today. In honor of the badass Chinese dudes in the movie, I did a little post highlighting The Men of Red Cliff. People seemed to dig it, so I figured I should give some props to the women too. And so, courtesy of movie's publicity folks, here are The (two) Women of Red Cliff:

Zhao Wei (Sun Shangxiang)

In RED CLIFF, Sun Shangxiang is Sun Quan's (Chang Chen) tomboyish sister who proves herself a brave warrior by disguising herself as a male Cao soldier and acting as a spy. On her return, she provides the East Wu generals with a complete map of the Cao camp, which the allies use to plan their attack.

About Zhao Wei: Born in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China, Zhao Wei (sometimes known as Vicky Zhao) has enchanted audiences the world over. Though she initially planned to be a teacher, Zhao fell in love with film after appearing as an extra in LA PEINTRE (1994), starring Gong Li. She studied under master Chinese director Xie Jin and went on to attend the Beijing Film Academy. While Zhao appeared in both film and television, it was not until 1998 when she starred in the TV drama PRINCESS PEARL (1998) that she got her big break. After giving a striking performance as the eponymous heroine, Zhao became a household name in China.

Since then, she has starred in many critically acclaimed Asian films including Stephen Chiau's SHAOLIN SOCCER (2001); the Wong Kar-wai produced CHINESE ODYSSEY 2002 (2002), which netted her a Golden Horse Award nomination; Corey Yuen's SO CLOSE (2003); and Ann Hui's JADE GODDESS OF MERCY (2003).

In addition to her film and television careers, Zhao is also a popular singer and spokesmodel in China. Outside of her professional endeavors, Zhao is known for her charity work, and she has set up a scholarship fund in Wuhu for children. She recently appeared in Ann Hui's THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT (2006), for which she received a second nomination for a Golden Horse Award.

Chiling Lin (Xiao Qiao)

In RED CLIFF, Xiao Qiao is married to Zhou Yu (Tony Leung), Viceroy of East Wu. Xiao Qiao is known for being the most beautiful woman in all of China. Her father was actually very close with Zhou Yu's rival, Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi), many years ago. It is rumored that Cao Cao's motivation for going to war was really an effort to win Xiao Qiao's heart.

About Chiling Lin: Known as the most beautiful woman in Taiwan, Chiling Lin was born in Taipei. She began modeling as a teenager, before going to Toronto where she attended the University of Toronto and impressively double majored in Western Art History and Economics, proving that she is not just another pretty face.

Upon returning to Taiwan in 1999, she quickly became a popular model, due to her elegant style, innate beauty and beguiling charm. By 2004, she had risen to become the top model in all of Taiwan, as well as achieving great popularity in China and Hong Kong. She is now the spokesmodel for many companies in Asia, including the Swiss watch company Longines and China Airlines.

She is popularly thought of as the Asian Audrey Hepburn, who is, coincidentally, Lin's favorite actor. Respected both for her beauty and intelligence, Lin is also a popular television host. She met director John Woo for the first time when she hosted the Golden Horse Awards in 2005. When Woo met her again a year later, he was so impressed with her talents that he immediately cast her in her first feature film role as Xiao Qiao.

last night, the party was in d.c.

The first state dinner of the Obama White House was a big ol' Indian-themed bash -- the biggest social event of this presidency -- a lavish, high-glitz, star-studded affair in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Sounds like they showed him a good time: Obamas welcome guests with curry at state dinner:
Hours before guests arrived and in keeping with tradition, Mrs. Obama previewed the glamorous table settings in the State Dining Room. That's often the venue for such dinners, but not this time.

Instead, in an effort to show Singh how much the U.S. values relations with his country, the Obamas decided to serve dinner in a huge white tent on the South Lawn, with views of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial through clear panels.

It wasn't your everyday tent: This one had chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and beige carpet on the floor.

President Barack Obama, in his dinner toast, said the setting conjured images of India, where special events are "often celebrated under the cover of a beautiful tent." Singh, in turn, told the president he was overwhelmed by the Obamas' hospitality and said the president's election last year had been an inspiration to millions of Indians.

Magnolia branches native to both India and the U.S. adorned the tent's inside walls, along with ivy and nandina foliage.
The 338-person guest list was a assorted mix of Washington wonks, Hollywood A-listers, prominent figures from the Indian American community, and Obama friends, family and campaign donors. Guests included musician A.R. Rahman, spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra, director M. Night Shyamalan and PepsiCo chairman/CEO Indra Nooyi.

For the dinner, Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless, gold and cream colored sheath dress with an overlay of silver and matching shawl by Naeem Khan. At the State Dining Room event earlier in the day, the first lady wore a skirt by Rachel Roy: Michelle Obama goes glam for state dinner (with a dress by little-known designer Naeem Khan).


reminder: grace kim & the spiders from mars

Just wanted to throw up another plug for Grace Kim & The Spiders From Mars, the very last show of Lodestone Theatre Ensemble's tenth and final season. The show, written by Philip Chung and directed by Jeff Liu, runs Thursday through Saturday, now through December 20 at GTC Burbank.

The play stars Feodor Chin, Elizabeth Ho, Elaine Kao, Jully Lee, Rachel Morihiro, Hanson Tse, Kelvin Han Yee, Junko Goda, Dan Jyung,Christopher Takemoto-Gentile and Tina Tong. After this, Lodestone will be a fun, fond memory. Hey, it's been fun. Here are some details:
under the artistic direction of Philip W. Chung & Chil Kong
proudly presents our final production

The World Premiere of


A new comedy for anyone who's ever felt like they were born on the wrong planet...

Written by Philip W. Chung
Directed by Jeff Liu
Produced by Stephanie Chang, Michael Chih Ming Hornbuckle & Peter J. Wong

Starring: Feodor Chin, Elizabeth Ho, Elaine Kao, Jully Lee, Rachel Morihiro, Hanson Tse, Kelvin Han Yee, Junko Goda, Dan Jyung, Christopher Takemoto-Gentile and Tina Tong.

Inspired by classic screwball comedies, GRACE KIM & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS tells the story of Grace, a young Korean American woman, who has withdrawn from the world after the death of her mother ten years ago. But Grace's life is thrown upside down when she meets her sister's fiancé and falls in love with him. This play was written to be Lodestone's last show of its tenth and final "Beginnings and Endings" season and will be permanently retired after this run.

November 14-December 20, 2009
Thursday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm (NO SHOW THANKSGIVING, NOV. 26)

ALL THURS. SHOWS: 2-for-1 general admission tickets if you say the codeword "Ziggy Stardust" at box office
$12 general admission (Special Low 1999 Ticket Price)
$10 (groups of 10+)
All Sunday matinees (except Dec. 20) are pay-what-you- can ($1 minimum)

GTC Burbank
1111-B W. Olive Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506

The theatre is in George Izay Park between S. Victory Bl. and N. Griffith Park Bl. Park near the jet plane at 1111 W. Olive and walk past the Olive Recreation Center. The theatre is behind the rec center; the entrance faces the softball fields.
This play was written to be Lodestone's last show of its tenth and final "Beginnings and Endings" season and will be permanently retired after this run. After Grace, that's it. Goodbye, Lodestone. For more information about the show, visit the Lodestone website here and their Facebook page here.

the harvard crimson's first chinese american president

Some interesting news out of Harvard... It was announced last week that Peter F. Zhu will lead the newly-elected 137 Guard of The Harvard Crimson, the oldest continuously published daily college newspaper: Zhu To Lead 137th Crimson Guard.

Zhu, a government concentrator from Guilderland, NY and a Cabot House resident, is a news writer and has covered University finances and Allston development. He will assume the president's post at the beginning of January.

I'm told that Zhu is the very first Chinese American president of the Crimson. He is joined on the masthead by the managing editor-elect, Esther I. Yi '11.

The Crimson chooses its leaders through an election process known as "the turkey shoot," in which all outgoing executives are invited to participate. A successful candidate must receive at least 75 percent of the vote.

kleenex "get mommed" campaign features hardass asian mom

Kleenex has got this weird "Get Mommed" campaign going on, where you choose the mom that fits you best from a multi-ethnic, multi-generational assortment of moms -- including an Asian one, Sue, played by CiCi Lau.

Based on her little video intro, she can probably be best described as what the ladies of Disgrasian refer to as a Hardass Asian Mom. Stereotypical tough love. I chose her as my "mom." Not really sure what happens after that. (Thanks, Stephanie.)

evan low expected to be the youngest asian american mayor in the country

Just heard the cool news that next week, Vice Mayor Evan Low is expected to be selected by the City Council to serve as Mayor for the City of Campbell, California. At the age of 26, Evan would be the youngest Asian American mayor in the country.

According to media advisory I received, Low will be selected as Mayor next Tuesday, December 1, 7:15pm at Campbell City Hall.

Evan is a fifth generation Californian and currently serves as Vice Mayor for the City of Campbell. In 2006, at age 23, he became first Chinese American, openly gay, and youngest person ever to hold the position, as well as the youngest openly gay elected official in California.

Low earned his B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University and is a graduate of the Senior Executives in Local and State Government program from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government where he was a Bohnett Leadership Fellow.

And last but not least, earlier this year, Evan was named one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30. The guy is a rising star!

ninja assassin in theaters tomorrow

All right. So Ninja Assassin, starring South Korean mega-popstar Rain, opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow. I had a chance to watch it a couple of weeks back, and basically, it's a big-ass, bloody action extravaganza. Lots of flying sharp objects, severed limbs, and abundant blood splatter. It's also really, really ridiculous.

Hey, the movie is called Ninja Assassin. That should be adequate indication of what you're getting into. If that doesn't do it, the opening scene definitely will. It's not often you see someone's hands get chopped off on the big screen. And as far as I'm concerned, there aren't enough movies with guys swinging around a blade attached to a long-ass chain.

As action movies go, it delivers. If you go into the theater with a desire to see copious amounts of asskicking and decapitation, this is the movie for you. Remember all those awesomely bad ninja movies that came out in the eighties? Ninja Assassin is bringin' back, only with a budget for CGI special effects.

Hell, they even brought in Sho Kosugi for this movie.

The movie goes to great lengths to show how much one should fear the ninja -- mystical, stealthy, lethal. The opens with an old dude who fears their legend so much, he dares not even utter the word "ninja." Ninjas are the like the boogeyman... with throwing stars. Look, I like ninja action as much as the next guy, but this movie is damn silly.

So we've got this big budget Hollywood movie starring an internationally recognized Asian in the leading role. Hooray for Rain, who is not a martial artist by training. He's got moves, but as we know, they're of the dancing variety. But if you want to make it as an Asian actor in Hollywood, you best some learn some martial arts.

And I guess that's my overall problem with the movie. You've got a large number of Asians in the cast. This only happens every so often. But when it does, it's usually just another excuse to bust out samurais, or geishas, or in this case, ninjas, with all the usual exotic, mystical Asian nonsense.

Don't get me wrong -- it's cool to see a strong Asian male protagonist kicking ass. And Rain ain't half bad at standing there and looking badass. This is a good role for him -- very physical, and mostly silent. You just wish Asian actors didn't have to jump through these hoops to have a decent chance at breaking through in the industry.

store owner shoots would-be robber

Whoa, here's one Korean American store owner not to miss with. Last week in Fort Washington, Maryland, John Jang made headlines when he shot and killed a gunman who tried to rob him: After 'don't move,' store owner turns gun on robber.

They're calling it a justifiable homicide -- self defense. Police say two masked gunmen entered The Food Zone convenience mart and announced a robbery. But their plan went horribly wrong when Jang grabbed one of the guns and opened fire:
Jang and police said the incident began about 9:30 p.m., 30 minutes before closing time, when two armed and masked men entered the store in the 12500 block of Livingston Road. One approached the counter, and the other stood peering out the front door, apparently serving as a lookout, Jang said. No customers were in the store, just another employee, he said.

The man at the counter said two words -- "Don't move" -- and shoved his gun through a two-foot-wide opening in the bulletproof glass, Jang said. Jang said he retreated to a corner. That's when the man tried to climb through the opening, Jang said.

Jang said he grabbed the gunman's arm and slapped down on it, causing the gun to fall to the floor.

He squatted to pick it up, and as the man came over the counter, he pulled the trigger. The bullet appeared to hit the man in the chest, Jang said.
Police haven't identified the man who died and said they were looking for the second suspect. While some are calling him a hero, Jang doesn't agree -- he says he was simply defending himself, and is still fairly shaken up that he took another man's life.

This was apparently the third robbery at the Food Zone, although it was the first in almost four years. Jang installed the bullet proof glass after the last robbery. But even after this, he says he won't buy a gun. More here: Store Owner Who Shot Gunman Called Hero.

another dumbass iphone app: meet a chinese girl

Oh hell. Another one of these damn things... The latest in a seemingly endless supply of racist, ridiculous iPhone apps. This one's another winner: MEET A CHINESE GIRL.

Perfect for any lonely sad-sack fetishizing loser who needs that irresistible Chinese pick-up line -- guaranteed to get you that "beautiful Chinese girl." Here's the hilarious official description:

Meet A Chinese Girl WITHOUT Knowing the Chinese Language!

Ever felt frustrated when you met a beautiful Chinese girl who spoke no English?

Or found yourself speechless while dating a Chinese girl?

Not being able to say any words of love?

Fear no more! Here comes an app that helps you get along with Chinese girls WITHOUT having to learn a word of Chinese! Grab this and find your TRUE LOVE !


Tailored to the culture of Mainland China, this is much more than a phrasebook or translator app, with the following GREAT features:

- Great pick-up lines in native Chinese

- Love Phrases adapted to local Chinese culture and thinking.

- Idioms and quotes verified by Beijing Native.

- 99 phrases in three levels of intimacy. More phrases to be added via FREE updates.

- One-off price - Ad-free and no network access required

- Proven Worldwide (Chinese Girls ONLY.Japenese Girls version is coming,be patient )


Download now! Be the master of oriental romance!!
I am not making this up! Not only are the idioms and quotes "verified by Beijing Native," the app has been "Proven Worldwide." Just $2.99! Small price to pay to become the "master of oriental romance." Ugh. This is really sad. That's all I can say.

call for papers: "defining moments: a retrospective on tipping points in the aapi community"

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Asian American Policy Review journal is putting out a Call for Papers. The journal's 20th Anniversary Edition, to be published in Spring 2010, will highlight key moments and "tipping points" in the AAPI community. Maybe you've got something significant to share. Read on:
Defining Moments: A Retrospective on Tipping Points in the AAPI Community

Call for Papers
Deadline: December 10, 2009

The Asian American Policy Review (AAPR) at the Harvard Kennedy School is accepting submissions for its 20th Anniversary Edition, to be published in Spring 2010. Founded in 1989, AAPR is the first non-partisan academic journal in the country dedicated to analyzing public policy issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. This year we are looking for submissions under the theme of "Defining Moments: A Retrospective on Tipping Points in the AAPI Community."

Selection Criteria
AAPR is looking for original academic research, commentaries, feature pieces, and artistic submissions examining past moments, tipping points, and policies that have defined and shaped the AAPI community. We are interested in pieces with relevance and significance to today and the future of the community in the following areas:
- Community Trends (changing demographics)
- Leadership (individual/organizational, mentorship, glass ceilings)
- Identity (intersections of race, gender, socioeconomic status, adoption)
- Civic and Political Engagement (political participation, representation)
- Transnational Migration & Foreign Policy (diasporas, refugees)
- Social Environment & Innovations (civil rights, criminal justice, economics, education, health care, housing policy)

Submissions Guidelines
- All submissions must be based on original work and unpublished
- All submissions must come with a short bio (maximum 300 words) about the author
- Please limit academic articles to less than 7,000 words and policy analyses or commentaries to less than 3,000 words
- All submissions must be formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html)
- Any visuals or graphs must be presented in a way that is easily understandable to the average reader

Submission Directions
We highly prefer online submissions. Please email your submission(s), with the author bio, as an attachment to Clarence Tong, Editor-in-Chief, at aaprjournal@gmail.com
I know there are a lot of Asian American academics out there who probably have something significant to contribute to this particular issue. Don't you want to be published? Yes you do. To learn more about the call for papers, go to the Asian American Policy Review website here.


jude narita & friends: from the heart

Over the weekend I had a moment to meet Jude Narita, who is presenting a one-woman play, From the Heart, which celebrates the lives, and brings to life the dreams, of different Asian and Asian American women. The show runs over the next two weekends in Santa Monica, and performing before the play each night will be a different L.A. artist showcasing their work. Here are all the details:
Rise up from your left-over turkey sandwiches and come on down to see...

Jude Narita & Friends!!!

Celebrating Asian Americans and stompin' on stereotypes!!

Award-winning Jude Narita in her one-woman play "From the Heart" which celebrates the lives, and brings to life the dreams, of different Asian and Asian American women. From a Korean student to a Japanese American woman, a Cambodian woman to a Chinese American, Narita illuminates the universal humanity of us all.

Performing before the play each night will be wonderful L.A. artists whose work Jude loves.

"Narita's performance is lustrous, shining, radiant, and precious." The Georgia Straight, Vancouver

"...funny, sad, shocking, enlightening, empowering, heart-warming and vitally relevant to all of us . . . a consummate work of art and marvelously entertaining." The Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The wonderful artists joining Jude are:

Fri. Nov 27 - singer/musicians Dawen & Sue Jin
Sat. Nov 28 - performance artist D'Lo & singer/musician Sue Jin
Sun. Nov 29 matinee - D'Lo & Dawen
Thur. Dec 3 - performance artist Denise Uyehara & poet Elizabeth Iannaci.
Fri. Dec 4 - Denise Uyehara & poet Amy Uyematsu.
Sat. Dec. 5 - performance artist Dan Kwong & Elizabeth Iannaci.
Sun. Dec. 6 matinee - Dan Kwong & Elizabeth Iannaci.

Also filmmaker/actress Darling Narita will be screening SLAM BAM at the performances.

Evening performances are at 8 PM, Sunday matinees are at 3 PM

After Nov. 26 - $15 General; $12 Students & Seniors
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/88978 or call 1-800-838-3006

The Miles Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln blvd. Santa Monica 90403

Theater parking is at 808 Wilshire, 1/2 block South of the Miles, entrance to underground parking on Lincoln. For map and directions to theater and parking lot, please go to: www.milesplayhouse.org

Street Parking on Lincoln, on theater block. Please check signs.
If you're in the Los Angeles area, and looking to shake off that post-turkey daze with some Asian American empowerment theater, check out Jude's show. For more information about Jude Narita, visit her website here. To purchase some tickets, and learn more about the show, go to Brown Paper Tickets here.

who are the top ten aapi progressives of 2009?

To close 2009 -- without question, a landmark year in American progressive politics -- our friends at Asian Pacific Americans for Progress are putting together another top ten list. This time, their honoring the top Asian Pacific American progressives of 2009, and they need your help: Nominate your top AAPI Progressives 2009:
This is a call-out to community leaders, workers, students, college grads, faculty, staff, government officials, Hollywood, the private sector, etc. who are working tirelessly in advancing progressive values and representing our communities. A panel of progressive peers from APAP will serve as reviewers to evaluate your submissions.

If your submission is selected as one of the top 10 progressives of 2009 then they will be featured at the end of the year on Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. Aside from highlighting the dedication of the work being done in the progressive movement by fellow APAs for Progress you're submission will be eligible for infinite cyber/e-bragging rights.
Who are the key figures who made an impact in 2009? Do you know or know of someone who deserves to be on this list? The deadline to nominate someone is December 14. For more information, and to submit a nomination, go here.

manivore: episode two

Haha... It's episode two of the romantic horror webseries Manivore, starring our friend Grace Su as man-eating (literally) psycho, with guest star C.S. Lee from Showtime's Dexter. In this episode, Annie gets singled out by Chef Roy in class for her lack of culinary skills. But Annie's determined to ace the semester final. Grace, that is gross.

rex lee hears gay/racial jokes on the set of entourage

Actor Rex Lee, who plays Ari Gold's beleauguered assistant Lloyd on HBO's Entourage, recently told TMZ that he's been subjected to occasional racist and homophobic jokes on the set of the show: Rex Lee Says He Hears Gay and Racial Jokes on the Set of Entourage.

I guess this isn't really surprising, particularly on a show like Entourage where Lloyd is on the receiving end of all sorts of offensive, abusive tirades. But you'd like to think that's fiction, and the joking ends there. I guess not.

The remarks apparently originate from members of the crew. When asked why he didn't have the guilty parties fired, Rex said, "that's not the way I work." Classy, though I hope he at least tried to call out and confront what is essentially workplace harassment.

Entourage creator Doug Ellin says he was "shocked and horrified" to learn of the behind-the-scenes humor. (Honestly, what else would he say?) He did say that the situation is "not something condoned or acceptable" and would be dealt with swiftly. Well, yay to that. More here: Gay & Racial Jabs on 'Entourage' Set.

2009 cnn heroes

Check out the list of extraordinary individuals who made it on this year's list of CNN Heroes -- everyday people changing the world. Among them, you've got:

Efren Penaflorida gives Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education. His Dynamic Teen Company's 10,000 members have taught basic reading and writing to 1,500 kids living in the slums.

Budi Soehardi founded a children's home in one of the poorest areas of Indonesia. Today, Roslin Orphanage in West Timor provides food, shelter and education to more than 45 children.

Robina Niaz is helping female Muslim domestic violence victims in New York City. Since 2004 her nonprofit, Turning Point for Women and Families, has provided direct services and support to more than 200 Muslim women.

Shin Fujiyama witnessed extreme poverty while volunteering as a college student in Honduras. Today, his organization Students Helping Honduras has grown to 25 campuses nationwide and raised $750,000 for education and community projects.

And that's just four people on the list. Learn more about these awesome people and their work, and see the rest of the 2009 CNN Heroes at the CNN website here.

judge dismisses miley cyrus lawsuit

Alas, it looks like Miley Cyrus will not be paying (at least not monetarily) for those chink-eye photos. Last week in Los Angeles, a judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing the teen star of discriminating against Asians when she took that now-infamous photo: Judge dismisses Miley Cyrus 'slant eyes' suit.

Last February, Lucie Kim sued the Hannah Montana star after that damned photo popped up on the internet, with Miley and oh-so-smug friends gleefully pulling their eyes back to make that racist face we all know and love. The international gesture for "chink."

Kim's lawyer sued 16-year-old Cyrus under a statute that prohibits businesses from discriminating against minorities. She claimed that the Disney star -- in truth, a multimillion dollar brand -- "should have known that her image would be publicly disseminated via the media, which focuses on her private life."

However, L.A. Superior Court Judge Robert Sohigian said he wasn't convinced Cyrus had violated a state law protecting citizens from discrimination by businesses. Cyrus's lawyers said the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act, cited by Kim's attorney, related to access to public accommodation and is not intended to provide redress for racial insults.

To be honest, while I admire the sentiment behind the lawsuit, I didn't have a lot of confidence that it would get very far. I see that photo, and I see racist mockery grinning back at me. For most everybody else, it's just a picture of stupid kids having goofy fun. Forgotten by the end of the year, and Miley Cyrus endures as one of the most popular teens in America. Same old story.

asian kid channels calvin

Here's a little bit of fun for your Monday... Saw this hilarious photo, and had to share it. If the kid from Calvin and Hobbes was Asian, and had a webcam, this is probably what he'd look like. (Thanks, Victor.)

katherine heigl's "adoptable critters"

You might have heard that actress Katherine Heigl and her husband recently adopted a baby girl from South Korea. Hooray for them. But does anyone else find it in extremely bad taste that they made the announcement about the adoption and posted photos of their baby on Heigl's animal adoption foundation website?

It's all right there -- adorable photos of 10-month old Nancy Leigh ("Naleigh") on The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation's news section... right alongside announcements in support of animal rescue organizations and invitations to "get your dog fixed for free" and "meet some of our adoptable critters." You make the connection.

I know this was a couple of months ago, but it's still up there on the site. Putting an announcement about the adoption of a human child between posts about dog and cat adoption events? A rather frightening display of ignorance. At the very least, it's extremely insensitive on the part of whoever was responsible for posting the news.

I'd like to think that Katherine Heigl, not only the new mother of an adopted Korean baby, but whose sister was also adopted from Korea, would have a better understanding of transnational adoption and its issues. For your reference, there's a handy contact form here to leave some constructive feedback...

Here's the final word from Sara, an adoptee herself, who pointed this whole thing out to me: "I am angered and saddened that Katherine Heigl, her family, her publicist, and those involved in posting the announcement would think this was an acceptable course of action. Their daughter is a human being, not a stray dog or a lost cat."


yellowface ching chong nonsense on saturday night live

Did you catch the cold open on Saturday Night Live this weekend? I can't believe someone thought this was a good idea. You've got a very Caucasian Will Forte as Chinese President Hu Jintao, doing some seriously godawful ching chong, alongside Nasim Pedrad, rocking an equally ass-awful accent as his "translator."

This alone is pretty painful. Whatever joke they're going for is completely sabotaged by the fact that everyone is thinking, "Hey, those two aren't Asian." (At least they didn't tape their eyes back.) But it goes on, with this tired, drawn-out joke about "do sex to me" and Hu literally bending over in front of "Obama."

I don't understand how this kind of racial mockery flies on national broadcast television. Is this not yellowface? No, they didn't use "Oriental" makeup, but there's no denying that the effect is there -- insulting ching chong and all. At the very least, awkward bare minimum, would it have been that hard to get an actual Asian man to just stand there for six minutes?

And yes, I fully acknowledge that there's also been something rather uncomfortable about watching Fred Armisen play Barack Obama for the last couple of seasons. Hell, the whole thing was uncomfortable.

lazy link roundup

'2012' a home run with patriotic fans in China: The Hollywood disaster flick 2012 has apparently become a runaway hit in China. Why? Because when doomsday comes, the Chinese will be the ones stepping up to the save the world.

Chinese-Americans see Obama's trip in unique light: President Obama's trip to China underscored the rapidly growing interdependence between the two nations -- a relationship that resonates with Chinese Americans, for better or for worse.

U.S. Presses China in Case of Geologist: The Chinese government has held American oil geologist Xue Feng on suspicion of stealing state secrets for nearly two years, prompting President Obama to raise the issue during his visit to Beijing last week.

Cultural factors help limit recession's impact: While the recession has been brutal for just about every segment of the population, Asian Americans have apparently had the lowest jobless rate every month since 2000, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking monthly unemployment among Asians.

Nien Cheng dies at 94; survivor of torture during China's Cultural Revolution: Chinese American author Nien Cheng, whose best-selling book Life and Death in Shanghai described her imprisonment and torture during China's Cultural Revolution, died earlier this month in Washington, D.C. She was 94.

The Talented Mr. Pang: The Wall Street Journal has an interesting profile on Danny Pang, the disgraced Orange County fund manager accused of massive international fraud who died in September, leaving behind a still-unraveling scandal that cost his investors as much as $600 million.

Asian American studies celebrates 10 years at NU: Happy anniversary to Northwestern University's Asian American studies department, which was established ten years ago as a result of a hunger strike organized by Asian Americans students in 1995.

Crimson's Jeremy Lin forges new hoop path for Asian players: Another story on star Harvard guard Jeremy Lin, who is definitely one of the best things going for Asian Americans in basketball, Division 1 or otherwise.

Interview: Behind the seams with fashion designer Jason Wu: Here's an interview with red-hot fashion designer Jason Wu, who shot to stardom overnight when first lady Michelle Obama wore his gown on inauguration night.

6-Year-Old Whiz Kid Called Human Calendar: Six-year-old William Dam is a normal boy with one very extraordinary skill: Give him any A.D. date on the calendar -- past or future -- and he'll tell you on which day of the week it falls.

cold case takes it down to chinatown

Awwww snap. Watch out now. Asian people on TV! Tonight's episode of Cold Case is... you guessed it -- the Chinatown episode! Every cop procedural drama eventually takes it down to Chinatown (/Koreatown/Little Saigon/etc). A handful of Asian actors get to work for a week, and we get to see the familiar hanging red lanterns of Chung King Road once again.

This episode, titled "Chinatown," they investigate "the 1983 case of a teenager who was killed before he could get justice for his slain girlfriend." It promises all sorts of tattooed, gun-totin' Chinese gangsters and Ancient Chinese Secrets. The preview takes it to eleven with the dragon graphics, ching chongy music, and a gong for good measure. You know, just another day in Chinatown.

UPDATE: It appears that CBS has pulled down the video preview, both from the network website and YouTube. Wonder why. You can still watch some clips from the "Chinatown" episdode here.

tim lincecum wins second straight cy young award

Giants pitcher has won the National League Cy Young Award for the second straight year, emerging from one of the tightest votes in the history of the award to become the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson: Giants' Lincecum wins second consecutive Cy Young.

This was one of the closest Cy Young votes ever. In balloting that assigned five points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place vote and one for a third-place nod, Lincecum totaled 100 points and 11 first-place votes. He edged St. Louis right-handers Chris Carpenter (nine first-place votes, 94 points) and Adam Wainwright (12 first-place votes, 90 points): Lincecum's the one; that makes two Cys.

Lincecum, nicknamed "The Freak" for his giant stride, led the NL with 261 strikeouts and tied for the league lead with four complete games and two shutouts.

The honor is noteworthy because of Lincecum's 15 victories -- the fewest for a Cy Young starter over a non-shortened season. More here: Twice as nice: Tim Lincecum wins second straight Cy Young.

I guess the pot charges didn't really hurt his Cy Young chances. Last week, Lincecum released a statement addressing his marijuana charges from a traffic stop last month in Washington. He apologized and expressed regret for his actions: Lincecum on pot possession: "I made a mistake."

eddie chan, asian mohawk guy in times square

I heard from Eddie Chan, who identifies himself as the guy in the Windows 7 ad I mentioned the other day. Despite looking like a bit of a tough guy, he describes himself as "fun and outgoing." Anyway, check Eddie's mohawked mug on this gigantic billboard in Times Square.


mark your calendars: lost has a premiere date

The powers that be have announced that the sixth and final season of Lost will kick off with a two-hour premiere on February 2, 2010, in its new regular time slot, Tuesdays at 9:00pm. Let the countdown begin: This just in: And the 'Lost' premiere date is...

ABC's press release also revealed who among the show's cast will receive full-time, series-regular billing in season six. Among them: Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Ken Leung and Zuleikha Robinson (looks like Ilana will be back). That's five -- count 'em! -- five official series regulars of Asian descent on a prime-time network TV show.

Whoa. It just hit me. The official premiere date signals the beginning of the end. There are just eighteen episodes left of this kickass show I've been following faithfully for a good chunk of the last five years -- arguably one of the most important TV shows of this decade. Will there be enough to wrap up all the loose ends? Can't wait to find out.

reminder: banana, a big-ass blogger gathering

Just wanted to remind everyone about BANANA, the big ol' gathering of bloggers happening tomorrow -- Saturday, November 21 -- at University of Southern California. The whole thing has been assembled by Steve Nguyen and Lac Su, author of the recently published memoir I Love Yous Are For White People, who wanted to get "infamous Asian American bloggers" (his words, not mine) together for a roundtable discussion.

I'll be there, along with 8Asians, AArising.com, Alpha Asian, Antisocial Ladder, Asian American Movement, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress, AZNRaps, Bicoastal Bitchin', Channel APA, DVAN, Hyphen, Kimchi Mamas, Minority Militant, Mochi Magazine, Neaato, Nikkei View, POP88, Sepia Mutiny, Soompi, VisualizAsian and others. Like I said, epic. Here are some details:
BANANA: November 21
Where Infamous Asian-American Bloggers Unite to Chop It Up

Saturday, November 21, 2009
3:00pm - 6:00pm

University of Southern California
University Park Campus, Taper Hall, Room 201
Los Angeles

Before I start...can it be more EPIC than this?

I'm Lac Su, author of a recently published memoir titled "I Love Yous Are For White People". I would like invite you to an event I'm organizing called BANANA, a FIRST-EVER gathering and round-table discussion/panel of infamous Asian American bloggers; where we will get into important discussions about the future of our voice, where it will lead to, and how we can come together to find common grounds and focused endeavors to voice our opinions about relevant issues affecting our community. Why? Because the time is a-changing. We rise.

Steve Nguyen, a television/film producer and head of the Los Angeles ChannelAPA.com division, will be there to co-host and capture the event on film to help promote our voices and to introduce the faces behind such blogs.

The event will be at U.S.C. (University Park Campus - Taper Hall, Room 101) on November 21st in the afternoon. Folks from different culture, race, ethnicity, religion, educational background, social economic status, age, gender, profession... ANYONE & EVERYONE ARE ALL INVITED.
I have no idea what's going to happen when you get everyone together in one room like this. In any case, it'll be cool to meet everyone. And hey, you're invited too! The event is free, and all are welcome. For more information about BANANA, go to the Facebook event page here. Hope to see you there.

model daul kim found dead in apparent suicide

20-year-old South Korean fashion model Daul Kim was found dead in Paris yesterday in an apparent suicide: 20-Year-Old Model Daul Kim Is Dead.

The 5-foot-10 Kim was a fixture at fashion weeks in Paris, London, Milan and New York, where she modeled for the likes Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Anna Sui, and appeared in several international versions of Vogue.

Kim's body was found Thursday morning in her apartment by a friend, who alerted police. Paris police are investigating the cause of death, but media reports are saying it's mostly likely she committed suicide.

She was known for her quirky style and was an accomplished painter and filmmaker. She was also known for blog, I Like to Fork Myself. More here: South Korean Model Daul Kim Found Dead In Paris .

reminder: east villagers thanksgiving challenge

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I thought I'd throw out another plug for East Villagers, an online community dedicated to non-profit organizations, their projects and volunteers' life-changing stories, by integrating web 2.0 functions to promote a spirit of service, volunteerism, philanthropy, networking, and sharing of resources.

Anyone can share their life-changing stories and impact people all around the world. East Villagers allows users to share experiences with friends and family through blogs, images, and videos. Through these first hand experiences, villagers can inspire others to make a difference.

A week before Thanksgiving, members of East Villagers will have an opportunity to donate their points to their favorite nonprofits. On Thanksigiving Day, the top 15 nonprofit organizations with the most points will receive a total donation of $10,000 dollars from the Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation:

Thanksgiving Challenge Prizes
First Place Winner - $2000
Second Place Winner - $1500
Third Place Winner - $1000
Fourth Place Winner - $800
Fifth Place Winner - $700
6th - 15th Place Winners - $400
Total Prize: $10,000

This week, you have an opportunity to donate your hard earned points to the causes you are most passionate about. Hey, it's Thanksgiving. You'll be able to show them how thankful you are that they exist and are doing amazing things all around the world. Click here to fill out the donation form. And to learn more about the Thanksgiving Points Challenge, visit the East Villagers website here.

angry reader of the week: kristina wong

All right, sexy people. Time to meet another 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 our dear friend, the wacky Kristina Wong.

john cho is one of the sexiest men alive (again)

Look who made People magazine's annual "Sexiest Men Alive" list... again. None other than John Cho, star of FlashForward, Star Trek, and of course, Harold and Kumar. You did it again, John. He previously made the list in 2006, and he's still apparently hot enough to grace the pages of People again:

He's gone from stoner hero in the Harold and Kumar movies to hot FBI agent in FlashForward - a role that comes with a sexy walk "if you're carrying a real gun. When it's on your hip, you lead differently; your hands go to different places," says Cho, 37.
Yippee. Very insightful. The gallery's only a sampling of guys who made the "Sexiest Men" issue. Don't know if any other Asian American dudes made the list this year, so I guess you'll have to pick up the physical issue to find out. All I know is, if Daniel Henney is not on the list, that's a damn shame.

By the way, have you been watching FlashForward? The show has its flaws, and it ain't no Lost, but I'm definitely committed this story and the characters. John's character Demetri Noh easily has the most compelling, interesting story line, and he's pretty damn good in it too. Catch it Thursday nights on ABC.

obama's got the moves

Who needs a Nobel Peace Prize when you've got an honorary taekwondo belt? As part of his eight-day trip to Asia, President Obama visited South Korea and met with President Lee Myung-bak. To commemorate his first visit to the country, he was presented with an honorary taekwondo belt. Then he showed off a taekwondo punch. Whoa, Mr. President. Leave that to Secret Service.

publisher pulls the plug on deadly viper

Some major news regarding the Deadly Viper Character Assassins controversy... The publisher, Zondervan, has released a statement not only apologizing for the book's exploitative characterizations and visual representations, but also announcing that they are pulling the book and the curriculum in their current forms from stores permanently. Here's the statement:
November 19, 2009

Zondervan Statement Regarding Concerns Voiced About "Deadly Viper: Character Assassins"

From Moe Girkins, President and CEO

Hello and thanks for your patience.

On behalf of Zondervan, I apologize for publishing Deadly Viper: Character Assassins. It is our mission to offer products that glorify Jesus Christ. This book's characterizations and visual representations are offensive to many people despite its otherwise solid message.

There is no need for debate on this subject. We are pulling the book and the curriculum in their current forms from stores permanently.

We have taken the criticism and advice we have received to heart. In order to avoid similar episodes in the future, last week I named Stan Gundry as our Editor-in-Chief of all Zondervan products. He will be responsible for making the necessary changes at Zondervan to prevent editorial mistakes like this going forward. We already have begun a dialogue with Christian colleagues in the Asian-American community to deepen our cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Zondervan is committed to publishing Christian content and resources that uplift God and see humanity in its proper perspective in relation to God. We take seriously our call to provide resources that encourage spiritual growth. And, we know there is more to learn by always listening to our critics as well as our advocates.

It would be unfair to take these actions without expressing our love and support for the authors of this book, Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite. Both gentlemen are gifted writers and passionate about their ministry. We do believe their message is valuable and plan to work with the authors to come up with a better presentation of that message. We will jointly ensure we do our due diligence on the appropriateness of the creative side. This will include reaching out to a broad spectrum of cultural experts.

Finally, I want to personally thank Professor Rah, Ken Fong, Eugene Cho and Kathy Khang for their input and prayers during this discussion. We appreciate everyone's concern and effort and look forward to working together for God's kingdom.


I have to say, considering what's transpired in the past with racist, ignorant Christian curriculum like Rickshaw Rally, this is a pretty surprising turn of events. I was expecting business as usual. I'm particularly impressed that Zondervan is not only taking full responsibility, but making the necessary changes internally to prevent editorial missteps like this in the future.

Big props and thanks to activists like Professor Soong Chan Rah, Pastor Eugene Cho and Kathy Khang, who all had an extremely vocal and vital role in pushing for dialogue with the publisher and authors of Deadly Viper. They each have posts on their own blogs regarding these recent developments. And you know what? Thank you to Zondervan, for doing the right thing.

UPDATE: The Deadly Viper Character Assassins website has been taken down and replaced with this letter from the authors:
To our Friends and Family:

Due to an unfortunate conflict that arose around our use of Asian American themes, we have decided to close this chapter of Deadly Viper Character Assassins. This decision has been a very difficult one for us and one that we did not take lightly.

For the past 2 years we have had the honor to be part of an incredible movement of advocating for radical integrity and grace. We have been deeply humbled hearing your stories of how Deadly Viper has impacted your life, family, and relationships.

We and our team will continue to commit our lives to the message of integrity, grace, and most of all becoming People Of The Second Chance.

We thank you for your prayers, support, and kindness through this season.

We love you.

Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite
Again, thank you to the publisher and the authors for doing the right thing.

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