Get to know the writers who make 8Asians possible! Joz started the “Meet the 8Asians” series a while back when she introduced our then resident heartthrob Brian. Now meet some of our new writers on staff, such as Lianne, Asian America’s down-to-earth sweetheart.
I’ll be honest. I hunted her down. Didn’t I, Lianne? Okay. So 8A kind of has a crush on Lianne Lin. I mean, don’t you? Stunning, beautiful inside and out, funny, isn’t afraid to make fun of herself, and has whip-smart substantive points of view to offer on the Asian American experience, how do you not have a crush on her?
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Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero are basically two halves of the same film. Zero came out in the U.S. last fall, and Hero just came out a couple weeks ago. These movies had kung fu, steam punk, and a video game rpg-like quality to it. It had so much promise to be a really awesome fusion of some really cool elements. The first half, Tai Chi Zero, seemed to start out okay. The kung fu action was good, and I especially enjoyed the geometric graphic explanations of the techniques. The steam punk aspect was pretty fun, and as far as I know, it is the only steampunk kung fu movie out there. But here’s where the awesome stops and the bad begins.
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Superstition and fortune telling has a long history in Chinese culture. I’ve written about some of my family’s own experiences with a fortune teller in The Chopstick Story with regard to how an aunt and and an uncle of mine were given away for adoption due to the predictions of a fortune teller. Some have questioned how my grandmother could have so strongly believed the predictions of a fortune teller to give away her own children, and I’m often left wondering the same thing. But I also know my own parents were strong believers in Chinese superstition and various members of my own family practice their own fortune telling, like numerology and the I-Ching.
Researchers in China have recently discovered that back in the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC to 1046 BC), fortune tellers were able to use tricks to pre-determine the outcome of their divinations. Chinese fortune tellers used to burn turtle shells and cattle bones, and based on the crack patterns that emerged during the burning process, predict the future. It turns out you can control the appearance of the crack patterns based on saw and cut marks in the bones or shells, thus creating your own predictable outcome.
Why would this be so important?
Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released their report on the Current Population Survey November Voting and Registration Supplement, that studies demographic voter turnout in the most recent presidential election cycle.
The big news from this report was that for the first time ever, African American voter turnout rate exceeded the white voter turnout rate—66.2% versus 64.1% for a presidential election and increased from 2008 to 2012. However, what got lost in this news was that although Asian Americans did vote at the highest percentage to re-elect President Obama than any other group at 73% , was that Asian Americans also have the lowest voter turnout amongst all races, at 47.3% of registered Asian American voters (2nd lowest was Hispanics at 48%). But I guess this is old news after the four presidential election cycles.
It’s the last week that the Asian Art Museum is exhibiting its Terracotta Warrior exhibit. Be part of a special group event organized by Datepress, which includes a private showing for a small group followed by dinner arranged for each couple / pair afterwards. Grab your partner and travel to the Qin-era where you will enjoy wine and appetizers before a guided tour of the Warrior’s exhibit and then finish the evening with a customized pre-fixe dinner at Cafe Asia.
6:15 pm: Enjoy a glass of wine and some hot appetizers at the Museum’s Cafe Asia.
6:45 pm – 7:45 pm: Your tour guide will walk you through the Warriors’ exhibit
7:45 pm – 9:00 pm: Main Course Prix Fixe and a Dessert (optional wine pairing)
Among architectural achievements throughout history, some of the most staggering are monuments to the afterlife. The underground palaces and Terracotta army of China’s First Emperor, buried for more than 2,000 years, are perhaps the most mysterious.
The exhibit features ten of the terracotta figures and a host of spectacular artifacts unearthed from the First Emperor’s tomb. The warriors are strikingly realistic and through them, the exhibition examines the First Emperor’s controversial reign and its legacy in present-day China.
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is uniquely positioned to lead a diverse, global audience in discovering the distinctive materials, aesthetics and intellectual achievements of Asian art and cultures, and to serve as a bridge of understanding between Asia and the United States and between the diverse cultures of Asia.
Ok, ok, you just want to know how to win the tickets? Read on!
“The suit had been brought by the parents of Ying Wu and Ming Qu, two electrical engineering graduate students from China who were gunned down in an off-campus neighborhood last April during what police believe is was a botched robbery. The shootings shook the USC student body and generated discussion over safety in and around the South L.A. campus. The parents filed a lawsuit that claimed the USC website misled the students by touting the school’s safety and security measures, including off-campus security guards. But Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson ruled the suit was factually insufficient.”
The victims’ parents seem to blame the university’s misleading safety claim for the death of their loved ones. So the logic is to find out whether the safety claim is misleading and whether it was what killed the two students.
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The it’s ok Campaign is an effort to battle the stigma of depression and mental illness in Asian American communities. This project run by the Corporate Asian American Employee Network (CAAEN) will center its efforts around their Facebook page, where they will provide articles and statistics about mental health along with links to mental health providers and community groups. The message of it’s ok is that is okay to ask for help with mental health issues. it’s ok has also created an online forum where people can anonymously share their feelings or stories about mental health.
Asian American women 65 and older have the highest suicide rate of any American ethnic group of women. This New America Media story about the campaign also cites statistics that say Chinese immigrants have a depression rate of 34% compared to 9% in the general population. Despite these facts, many mental health services that target Asian Americans are underutilized. “The stigma is so great,” says Sylvia X. Bhatia, one of the campaign’s seven founders.
It’s ok launched on May 10. The campaign will focus first on the San Francisco Bay Area and then look to expand through the US.
Wow, it seems like another week, another Din Tai Fung is opening. I saw a friend on Facebook post this news and was wondering, what is going on and why isn’t there a Din Tai Fung in the San Francisco Bay Area:
“Just about every day, customers crossing the bridges to Bellevue ask David Wasielewski when Din Tai Fung will come to Seattle. Now, the store’s managing partner has an answer for them: The wildly popular dumpling house, founded in Taiwan and franchised around Asia, will open a new branch in University Village later this year. … The new Din Tai Fung, expected to open around November, will be on the second floor of a new six-story restaurant, retail, and parking complex being developed at the shopping center. It will be slightly larger than the Eastside space — 8,500 to 9,000 square feet, compared with 7,000 in Bellevue — but will have a similar sleek decor, menu and signature “dumpling showroom” outside the front entrance.”
There is a Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, not too far from Seattle, which I have been to a few times in 2012 when I had a few business trips to visit the Redmond giant, which was pretty decent. I of course had some Xiao Long Bao, and also some shaved ice, which I hadn’t had in a loooong time.
Do you live on planet Earth and have a poetic streak? Well, here’s the chance of a lifetime, even if you are a terrible poet. Write up a haiku poem to Mars, submit it to the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), and voilà, your name will be on a DVD flying to Mars with the MAVEN. If you’re one of the top three that win the public vote, your whole haiku poem will be sent to Mars. Deadline is July 1st, 2013. Public voting starts July 15.
NPR’s Dave Mittingly has a pretty inspiring one:
Mars, you planet red
No life, just craters and ice
Dark, dark, dark, dark, goose
A little message
from the Blue Planet to you
we are on our way
Eat your heart out Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz.
Happy haiku-ing everyone!
Because May is Asian Pacific Heritage month, I wanted to write about all the people I assumed or rather wanted to believe were Asian/Pacific Islander. Some of these are more benign than others but they all stem from the simple fact that as a child (and as an adult) I wanted there to be more people that resembled me in politics and entertainment.
Do you have any non-Asian Asians I should included? Leave a comment and let me know.
Follow me on Twitter @ksakai1
00:00 – 03:00 – Welcome & Intro by Nicki Sun
03:00 – 17:45 – Interview with Far East Movement (FM)
17:45 – 19:50 – FM’s opening remarks
19:50 – 22:55 – Beastie Boys tribute
22:55 – 24:50 – Additional remarks by FM – from interns to artists
24:50 – 28:50 – Girls on the Dancefloor
28:50 – 30:40 – Additional remarks by FM – hitting number one on Billboard
30:40 – 35:05 – Like a G6
35:05 – 36:58 – Additional remarks by FM – being a dreamer
36:58 – 40:25 – Rocketeer
40:25 – 41:25 – Additional remarks by FM – on persistence and being positive
41:25 – 42:40 – Rhyme on FM’s journey
42:40 – 47:30 – Live My Life
47:30 – 48:50 – Additional remarks by FM – thanks and intro on Turn on the Love
48:50 – 55:20 – Turn on the Love
55:20 – 56:03 – Thank you by FM and closing remarks by Nicki Sun
As you may or may not have heard, as part of the celebration for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Macy’s announced the hosting of Far East Movement (“FM”) for a series of performances and appearances across the country “geared toward highlighting and celebrating the unique influence of Asian-Pacific Americans on American culture and pop music.”
While most of us are aware there’s a new healthcare law coming, there’s probably few among the non-native speakers of English that really understand how it affects them. That’s why it’s so important the presentation titled “The Health Care Law and You” has been translated into 10 different Asian languages. This resource has been translated by the Office of Public Engagement at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services into the following languages: Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, Bengali, Hmong, Khmer, Samoan and Tongan. Those of you that need an English version can find one here.
In addition, the APIAHF (Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will also be co-sponsoring in-language webinars in all 10 languages at the end of May. Information on how to sign up for these webinars isn’t available yet, but should be soon. We plan on updating this post with the information once it’s available.
I was personally moved to write about the availability of these new materials, since my own parents were immigrants and came to the United States with little understanding of how health insurance worked. My dad was fortunate enough to be employed with a job that included health insurance. But no one ever explained to him how insurance worked, insurance was a concept and product that wasn’t known about in Taiwan. So for the first few years we lived in the U.S. and needed to see a doctor, or get medical services, my father paid the bills out of his own pocket, not understanding the procedure to get reimbursed for his expenses. For our family this was a huge burden as my father didn’t get paid much to begin with, and our family was counting every penny. I wish there were resources available back then to explain insurance to my dad.
So if you know someone doesn’t speak English as a primary language, and could use help understanding the new health care law, be sure to point them to these resources, and have them check this blog or the APIAHF website for an update on when the webinars will be available.