This past Saturday December 7th, 2013, professional MMA fighter Miriam Nakamoto took on Lauren Murphy for the InvictaFC7 inaugural bantam weight championship belt. In this five round championship bout, Nakamoto not only looked like she bulked up on strength more than ever before, but she also clearly dominated the first and second rounds, allowing very few of Murphy’s strikes to get in, controlling the fight, and keeping it mostly stand up, which is where she dominates. She also got some pretty sweet throws on Murphy. Just look at the guns on Nakamoto as she strikes Murphy.
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This week, Buzzfeed ran an article on a photography project from the photographer Kiyun, where she asked students from the Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus to “write down an instance of racial microagression they have faced.” If you haven’t heard the term “Microagressions”, it is a term used by Columbia professor Derald Sue, referring to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color”.
Buzzfeed displayed 21 of the photos taken by Kiyun, each with a person holding the relevant phrase or discussion that they had faced. Phrases ranged from “No, where are you REALLY FROM?” held by an Asian woman to “So, like what are you?” held by a man of ambiguous racial background. Many of these hit home for me as ones I’ve also heard, and some were outside enough of my own experience that they did make me stop and think about what it would have been like to be that person and hear those words.
Today, I’m mostly sheltered in my comfortable life, living in a California liberal enclave, surrounded by my loving friends and family, and mostly just having a regular day-to-day routine. But just this last month I could have been in Kiyun’s project holding a card of my own.
“So you speak really good English, I don’t even hear an accent.” Those words jolted me into instant defensive mode. It’s not that I haven’t heard those exact same words most of my life. What brought my nerves instantly on edge was the setting and the person who was asking me the question. I happened to be in Paris, France, one of the most egalitarian and diverse cities in the world. I was seated next to a co-worker, sharing a meal at a hotel restaurant during a break from a corporate training session. The person asking me the offending question was a citizen of the Netherlands, and had just disclosed to me that she was married to a German, and she herself was of Persian descent, a native speaker for Farsi, and also spoke English and German. We had just finished a discussion about my 8 year old daughter and her dislike of Chinese school. This was the last setting I expected to hear a comment about my mastery of the English language.
I may be 46 years old, but those words brought me instantaneously back to my childhood when I was ridiculed for being different, for looking different, bringing the strange lunch, dressing in the strange hand me down clothes my family could afford. But I didn’t let my feelings or my thoughts show on my outward appearance. If there’s one thing that age has taught me, it is patience and tolerance of others as well as an understanding and pride of my own differences. And I remind myself, words are just words, and the person speaking them doesn’t realize the damage they cause, and had no intent to harm anyone with their words.
Manny Pacquiao might be currently be the world’s most famous Filipino, but before he could train with well known trainers like Freddie Roach (shown here to the left), he was an unknown skinny 17 year old who had run away from home because his mother did not have enough money to raise him and his 5 other siblings. This sequence of 18 photos from Gerhard Joren shows the young Pacquiao at working out at the LM Gym in Manila.
(photo credit: Frederick Manligas Nacino under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)
For the past few months, I’ve been on a 1200 calorie baseline diet, which means I try to keep my daily calorie net intake at 1200, just enough to keep myself alive while maintaining a 500 calorie deficit. On days I don’t work out, I don’t eat more than 1200, but on days I do work out, I can eat more. So I’ve been calorie counting with My Fitness Pal, and what’s cool about the ap is that it has a lot of Asian foods on the menu, a staple in my diet.
At an LA Chinatown celebration, a friend of mine bought me a ham sui gok, a dim sum dish that is basically a fried starchy dumpling with meat inside. It’s one of my favorite dim sum dishes because it’s sweet, savory, and chewy. I popped it in my mouth, then pulled out my phone to log in the calories on My Fitness Pal, and it came up as 330 calories. I gawked at the count. It shouldn’t have surprised me so much how many calories it is because it’s fried and starchy and oily. Of course it’s going to be dense in calories, but mentally, I think of dim sum as a snack because, well, that’s what dim sum translates into in English. So a snack that’s 330 calories each? That’s worse than soda or a Snicker’s bar.
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After managing to alienate significant numbers of Asians, Asian Americans, Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics, overweight, and disabled people, Abercrombie & Fitch has found – surprise – that declining sales forced it into a quarterly loss. In an attempt to regain some lost sales, the company has slightly retreated on its position of catering only to what the company’s CEO calls the “all American beautiful people” by now including sizes for larger people. Abercrombie & Fitch is a case study of what happens can happen when a company doesn’t pay proper attention to the diversity of its potential customers.
Diversity can apply to many facets of people. Racial diversity is one aspect. In 2002, these Abercrombie & Fitch T-Shirts playing on stereotypes managed to infuriate many Asian Americans. Asians were upset by this model (shown below) brought into South Korea to open up one of their Hollister subsidiary’s stores and who later mocked Koreans over twitter. Lawsuits have been brought by Hispanics and African Americans who say they weren’t hired or were only to work away from customers because they didn’t have the “right image.” Abercrombie & Fitch targets 18-24 year olds, but that demographic is increasingly non-white in the US, not to mention already that way in the rest of the world. Why would they want to alienate a growing segment of potential customers, especially one that has large and increasing buying power?
8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
WHAT: Kickstarter project: Caffe Borsa: Single Serve Pour-Over Coffee (no machine required!)
Although Caffe Borsa is already on the market (available at Whole Foods or on Amazon in Premium Sumatra, Premium Guatemala, or Decaf), their customers have been asking for flavored coffees. This Kickstarter campaign has been launched so that they can develop a more advanced filter which will allow them to bring new flavored/blended coffee lines to the market.
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Wednesday, Dec 18, 8:18pm PST.
Scott Choi and Jim Song are two co-founders, who are passionate coffee and tea connoisseurs. We thought that conventional single serve coffee system was cumbersome and expensive as well as bad for the environment. We believe that coffee should be enjoyed without boundaries.
What is Caffe Borsa Hand Drip Coffee?
Caffe Borsa Hand Drip coffee is made using a special paper material technology, “Borsa Filter,” designed to create gourmet-quality coffee in your cup, each and every time. The speed at which the water slowly drips through the filter has been scientifically perfected to ensure each cup has the ideal coffee flavor.
- Benefit #1: Convenience
No messy & difficult machinery. No storing filters, and No decanters to clean. No pressure to brew within 2 weeks from purchase, and No hassle to store in a vacuum container – It’s already air-tight & sealed. No need to worry about spooning the right portion size of ground beans every time.
- Benefit #2: Portability
Great for the office, for traveling and even in the great outdoors
- Benefit #3: Green
How many cups do you actually drink out of a 1 lb. coffee bag before it goes stale? With Caffe Borsa Single Serve Hand Drip Coffee, there is no waste of beans. Since you brew a single cup on demand, Caffe Borsa coffee is always fresh, and there is no need to keep the “over-brewed” coffee warm in a coffee pot and waste electricity for hours at a time. The Borsa filter and box are also recyclable.
How does it work?
As you saw in our introductory video above, you pour hot water into the drip filter, and it brews the coffee beans as it’s dripping, so when you remove the filter from your cup, the coffee is already finished. All you need to do is drink. The difficult steps have been removed by the nature of our “Borsa Filter” technology.
Okay, there are like a million boba shops all over the place in LA. Sometimes the most random shops will sell boba milk tea, so you literally can get it anywhere. Most boba specialty shops are really purchase-and-go places. They don’t really encourage you to stay and hang out because they’re often small and have few seats, and the ones they have are not really that comfortable.
A specialty chain is Half & Half Tea House, which has higher grade choices and ingredients in a big fat cup.
Also, there’s Ozero and their matcha jasmine green tea float that I just can’t get enough of.
Next up, Part 4: 85C.
As always, the arrival of end-of-year mash-ups reminds us that is truly is almost January. In case the Christmas lights (up since before Thanksgiving) and the carols on the radio hadn’t clued you in, it’s that time of the year.
Inspired by DJ Earworm’s annual epic year-recap-mixes, Daniel Kim creates his own musical masterpiece, Pop Danthology 2013. It has arrived and it is spectacular. A reminder of all the popular music – both loved and hated – that has graced your ears this past year.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I am a big fan of Din Tai Fung. Back in October, I happened to have made a last minute trip up to the Seattle area and was lucky enough to eat at the Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, Washington. Well, by chance, in November I had to fly down to Los Angeles for work the same week that Din Tai Fung was opening up a new restaurant in Glendale, California and had a chance to eat there.
Suffering from Attack on Titan season end withdrawals, I was searching through Youtube for that show’s soundtrack music to listen to while working, and I stumbled upon these piano versions of the songs that were just absolutely enchanting. I get a lot of my music interests from watching Japanese anime and other media from Asia, so I started searching up other soothing piano performances based on Japanese anime or video games and created this little playlist. It’s about 37 minutes, but I thought I’d share it so that if anyone needs a moment of beauty in a hectic life, press play, and I hope it brings you a measure of peace. Best enjoyed with a cup of cleansing tea or heartwarming coffee.
Recently the NYTimes ran a piece celebrating a significant milestone in
North American Western Hollywood TV; two of the strongest and most interesting female leads are being played by Asian-American actresses; Maggie Q as Nikita and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson on Elementary.
However celebratory this milestone may be, the following quote almost strips it away:
“… the truth is that they resonate with two of the most common sets of images — or clichés — about Asian women: the high-achieving, socially awkward Dr. Joan Watson is a refined example of the sexy nerd, and the lethal, sometimes icy Nikita, able to dispense violence while wearing tight, microscopic outfits, evokes a long line of dragon ladies and ninja killers.”
Despite the complex fleshed out characters of Nikita and Watson, they still seem to fall in some sort of spectrum of stereotypes … or as I’d like to look at it, HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS.
I suppose I should give kudos to Kale, while enjoying the programs, still managed to catch that regardless of ethnicity, these two characters managed to reach for an Asian stereotype. He goes on to mention other Asian-American/Canadian actresses, who are not particularly playing front and centre characters, but seem to find themselves plotted on some weird Venn Diagram of Smarts (re: Nerds) over Sassy Dragon Lady antics.
I’m no fan of the Miami Heat, but was happy to see the Heat’s Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, a Filipino American, join the NBA, NBPA, and Miami HEAT in support of UNICEF and their ongoing relief efforts in the Philippines in this public service announcement. For links to donate, click here. Unless you’ve been asleep for the past few weeks, the Philippines was hit by the most powerful typhoon in history.