8 Asians

I asked each female writer on 8A to contribute 2 Asian males they consider irresistibly sexy and to explain why. Here goes, in no particular order:

The breakdown of who voted for who and why (and also revealing our 11-15 picks) after the jump.

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Foreign Affairs: The Great Leap Backward?

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I was in Borders today and came across the latest venerated issue of Foreign Affairs and came across as one of the front cover stories, “The Great Leap Backward” discussing the consequences of economic growth with environmental damage going on in China:

“China’s environmental woes are mounting, and the country is fast becoming one of the leading polluters in the world. The situation continues to deterioratehttp://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51n9buA9HOL._SS500_.jpg because even when Beijing sets ambitious targets to protect the environment, local officials generally ignore them, preferring to concentrate on further advancing economic growth. Really improving the environment in China will require revolutionary bottom-up political and economic reforms.”

The fairly length article does go into a lot more detail than your average Time or Newsweek article. I have to imagine we are going to be seeing a flood of news reports on China from lead paint in children’s toys to the environment as we rapidly approach the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

ORIENTED.COM & Happy Hours around the world

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If you don’t know about ORIENTED.COM, it’s “a global network of bilingual, bicultural and international professionals interested in Asian businesses and cultures, with more than 28,000 members* worldwide” There are also monthly happy hours around the world every last Thursday of the month, including:

Beijing , Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Macau, New York, Portland, SF Bay Area, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Taipei.

http://www.oriented.com/images/logo2.gif

This Thursday’ Happy Hour in the SF Bay Area will be at:

Shanghai 1930
133 Steuart San Francisco, CA94105
Thursday, August 30 (7-9 p.m.)

Disclaimer: I know the founder of ORIENTED.COM. You can hear the founder give a quick overview on ORIENTED.COM  here on YouTube.

Virtual Beijing police to patrol in cyber world

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A friend of mine sent me this article this morning, “Virtual Beijing police to patrol in cyber world.” Starting Saturday, Chinese internet users behind the Great Firewall of China, can report to the government offensive and malicious (anti-Communist, pro-Democracy, pro-Taiwan independence?) internet material to Beijing cybercops:

“A Beijing netizen need only click the two cartoon police if he or she wants to report malicious information or pornographic websites. Then the netizen shallhttp://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20070829/0013729e4771083faab541.jpg fill in a form to end the whole reporting processing, Beijing police said Tuesday at a press conference. Police would offer a feedback in 30 minutes after they received valid calls, said Zhao Hongzhi, deputy director of the Internet department of the Beijing police bureau. The cartoon policeman and policewoman would pop up on web pages every 30 minutes. They would patrol Beijing’s gateway websites as of September 1 and all websites and forums in Beijing since December.”

Looks like Big Brother is not only watching you, but wants Little Brother to help out in sensoring the internet in China. The Beijing Public Security Bureau’s cybercop cartoon police officers are just too funny if you ask me (yes, the image above is for real). Thankfully, 8Asians is hosted outside of China – but we are blocked in China to protect its citizens!

Crouching China, Hidden Taiwan

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Lust, Caution This just in – Ang Lee movie caught in political spat:

Taiwan criticized the Venice International Film Festival on Tuesday for listing a movie by Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee as originating in “Taiwan, China,” a label that suggests the self-ruled island is part of mainland China. …

In a statement on its Web site, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council protested the Venice event’s use of “Taiwan, China” to identify movies from the island and blamed China for the move.

As of the publication of this post, the Venice International Film Festival’s web site (more properly called La Biennale di Venezia) still lists Ang Lee as such:
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In today’s Wall Street Journal, the newspaper reports that “In China, New Risks Emerge At Giant Three Gorges Dam.” As you may or may not know, Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric river dam started in 2003 and completed recently, displacing over a million Chinese for its construction. It is the largest hydroelectric river dam in the world – supposedly more than five times the size of the Hoover Dam.  The “new” risks emerging include:

“…landslides, water pollution and suggestions that the dam could contribute tohttp://www.yangtzeriver.org/threegorges_dam/pic/1.jpg the very flooding it was built to prevent. Geologists say the massive weight of water behind the Three Gorges Dam has begun to erode the Yangtze’s steep shores at several spots. That, along with frequent fluctuations in water levels, has triggered a series of landslides and weakened the ground under places like Miaohe, a village about 10 miles up the reservoir from the dam. Local officials worry that a whole mountainside here could collapse into the water, killing residents and threatening a vital shipping lane.”

The article goes on to describe the challenges of clean water shortages across China for both agriculture and the Chinese.

Today’s New York Times covers the opening of the world’s largest hotel and casino in the world, the $2.4 billion Venetian Macao Resort, in the article, “Bigger Than Vegas? That’s Macao’s Bet” The figures are just staggering:

“The Venetian has more floor space than four Empire State Buildings. The hotel’s slot machines, baccarat tables and other games of chance sprawl acrosshttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/08/27/business/worldbusiness/28macao.600.jpg a casino more than three times the size of the largest casino in Las Vegas. The 15,000-seat sports arena nearly rivals Madison Square Garden, the convention center has a 6,000-seat banquet hall and the luxury shopping mall has three indoor canals with singing gondoliers; the Venetian in Las Vegas has just one. But what is most surprising about the 3,000-suite project is that it is merely the first of 14 interconnected hotels being built here by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. When completed, the complex will include a St. Regis, a Shangri-la, a Raffles, a Conrad, an Intercontinental and a Sheraton, with their own casinos, bars and restaurants. And the project, which will cost $10 billion to $12 billion, is just the largest of a series of giant gambling complexes being constructed here in Macao, on the southwestern lip of the mouth of the Pearl River.”

Macao returned to China from Portugal in 1999 (much like how Hong Kong returned to China from the United Kingdom in 1997) and is governed as a Special Administrative Region (S.A.R.). Gambling in China is illegal, but not in Macao, so the great hope of hotel and casino investors is that Macao becomes the next Las Vegas, or better yet, LARGER than Vegas. But there are a lot of challenges as the article goes on to explain.

Bi-racial Couples – A first person account

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As you may or may not know, Min Jung Kim is a former blogger on 8Asians. She recently wrote a blog entry on Blogher.com regarding “Bi-racial Couples – A first person account.”

Given 8Asians’s recent postings on: “Why Asian Guys Can’t Get White Girls,” “Why Asian Girls Go For White Guys: A Response,” “Why Asian Girls Go For White Guys” , as well as a recent posting by Niniane Wang on her blog “Why do so many white guys have Asian festishes??” as well her older (and kind of ironic) post, “Why I Don’t Date Asian Men,” I thought MJ’s personal first person account was a breath of fresh air on the topic of inter-racial dating. Yes, MJ is marrying a “white guy”, but more importantly, someone she loves.

The Fryer-Torelli paper, An Empirical Analysis of Acting White, has gained much attention and buzzworthiness among scholars in The Academy as of late, which found an inverse relationship between good grades and popularity among Blacks and Latinos.

“Among whites, higher grades yield higher popularity. . . . [However, a] black student with a 4.0 has, on average, 1.5 fewer same-race friends than a white student with a 4.0. Among Hispanics, there is little change in popularity from a grade point average of 1 through 2.5. After 2.5, the gradient turns sharply negative. A Hispanic student with a 4.0 grade point average is the least popular of all Hispanic students, and has 3 fewer friends than a typical white student with a 4.0 grade point average. Put differently, evaluated at the sample mean, a one standard deviation increase in grades is associated with roughly a .103 standard deviation decrease in social status for Blacks and a .171 standard deviation decrease for Hispanics. For students with a 3.5 grade point average or better, the effect triples.” (Fryer-Torelli, 4)

Since the Fryer-Torelli paper failed to include research and analysis of Asian Americans, I wonder what anecodotal evidence and narratives we could gather here on 8A to consider the good grades and popularity relationships among Asians. If you’re white, according to this paper, your GPA won’t affect how many white friends you have. However, if you’re Black or Latino, your GPA does affect how many Black or Latino friends you have. What about Asians? Did my GPA in high school affect how many Asian friends I had? Or did the fact I lived in an all-white suburb in middle America have something to do with how many Asian friends I had? Ooh. Tough, tough questions.

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Indie Artist moment: Priscilla Ahn

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priscilla_ahn.jpgFrom indie MP3 blog Aurgasm comes a post (with limited-time-only MP3 downloads, shh!) of singer-songwriter (and Korean American) Priscilla Ahn.

While I can appreciate any artist who can adeptly play and loop the harmonica, guitar and bells for a single song, and often incorporates the banjo, ukulele and even kazoo in her live show; part of me would expect this instrumental overkill to hide a less-than-stellar voice. But not Priscilla. Her voice can only be described as ethereal, and carries a sense of hope and innocence in songs whose lyrics aren’t always so untarnished.

Priscilla, who has recently signed onto Blue Note records, has a very airy quality similar in style to that chick from Sixpence None the Richer. I find myself listening to Lullaby over and over again, which says a lot since as we speak I’m currently in a Hong Kong hotel room and should be out and about sightseeing.

The Hip ‘n Free Philippine Encyclopedia

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WikiPilipinas Since Genghis has been covering all sorts of news about China, I wondered, what about the Philippines? I mean, Asia is more than just Chinese, right?

That’s when I found out about WikiPilipinas, the hip and free Philippine encyclopedia that you can edit. Based on the popular open source software MediaWiki (which runs Wikipedia, of course), WikiPilipinas is a wealth of information.

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In this weekend’s Sunday New York Times, the newspaper covers the cost of China’s economic growth in the article, “As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes.” The facts and figures are pretty staggering:

“Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut. Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water…”

In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the city of Beijing has been experimenting with taking half of the cars off the road as well as experimenting with seeding the clouds to force rain to help clean the air. If you really want to see what economic growth at any costs is like, go visit China. You’ll be amazed at the growth AND the pollution!