“It was January 23rd, 2002. I had been dehydrated for two days now. I was weary and confused, but other than that, I was a healthy, active 23 year-old. But that morning, I woke up slowly, crawled to the bathroom, and vomited. Breaking out into a cold sweat, I dragged myself to my parent’s room.”
So started Marianne Szeto’s story on how she discovered she was diabetic.
A Series on Diabetes & Asian Americans
This is the first in a 3-part series on Asian Americans and diabetes appearing for the next two Mondays. I’ll start with the findings of a recent study. The next part will go deeper into the story of Marianne Szeto, a diabetic with a unique twist. The series will end with an interview with Marianne. Continue Reading »
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“Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using re-purposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill,” where a target hit by the air-to-air missile fired by a J-10 fighter aircraft looks almost identical to a scene from the movie that made Tom Cruise famous. You know, stuff like this really TAKES MY BREATH AWAY. You see what I did there? No? Okay, sorry.
Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has made a plea deal that should keep him out of jail. Mars, who wrote or co-wrote songs such as Rocketeer and Cee Lo’s “F— You” and performed on songs like Grenade and B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You”, was arrested in September 2010 after a bathroom attendant reported him spending an unusually amount of time in a bathroom stall with a bag of white powder. As long as Mars performs community service, pays a fine, and completes drug counseling, he stays out of jail and can have his record be free of convictions. Stay out of jail, Bruno, so you can see if any of your seven nominations results in a Grammy.
After several days of non-stop discussions about Interracial Relationships and Tiger Moms on 8Asians, what better way to round out a Friday evening than what is single-handedly, the best action sequence from a
Bollywood Tamil Sci-Fi Movie known to mankind? Behold, a sequence from S. Shankar’s Robot, where hundreds of cloned robots join in various formations — including spheres, snakes, and a faux-Voltron — to bloodlessly kill hundreds of Indian troops. And then, because it’s a YouTube clip, it’s all dubbed in deadpan Russian. Happy Friday, kids!
So you want to give your feedback to a post on 8Asians, but let’s face it: writing a comment takes time, requiring to log a comments platform — sometimes, you just want to let it be known to the world how you feel about something anonymously, especially if you don’t really have that much to say about it. And forming written sentences can be difficult; have you seen Sarah Palin’s tweet stream? Continue Reading »
Most baby boomers can often recall the exact moment when they heard the news that President Kennedy was assassinated. For my generation, that moment was when the the space shuttle Challenger exploded.
I was a freshman in high school in biology lab class when the vice principal was walking the halls and mentioned to my teacher that the shuttle had exploded. I remember after school, walking over to my friend’s house too far from my high school and watching the news reports. And later that evening, watching President Reagan give his speech on the tragic events of the day.
In reading about the news today about today’s 25th anniversary, I had not realized at the time that another kind of history was being made: Astronaut Ellison Onizuka, a Japanese American who grew up in Hawaii, was the first Asian American astronaut to make it to space:
“Onizuka, a native of Kona and the first Asian-American astronaut to reach space, was among the crew members who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion. … Ellison Onizuka’s widow, Lorna, who works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in Houston, and daughter Darien Onizuka-Morgan placed flowers yesterday at a memorial marker for Onizuka at the Astronaut Memorial Tree Grove in Houston.”
Onizuka was an Air Force flight test engineer and test pilot prior to joining NASA. His first space mission took place in January of 1985 – a year prior to Challenger, on space shuttle Discovery.
Growing up, given my interest in science & math and technology in general, I had a lot of interest in the space program, and had thoughts of possibly working for NASA working on space probes like Voyager 1 & 2 and Pioneer 10. Part of my interest in becoming a mechanical engineer and working for an aerospace company was partly fueled by the space program.
Had there been more Onizuka’s at the time as a role model, I may have considered being an astronaut (though my eye sight was never all that great – a necessary requirement for being a pilot.) Over 130 shuttle missions have been flown, with two shuttles lost: Challenger and Columbia, in 2003 during re-entry. With one more space shuttle launch scheduled this spring prior to the end of the space shuttle program, an America space era will be over.
Space travel has almost been almost routine, and space tourism and commercial space flight industry is emerging, but anniversary days like today will always remind us of the dangers of space flight and the loss of Challenger will always be remembered in my mind as a pivotal memory of my youth; may Onizuka rest in peace.
(Every so often, we here at 8Asians get e-mails asking for advice. Here is one from contributor Jeff (me) asking about what to do when invited to a Chinese New Year banquet.)
My family has been invited to a Chinese New Year dinner with a couple who usually spends Chinese New Year in Asia. They have invited my extended family, all six of us, to what will be a sumptuous dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. While being Asian but not Chinese and having never been to a real Chinese New year’s dinner, I had the following questions:
- Who pays? The hosts, since they invited? Should I split the bill with them? Should I attempt to split the bill?
- Should I bring anything? If so, what?
- Is a gift appropriate? If so, what should it be?
- Is there anything else that I should do to be appropriate (such as things to wear or not to wear)?
What advice do you have for Jeff?
Asians are taking over the fashion world.
I am totally serious. If Vogue editrix Anna Wintour features the industry’s top Asian models in a piece titled “Asia Major” that says Asian models are “redefining traditional concepts of beauty” then it must be true — because everything Anna says is the truth etched in stone, RIGHT?
To add to this Asian monopoly on fashion, Paris Haute Couture Shows are in full swing and Givenchy’s Ricardo Tisci decided to use an all Asian roster of models to present his collection of Japanese-inspired robot samurai gowns (apparently, one dress took 4,000 hours to create).
With an onslaught of Asians taking over the design side of the industry (Jason Wu, Philip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang, et al) and Asian models marching to the forefront, is Asian the new black? (Pardon the overused cliche.)
More importantly, if you look at the picture above, you can see boobs. (*giggle*)
Sometimes it’s amazing the weird things you can run across on Youtube. I recently came across Sexy Beijing, an web series in China and while the video above is suitable for work, some of the interviews may be questionable due to the content. In any case, I was totally enthralled for whatever reason because a laowai was speaking in a Northern accent, which brought me back to the days of taking collegiate Chinese when the TA liked to give me hell because I didn’t speak with the Beijing accent like he was taught. In any case, it was fascinating since Sexy Beijing not only brings out how China has grown, but as a people, what sort of internal revolutions they’ve had due to opening up to the world.
For example, one of the videos was the interviewing of a comedy film called Red Light Revolution. It’s basically about how a businessman opens a sex shop to make ends meet. What’s interesting about this interview is that the older actor said he actually remembers one of the first sex shops opening up in Beijing and it was probably around ten years ago. This also coincides with the beginning of the China Adult-Care Expo back in 2004 which began because China produces 70% of the world’s sex toys.
Many Westerners still believe that China continues to be a very closed off and isolated country due to government restrictions. But on the ground with Sexy Beijing, it seems apparent that change has been rampant in the last decade and continues to steamroll through.
After the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona, it came came to light, that locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, State Senator Leland Yee had been receiving racist and death threats in his office, and that Pima, AZ law enforcement officials thought these threats might have been tied to the events in Arizona.
It turns out that after the public revelation of these earlier threats, death threats and racist threats against Yee have continued, and have actually increased, including threats after Yee and State Assemblyman Paul Fong demanded an apology from Rush Limbaugh for his mimicking of Chinese President Hu Jintao. It’s gotten so bad that Yee asked publicly today for the threats to stop.
“I thought our country and our community were a lot better than this,” Yee said at an afternoon news conference in the Hiram Johnson building at 455 Golden Gate Ave. It’s sad that it’s gotten to the point that Yee felt it necessary to make this kind of request. If some of the comments to the linked Mercury News article are any indication, I doubt his request for the threats to stop will make any difference, and may only increase the racist comments and threats against Yee.
There’s still no suspects and no one has been arrested for these threats which have been on-going for the last 6 years. Yee said he hasn’t changed his routine because of the threats, but it appears law enforcement is taking the threats more seriously. “I will continue to go out in the community and talk about issues,” he said.
APA Spotlight is a weekly interview of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community leaders. It is a spotlight on individuals who have dedicated their careers to issues surrounding the APIA community with the goal of bringing much deserved recognition to their work and cause(s).
Bill Watanabe, for the past 30 years, has been the Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), a multipurpose social welfare agency in the Little Tokyo district in downtown Los Angeles. Starting as a one-person office, Bill, together with the Board of Directors, has developed a comprehensive program of social services, housing and community development activities, with a combined staff of over 150 employees and hundreds of volunteers.
Bill received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal State Northridge. In 1972, he made a career change and received his Masters in Social Work from UCLA and has since been an active member of the Asian Pacific community in Los Angeles. Continue Reading »
While there have been other Asian Americans who have run colleges like Chang-lin Tien at U.C. Berkeley and Jim Yong Kim at Dartmouth, A. Gabriel Esteban has become the president of Seton Hall University and the first Filipino American head of an American university. Seton Hall broke from its tradition of only having Roman Catholic priests as presidents in order to appoint Esteban. Kristian at Filamako.com hopes that Esteban’s appointment inspires more Filipino American to pursue higher education. Given that only 30% of Filipino Americans in California (but probably representative of the whole US) go to four year college, I hope so too.