8 Asians

One young woman in Japan decided to play some sort of joke on her husband for his birthday and spent the better part of a day digging a 2.5m hole in the sand with a couple of the guy’s buddies. Then she covered it up with a sheet and sand on top, and invited her husband out to the area later that night. As expected, they both fell in, but instead of the amusing “ha ha” moment, the sand toppled over them and they both suffocated.

What bugs me about this story isn’t the fact that the two people died. What bugs me is people not understanding how a sand trap works and using it as a joke. A 2.5m hole would mean that the sand pitfall was basically a 8 foot long by 8 foot deep hole that caves in on itself. There is no way anyone would be escaping from that. Alas, I suppose that some people don’t really think about the worst possible scenarios from their actions and things like this befall them. It’s a sad story, but sometimes you just have to do a facepalm.

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Decoupage Washi Tape Clothespins


Clothespins are one of the most utilitarian items out there. Not only do they hang up clothes, but they can serve as pretty good paper clips too. So why not mix practicality with good looks with these Decoupage Washi Tape Clothespins ($5 for four) from KokoroHI. There are several color combinations available (red/blue or black/gold). Packs of eight are also available.

From Northwest Asian Weekly: “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, while women made up 34 percent of lawyers, 61 percent of accountants, and 79 percent of social workers, they made up only 8 percent of construction managers. With so few women in construction, Asian women in construction are scarce…Working in a place flooded with men, Asian females in construction face many challenges. While physicality alone raises doubts in terms of performance, onlookers wonder how well these women handle the long hours, extreme environment … However, some have made it. They have proven that, with hard work and persistence, Asian women can survive, and even excel, in a line of work dominated by men.” This is one venue of employment that never really crossed my mind as an appealing possibility for women, much less Asian/Asian-American women. But, I suppose: if  there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Even before my partner and I started the process of having a child, there were discussions about whether circumcision made sense for any new born male baby. It’s a topic that’s widely debated still, and there’s more of a growing movement against the practice. It was certainly top of mind for us, before we found out we were going to have a baby girl, which probably saved us a lot of anguish over having to make the decision as to cut or not to cut.

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Kinda obvious news when you think about it, via Gawker: “You probably remember being in school and looking across the cafeteria at all the mysterious, differently-hued people huddled at their own table on the other side of the room and asking yourself, ‘Why are all those weird [black/ white/ Asian/ Latino/ Unidentifiable] kids sitting together? No wonder we are so racist.’ Then you continued telling racist jokes to your own racially homogenous table. Well. A new study of racial attitudes among students at a liberal arts college reveals that had you all eaten together, you could have eradicated racism! At least on your own little campus. What a jerk you were/ are.”

Do All Asians Really Look Alike?


Do all Asians look alike? Where does such a stereotype come from? I’ve recently spent a lot of time studying other Asian folks (especially Japanese people) to see if there are any similarities between me and them. Personally, I think I look pretty damn unique — and handsome, my mother always tells me so at least!

The other day I decided to look into this. A quick Google search brought me to a lot of sites. My favorite was a Yahoo Answers webpage where I found the following question:

Why do Asian people get called “look alikes” or “same”?

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When you go to the Yelp page for Monterey Park’s O’ My Yogurt & O’ My Buns, one Yelper shares a photo of a “Wall of Shame” where the business owner posts photos from his security camera of people who didn’t pay for their frozen yogurt.

Based on a report by the L.A. Times, the person who needs to be on the Wall of Shame is yogurt store owner Robert Yachen Lee (I’m going to call him “The Yogurt Creep”), who is facing kidnapping and attempted murder charges for abducting a female employee and keeping her inside a box in a soundproof room, according to prosecutors.

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In an inexplicable move, San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee, which is composed of  32 committee members, did not endorse any of the major and very qualified Asian American candidates for mayor:

[The DCCC] recently endorsed Supervisor John Avalos as its first choice, City Attorney Dennis Herrera as second choice and opted to name nobody as third choice. That meant no love for interim Mayor Ed Lee, state Sen. Leland Yee, Supervisor David Chiu, Public Defender Jeff Adachi or Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting. (Of the 11 serious candidates for mayor, nine are registered Democrats and could score an endorsement. That means more than half who were eligible are Asian.)

I’m kind of shocked that there was no third choice. There must be a lot of political in-fighting going on, with eight of the Asian American DCCC members – including a few candidates like David Chiu and Leland Yee – couldn’t come to any agreement. Given interim Mayor Ed Lee’s current popularity based on polling numbers, I would have thought the DCCC would have endorsed him as at least a third choice candidate.

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Threadless “Sushi” Tee


We’ve said before that we miss sushi when we’re away from home. This Sushi shirt ($20) from Threadless gives us another way to tide ourselves over. Printed on green, the shirt features three sleeping rice balls, clutching their sushi blankets. At time of writing, there were only a few left, so get them while you can!

Says Rahat: “The Shepard Fairey poster for Luc Besson’s The Lady is entirely disappointing and quite dishonest in using a style that was often utilized by the Communist Chinese. Does it look pretty? Sure. But it’s another instance of form failing to follow function for the sake of marketing.”

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From The Korea Times: “The celebrated author Shin Kyung-sook said that foreign readers she met have inspired her to write more…[She] returned to Korea on Aug. 25 after a four-month tour to seven cities in North America and eight in Europe to meet fans as the publication right of Please Look After Mom has been sold to 28 countries…Shin will participate in the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) from Sept. 7 to 11 in Australia as the only Korean author invited. BWF is introducing her as ‘Korea’s national living treasure’ and ‘one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists.’ Shin has won the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize as well as France’s Prix de l’Inapercu.” I haven’t read the book myself but may pick it up soon as this is an inspiring story.

Asian Americans Face New Stereotype in Ads



I caught this article the other day in the Washington Post on Asian Americans being stereotyped in ads and many of the studies, observations and comments have mirrored my own, especially in all the Asian American Commercial Watch postings I’ve done:

The stereotypical portrayal reinforces a marketing concept known as the “match up” theory, which states that consumers respond more favorably to products advertised by an actor or spokesperson who “fits” the product. Just as consumers expect cosmetics to be sold by a supermodel or athletic equipment by a professional athlete, in the minds of the U.S. public, Asian Americans are strongly associated with technical know-how, says researcher Jinnie Jinyoung Yoo of the University of Texas.

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