8 Asians

The Best of GASP!: September


Every day, our shopping blog GASP! posts new items we’ve found online. Here are some of the best goodies we’ve found this month:

  1. “Hez the Pirate” Leather Keychain–This keychain will have you prepared for the latest round in the “pirates versus ninjas” debate, or at least ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day.
  2. Ninja Cat Cell Phone Charm–If you support ninjas over pirates, then this cell phone charm will help you proudly show your support.
  3. Domo-kun Nom Nom Nom Cupcakes Shirt–Who said you can’t have your cupcakes and eat them too?
  4. Rainbow Macbook Air Keyboard Decals–Make typing a joy with these colorful decals for MacBook Air keyboards.
  5. Ultimate Pocky Collection–Get a smorgasbord of Pocky deliciousness.

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Oops, the 8Asians Open Thread took a break last week but it’s back to close out the end of September. Most of the time, our discussions here revolve around Asian American stuff but here’s a chance to blab about whatever else. How did September treat you? Are you excited about Halloween? Are you sad about the Red Sox? If you’ve got something on your mind, share it with us.

sometimes, bad things happen to good people, part 1

Here at 8Asians, we always love having an excuse to put up the picture of Drunk Ernie, especially since a picture of a drunk me isn’t quite as hilarious, even if I am also a fat gay Asian guy who’s also known for blogging.  Imagine my delight here when a colleague showed us this article about Asians, alcoholism and drug treatment with a rather long and admittedly unexciting title. “Pharmacogenetics of Naltrexone in Asian Americans: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study” was published in the journal with perhaps the longest one word title known to academia: Neuropsychopharmacology. I’ll bet you that’ll be the winning word in a spelling bee.  For a soon-to-be pharmacist like me, it caught my attention.

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Chef Tai Lee, the recent winner of America’s Favorite Food Truck, is a Korean American who came to the States when he was 13 years old.  He moved to College Station and attended Texas A&M University and graduated with Finance Degree. Tai started his culinary career even before he graduated from college. When he was in college, he worked at a local sushi bar and eventually became an Executive Sushi Chef.

After working briefly for a corporate restaurant group to learn management side of the restaurant, Tai teamed up with, then a regular VIP and now practically his Irish Parents, Mike & Mary O’Brien to create a restaurant, Veritas Wine & Bistro, with emphasis on Seasonal & Fine Ingredients paired with great selection of wines. Veritas Wine & Bistro opened in January 2007. As an Executive Chef for the restaurant, he was able to experiment and hone his skills and appreciation for food and people he serves. His food truck is an extension of himself who appreciated all these people. Through his food truck, he is able to offer high quality hand crafted food at an affordable price compare to a traditional gourmet restaurant. Read my interview with him, after the jump!

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Hey everyone – you have just 1 hour left to enter our Giveaway to win Tickets for ‘ISA Festival L.A.’ in Long Beach, CA, provided by 8Asians and ISA! Read this post for more information, and enter now!

There’s no doubt that Asians Americans out perform other races in elementary, middle and high school. We have plenty of test results that show Asian Americans score higher on standardized tests. In 2008, a study found that even as young as age four, Asian Americans are outperforming their peers in math and literacy. This ability to outperform is sometimes referred to as the “Asian Effect”, and sometimes attributed to Asian genes. The question remained about whether Asian Americans have that edge over other children of different races at an even younger age and whether it’s truly gene based.

That question led, Ohio State University sociologist, Yongmin Sun to study the results of cognitive tests of children of various racial and ethnic groups at ages nine months, two years, and four years. He used data from a sample of 7,800 children born in 2001. His study is published in the fall issue of Sociological Perspectives.

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Munko Blind Box Figure by David Choe


Sometimes, knowing what you’re getting when shopping can be so mundane. So why not buy yourself a surprise with these Munko Blind Box Figures ($11) by David Choe. You’ll get one of twelve possible variations of the Munko whale. Or, if you really don’t like surprises, you can buy the complete set and get a tote bag to carry them all in. The choice is yours: either way, the whale is hazardously cute.

Kevin Tancharoen may be the director behind the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series but now he’ll be adapting the video game to the big screen. From The Hollywood Reporter: “Tancharoen…who directed the 2009 remake of Fame and more recently the Glee concert movie, directed a short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth as a proof of concept for a Kombat movie he tried to pitch…The short was viewed more than 10 million times on YouTube, and although no movie deal materialized, he was asked to direct the 10-episode web series, which debuted in April, attracting more than 50 million unique visitors. Off that success, Warners and New Line execs thought it was time to try to revisit a big-screen effort.”

One of my favorite Asian American documentaries is The Killing of the Chinese Fortune Cookie, so when I heard the filmmaker, Derek Shimoda, was making another doc, I wanted to find out more. I had an opportunity to sit down with Derek and ask him 8Questions.

Derek Shimoda is a Los Angeles native. He produced the feature film In My Life as well as the acclaimed documentary Secret Asian Man, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. He wrote, produced, and directed the film Autonomous Soul, which won the Visionary Award at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF). Over the past several years, Derek has worked on non-fiction series for several cable networks including The History Channel, The Travel Channel, and A&E. His debut feature-length documentary The Killing of a Chinese Cookie won Best Documentary at the 2008 Asian Film Festival of Dallas. He’s currently on the documentary June Bride: Redemption of a Yakuza.

 Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a 2nd or 3rd, possibly 4th generation, Japanese American pseudo-filmmaker born and bred in Los Angeles. My father was born in Japan, and my mother and her mother, a kibei, were born in the U.S. So, what does that make me? If anyone can clarify this, school me at derek[a]fishgrenade[dot]com. Thanks in advance. You complete me.

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Kotetsu Open Leg Mouse Pad — Tiger & Bunny


This is one of the more unique items we’ve seen in our dealings with Japanese anime fandom: a contoured mousepad featuring the fine backside of Tiger and Bunny protagonist Kotetsu T. Kaburagi. Produced by doujin circle Like A Purple, this Kotetsu Open Leg Mouse Pad ($95) is truly one of a kind and only available in limited quantity – fans who enjoy the sight of superheros in compromised positions (or those who just appreciate a jauntily raised, nigh-sculpted bottom) will want to get on top of this deal right away!

Check out this product on our shopping blog, GASP!

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).

Mari Watanabe is the Executive Director of the Oregon Nikkei Endowment (ONE), a non-profit that preserves the history and culture of the Japanese Americans in Oregon. Prior to joining ONE, Ms. Watanabe worked for 25 years in the apparel field with major brand labels where her work took her primarily to Asia, Europe and Central America. Since transitioning to work in the non-profit field and ONE in July 2008, she has she has expanded the educational focus to a more diverse audience which includes educating Japanese students about the World War II internment experience.

Appointed by Oregon State Governor Kitzhaber in May 2011, Mari serves on the Oregon Commission for Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA). She was selected in 2011 as one of 13 delegates from across the United States to visit Japan as part of the Japanese American Leadership Delegation sponsored by the Japan Foreign Ministry and the U.S. – Japan Council.

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Hey everyone – you have just 12 hours left to enter our Giveaway to win 4-pack of Tickets to Formula Drift – Round 7, “Title Fight” in Irwindale, CA (L.A.), provided by 8Asians and Formula DRIFT! Read this post for more information, and enter today!