If you haven’t heard, actor John Cho is starring in a new show this Fall on ABC titled ‘Selfie’ and NPR highlighted Cho’s unique position on being a romantic lead for the show:
“John Cho wasn’t supposed to star in the My Fair Lady-like ABC sitcom Selfie. (The pilot, which premieres Sept. 30, is much better than its not-very-good name, sort of like the ’90s Welsh band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.) The producers of the show were looking for someone more in the traditional Henry Higgins mold, namely British and oldish. Cho is neither, but as creator Emily Kapnek has said, the further they got into their search, the less the older and British parts mattered. Eventually, she said, “We just need a brilliant actor — and John’s name came up.” … Still, it’s not lost on Cho that his casting — as a somewhat-possibly-romantically interesting lead opposite a white woman on a major network show — really does mean something. … What Selfie does well, at least in the pilot, is not to make an issue of Henry and Eliza’s respective races. Henry is a brilliant marketer, who happens to be Korean-American. Eliza is a self-absorbed social media addict, who happens to be white. This is how it should be. … Sure, in a perfect world, there have been so many Asian-American male romantic leads that this casting choice is hardly worth noting as unusual or counter-intuitive, but as Cho himself acknowledges we don’t live in that world. There’s a reason we still have to call it “colorblind casting” instead of just “casting.””
ABC had made the first episode available online and through other channels (I watched it via Comcast-on-Demand) prior to its broadcast debut. Overall, I think the show still needs some work. I do like Cho and his character, but it’ll be interesting to see what plotlines can be developed in this sitcom, and how a potential romance between Cho’s character Henry and his counterpart, Eliza, can work.
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Tatsuya and his sister Shiba enter into the Private Magic University Affiliated High School where they will train to utilize and maximize their magic powers using technological enhancements and tools. Upon entrance, though, they have to take an examination that sorts into the Honor Students and Irregulars, or as the students call them, Blooms and Weeds. The categories create classist social system at the school, and the conflict that comes with that along with the intrigue of Tatsuya’s past drives the story forward.
Aside from the anti-standardized testing message that I love, the martial arts action animation in this is surprisingly good for a story based on magic. The use of technology to control and enhance magic is relatively unorthodox take on it, and it really comes off as more sci-fi mystery than the sort of fantasy hocus pocus you would expect from a story centered around magic. Great for those who are interested in a more cerebral mood, but there is some annoying fan service and weird hints at incest. My American sensibilities still aren’t okay with any of that even after years of exposure to Japanese anime.
As I have mentioned lately, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and often am not aware of other political races going on in the country. I was reviewing the latest email I received from the Republican National Committee and noticed a recent ad by Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley and just realized that she is running for re-election.
Wow, has it been four years already? It hasn’t seemed to be four years and only yesterday (more like 2 years ago), that Haley was on The Colbert Report plugging her book, Can’t Is Not an Option. I was re-reading Haley’s Wikipedia entry, and it is pretty impressive:
“Haley is the first woman to serve as Governor of South Carolina. At the age of 42, Haley is the youngest current governor in the United States. She is one of two sitting Indian American governors in the United States, the other being fellow Republican Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. She is also the third person who is not Euro-American to have been elected as governor of a Southern state, after Virginia‘s L. Douglas Wilder and Louisiana’s Jindal.”
I really don’t know if Haley has been an effective governor or not, but since I only found out that she’s running for re-election, she certainly hasn’t been in the news for any scandals either. I’m assuming no news is good news, and that as an incumbent in a fairly “red state,” Haley should easily get re-elected in November. Otherwise, I am sure I’ll hear more if and when she is defeated.
I’m more of a night owl than a morning person, but there are definitely things in this world worth getting up before dawn for, and the Alishan Sunrise experience would have to be one of those.
We were pretty bummed that the train up to Alishan was out of commission due to typhoon damage repairs, but the ride on train up to the Alishan sunrise look out point made up for that a bit.
Because I have two teenagers who are active in an extremely strenuous sport and one of them (Number Two Son) started complaining about chest pains, I started reading an article with a title about children dropping dead from exercise. What caught my attention was a story inside about a family who lost two sons to Pediatric Cardiomyopathy. I can’t imagine losing one son much less two, but Lisa Yue and her husband Eddie Yu moved beyond mourning and acceptance to starting the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation, which is dedicated to driving research on this disease and to provide services and information to sufferers of this disease and their families.
Another shonen (boy’s) series, Fairy Tail is action packed with a lot of competition, camaraderie, and tragedy. A young wizard named Lucy joins this guild called Fairy Tail, and the story revolves around the trials and tribulations she and her teammates have to face as guild members.The characters are pretty much classic anime archetypes, dark cold guy, rambunctious hothead, strong female warrior, girly girl with a lot of heart, etc. Although there are a lot of serious scenes and major and intense battles through the series, it overall has a pretty comical undertone, so it’s generally fun to watch if you’re looking for a good laugh with some combat action along the way. Overall, a feel-good series where misfits find a place where they belong.
As I had mentioned when I had blogged about Columbia Law professor Tim Wu’s run and loss for Lt. Governor for New York in the primary, because I am living in Silicon Valley, I have not been aware of Wu being a candidate, nor until very recently, Leland Chung running for Lt. Governor of Massachusetts. I happened to be included in an email from my Aunt in the Greater Boston area, and one of her friends in an unrelated email thread was encouraging everyone on the email list to vote for Chung. What really sucks is that both Wu and Cheung both got major endorsements from their most influential local newspapers, The New York Times and Boston Globe respectively:
“Cheung, a three-term Cambridge city councilor, is the strongest candidate by dint of his determination to reject the past uses of the job as a political liaison with strong links to patronage. Instead, he plans to advocate for broadband access and high-tech jobs to underserved areas. … Cheung, however, has an entirely different and more ambitious vision for the job, a keener understanding of why it’s fallen into disrepute, and a promising record in elected office. While he plans to maintain Murray’s municipal portfolio, Cheung says he will not get involved in political hiring. Instead, Cheung wants to serve as a liaison to the innovation economy. He boasts of being the only candidate in the race (or, likely, any other statewide race) who knows how to write computer code. Cheung’s competent record on the Cambridge council suggests he has a knack for using low-profile jobs effectively, having advocated for preserving office space for small startups and helping innovative companies like Bridj take root in the city. Cheung also shows some reform inclinations: He favors abolishing the archaic Governor’s Council and changing the state constitution to make lieutenant governor a more meaningful office.”
Unfortunately, Cheung came in second in the Democratic primary, winning approximately 29% of the vote to first place winner, Stephen Kerrigan, who won 51% of the vote. If it’s any consolation, Cheung did beat out the third place candidate, who garnered only 20% of the vote. I took a quick look at Cheung’s bio, and it is pretty impressive.
I’m sorry such a qualified candidate lost, but it is kind or reassuring to see more more Asian Americans running for higher and higher offices at the local and state level – so much so that it’s hard to keep track of everyone who is running! I’ll be really,really excited when a viable Asian American runs for national office – and especially if he or she wins!
Have you seen these fire hazards known as “The Amazing Happy Birthday Candle?”
Easily found on the Internet and evidently legal and available in the United States (via Amazon and other websites), these candles have been popular in mainland China and other parts of Asia before making their way here.
Over the weekend, Taiwanese pop star Amber Ann (安心亞) posted a video of herself lighting the candle (and I presume screaming for her life):
First, you light it and it shoots a FIREWORK in the air.
Then, presuming it works correctly and doesn’t immediately fall over and set your table on fire, it opens up and spins while playing the “Happy Birthday” song (although the song can supposedly be disabled for non-birthday uses).
Do you feel safe blowing out the candles on this thing?
I wouldn’t because I already have visions of my hair igniting if I leaned in and the flames spun into my hair.
And, according to Chinese language news reports, a 7 year-old kid in China lost an eye when the candle exploded in his face in June. (Yes, this really happened.) The news report says that basically, the battery overheated (when the flame hit it) and exploded. Lovely.
So if you don’t extinguish the candles fast enough, not only could the flower melt (and start a fire), but it could also BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE AND MAKE YOU BLIND.
Please parents, don’t get any ideas about buying this for your kids for birthdays or the holidays. It would give new meaning to “you’ll shoot your eye out.”
(This has been a public service announcement from jozjozjoz.)
Unfortunately, I have been busy and per-occupied lately. Somewhat recently, The New York Times did an excellent profile of Taiwanese-American (of Canadian decent) of Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu, who was running for Lt. Governor. I had heard and read about Wu, since he is the guy who coined the term “net neutrality.” I hadn’t realized that the New York state election primary was happening and didn’t get a chance to blog about the article and about Wu:
“Only when he learned to read Chinese, as an adult, did Mr. Wu learn that his father had been a pioneer in the blacklisted Taiwan independence movement and had exhorted dissidents, in the extant documents, to oust the “thief” Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist government. “They were revolutionaries who basically said, ‘Let’s organize!’ ” Mr. Wu said. “Maybe I am borrowing from that tradition.” For the last couple of months, Mr. Wu, a Columbia Law School professor, has waged a shoestring anti-establishment campaign for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, alongside his top-of-the-ticket running mate, Zephyr Teachout. … Mr. Wu, 42, may actually have higher name recognition among engaged Democrats, especially in voter-rich New York City. An expert in Internet law and policy, he coined the phrase “net neutrality,” and is a best-selling author who has appeared on “The Colbert Report.” He has also picked up the endorsements of The Nation and the editorial board of The New York Times, among others.”
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Is Vietnamese food going to be the “next big thing” in American Dining?
Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell and KFC, is trying out Fast Casual Vietnamese food with the launch in Dallas of “Banh Shop“, an experimental fast casual restaurant specializing in Vietnamese food like Banh Mi. Part of this experiment’s learning experience has been with local Vietnamese Americans, who have reacted angrily to the red star in the logo, which to them is an ugly reminder of communism.
by Leeland Lee
The headline from the Huffington Post was grim: “Black People and Asian Men Have a Much Harder Time Dating on OKCupid.”
Reading this, I braced myself to be castigated, to be verbally castrated.
The article linked to a recent blog post by Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid. Back in 2009, Rudder made waves with another blog post analyzing the racial dating preferences of the site’s members. His analysis was based on millions of data points culled from how men and women rated each other’s attractiveness.
And the verdict for Team Asian Dudes circa 2009? Not good. Women generally rated Asian men below average. Asian women rated Asian men 10% above the average male on the site, which was encouraging. However, while nearly all women preferred men of their own race, Asian women were the lone exception: They generally preferred white men, rating them 16% above average.
Depressing stuff for the average Asian male, right? The imposing shadow of Big Data seemed to confirm our gnawing suspicions that the growing AF/WM trend was here to stay. How could you argue against it?
Alex Tung has Acute Myeloid Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to live, but doesn’t yet have a match.
The Team Alex Facebook page has more info how to register.
There is also a fund raising effort to help with his medical expenses here.