Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Asian Ripoff XLVIII - Take My Breath Away

Artist: Sandy Lam
Language: Cantonese

Youtube Link

Some of you may remember the song from Wong Kar Wai's As Tears Go By

Youtube Link

Chinese American Heroines: Amy Yuen-Yee Chow


Source: Asianweek

Chinese women have made tremendous contributions ever since Chinese men stopped binding their feet and our young daughters could attain as much education as their brains allowed. There are now over 2,000 Chinese Americans in local government across the nation and most of these community minded citizens are women. Among over 1,000 Asian American/Chinese American non-profits, the Executive Directors are usually Chinese ladies. They have come a long way, baby - and our Congratulations to all of them.

Our first fabulous lady is Amy Chow. Guess what she did?

Today’s Chinese American Heroine: First Chinese American Olympic Medal Gymnast

Name in English: Amy Yuen-Yee Chow
Name in Chinese: [周婉儀]
Name in Pinyin: Zhōu Wǎnyí
Gender: Female
Birth Year: 1978
Birth Place: San Jose, California
Current location: Palo Alto
Profession (s): Olympic Gymnast, Pediatrics Resident

Education: B.S., Biology, 2002, Stanford University; M.D., 2007, Stanford University

Award (s): 1994, U.S. Team Silver Medal, World Team Championships; 1995, Individual Gold Medal - Vault, Pan American Games; 1995, Individual Silver Medal - Uneven Bars, Pan American Games; 1995, Individual Bronze Medal - All-around, Pan American Games; 1996, Individual Silver Medal - Uneven Bars, Atlanta Olympics; 1996, U.S. Team Gold Medal, Atlanta Olympics; 2005, USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, USA Gymnastics; 2008, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, U.S. Olympic Committee

Contribution (s): Despite losing her grip and slamming her head on the balance beam during gymnastics trials, Amy Yuen-Yee Chow soldiered on with an ugly red welt above her right eye and went on to win a silver medal on the uneven bars in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She was just 18 years old, the first Chinese and Asian American woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics. Chow also helped her team, the 1996 Women’s Gymnastics Team, win the first gold medal for the U.S. in the Women’s Team Competition, earning the famous nickname of the Magnificent Seven for its members.

Here is her Individual Silver Medal Routine on the Uneven Bars

Youtube Link

And more importantly! Here's her Coke commercial! (sorry can't embed)

Not just any Hollywood role for Daniel Wu & Jackie Chan

Do you know me? I'm going to be a BIG Hollywood STAR, DUH!!

Source: Channel News Asia

With box office hits like “Shanghai Noon”, “Shanghai Knights” and the “Rush Hour” franchise, there's no doubt that Jackie Chan is one of the most sought after Asian actors in Hollywood.

But the kung fu star revealed that while the money is good, he dislikes those action slapstick comedy roles he often plays and is disappointed that he is not able to get away from them.

Referring to his new Hong Kong film “Shinjuku Incident” in which he plays a refugee who escapes to Japan and gets hounded by the yakuza, Chan said, “Hollywood would never pay me that kind of money and spend hundreds of millions making this kind of film. Robert De Niro, yes... but not Jackie Chan.”

Chan’s "Shinjuku Incident" co-star, Daniel Wu, agreed that the role is very important.

Like many Asian actors, the American-born actor said that he too is keen on breaking into Hollywood but he will not take on just any role that comes his way, it's got to be "on my own terms".

“It’s different because I’m not superstar Jackie Chan, and I think being an Asian American, growing up in the States is different because I’m tired of the stereotypes, tired of seeing the nerd Chinese guy or the gangster Chinese guy on TV. And they’re still doing that," he told Channel NewsAsia.

"When Jackie goes, he’s going as Jackie Chan, when I go, I’m going as an actor and I don’t want to be pushing that stereotype.

De Niro? What? Jackie Chan has become a joke. He wants greater roles but never waited for them, he took the money to make crap like Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour. He's got no credibility left. Chow Yun Fat recently said that he's accepted his role in Hollywood as a typecast actor and will pretty much take any work that comes his way. Must be the reason he's in the dreadful Dragon Ball Evolution. But I accept that. Chow Yun Fat was pretty much typecast in Asia anyways, Jackie Chan is good at what he does, stick to it or go away. Do we really want to see Jackie Chan in a De Niro role? That's an insult.

And Daniel Wu? Who the fuck are you? I would bet most people reading this wouldn't know. You are in no position to be choosy. I've seen him and he's one of the worst actors of this generation. His performances in movies like The Banquet and Twins Effect were a disgrace to HK cinema. He can't speak either Cantonese or English properly. There are many many Asian actors who Hollywood knows about and have even asked some to come over but they have not cause the roles are not good enough. They didn't just take money and be a fool like Jackie Chan.

Here are 10 actors in no particular order with amazing resumes.

Stephen Chow
Tony Leung
Andy Lau
Takeshi Kaneshiro
Chang Chen
Anthony Wong
Francis Ng
Louis Koo
Jay Chou
Leon Lai

I didn't include Jet Li or Ken Watanabe who have already influenced Hollywood.

I didn't include Japanese or Korean stars cause I'm not that familiar with them.

Daniel Wu thinks he can crack Hollywood cause he's "Asian-American"? That's foolhardy. There are many many Asian-American stars already like Daniel Day Kim or Masi Oka or John Cho. Fuck, Daniel Wu isn't even worthy enough to carry Bobby Lee's shoes! The list is endless.

I can think of literally 50 Asian actors better than Daniel Wu. He's got no chance so he really get his head out of his ass and go away.

Bangladeshi, Korean immigrants spar over LA space

What's all the bickering about? Just come in for some sushi!

Source: AP

When Aditi Mahmud and her family moved from Bangladesh to Los Angeles more than a decade ago, they landed in a gritty neighborhood that has long been a haven for Korean immigrants.

Now, the graduate student and other Bangladeshis want to carve out a special district in Koreatown and name it for their own homeland.

The proposal has shocked and angered Korean-American leaders who have worked for years to turn Koreatown into a Southern California cultural destination.

"There is a pride in calling this Koreatown," said Chang Lee, chairman of the Korean-American Federation of Los Angeles. "The residents and businesspeople, when they heard the news, they were appalled."

Sucks when community leaders get involved. I think they want this more and the residents and businesspeople do.

Mahmud believes Little Bangladesh would be a source of pride for immigrants, including her parents.

"They came here for education, for me, for their only child," said Mahmud, whose parents still live in the two-bedroom apartment they rented when they arrived. "They need some sort of recognition that they can still be Bangladeshi here and lift their head up high."

Bah both sides are wrong. Defining borders isn't going to make your precious little child more Bangladeshi. This is a meaningless fight. Just co-exist already or maybe the United States should kick both of you out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Movie Reviews - March 30, 2009

Chow Yun Fat and Justin Chatwin look like that have no fucking clue what they're doing

Source: LoveHkFilm

Dragonball: Evolution

Kids with low standards may enjoy Dragonball: Evolution, but everyone else will only be mildly diverted if not totally annoyed. Actual Dragonball fans will scream bloody murder, and those with respect for Stephen Chow and Chow Yun-Fat may begin to question their loyalties. If you buy the action figures, the bad guys will win.

Youtube Link

K-20: Legend of the Mask

Silly and occasionally draggy, but also rather fun. K-20: Legend of the Mask is an entertaining superhero movie that works thanks to its alternate Japan history, its steampunk trappings, and the always-watchable Takeshi Kaneshiro. Fun for general audiences and families, if not the demanding legions who worship at the altar of The Dark Knight.

Youtube Link

All Around Us

Ryosuke Hashiguchi's first film in seven years is a wonderful exploration into a couple and their struggles with depression and contemporary Japanese society. With Tae Kimura's award-winning performance and Hashiguchi's assured direction, this is one of the finest Japanese films of 2008.

Youtube Link

How to look under a girl's skirt: A Japanese Guide

Source: IZ Reloaded

Scanned pages from a Japanese magazine that teaches you the correct position to look under a girl's short skirt when walking up the stairs. May prove useful for some of you perverts out there.

See bigger picture and instruction here!

Travel to Xinjiang's Four "Great Lakes"

Source: Far West China

Mention the name "Xinjiang" and most people who know their Chinese geography picture vast deserts crossed by dirty looking camels and a beating sun. It's a nostalgic picture that was made popular by the famous Silk Road but it's a stereotype Xinjiang can't seem to shake. The truth is that these immense deserts are locked in by incredible mountain ranges and watered by a multitude of lakes and rivers. Some of these lakes provide the most breathtaking scenery that Xinjiang has to offer.

Although there are many lakes that dot the Xinjiang map, there are a couple that will give any person living or traveling to Xinjiang a chance to break away from the normal tourist destinations and find themselves in a place that would make a professional photographer leap for joy. Welcome to Xinjiang's four "Great Lakes".

See the wonderful pictures here!

Synchronised office swimming

Source: Ananova

A group of Russian women have become internet stars after performing a synchronised swimming routine - at their desks.

The women, who work for an architects' firm, filmed their routine for an Olympics-themed competition, reports The Sun.

They beat hundreds of other entries to scoop the £3,500 first prize - and their video has attracted more than a million hits on YouTube.

The clip was filmed secretly during lunch breaks. Worker Mosha Dugina said: "We were all really energetic and enthusiastic to do it.

"It was such a breath of fresh air to do something where we got the chance to show off a little and show people that we have beautiful long legs.

"Most of the time we just sit by our desks and all everyone normally sees is our top halves."

Ilya Korneev from competition organisers Affect.ru said: "The competition attracted hundreds of applications, but it was apparent from early on that there was going to be one clear winner.

"We thought that was the finish, but the girls' success continued when the clip went on to Europe. The clip attracted over a million views in its first few weeks."

Youtube Link

China beats Sweden to win world curling title


Source: TSN

China's stunning and sudden climb to the top of the women's curling world is complete.

Bingyu Wang put together another masterful performance Sunday, outduelling Sweden's Anette Norberg 8-6 to give her country its first-ever world women's curling championship.

Trailing 7-6 in the 10th end, Norberg drew to the edge of the four-foot with her final shot to lie two. Wang chose to play a hit for the win and removed both Swedish stones, jumping in the air when they went spinning out of the house. The team then joined in a group hug in front of more than 1,500 fans at the Gangneung International Ice Rink.

"So exciting," Wang said, proudly displaying her gold medal. "This game (between) Sweden and us was played so well."

The diminutive skip burst onto the scene last year, emerging from obscurity to post a 9-2 round-robin record before losing to Canada's Jennifer Jones in the final. Wang must have felt a sense of deja vu in her 2009 tournament opener, dropping an 11-6 decision to Jones in Draw 2.

She wouldn't lose again.

Outstanding achievement for China. They really have come out of nowhere to not only be competitive but win it all! Jones didn't even medal. Unacceptable for a Canadian team who used to dominate this event.

Watching the Scotties (Canadian Women's Championship) last month, the quality was appallingly poor. Jones won seven matches in a row to win the title, all on opponent mistakes. She should have lost to PEI in the tiebreaker if the PEI skip has a clue how to draw to the four foot (twice)!

I don't like Canada's chances in the women's curling event next year in Vancouver. Whoever wins the trails will be be a poor team. The men on the other hand are amazing. The best 10 teams in the World might all come from Canada. That gold medal is almost guaranteed.

Chan wins silver at worlds

Source: CBC

Two small errors in his free skate likely cost Patrick Chan a gold medal Thursday night at the world figure skating championships in Los Angeles.

Toronto's Chan finished second behind American Evan Lysacek and just ahead of France's Brian Joubert, who took home the bronze.

Chan's silver marks the second year in a row Canada has medalled in the men's event. Jeffrey Buttle of Smooth Rock Falls, Ont., won gold last year.

"Jeez, I thought I was just going to walk home with a bronze, but to win a silver medal is just like icing on the cake," Chan said after watching Joubert fall twice during his free skate.

"Getting off the ice, I had a huge smile on my face because I just didn't expect to be where I am now after just my second worlds, and I'm only 18. It's a big shock. It's going to be weird going back to high school, because I have to be a regular guy again."

I watched a bit of the figure skating this weekend and I have a real beef with the scoring system. I used to understand the old system. Each of the nine judges would give a technical and artistic mark. Highest would be 6.0. Plus they would rank all of the skaters. For example if skater A went up against Skater B, Skater B might lose to Skater A by 5 judges to 4. Yes it could cause cheating but at least I understood it!

But now? Someone beats someone by 155.55 to 153.67 and we have no idea how that mark came about. No more 6.0s! Similarly, gymnastics no longer as a perfect 10! It's now 16.38 or something dumb like that. Similarly Olympic boxing has judges pushing buttons. You can hit a guy five times and get no points. Judged sports are getting dumber and dumber. Diving might be the only one that makes sense still.

Here is his long program, almost flawless!

Youtube Link

Related stories:
Chan takes another bite out of judges (Globe and Mail)
Chan pleased but puzzled about judging (Toronto Star)

Asian Ripoff XLVII - She's Gone

How famous is this song. I don't recall it growing up. I've asked some people I know and they don't know. But it's popular in Asia!

Artist: Terry Lin
Language: Mandarin

Youtube Link

and in English

Youtube Link

Terry Lin has an amazing voice. I love his ballads. But this song doesn't suit him as he goes waaay over the top.

And it's been done in English by about five different artists in Korea.

This one by Kim Sang Min is the one I like the best.

Youtube Link

Sunday, March 29, 2009

North Korean Women Sold at $446 in China

Source: Korea Times

Female North Koreans who escaped the starving Stalinist country often become a target of human trafficking and are sold to rural China, usually to farmers who cannot find a wife, at prices as low as $446, Dong-A Ilbo reported Saturday.

The practice, at least 10 years old, is usually arranged when a rural farmer places the "order" with a human trafficking organization with "specification" of a woman he wants, including age and appearance.

A Chinese man who currently lives with a North Korean woman said, "The organization that I contacted for a North Korean woman and the organization another village man contacted for the same purpose were different. So, it seems that there are a number of such organizations involving in the business."

North Korean women who entered China were often lured by a human-trafficking broker who proposed a "lucrative job." They were first gathered in the northeastern city Yanji, then were sent to the nearby city of Jilin before being transported to various Chinese cities where the "order" was placed, the newspaper said.

The price for a North Korean woman ranges from $446 to $1,488, the newspaper said, citing Chinese men who live with North Korean female refugees, North Korean women and Chinese officials.

So sad. I'm so lucky to be a girl here in Canada. Girls in communist countries are treated like slaved and just sold off to the highest bidder.

China's hi-tech 'death van' where criminals are executed and then their organs are sold on black market

Damn mistress! Wasn't even worth it!

Source: Daily Mail

Death will come soon for Jiang Yong. A corrupt local planning official with a taste for the high life, Yong solicited money from businessmen eager to expand in China's economic boom.

Showering gifts on his mistress, known as Madam Tang, the unmarried official took more than £1 million in bribes from entrepreneurs wanting permission to build skyscrapers on land which had previously been protected from development.

But Yong, a portly, bespectacled figure, was caught by the Chinese authorities during a purge on corrupt local officials last year.

He confessed and was sentenced to death. China executed 1,715 people last year, so one more death would hardly be remarkable.

But there will be nothing ordinary about Yong's death by lethal injection. Unless he wins an appeal, he will draw his final breath strapped inside a vehicle that has been specially developed to make executions more cost-effective and efficient.

In chilling echoes of the 'gas-wagon' project pioneered by the Nazis to slaughter criminals, the mentally ill and Jews, this former member of the China People's Party will be handcuffed to a so-called 'humane' bed and executed inside a gleaming new, hi-tech, mobile 'death van.'

After trials of the mobile execution service were launched quietly three years ago - then hushed up to prevent an international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer - these vehicles are now being deployed across China.

The number of executions is expected to rise to a staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes - including tax evasion and fraud - are punishable by death in China).

Very barbaric but I know some here in Canada who would support it. They are criminals afterall and people here always complain that jails are too soft and we let criminals back onto the street too easy.

And people could use the organs! Except for maybe the criminal's mind, we could do without that!

97 push-ups in minute no biggie for senior


Source: UPI.com

A 63-year-old woman in Chengdu, China, says she can complete 97 push-ups in a single minute.

Huang Tianleng said thanks to her daily regimen of exercise, which includes 1-2 hours of push-ups, she is now eyeing taking part in a push-up competition in her Sichuan province city, China Daily reported Friday.

"I learned that a man named Wang Jiyue in our city can do 100 push-ups within 1 minute, I want to challenge him," Huang, who since 2002 has exercised every single day, told the Daily.

That's pretty cool! I'm not sure I could do 1 push-up within 1 minute :D

Canadian researchers uncover vast Chinese cyber spy network

Source: National Post

A 10-month investigation by a team of researchers at the University of Toronto uncovered a broad Chinese espionage scheme that reached into foreign embassies, news services and even the office of the Dalai Lama.

The researchers says the system - called GhostNet - sent e-mails that introduced malware into host computers, which in turn fed information back to servers located on the Chinese mainland.

"The GhostNet system directs infected computers to download a Trojan (horse) known as ghOst RAT that allows attackers to gain complete, real-time control," the authors write in Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network.

"Our investigation reveals that GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras."

What began as a case study of allegations of Chinese spying, centering on Tibetan institutions, turned up a network of nearly 1,300 "infected hosts" in 103 countries, including the Dalai Lama's private office and the Tibetan Government in Exile.

How is it China can censor anything we do but we can't figure out what they're up to?

Nice research guys, now Toronto will be the second target after the Dalai Lama's office!

World Champion: Kim Yu Na

figure skating
World champion flexibility!
Source: ESPN

Kim Yu-na won the title at the World Figure Skating Championships on Saturday night, setting off celebrations from Southern California to South Korea. Already treated like royalty at home -- her nickname is Queen Yu-na and she wears tiny, sparkling crowns in her ears -- her popularity is sure to grow now that she's given South Korea its first world title.

"I'm sure the whole globe shook," said Kim's coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser. "The whole country of Korea must be elated."

Kim won in record fashion, too. Her 207.71 points were the highest scored under figure skating's current judging system, shattering the old mark by eight. She was more than 16 points ahead of Joannie Rochette. Main rival Mao Asada was almost 20 points behind, falling to fourth.

When she saw the scores, Kim closed her eyes and shook her head. She then stood up, beaming, and waved to the cheering crowd. She cried as the South Korean anthem played.

"Always when I heard the anthem [before], I got teary and it got to the verge of crying. But I always kept it in," she said. "Today because it was a dream come true, I couldn't hold it in."

Rochette won the silver, Canada's first medal at the world championships since Liz Manley also won silver in 1988. Miki Ando, the 2007 world champion from Japan, was third.

Asada tumbled off the medals podium a year after winning the title. She'll have to console herself with trying two triple axels, a first by a woman at worlds. She fell on the second one.

Two triple axels! That's crazy for a girl. I can remember when girls first attempted triples of any kind! I can even remember men in Calgary 1988 barely doing triple axels. One day girls will do quads! Crazy!

So Korea first, Canada second and Japan third and fourth. Should set up for a great Olympic competition next year in Vancouver!

And she can sing too!

Youtube Link

Details of Jinnai's affair exposed

What a doofus!

Source: Tokyograph

Because of an affair by comedian Tomonori Jinnai (35), he and actress Norika Fujiwara (37) are now divorced. Jinnai admitted the truth on March 26, and the following day, weekly magazine FRIDAY published an article exposing photos and emails related to a woman Jinnai had slept with.

According to the magazine, Jinnai met the woman in an Osaka bar in July 2007, three months after Jinnai and Fujiwara's marriage. After hitting it off, Jinnai immediately emailed the woman's cell phone, asking her to join him in a hotel room. The woman asked, "Aren't you married?" but Jinnai replied, "Don't worry about it!"

The woman continued to receive emails from Jinnai, and the contents were always a room number and nothing else. The relationship with this woman went on for five months. As evidence of the affair, FRIDAY magazine published some of the emails and photos showing Jinnai lying in the hotel bed.

Although Jinnai has admitted and apologized for his immaturity and weakness, sources say that he had affairs with multiple women. More details of his affairs may come to light in the future.

Just three months after the wedding. Looks like he never stopped seeing women at any point! Creep!

Guess marrying a famous model wasn't enough for him!

PhD in India, security guard here, made right move

Source: Toronto Star

A university professor from India, Vijay Bhosekar never thought he would don a security guard uniform and walk his beat in malls and condo buildings in Toronto.

But that's what the gregarious 49-year-old agricultural scientist has been doing since he arrived here in April 2005.

The pay, just above $10 an hour, is meagre but Bhosekar is taking it in stride while enrolled in courses to upgrade his skills and acquire credentials to be a certified environmental practitioner and earn a professional designation in agrology.

"My view is, relative to other survival jobs, this job can give me better exposure and networking opportunity to meet different people," said Bhosekar, who had taught at his alma mater, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Hyderabad, for years. "The job is quite interesting. The thing about Canada is, I don't feel I lose my dignity. People respect me for what I do."

Bhosekar and his wife, Vaishali, an elementary school teacher, came to Canada so their only daughter, Meghana, 19, could get the best education. She now majors in environmental science at York University.

"I felt I was well qualified for a lot of jobs with my line of work and expertise," he said. "But it was a horrifying reality when we got here."

It is unfortunate that people from other countries come to Canada and cannot qualify for the same jobs as in their homeland, mostly because of skill set and language. However this is the right attitude because the parents came to Canada for their daughter, not for themselves. Being a security guard in Canada may have a higher wages than a doctor in alot of other places. The goal is to work hard and get by so that the daughter has all the opportunities possible in Canada that she would not have in India.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour in Asia

Source: M&C

A combo picture showing Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers along with other building before and after turned off their lights to mark Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur 28 March 2009. Earth Hour is a campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions.

More photos

Suits and Backpacks!

Source: Asiaone

While it is not unheard of for men to carry backpacks well past their student years, this is more acceptable in creative industries where casual attire is the norm.

But not only is it virtually impossible to keep documents neat in a backpack, but it is also very likely that your bosses would not be too impressed if you met a client with contracts in your backpack.

Is it appropriate for a man dressed in a button-down shirt, trousers and leather shoes to carry a backpack to work?

A Vietnam Reporter's 8mm Camera Gun


Source : Gizmodo

While most people on the front lines would hope to pack a 9mm or better, one Vietnam reporter carried this deadly-looking Bolex 8mm camera gun that did nothing but shoot film.

As Boing Boing Gadgets points out, even if the rifle components offered the shooter some level of stability amidst the whizzing bullets of a war zone, would you ever want to look like you were aiming a gun at someone if you weren't really aiming a gun at someone?

You can bid on this Bolex H-8 on eBay now (it's over $1,000)

Look how small that is? I wouldn't be surprised if the reporter is dead. How are you supposed to draw that thing and shoot it quickly with such a tiny trigger?

World Cup: North Korea On Top Of Group After UAE Victory

Source: Goal.com

Pak Nam Chol and Mun In Guk gave North Korea a big push in the direction of South Africa on Saturday afternoon in Pyongyang by giving their team a 2-0 win over UAE in their 2010 World Cup qualification clash.

With previous leaders South Korea inactive and Iran and Saudi Arabia doing battle later on Saturday, Group Two makes fine reading for all fans north of the 38th Parallel.

North Korea have ten points from five games, two ahead of their neighbours and Wednesday’s opponents South Korea and four more than Iran in third.

The defeat ends any UAE chance of a second appearance on the global stage and leaves the team with one point from five matches.

Watched a bit of this as it took place in the HUGE Kim Il-Sung stadium which holds over 100,000. North Korea dominated and could have been much more than 2-0. They are almsot certain now to make South Africa 2010, their first World Cup appearance since 1966. In the other match mentioned Saudi Arabia shocked Iran 2-1 in Tehran. Iran played poorly, were lucky enough to score first, then decided to defend and played more poorly. Two goals in the last 10 minutes won it for the Saudis. Also, Japan beat Bahrain 1-0 in Saitama and Uzbekistan are out of the basement as they crushed Qatar 4-0 in Tashkent.

Looks like at this point, Australia, Japan, South Korea and North Korea are cretain to go to South Africa 2010. UAE is out and the rest are fighting for the 3rd place playoff.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Soladey-3: the Iconic, Ionic, No Toothpaste Toothbrush

toothbrush japan
Source: Japanorama

The Soladey-3 is the most recent iteration of a unique ionic toothbrush invented by Dr. Yoshinori Nakagawa, and millions are sold in Japan each year. The only ones not smiling at the Soladey-3's success are toothpaste manufacturers, since the Soladey-3 doesn't require toothpaste to keep teeth free from damaging dental plaque.

On the other hand, concern has been raised about toothpaste due to its fluoride content and the chronic abrasion on teeth from silica. If using toothpaste worries you, now there's an alternative!

Here's how this cool iconic toothbrush works - the Soladey-3 comes in 2 parts: a Body containing a small solar panel and a Titanium metal rod, and a replaceable Head which holds the bristles.

Light (not necessarily sunlight, either) that hits the small solar panel is converted to negative ions that travel along the rod and into the mouth, where the user's saliva exposes them to acids produced by the bacteria which cause plaque. The negative ions draw positive hydrogen ions out of the plaque, weakening its molecular structure and dissolving it away. Neat, huh?

I don't about neat! Sounds like a way to get electrocuted!

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Winners


Here is a montage of all the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

I'm sure you all have seen many of these great classics and it will bring back some nice memories.

Youtube Link

Missing in the video is the latest winner Departures from Japan.

Asian Ripoff XLVI - Keep Me Hangin' On

Artist - Noriko Matsumoto plus others
Language: Japanese

Youtube Link

Beijing Hotel Items - Vibrated Condom?

Source: I Love China

If you go to a Beijing Hotel and happen to need something that you forgot to pack. Here's the list!


I like how mouthrinse is crossed out, no need for that!

A Vibrated condom? Vibrated as in used? Vibrated already? What's that?

A guide to voting in North Korea

Source: Japan Probe

Youtube Link

As British Ambassador to North Korea Peter Hughes has graciously pointed out, North Korea recently held a fantastically fun election in which 99% of voters turned out and voted 100% approval upon Kim Jong-Il.

To give a closer look at the grand democracy taking place in North Korea, Japan’s NTV news had a man who once lived in the country reconstruct a typical voting booth scene. The instructions shown in the video are as follows:

1. Enter the voting room and bow to the staff person as you receive a voting card.
2. Your voting card will have Kim Jong-Il’s name printed on it. Old voting cards used to have ” [ ] Approve [ ] Disapprove” boxes one can select, but those cards were abolished in favor of the far more simple support cards.
3. There is a red pen on a side table that you may use to change your voting card to an anti-Kim Jong-il vote. There is a member of the secret police monitoring you as you vote, so the mere act of glancing at the red pen could get you in trouble. If you want to live until the next election, ignore the red pen.
4. To cast your vote, take your card and place it into the box. You must show your respect by bowing before the portraits of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il as you vote. Use both hands when placing the card in the box.

Everyone must vote. To keep the voter turnout percentage as high as possible, travel permits are heavily restricted in the month leading up to the election and those who are missing on election day may be officially declared dead.

Hay fever bots warn public about pollen


Source: Crave

Allergies are probably the most obvious way nature tells you it doesn't want you around. I know this love/hate relationship very well because it's spring and I've been sneezing in fits. What I don't always know, however, is how much nature hates me and just when it'll show it.

Fortunately, there are robots to help you with just that--if you live in Japan, that is.

According to NTDT TV, Weather News, a Japanese weather information company, has produced 500 globe-shaped robots that change color depending on the amount of allergy-causing pollen in the air. These fourth-generation pollen-detecting bots are smaller than previous iterations, according to the company.

The robots can detect different levels of pollen and put them on a scale from 1 to 5 via different colors. The robots actually look more like big fluorescent lights. Actually, I'm not why sure they're called robots; they don't even look cute.

Great. Now Japanese people will be walking around in more crowded places avoiding places with pollen!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Court Clears Woman Who Chased Robber to Death

Source: Crienglish

A Chinese court has ruled that a woman acted in self-defense when she drove her car in chasing three robbers, knocking them off their motorcycle causing the death of one of the robbers, the Guangzhou Daily reported Thursday.

The report said the robbers had followed Miss Long to her garage one early morning last July in Shunde district of Foshan city in southern Guangdong province. As she was out on the road and waited for a traffic light, two men smashed Miss Long's car window and snatched a handbag from the passenger's seat that contained over 80,000 yuan in cash and other documents.

The robbers then attempted to escape by jumping on a motorbike driven by a third accomplice who was waiting nearby. Miss Long sped after the robbers before knocking over the motorcycle with her car, according to eye-witnesses.

One robber died on the spot from the fall and two others were later arrested by police, who also found the stolen items and some iron drills that were used in the robbery.

The Foshan Intermediate Court ruled on Wednesday that although the robbers had started to escape after their criminal act, they were still within sight of the victim. Thus the court considered the robbery to be still in progress and ruled that Miss Long's chase and subsequent charging of the motorcycle was a case of justifiable defense.

The court also sentenced the two surviving robbers to 11 to 12 years in prison plus fines.

Seems like a strange decision to me. How can you chase someone down with your car and have it be self-defense? If you are being robbed and you hit the robber in the head and kill him, then you're defending yourself. But if the robbery has already happened and you've made a conscious decision to chase the robber while he's fleeing, then you're attacking. What if the woman had hit another car or an innocent bystander. That's not self-defense!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chicago laundromat manager battered, bruised, but not beaten

Source: Chicago Tribune

In a West Side laundromat, there's a man with little patience for loiterers—a frail 73-year-old veteran of the South Korean army who's stubborn enough to not be afraid.

When gangbangers and dope fiends wander in from Chicago Avenue, he yells at them in a mix of English and Korean, "Go out! Go out!"

If they listen, fine. If they don't, Ki Han picks up a phone in the back office and calls police.

On Monday night a man came into Spinning Bubble and confronted Han, accusing him of snitching. Han told the man to get out and then, said Han and the laundromat's owner, the man broke a whiskey bottle on a table and threatened Han with it.

Han said he went to the office and was just about to pick up the phone when the man attacked him. A police report stated Bennie Hale, 21, a convicted drug dealer, "punched Han in the face, causing bruising and abrasions, and leaving the man unable to see out of his left eye." Hale then destroyed computer equipment in the office and threw a microwave on top of Han, police and the laundromat's owner said.

I guess when you're 73 years old and have seen it all, nothing much scares you! Gotta love the sunglasses!

Asian-American Frat Life Marred By Hazing

Source: NPR

In recent years, Asian-American Greek life has emerged on college campuses. But along with the rise of Asian-American fraternities have come incidents of hazing, at least one of which turned fatal.

Fraternity members Brian Gee and Ken Hui are joined by Marion Phoummarath, whose brother Jack died after a hazing ritual, to discuss the culture of Asian-American frat life.

Listen Here

How does this start? Asian-Americans trying to fit in? Must be more an American thing than a Canadian thing cause I can't remember anything like this at UofC. The guy in the interview said he got nothing out of it in the end other than bad grades and not being able to get a job and was physically injured. Why do Asians always copy the bad stuff?

I went to University and went home. My group of friends would hang out at bubble tea places, Tim Hortons, and karaoke bars. No need to join a club and go on drinking binges? What do you think? Were you are are you in a fraternity/sorority?

My brush with indecent proposals

Source: Asiaone

YOUNG, aspiring and a little naive back then, but she wanted to have some fun and, perhaps, a stab at stardom.

When she made it to the list of the top 20 finalists in a beauty pageant in Hong Kong in the 1980s, it was a dream come true.

In an interview with The New Paper, actress Constance Ho said: 'I was like, wow, how did I manage that? I thought I was a little too short.'

But her euphoria was short-lived.

Three days into the intensive training and grooming programme, she was told: Have sex with a bigwig if you want to win one of the top three titles.

Constance - or He Jie, as she is better known here - refused. And 24 hours later, she was kicked out of the pageant for falsely declaring her marital status.

The actress, now in her 40s, said: 'If you did the sums, you'd know it was not a mere coincidence.'

That was not the first indecent proposition she received in Hong Kong.

She recalled: 'I'd gone to cast for a role in a new film but was told I had to strip on the spot. I refused and well, I didn't get the role, of course.'

That too was in the late 1980s.

But bringing back that past for Constance is the recent suicide of Korean actress Jang Ja Yeon, whose death has prompted an investigation into unseemly practices in the country's entertainment industry.

She was found dead in her home on 7Mar. Korean police are now investigating allegations that she was coerced - by her management agency - into having sex with various public figures.

More proof that Asian pageants are all fixed. In Vietnam for example every tear a girl from the north wins. A girl from the south can never win. I think the Jang Ja Yeon case has also proven that showbiz is a nasty business. All those squeaky-clean actress on Asian dramas that little girls idolize.. they've all slept their way to the top. Sometimes you see a good actress in a series and they disappear while a poor actress continues series after series. The turnover rate for actresses and singers in Asia is much higher than those in America.

So the next time you hear, she's so sweet, she's so shy, she's so innocent in this tv series!! She's not.

Ghibli's Ponyo Dated for August 14 in U.S. Theaters

Source: ANN

Walt Disney Pictures has announced that Ponyo, the latest film from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro), will open in American theaters on August 14. The story follows an ordinary boy named Sosuke (Frankie Jonas) and his friendship with Ponyo (Noah Cyrus), a goldfish who wishes to be human. The other castmembers include Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White.

Ponyo is the English release name for Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, which Studio Ghibli and TOHO released in Japan on July 19 of last year. It became Japan's highest grossing film of 2009. Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Steve Alpert are producing the English-language dub, while Miyazaki himself and John Lasseter (Pixar's Toy Story, Cars) are executive producers.

Here is the Ponyo song. Apologies in advance if the song gets stuck on your head!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BoA Unable to Make Pre-Game Performance


Source: Korea Times

South Korea's pop star BoA was unable to make a pre-game performance at the second World Baseball Classic Tuesday due to fever and swollen tonsils.

SM Entertainment said, ``BoA had been scheduled to perform before the Korea-Japan baseball final at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles but the abrupt illness forced her to cancel the plan.''

BoA, who had recently entered the American market, has been sick in recent days with her busy schedule in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Ah that's why Korea lost! They could have used another pitcher to face Ichiro!

Youtube Link

Mum’s my Facebook friend


Source: Asiaone

FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD Sheryl Seet does not just share photos with her friends on her Facebook profile.

She also shares them with her mother, whom she added to her list of friends on the social-networking site last December.

Sheryl’s mother, 41-year-old manager N. Seet, also sometimes receives messages on her Facebook profile from Sheryl and will chat online with her at work using MSN Messenger.

In fact, it was Mrs Seet who introduced the teenager to Facebook.

As Mrs Seet can reply to Sheryl’s online messages even at work during periods when she is less busy, Sheryl said that “it’s easier to communicate with my mother online than to call her”.

Sheryl is part of a generation of Internet-savvy children who are “friending” their parents on online social-networking sites.

An online global survey done in the last two months of last year found that one in four children aged eight to 17 added their parents to their list of friends on online profiles on sites like Facebook and Friendster.

Although kids will never admit it it's probably a good thing to have your parents involved in facebook. It would make the parent-child relationship more healthy and parents are pretty hip (they were kids once too) and would easily learn how to facebook as well.

Here's our own poll.

Are you friends with either of your parents on facebook?

Marvelous Entertainment Asks 17 Percent Of Workforce To Quit

japanese girl
Here's your retirement guide!

Source: Kotaku

Japanese anime, music and game company Marvelous Entertainment has asking for a number of its employees to retire. The exact number, according to Marvelous, is "in the range of 20" workers (about 17 percent).

Those who voluntarily retire between March 23 and April 3 will receive a special severance payment. Their retirement would commence on April 30.

This is the latest measure from Marvelous to curb costs. After this year's earning were down compared to last, the company reduced bonuses and cancelled large scale publicity events and overseas musical performances.

Marvelous Entertainment has released Harvest Moon titles and No More Heroes, among other titles.

A sign of the times isn't it. Even video games are in recession!

Man arrested for attempted murder after pushing woman off platform at Tokyo station

Source: Japan Today

A 24-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder on Monday night, accused of pushing a 60-year-old woman off a platform and onto the train tracks at Tokyo station.

Police said the woman was waiting for a Chuo line rapid train on platform 1 of Tokyo station, when she was pushed from behind onto the tracks at about 8.10 p.m., and hit by the train arriving at the platform. The woman suffered injuries to her head and body, but was in a stable condition in hospital, police said Tuesday.

Police said Shusuke Ota, reportedly unemployed and suffering from a mental disability, ran away after pushing the woman off the platform but was caught and held by a station staff member and two other men until police arrived.

An eyewitness told police that one of the men yelled at him asking him if he knew what he had just done, and said that Ota was screaming that he had failed an employment exam and that the world did not need him. Ota later admitted to police he pushed the woman off the platform, saying he wanted to die, and did it to get the death penalty.

The woman was pushed from the platform where the front car of the train was about to stop. The train driver said he saw the woman on the tracks and applied the brakes. The train made contact with the woman at a low speed, police said.

First of all it must suck being a train driver in Japan. Dealing with the crowds and always have to brake for possible suicides and murders.

Secondly, the lady didn't die and the guy was mentally unstable. I don't know about Japan but in Canada he wouldn't have to serve anytime.

Robot supermodel makes catwalk debut


Source: Ananova

The £1.37m HRP-4C humanoid has battery-powered motors in her face to help her flash a smile, lower her eyelids and sashay along a catwalk.

Measuring a slightly short 5 ft 2 inches and weighing a model like 43 kg, the features of the robot were modelled on the wide-eyed characters popular in Japanese "anime" cartoons.

However, despite her apparent physical perfections, its creators at National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) admitted it had a long way to go before it would rival real life models.

"Our robot can't move elegantly like the real models that are here today," admitted Shuji Kajita, director of humanoid robot engineering AIST.

"It will take another 20 to 30 years of research to make that happen."

Japan is famous for its cutting-edge robotics industry and is home to nearly half of the world's 800,000 industrial robots, many of which are being developed to assist the nation's rapidly ageing population.

Can a robot really be a runway model? Don't runway models wear the newest, weirdest clothes, show off alot of flesh and swing those hips? Robots can't do that!

Thai 'Spider-Man' to the rescue

Source: BBC

An unusual disguise has helped a Bangkok fireman rescue an eight-year-old boy who had climbed on to a third-floor window ledge, Thai police say.

The firefighter dressed up as the comic book superhero Spider-Man in order to coax the boy, who is autistic, from his dangerous perch.

Police said teachers had alerted the fire station after the boy began crying and climbed out of a classroom window.

Kids don't listen to adults, teachers or parents. They only listen to comic-book heroes!

Asian Ripoff XLV - Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Artist: Jacky Cheung
Language: Cantonese

Boyz II Men suck! Three guys can't sing this song properly. Watch a HK legend sing it!

Youtube Link

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Winner and STILL Champions of the World!!!

So you're not going to walk me eh?

Source: MLB

The Japanese are the champions once again of the World Baseball Classic, successfully defending their 2006 title on Monday night at Dodger Stadium against their Korean rivals.

And they can thank old standby Ichiro Suzuki for the thrilling 5-3, 10-inning victory. The 35-year-old Mariners right fielder, snapped a 3-3 tie with a two-run single on an eight-pitch at-bat against right-handed reliever Chang Yong Lim with runners on second and third and two outs in the 10th.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was named MVP for the second straight Classic. He was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

A classic game and an incredible battle. Japan dominated early and knocked Korean starter Jung Keun Bong out in the 4th inning. But they could only get one run and left eight men on base due to timely pitching and great Korean defense.

Japanese starter Hisashi Iwakuma was perfect in the first 3 innings but gave up a solo home run to Shin Soo Choo in the 5th inning to tie the score 1-1.

After a few opportunities Japan eventually extended its lead to 3-1 in the 8th. Korea scratched out a run in the 8th and in the 9th tied the game off Yu Darvish on an RBI single by Bum Ho Lee.

Then the head-scratcher of the the game. In the top of the 10th Japan has 1st and 3rd with two outs and Ichiro up. Surely you can't pitch to this guy. You have a right-handed side-arm pitcher on the mound, surely you would walk Ichiro and loaded the bases and face the right-handed hitting Nakajima. You dodge Ichiro and have a force at every base. And then the Japanese make the mistake of stealing 2nd so now 1st base is open. There is absolutely no reason to pitch to Ichiro. Even Joe Morgan knows that!

But the Koreans are too cocky and too proud. They are not scared of big brother Japan and they're out to prove it! Well they are scared now. Ichiro fouls off a bunch of pitches and nearly takes the pitcher's head off with a liner up the middle. Two runs score, 5-3 and game over.

A wonderful tournament and Japan gets to call Korea its bitch for another four years. Sayonara and see you 2013!

Highlights and analysis of the final!
The Breakdown

South Africa to Dalai Lama: GTFO, STFU

Immigration authorities in South Africa have preemptively denied the 14th Dalai Lama from attending an upcoming peace conference to be held this week in Johannesburg, saying that it is "not in the interests" of South Africa to allow the spiritual leader of most of the world's Buddhists (pictured above at left in ironic juxtaposition with South African Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu) to attend. Why would South Africa object to the relatively benign presence of the Dalai Lama at an international navel gazing conference, anyway?

Oh, that's right

Frankly, the world loses as little from his holiness' absence as it would have gained from his attendence. These conferences are a dime a dozen, and the Dalai Lama attends so many of them a year that I doubt even he can keep them straight anymore. South Africa's pre-emptive, apparently unprompted, collapse to Beijing's desires merely highlights the increasingly hamhanded beligerence with which China is demanding obeisance from its new string of African trading partners, and the lightning fast speed with which South Africa's ruling ANC party continues to squander decades of accumulated political goodwill and moral authoritity.

Your Agenda: Discussions on China (3 of 3)

The Canadian show The Agenda ran a three part series about China.

The final was aired on Thursday March 19, 2009

Part three was about Canada-China relations.

And if you missed it, here is Part Two about Politics and here is Part One about Economics.

Let's Play FIVE: Japan and Korea in the WBC final

Source: MLB

Japan's trip started in Tokyo more than two weeks ago and continued through a pair of exhibition games in Arizona and a weeklong pit stop in San Diego.

On Sunday, the journey led Japan to Dodger Stadium and a clash with a Team USA squad loaded with Major Leaguers and a boisterous crowd of 43,630, the most for a World Baseball Classic game on American soil.

The result was one for the Japanese history books.

Japan 9, USA 4.

Japan is now headed to the World Baseball Classic championship game to defend its title against Korea in the fifth meeting between the two countries in this tournament. The teams split two games in Pool A at the Tokyo Dome and split two games at PETCO Park in the second round.

Overall, Korea holds a 4-3 advantage in two Classics, although Japan defeated Korea in a single-elimination semifinal game three years ago on its way to the inaugural championship. Korea defeated Venezuela, 10-2, in the other semifinal game on Saturday.

Was a bit tight for Japan at first as Dice-K laboured through 4.2 innings and 98 pitches. But they broke the game open scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th and cruised to a 9-4 win.

So Japan and Korea split their two games in Tokyo and also split their two games in San Diego. Now it's the final showdown at Dodger Stadium.

Korea won a coin flip this morning will be the home team in Monday night's World Baseball Classic Final against Japan. Korea will wear white uniforms and be in the first base dugout and more importantly, bat last while Japan will wear dark blue jerseys and gray pants and be in the third base dugout.

Japan starts Hisashi Iwakuma, who is 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings in three Classic games this year. In a bit of a surprise, Yu Darvish pitched the ninth inning against the Americans on Sunday. It was thought he might be the choice to start the final. But instead it's Iwakuma who shut out Cuba for six innings in an elimination game in his last outing.

Korea starts Jung Keun Bong, who is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in 13 2/3 innings in three Classic appearances this year. Bong's two wins came against Japan – he has a 0.84 ERA in 10 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and just six hits allowed against the Japanese.

The starting pitchers aren't allowed to exceed 100 pitches. It's expected to be a fairly windy, cool night, so that could keep scoring down.

The game tonight starts at 9:30 Eastern Time. You have no excuse but to watch this classic. There is no NCAA tournament so your sporting night should be free!

USA-Japan semifinal highlights

Who will win the 2009 World Baseball Classic

Economic woes impact World Expo


Source: BBC

Chinese officials insist next year's World Expo in Shanghai has enough sponsorship and enough participants to be a success, despite the pressures of the current worldwide economic crisis.

Some 232 countries and organisations have signed up to take part in the technology and innovation showcase, although several have scaled back their plans.

With just over 400 days to go until the exhibition opens, the United States has yet to confirm its attendance because it's struggling to find the money to build its pavilion.

US law prohibits the use of public money to build an Expo pavilion, and it's proving hard to raise the cash needed from other sources.

The US has missed World Expo before, but a failure to attend next year's event would be seen as a major snub by many Chinese.

Are these necessary anymore? I remember going to Expo 86 in Vancouver as a kid and it was alot of fun. I got to learn more about places like Kenya and Peru.

But nowadays, with technology and the internet, isn't is unnecessary to have world exhibit when everyone know everything about the world already? Since I haven't been to an Expo in over 20 years, what goes on in these pavilions now? Is it anything special that you wouldn't see at an IT fair or the recent SXSW conference in Austin.

I think the world has advanced well beyond the days of Expo 67 in Montreal and Expo 86 in Vancouver. I remember Calgary made a bid for Expo 2005 but lost to Aichi, Japan. I wonder how much that would have changed Calgary. Maybe we would have had that northern bypass highway already instead of chugging along 16th Ave!