July 12, 2017

Helen Ho of Recycle a Bicycle, NYC

Eleanor's NYC's profile of Helen Shirley Ho of recycle-a-bicycle, New York.



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January 29, 2017

Minimum SAT score for college admission: varies by race ?

A 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 accused Harvard of having a cap on the number of Asian students -- the percentage of Asians in Harvard's student body had remained about 16 percent to 19 percent for two decades even though the Asian-American percentage of the population had more than doubled. In 2016, the Asian American Coalition for Education filed a complaint with the Department of Education against Yale, where the Asian percentage had remained 13 percent to 16 percent for 20 years, as well as Brown and Dartmouth, urging investigation of their admissions practices for similar reasons.

Continue reading "Minimum SAT score for college admission: varies by race ?" »

July 4, 2016

New nerd glasses ? Low Bridge fit by Warby Parker

Warby Parker's Low Bridge.

Fit for everyone's eyes.

April 30, 2016

Asian-Americans (hyphenated)

Asian-Americans are the United States' most successful minority, but they are complaining ever more vigorously about discrimination, especially in academia.

A similar effect is visible in the law. In 2014, whereas 11% of law-firm associates were Asian, 3% of partners were. Recruiters at the top firms typically throw out applications from all but the top universities and scan the remainder for their extracurriculars, says Lauren Rivera of Northwestern University. "They're particularly interested in sports, such as lacrosse, squash and [rowing] crew. When you look at the demographic base of these sports, Asian-Americans are not heavily represented."

March 18, 2016

Investor immigrants are lucrative criminals seeking refuge ?

The program, called EB-5, allows wealthy foreign investors, for a price ranging from $500,000 to more than $1 million, to put themselves on a path to United States citizenship. The money must be used to finance a business in this country and eventually employ -- directly or indirectly -- at least 10 American workers in economically depressed areas.

But EB-5 has been the subject of increasing scrutiny since investigators uncovered numerous cases of fraud, discovered individuals with possible ties to Chinese and Iranian intelligence using fake documents and learned that international fugitives who have laundered money had infiltrated the program.

"It's no secret that the program has long been riddled with corruption and national security vulnerabilities," said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and a frequent critic of the program.

A number of Democrats echo his criticism, in large part because while most visa applicants must meet education or work requirements, the primary requirement for the EB-5 program is a "lawful source of investment income," one Department of Homeland Security memo said.

"I don't believe that America should be selling visas and eventually citizenship," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who wants to terminate a part of the program that allows foreign applicants to invest through regional development centers that pool investor money. "The right to immigrate should not be for sale."

Continue reading "Investor immigrants are lucrative criminals seeking refuge ?" »

September 10, 2015

On Californian demography

I had to explain that the upper-middle-class suburbs -- mainstream white America -- is the Wild West for Asian-Americans. So for as much as the show may cater to a white audience (i.e., those horrible faux accents), there is something for "us." And for many Asian-Americans -- whether here by adoption, immigration, or born here -- so much of life here as Americans is the desire to be accepted, and the rubrics for acceptance. In that sense, Fresh Off the Boat is universal in its theme.

-- Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

Tags: Korea, California.

January 23, 2015

Murakami pattern

When you read a Murakami you know it's going to contain the following list.

- Obscure Jazz references
- At least one bar scene where he can show off his knowledge of cocktails.
- A bizarre sex scene/ or imagined fantasy
- A character obsessed with fitness
- A protagonist in a middle management job with no aspirations
- A female love interest who apparently is never 'objectively' attractive but has some feature or nuance that attracts the protagonist.
- Central Tokyo but protagonist will leave to the country in search of an epiphany
- Unhealthy attention to cigarette brands

September 7, 2014

China's Campaign to Turn Working Women into Wifeys

China's Totally Misguided Campaign to Turn Working Women into Wifeys

Why China's leaders would want to push a generation of professional women back into the home at a time when Japan and South Korea are desperately trying to leverage the economic potential of women workers. At the World Economic Forum in January, for example, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted that increasing women's labor participation could boost Japan's GDP by as much as 16 percent. Other studies suggest that restricting job opportunities for women costs Asia $46 billion a year.

The answer, argues sociologist Leta Hong Fincher, lies in the Chinese government's determination to maintain social order at all costs, a subject she explores in her forthcoming book, Leftover Women. The book's title refers to a pejorative term, sheng nu, used by the government to describe unmarried women in their mid- to late-20s. Fincher argues that the "leftover women" campaign -- comprised of media propaganda, mass matchmaking events, and bogus studies about the debilitating effects of singledom -- are one piece of a larger state effort to control women, and society, through economic and cultural means.

September 1, 2014

Chinese American

The point of American life is to take Eddie Huangs and let them fuse the styles of rappers and foodies and hipsters and more--and thereby redefine "American." This is the great U.S. advantage. But there is nothing automatically self-renewing about our inclusive civic ecosystem. It must be cultivated continuously.

People like me can offer what I call the Chinese American way--tempering raw individualism with a sense of community; adding a corrective dose of duty and propriety to a society rooted in rights and self-expression; paying heed to context and history, not just what's shiniest here and now.

This fusion is perhaps best embodied by the second generation, children of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants who grow up at the intersection of cultures. Consider Ai-jen Poo, the New York-based founder of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She advocates fearlessly for a workforce of poor women of color. How American. But she does so using the language of love, intergenerational care and family responsibility. How Chinese.

Or take Tony Hsieh, the founder and CEO of, who moved his company to dilapidated downtown Las Vegas and put $300 million of his own fortune into revitalizing it. His goal is to foster community in perhaps the country's most atomistic place--audaciously American, profoundly Chinese.

Let China make it hard for outsiders to become Chinese. The great competition today isn't really between China and the U.S. It's between the static illusion of purity and the propulsive reality of hybridity. If we choose well, my country will still prevail.

July 20, 2014

Chop chop

Tell someone to hurry up than telling them to "chop-chop" -- especially if the phrase is accompanied by clapping or snapping fingers.

Continue reading "Chop chop" »

September 2, 2013

China's middles class affords $2500 summer camp

"Families should pay for good programs as long as they can afford them. Not attending them because of their cost is no different from giving up eating for fear of choking."

-- Shi Guopeng, deputy dean of academic affairs, Beijing No. 4 High School

"It's a privilege reserved for the wealthy, or at least for families above middle class," said Zhang Yang, who has a master's degree in education from Harvard and is the director of the overseas education department of the EIC Group, an education agency in Beijing. "I don't think these study-abroad tours are things ordinary families can afford."

A typical middle-class family could afford programs costing about $2,500, about half that of the least expensive summer sessions in the United States, he said.

When photographs of Chinese students looking forlorn as they ate hamburgers outside an American retail outlet while their teachers shopped inside appeared in mid-July on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, angry citizens asked why the teenagers were left to lounge around.

"People feel resentful because most families do not have the financial means to offer their children the opportunity to go on such tours, and they feel jealous of the families who do," said Li Jiayu, who runs the education company USAdaxue in Beijing.

Families who pay for the costliest summer programs often want to ensure that their children attend one of the 50 top-ranked American colleges, Chinese educators said, so competition for a place in one of these programs is high.

A closely supervised $14,000 program run by Elite Scholars of China accepted 26 out of 100 applicants who attended a two-week academic course at Wellesley College in Massachusetts followed by a week of visits to a dozen top colleges and their admissions officers. Participants were selected on the basis of interviews, said Tomer Rothschild, a co-founder of the agency.

Continue reading "China's middles class affords $2500 summer camp" »

June 11, 2013

Foodies are about access, not skill 2

Vera Chang, 26, who lives in Vermont, is one of those consumers who pays attention to the ingredients on the menu and the origins of the food they favor. She says she rarely eats at chain restaurants, finding places instead through Edible Communities, which gives advice on restaurants, chefs and food, or the local newspaper, which tells her about the chef and the provenance of the foods served.

"I like to know the story about the places I eat," Ms. Chang said. "I think it's key to feed one's heart in addition to one's stomach when going out."

She said it was harder for chain restaurants to tell stories about the people behind the food they served and about themselves.

Continue reading "Foodies are about access, not skill 2" »

May 14, 2013

Kimchi goes all-American

"If we would call something 'fermented,' consumers would have a shock and wonder whether we were feeding them something they're not supposed to eat," says Saumya Dwivedi, a senior research specialist at IFF.

Instead, when leading focus groups Ms. Dwivedi sticks to the adjectives she hears consumers use as they describe the fermented flavors they taste: tangy, pickled, briny.

Chef Paul Virant is the author of a book for home fermenting, "The Preservation Kitchen." The menus at his two high-end, Chicago-area restaurants center around fermented flavors. His team cans about $35,000 worth of produce, or about 4,000 jars, each year.

The sour notes generated during fermentation help balance the flavors of his cooking, he says, which includes Brussels-sprout kimchi and duck confit with fermented rutabaga. "People are pleasantly surprised when they try it," he says.

Mmm, the Flavors of Fermentation, WSJ, ELLEN BYRON April 10, 2013

April 23, 2013

saving old buildings and neighborhoods is essential to the continued vitality of great cities

In the early 1990s, Shanghai organized a special economic zone that led to the development of a financial hub in Pudong, on land previously occupied by warehouses and wharves. Towers sprouted to create an instant iconic skyline, but with a regrettable, scaleless urban moonscape below.

Should we in New York in 2013 emulate the Shanghai of the 1990s? Or should we heed the lesson the Chinese themselves have subsequently learned, that saving old buildings and neighborhoods is essential to the continued vitality of great cities? In Shanghai, the pre-World War II buildings along the Bund, which loom so very large in the city's appeal, have been saved and repurposed. Nearby, at Xintiandi, a historic residential neighborhood of stone houses and tight alleys has been transformed into a chic, walkable retail and entertainment district.

Terminal City, a sophisticated mix of hotels, clubs, office buildings and residential blocks at the heart of East Midtown, was built on platforms bridging the rail yards north of Grand Central. It was a bold plan to create valuable real estate where once there had been urban blight. As much as anything, this development created what the world knows today as Midtown Manhattan.

-- Robert A. M. Stern

Continue reading "saving old buildings and neighborhoods is essential to the continued vitality of great cities" »

February 13, 2013

Azerbaijan of Ibrahim Ibrahimov

Ibrahim Ibrahimov, who plans to live in the penthouse of Azerbaijan Tower, had his epiphany on a flight from Dubai. The vision behind Khazar Islands, after all, is not a vision so much as a simulacrum of a vision. The fake islands, the thousands of palm trees and the glass and steel towers -- many of which resemble Dubai's sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel -- are all emblems of the modern Persian Gulf petro-dictatorship. And two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union -- its final custodian during 23 centuries of near-constant occupation -- Azerbaijan could be accused of having similar ambitions. The country, which is about the size of South Carolina, has 9.2 million people and is cut off from any oceans. It builds nothing that the rest of the world wants and has no internationally recognized universities.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, the energy sector became a source of enormous wealth. Now Azerbaijan is trying to take advantage of that wealth. As such, Avesta's sales and marketing team recently produced a gleaming 101-page coffee-table book in a gilded box promoting Khazar Islands. It features photographs of men in Italian suits and women with pouty faces; everyone drinks wine and is on a cigarette boat or in a Mercedes convertible. There's also a video that shows computer renderings of Khazar Islands in the not-too-distant future. The video lasts 5 minutes 6 seconds and includes an image of a make-believe skyline at night and another of Ibrahimov on a cellphone in front of a private jet, even though, he conceded, he doesn't own one.

Continue reading "Azerbaijan of Ibrahim Ibrahimov" »

October 31, 2012

Mandoo City

New York has been a dumpling town for a long time. Up and down the streets of Flushing (and at countless stuffed-pouch shrines like Vanessa's Dumpling House, Joe's Shanghai, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Grand Sichuan, Prosperity Dumpling and M Shanghai Bistro & Garden), diners can feast on platters of two-bite delights while sometimes spending less than you'd pay for a morning cup of coffee.

But lately, in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens, at spots like Talde, RedFarm, Hakkasan, Danji, the Good Fork, the Hurricane Club, the Rickshaw food truck, Biang! and (at unpredictable intervals) Mission Chinese Food, classic dumpling forms are being executed with meticulous care -- and stuffed, pinched and twisted into fresh manifestations.

In Park Slope, Dale Talde has engineered one of the most hunted-down bar snacks of 2012, a beer-friendly, street-cart collision known as the "pretzel dumpling."

Continue reading "Mandoo City" »

August 1, 2012

Middle class in Indonesia shops at 7 11

"Before you had a dirty, sweaty little street shop, and that's all there was," said Mr. Guharoy of Roy Morgan Research, referring to the warungs. "Now you can go to a clean, air-conditioned shop and it's a better experience."

To appeal to local tastes in the world's most populous Muslim country, 7-Eleven had to rethink its sales strategy.

The store offers ready-made fried rice, doughnuts and its signature Big Gulp soft drinks and flavored-ice Slurpees. Most outlets also sell beer and wine coolers -- though each new shop conducts neighborhood surveys to get community approval first.

Meals can cost less than 23,000 rupiah, which appeals to families that might once have gone to McDonald's, a close competitor. Novi, a 37-year-old travel agent who, like many Indonesians, goes by only one name, said she liked the comfort of being indoors and the international food options. Her favorite is chicken katsu, a Japanese-style fried cutlet.

"There is a different kind of atmosphere, a different kind of food," she said, in comparing 7-Eleven with the food stalls she used to frequent. "There is air-conditioning here and there are no buskers to bother you."

The store's Big Bite hot dogs and cafe items -- coffee and cappuccino -- bring in the most sales. Small snacks like chips and pillow bread, tiny sandwiches filled with cheese or chocolate, are also popular.

With 69 stores in Indonesia, all of them in Jakarta, 7-Eleven lags behind its closest competitors, including McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC, which together have more than 600 outlets.

But 7-Eleven is expanding much faster, having added 36 stores last year alone. In Thailand, 7-Eleven has one store for every 10,000 people. If the same ratio were applied in Jakarta, Mr. Honoris said, the city could see 2,000 outlets.

The swift growth of the middle class shows the enormous potential for expansion. From 2003 to 2010, about 50 million people entered the middle-income bracket, with disposable income of $2 to $20 per day, according to the World Bank. Indonesia's gross domestic product per capita is now more than $3,600, exceeding that of India, the second-largest consumer market in Asia, after China.

Continue reading "Middle class in Indonesia shops at 7 11" »

January 4, 2012

EGShares Small Cap India ETF (SCIN)

EGShares Small Cap India ETF (SCIN)

This pick is more of an opportunistic buy of an asset class that has potential to deliver huge returns over the long run. The Indian economy is expected to eventually become the second-largest in the world, posting growth rates over the next several decades that surpass even China. Small cap companies that rely on growth in local consumption should be ideally positioned to profit from a swelling middle class, ongoing urbanization, and general increases in wealth and improvements in quality of life [see Evaluating India ETFs: Three Important Factors To Consider].

SCIN's struggles in 2011 allow investors to tap into this investment theme at a big discount; this fund has lost more than 40% of its value in 2011 as a result of inflation-related concerns, corruption, and general risk aversion. India is frustrating to many investors: a massive economy with tremendous untapped economic potential that has repeatedly stumbled in its attempt to increase its presence on the global stage. SCIN could definitely have more short-term volatility ahead, but this fund could deliver some impressive returns to those willing and able to hold on for the long haul.

November 24, 2011

Three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny.

According to the ancient Chinese philosopher Xunzi, there were three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny. Humane authority won the hearts and minds of the people at home and abroad. Tyranny -- based on military force -- inevitably created enemies. Hegemonic powers lay in between: they did not cheat the people at home or cheat allies abroad. But they were frequently indifferent to moral concerns and often used violence against non-allies. The philosophers generally agreed that humane authority would win in any competition with hegemony or tyranny.

In other countries, China must display humane authority in order to compete with the United States, which remains the world's pre-eminent hegemonic power. Military strength underpins hegemony and helps to explain why the United States has so many allies. President Obama has made strategic mistakes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, but his actions also demonstrate that Washington is capable of leading three foreign wars simultaneously. By contrast, China's army has not been involved in any war since 1984, with Vietnam, and very few of its high-ranking officers, let alone its soldiers, have any battlefield experience.

Continue reading "Three types of leadership: humane authority, hegemony and tyranny." »

September 25, 2011

Honda losing its way

My family has owned four Civics over the last 20 years. Every month I pay $347.66 on my daily driver, a Civic Si sedan I bought new back in 2008. With this new, indifferent Civic, alongside the hulking second-generation Pilot sport utility; the Insight, a cut-rate Prius clone; and virtually all of the current Acura models, Honda seems intent on eradicating its own distinctiveness.

Where is the Honda that built the sophisticated Prelude sporty coupe, the intuitive S2000 roadster, the overachieving Integra Type R and the world-beating NSX supercar? The Honda where keeping things simple also meant better quality, thoughtful detailing, exquisite engineering and delightful mechanical operation?

I want that Honda back.

Continue reading "Honda losing its way" »

April 12, 2011

Why can't American airports have public transport like this?

Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo-Narita and Shanghai are among other spots in Asia with similar railway links. And this is where it gets depressing. Why can't American airports have public transport like this? Even our most expensive efforts are half-assed by comparison. Compare the best of Asia with, for example, my hometown airport, Boston-Logan. My commute to the airport by public transportation takes almost an hour and requires two changes, including a ride on the Silver Line bus, which, in addition to being at the mercy of automobile traffic, requires, at one point, that the driver step out and manually switch power sources to the bus.

Or how about JFK, where for hundreds of millions of dollars they finally got the AirTrain completed -- an inter-terminal rail loop that can't take you beyond the Queens subway. Heck, it can take 45 minutes, up and down a byzantine array of escalators, elevators and passageways, just to get from one terminal to another, let alone all the way to Manhattan. The distance from Shanghai airport to the city is about 20 miles -- roughly the mileage from JFK to midtown. Shanghai's bullet train covers this distance in seven minutes.

Continue reading "Why can't American airports have public transport like this?" »

April 4, 2011

Fate of people born in Taro

"People say that those who live in Taro will encounter a tsunami twice in their lives," Ms. Araya said. "That's the fate of people born in Taro."

Perhaps because it was their fate, because they were used to rising from tsunamis every few generations, some of those walking on the sea wall were already thinking about the future.

Ryuju Yamamoto, 66, peered down, trying to spot his house below, but was more interested in talking about the woman he was wooing. A tatami-mat maker, he pointed below to a spot where he had found his dresser and tatami mat, as well as a doll he had received as a wedding gift three decades ago. His father had forced him into an arranged marriage, he said, that lasted 40 days.

"I learned that she already had this," he said, pointing to his thumb, signifying a boyfriend. "And she refused to break it off."


In Japan, Seawall Offered a False Sense of Security

Published: March 31, 2011
A Japanese town's faith in a seawall and its ability to save residents from any tsunami was so unshakable, that some rushed toward it after the earthquake struck.

December 23, 2010

Veracity of financial statements in China

SEC's Smart Step at Fighting China Fraud
By Eric Jackson, Senior Contributor12/22/10 - 08:12 AM EST

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission took a step in the right direction this week by punishing a small U.S. audit firm for work it had done for a Chinese company.

The SEC's settlement with Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer & Torbet LLP of Orange County is related to overstatements of financial results that China Energy Savings Technology made in 2004 and 2005.

Last month, I wrote in RealMoney that there were many small U.S. auditors operating in China that are basically a joke. They are not performing audits in the manner an average person would expect them to be done. In many cases -- not just a few -- I believe that these audit firms are simply signing off on numbers given to them by management to bank their auditing fees (which can be up to $300,000 for one year from one client) and in the hopes of winning new clients from that company's pre-IPO investors.

These cases appear to be isolated to the smaller-capitalization Chinese companies who initially go public in a reverse takeover (RTO) of an existing shell company on the over-the-counter (OTC) exchange with the intention of later uplisting to the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

The SEC's action on Monday likely is the tip of the iceberg of its investigations into this area.

-- breakoutperformance.

October 27, 2010

On line youth are really 'there' in Japan

Like tank commanders giving shout outs through the fog of the battlefield

Consider a fascinating study of the text messaging behavior of Tokyo teenagers that was conducted as part of a much larger investigation of "digital youth" by Mimi Ito, the late Peter Lyman and their colleagues. The kids text back and forth all day. What are they writing? What is so pressing that it can't wait till they see each other?

Anthropologists looking at the matter were surprised to discover that the kids rarely send informative or detailed messages. As a general rule, they are not telling each other anything. Rather, they are just letting each other know that they are "there," that they are online, in reach. Texting for the kids is a way of "pinging" each other. They bounce pings back and forth and so signal their presence for each other.

October 26, 2010

Lady Sumo

Originally performed as a Shinto ritual to entertain the gods so they would bestow a good harvest, the game dates back well over a thousand years. It is a trial of strength in which 48 techniques may be used to throw an opponent off balance so that he steps out of the ring or falls to the ground. A match begins with a head-on collision, followed by a wild fit of shoving, lifting, throwing, tripping, slapping, yanking or any combination thereof. It is often over in less than 10 seconds but can last a minute or more.

An 18-year-old high school senior from Tottori, Yuka Ueta, was the strongest wrestler of the tournament. At 275 pounds, she plowed her way through five matches in the open weight class, dispatching each opponent within moments to earn her first gold medal in the senior group.


Continue reading "Lady Sumo" »

October 3, 2010

David Choe


David Choe's asian logo (bio).

July 21, 2010

Beijing edition of Queens' Crap.

Instead, they seize property in parts of the city they deem "unhygienic and unsafe," rezone much of it as commercial property and sell it for huge profits. The concession to history often consists of a few new buildings with upturned eaves and garishly painted timber slapped on concrete facades.

Aarguments have had limited impact on this redevelopment-crazed city. In recent years, two-thirds of Beijing's 3,000 narrow lanes, known as hutongs, have been subsumed by mega-developments, many of them in neighborhoods that were officially designated preservation zones.

Continue reading "Beijing edition of Queens' Crap." »

July 14, 2010

Skin-whitening Facebook India app

Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook India app
(AFP) - 15 hours ago

NEW DELHI -- Skincare group Vaseline has introduced a skin-lightening application for Facebook in India, enabling users to make their skin whiter in their profile pictures.
The download is designed to promote Vaseline's range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.


The widget promises to "transform your face on Facebook with Vaseline Men" in a campaign fronted by Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur, who is depicted with his face divided into dark and fair halves.
"We started campaign advertising (for the application) from the second week of June and the response has been pretty phenomenal," Pankaj Parihar from global advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, told AFP.

In 2005, Indian cosmetics giant Emani launched the first skin-whitening cream for men, called "Fair and Handsome", 27 years after the first cream for women.
Since then a half dozen foreign brands have piled into the market for men, including Garnier, L'Oreal and Nivea, which promote the seemingly magical lightening qualities of their products in ubiquitous advertising.

In 2009, a poll of nearly 12,000 people by online dating site, revealed that skin tone was considered the most important criteria when choosing a partner in three northern Indian states.

Continue reading "Skin-whitening Facebook India app" »

March 27, 2010

renrou sousuo yinqing (Human-flesh search engines)

Human-flesh search engines -- renrou sousuo yinqing -- have become a Chinese phenomenon: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath.

The popular meaning is now not just a search by humans but also a search for humans, initially performed online but intended to cause real-world consequences. Searches have been directed against all kinds of people, including cheating spouses, corrupt government officials, amateur pornography makers, Chinese citizens who are perceived as unpatriotic, journalists who urge a moderate stance on Tibet and rich people who try to game the Chinese system. Human-flesh searches highlight what people are willing to fight for: the political issues, polarizing events and contested moral standards that are the fault lines of contemporary China.

Posted to Asia, search, words.

Continue reading "renrou sousuo yinqing (Human-flesh search engines)" »

November 28, 2009

India to Indians: give up and accept it the way it is ?

"India can seem to have a fairly ambiguous and chaotic way of working, but it works," Ms. Bansal said. "I've heard people say things like 'It is so inefficient or it is so unprofessional.' " She said it was more constructive to just accept customs as being different.


"Some very simple practices that you often take for granted, such as being ethical in day to day situations, or believing in the rule of law in everyday behavior, are surprisingly absent in many situations," said Raju Narisetti, who was born in Hyderabad and returned to India in 2006 to found a business newspaper called Mint, which is now the country's second-biggest business paper by readership.

He said he left earlier than he expected because of a "troubling nexus" of business, politics and publishing that he called "draining on body and soul." He returned to the United States this year to join The Washington Post.

Continue reading "India to Indians: give up and accept it the way it is ?" »

June 10, 2009

Affirmative gao kao (the high test)

Mr. Liu calculated that his score leaped by more than 100 points over last year's dismal performance. But he was still downcast, uncertain whether he would make the cutoff to apply to top-tier universities. The cutoff mark can vary by an applicant's place of residence and ethnicity.
Ms. Li, on the other hand, was exhilarated by her estimate of 482.5, figuring it was probably high enough for admittance to a college of the second rank.

Posted to Fair and Asia.

Continue reading "Affirmative gao kao (the high test)" »

March 4, 2009

Thailand overcomes migrants

In one case last month, the reports say, 410 Rohingya migrants were taken out to sea on a Thai Navy vessel and forced onto an open barge with just four barrels of water and two sacks of rice.

Four people were thrown overboard with their hands and feet tied as a way to encourage the others to board the barge, according to the reports.

After drifting for two weeks, about 100 of the migrants were rescued on the Andaman Islands, which are administered by India. About 300 remain missing after trying to swim to shore, according to several reports from the news media and human rights groups.

In a second case soon afterward, 580 people were reportedly seized off the Thai coast on three overcrowded fishing boats. These were towed back out to sea after their engines were removed, said Chris Lewa, an expert on Rohingya issues who runs a private human rights group called the Arakan Project.

Continue reading "Thailand overcomes migrants" »

December 27, 2008

Best building, 2008: Peking International Express

In Beijing, it didn't matter what the Dow was, of course, since the Chinese government's decision to make itself the world's leading patron of architecture was dependent on other things, including cheap labor. In time for the 2008 Olympics, the world saw the fruits of China's decision to put aside nationalism, hire the greatest architects from around the world, and let them do the kind of things they could never afford to do at home. That brought us two of the greatest buildings of the year, Herzog and de Meuron's extraordinary Olympic Stadium, the stunning steel latticework structure widely known as the Bird's Nest; and Norman Foster's Beijing Airport, a project that was not only bigger than any other airport in the world, but more beautiful, more logically laid out, and more quickly built. And the headquarters of CCTV, the Chinese television network, by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture--a building which I had thought was going to be a pretentious piece of structural exhibitionism--turned out to be a compelling and exciting piece of structural exhibitionism.

-- Paul Goldberger, the New Yorker's architecture critic.

Continue reading "Best building, 2008: Peking International Express" »

November 29, 2008

Traditionally, the yakuza have run protection rackets, as well as gambling, sex and other businesses

The Dojinkai is one of the country's 22 crime syndicates, employing some 85,000 members and recognized by the government.

Traditionally, the yakuza have run protection rackets, as well as gambling, sex and other businesses that the authorities believed were a necessary part of any society. By letting the yakuza operate relatively freely, the authorities were able to keep an extremely close watch on them.

Continue reading "Traditionally, the yakuza have run protection rackets, as well as gambling, sex and other businesses" »

August 31, 2008

Fashion in Vogue, India

Fashion publicity gets publicity where the goods are richer
than the models.

The juxtaposition between poverty and growing wealth presents
an unsavory dilemma for luxury goods makers jumping into India.

Expect follow-ups on Rate A Desi or Sepia Mutiny.

Continue reading "Fashion in Vogue, India" »

June 12, 2007

Tehran the Beautiful

Jadi points to Tehran.

April 11, 2007

World class monkeys

"To be a world-class city we need to have good quality housing",
Ajay Maken said in an interview in his office in an upscale part of Delhi
where power failures are rare and the water supply is good (although
wild monkeys dance on the cars of officials outside, resistant
to all campaigns to banish them).

March 9, 2007


Peking Duck, China-centric Asian blog.

February 4, 2007

China curbs urban housing demand

BEIJING (AP) -- Foreigners in Beijing will be limited to buying
a single home for their own use under new curbs imposed amid
efforts to slow a surge in housing costs, newspapers reported

Foreign home-buyers in Beijing will have to prove they have lived
in China for a year for work or study, and will be barred from
renting out the property, the Beijing Morning Post and China
Daily newspapers said.

Continue reading "China curbs urban housing demand" »

December 9, 2006

sepia mutiny

East Indian blogging by sepiamutiny, example.

September 25, 2006

Ani Phyo

Raw like sushi: Ani Phyo.

September 14, 2006

Urban Dictionary

urbandictionary is looking good.

Collaborative nature compels user contributions
and feedback, thumbsupping or thumbsdowning
competing definitions on clarity, detail, and
plausibility (for the zero information set) or
accuracy (for those in the know.

The freshness of the content poses a challenge
o the traditional dictionary.

Its information architecture lists adjacent and
related words, and offers endless serendipity.

Example: garaigo.

Continue reading "Urban Dictionary" »

July 13, 2006

Bulgogi Korean BBQ beef in Flushing, Queens

Korean bbq place in Flushing, Queens. Recommended.

San Hai Jin Mi
36-24 Union Street,
Flushing, Queens, NY 11354
(on Union just south of Northern Blvd. )
ph 718-539-3274

Great bulgogi and they’re open 24 hours as well though they
are not set up for tourists like the ones on K-town 32nd Street.

Continue reading "Bulgogi Korean BBQ beef in Flushing, Queens" »

December 27, 2005

Hanzi smatter

hanzi smatter or hanzis matter ?
Proofreads tatoos, ex post.

勢 (power; force; tendency) and 夢 (dream).

November 30, 2005

That's Shanghai xpats

ThatsShanghai guide to Bejing, Guangzhou and of course Shanghai.
With an xpat perspective.

August 28, 2005


Shanghaiist, Gothamist of the East: *; examples:
Shanghai Daily, amusing Chinglish: *

And fake StarBucks. (bb has more Starbucks clones).

August 3, 2005

Republican Theme Park

This Republican Theme Park from America is My Girlfriend by Jasik.

July 31, 2005

Shanghai Roads

As many road geeking opportunities as California ?

Continue reading "Shanghai Roads" »

July 30, 2005


Sinosplice: worthy of blogrolling: updates
Ape Rifle / China-on-the-Thames / ode to VW Santana (Dasher/Quantum/Passat ?) /
Montreal over Toronto / subtle subtitles

July 29, 2005

bad architecture in Beijing

An investigation of the not-so-subtle bad architecture in Beijing.

Three Rockets

Continue reading "bad architecture in Beijing" »

July 28, 2005

Chinese Triad

Chinese Triad photo journal.

June 14, 2005

Sarong Party Girl

Sarong Party Girl, sarongpartygirl.

Update 2009: moved to Babelogic and learned to draw.

Continue reading "Sarong Party Girl" »

May 29, 2005

alllooksame: 20 headshots, CJK

All Look Same's classification exercise for 20 stock photos:
test yourself.

May 26, 2005

xiaxue / Wendy Cheng

Why do you worship the ground I blog on or the geekery ?

Xiaxue won an asian bloggie award, topped the defunct Gweilo Diaries.
Definately a cannonical example of chatty look-at-me writing,
from Singapore. It's raining men! And the shopping ! Now that's

Press clippings folder.

Endorsers: Zapped, Google Blogoscoped.

Detractors: C(h)ristine, antistereotype (Auntie Stereotype?) 1, 2.

Continue reading "xiaxue / Wendy Cheng" »

November 22, 2004

Tim Blair / Spleenville

Tim Blair / Spleenville, lively and colourfull blogger from Australia has a new blog.

Continue reading "Tim Blair / Spleenville" »