Sunday, October 26, 2008

S.F. State to mark 40th anniversary of strike

For nearly five months in late 1968 and early 1969, near anarchy at San Francisco State played out on national television as police thumped striking students with batons and hundreds of students were arrested after throwing rocks and firebombs.

The strike, led by minority students angered by their lack of representation on campus, marked the most violent chapter in the campus' history, paving the way for student activism around racial issues across the nation. It also fueled the political career of campus president S.I. Hayakawa, who later was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Asian American? You may be fatter than you think!

While I was aiming for a BMI of 25, it turns out that someone moved the goalposts for Asian Americans. BMI is short for “Body Mass Index”. It reflects height and weight proportions, and various organizations have drawn the lines between categories such as Obese, Overweight, Normal, and Underweight. For example, the World Health Organization defines Normal as 18.5 to 25.

Then, I discovered the Joslin Diabetes Centre associated with the Harvard Medical School. Turns out that Asian Americans should aim for a BMI of 23, not 25. Bottom line, I need to lose 15 pounds, not 5. The explanation? Asian Americans are “fatter” at a lower BMI than Caucasian Americans. This translates to an increased risk of diabetes and other health problems at lower weights.
'Flower Drum Song' moves to a new beat at AMT

David Henry Hwang embodies that line from "Flower Drum Song" with his radical new revival of the vintage Rodgers-and-Hammerstein musical, which runs through Nov. 9 at American Musical Theatre of San Jose.

The playwright has breathed fresh air into the old-fashioned tale of Mei Li, a young Chinese refugee who makes a new life in San Francisco's Chinatown, where her head is turned by the fusion of East and West on Grant Avenue.
Young Vietnamese-Americans turn away from GOP

"Many in the Vietnamese community felt Democrats were just too soft on communism and too weak on defense,'' recalls Minh Steven Dovan, a San Jose attorney who says he rarely told fellow members of the émigre community that he was a registered Democrat. Other émigres say that some Republican Vietnamese went as far as dubbing the Democrats in their midst "communist sympathizers.''

But more than three decades after communist tanks rolled into Saigon, young Vietnamese-Americans are abandoning the Republican Party in droves, according to a Mercury News computer analysis of nearly 30,000 new Santa Clara County voters. By plugging Vietnamese surnames into a database, the analysis shows that Vietnamese-Americans age 30 and under are registering Democratic over Republican by nearly 4 to 1.
Captain Kirk vs. Sulu

Takei and Altman had previously said that Shatner was invited to their wedding, but he did not RSVP.

"It is unfortunate that Bill was unable to join us for our wedding as he indeed was invited to attend," Takei said on his website. Speaking on US show Entertainment Tonight, Takei branded Shatner's rant as "silliness" and described the actor as having "a big, shining, demanding ego". He denied the allegation the pair were strangers saying: "We've done six movies together, three seasons of television and been doing Star Trek conventions together for the last 40-plus years - yes I guess he doesn't know us."

"By my sending an invitation to him was burying the hatchet - we keep reaching out and he takes it and twists it and turns it into something that's ugly," he said.
Shuffled! Grace Talusan

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US at age 3. She grew up in the suburbs of Boston. A a child, Grace played the flute and piano. She was a member of the math team in high school, and was pre-med in college. Despite these auspicious beginnings, with the encouragement of teachers, she became a writer.

After graduating from Tufts University with a degree in English, she earned an MFA in fiction from the University of California-Irvine and then began teaching in the creative writing program at the University of Oregon.
Wild Nights with The Kominas

Wild Nights in Guantanamo Bay, The Kominas first full length EP dropped last month on CD Baby as well as on iTunes. I’ve been listening to the album on repeat while at the gym and have found myself jaw dropping on more than one occasion as the album took me on a lyrical journey intertwining Islam, politics, and profanity. The album is polished, with a clean sound and reflecting a range of punk sounds and complicated influences. Wild Nights reminds me of a NOFX album in composition — up beat crass punk while subliminally highlighting social and political complexities. But in The Kominas case, the added spice of intersectionality between Islam, American, Desi, South Asian, and punk rock.
Militant Dissident Receives Human Rights Award

I picked up an article about Hu Jia yesterday in the NYTimes getting awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. If you don't know, Hu has been in captivity since Dec. 2007 and convicted last spring for organizing an underground human rights advocacy group. I must say, I am inspired. His wife, Zeng Jinyan, was a blogger that documented his disappearance while pursued by China's secret police. Asian-Am Blogger Raises $8,000 Against California Proposition 8 in 3 Days

About four days ago, Grace Chu of Grace the Spot and, along with seven of her close lesbian blogger friends, issued a challenge to the queer online community: To help them raise $8,000 in 8 days against California Proposition 8, the proposition that would institute a ban in the California constitution against same-sex marriage. Grace and her friends then set up a site, 8 Against 8, for this purpose and urged their readers to contribute.

None of them were expecting the immediate and passionate response. Within 8 hours, they had raised $2,000. In 2 days, $4,000. Yesterday, they had already broken their goal. Now they’re calling on other like-minded people to continue raising money, especially Asian Americans. According to Grace, “The sky’s the limit!”