Edoray - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Real life Cyborg - Hopefully this happens sooner than later.

This is really incredible. Besides the issue of how much this capability could increase someone’s own strength or abilities, can you imagine what this technology will do for the physically impaired? People with MS or any other circumstance where someone has lost the use of their skeletal or muscular system could be given another chance at a fully productive physically life. One of the researchers in this video brings up a good point, and that is that complete human artificial intelligence in a mechanical device is impossible, but creating a Cyborg, or a mechanically enhanced human would be easy. This is something that the military should be looking into, if not to enhance our fighting troops, to as least give them back their mobility after an accident. Most of this video is subtitled so you might have to watch it twice to get the full impact.
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Monday, October 30, 2006

Language Log: English in China

Language Log: English in China
Beijing, China
This site is compelling in general and can always be counted on for good posts, but I found this article especially interesting. It's another example of how far behind we are in educating our youngsters. He mentions how common it is for 4 and 5 year old Chinese children to start learning English. Remarkable when you think that they are obviously still learning their own language at that age. With the world becoming smaller all the time, when is our educational system going to start a serious campaign to bring Asian languages to our youth. How many elementary school children do you know who are learning Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean or any other Asian language, in a structured, long-term program? Americans have always considered themselves at the center of the educated world, but sooner or later, we’ll be slapped into realizing that this isn’t true.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

China Flowers

This group of beautiful and talented Chinese girls playing electrified but traditional sounding Chinese instruments, singing in Mandarin, could each be a standalone star in their own right. It's hard to figure out whether they’re so popular for their physical attractiveness or musical virtuosity. Sort of like a Chinese version of Bond, which I blogged early last week. You can see that video here. Watch this set through to get a good idea of where ancient Chinese rhythms meet modern electronic instruments to produce a pleasing melding of the two. I think you'll like it.
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Friday, October 27, 2006

How to turn your children into Psychopaths

Well, I’m obviously not a child psychologist, but something that I noticed during my time living in Asia that has stayed with me and caused me a lot of regret for where this society is heading. The kids there acted amazingly well adjusted. Another observation: America has nearly a million lawyers, or about 1 of every 300 of us are involved in this pursuit, while in Japan the number is around 17,000, or about 1 in 11,000. Those numbers can be confirmed here. What do those two observations have in common, you ask? Well when I was a kid, we were allowed to be kids. You know, we could play in trees, and just generally occupy ourselves with being children, playing games and having fun. There probably were some bruises and broken bones, although I seemed to have escaped both, but on the whole we developed physically and mentally fairly strong and healthy. This needed to happen, of course, because as our society left the farms and country side for the cities, there needed to be a replacement for the physically hard work that some, maybe most, children were expected to do. I never milked a cow or baled hay, but I climbed a lot of trees and played a lot of outdoor games with my friends. I grew up knowing that if I didn’t make a clearly thought out decision when starting up a tree, I might find myself out on a limb.

This brings me back to the lawyers and the kids. Kids are now being told that they can’t play tag; an innocent game played by children nearly everywhere that I’ve observed kids. They’re being told that they cannot touch another child. Now remember, we’re talking about little children here; 1st and 2nd graders, maybe 5 or 6 years old. Do you smell the hand of a lawyer here? The schools are reacting to the fear of litigation. They’re afraid that some child somewhere will fall down, or will be touched by another kid, or god forbid, find themselves being ‘it’. Do you remember being ‘it’? You found a way to pass along the dubious honor to some other kid, and then they were ‘it’ until they could get rid of it. This could, so the thinking goes, cause undue psychological damage to their young minds, and leave them a terrified, nervous wreck for life. Actually, just the opposite happens.

What’s really happening here is that, once again, we pad the wallets of our esteemed legal prostitutes at the sad demise of our children’s future. We can no longer allow them to be children. Has anyone stopped to think about the alternative? What will become of little boys who can no longer climb trees, or play tag? What will become of the kids being taught that they cannot touch another child, even on the arm to pass along the honor of being ‘it’? I’m afraid it’s too late for most of our children here, after all, those one million lawyers have developed increasingly expensive lifestyles and are not going anywhere soon. And they will keep finding ever more ridiculous ways of bringing our culture to it’s knees. Even at the sake of our kids. I only hope that Japan and other Asian countries will not continue to ‘westernize’; at least not in this way. I hope that on my next visit, I can see kids still being allowed to be kids.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Strange Little Crawling Man

Once again, Japanese are making a point with performance. Part art, part street performance, part political statement. I think you'll enjoy it. Is he human? You decide, then let me know.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lion dance performance for the Chinese Lunar New Year

and I thought mariachi bands were obnoxious. How'd you like this bunch coming through during a quiet dinner with a mate? I had to laugh as the videographer seemed afraid of the Lion and backs him/her self into a corner.
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Korean Break Dancing

Yeah fine, but can they do the polka? How'd you like to be on a dance floor with a bunch of these guys? This is some intense dancing, but you gotta wonder how many broken bones it takes to get this good.
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What a great way to learn a language

Indonesian Language 101

This is interesting for a number of reasons, but mostly as a sign of things to come. Learning a language is obviously much easier when done one on one, face to face, which we have here, sort of. I've found these language series, done in nearly every Asian language, but of course, some are much better than others. This particular series goes on for at least 6 parts, with more to come. Another popular internet method of learning languages has come in the form of podcasts, and again, you can find podcasts in nearly any language you're interested in. Thought you all might find this interesting.
Don't leave home (for Indonesia) without it.
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bond hits Asia and is obviously a hit!

This group entertains with more than just their music, although that's good.
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Could you drive here?

A average day driving in Asia

The fact that everyone doesn't end up in one big pile is amazing. But somehow it works. Well sort of. You do see a lot of people walking around with a missing body part that I assume was left in a pile up somewhere. I once saw a complete family of five on a small moped going to market through traffic simular to this. They didn't seem to even notice anyone else. They just putted along talking with each other. The kids each held two live chickens, one in each hand, hanging off the side by their necks. All except the baby, that was strapped to the back of the woman, who was on back behind her husband. Just a small slip and the whole family would have been a wet spot in the road. Always wondered if they all made it.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Woman shot by Chinese military was a 17 year old nun - good job men.

Do you remember that story a couple of posts ago titled "Don't watch this video", which was a video showing some innocent unarmed Tibetans being shot by ruthless Chinese soldiers. Well now news comes out of Tibet that one of the young pilgrims shot and killed was a 17 year old nun (Click the title of this post to see the article). The Chinese government is acting like barbaric bastards and you know what: NO ONE IS GOING TO DO A DAMN THING ABOUT IT. After all, we don't want to interrupt the flow of the Chinese products that lined our shelves, that are manufactured in slave labor camps. DO WE? So we'll sit by and watch while an innocent young woman is shot to death while trying to get to her spiritual leader for prayers. JESUS CHRIST - people WAKE UP. Their guns will be pointing at you next time. Do you hope someone comes to protect you?
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Cute neh?

japanese kids going after grils

Seems like a replay of my life story ;)
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Asian Americans rip retailer for stereotypes on T-shirts

Will it ever stop? I guess not. Corporate America, in their bloody, headlong pursuit of a bigger buck, really don't care about the feelings of others. As long as sales are up. Or are they just blind to the pain they cause? Or maybe they know the reaction that will happen, but jump in chanting "any press, even bad press, helps our sales more then hurt them", and go ahead any way. In my synical moments, I believe the later. What do you think? You tell me.
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Friday, October 20, 2006

Ocha Cafe

I stopped by the Ocha Cafe at 6755 Mira Mesa Blvd yesterday for a quick lunch and was pleasantly surprised. This place is well known among the business lunch bunch surrounding the area for it's crepes and crunchy sandwiches. The crunch in the sandwiches comes from the fact that they're made with rice buns, and are really good. These rice buns shops are springing up all over Japan and could catch on here, although I doubt they'll ever surpass the sushi craze.

I can't comment on the crepes, as I haven't tried one yet, but they look really tasty. But I can recommend The Crunchy Chicken Rice Burger, which was excellent and the cha (tea) and smoothy/slushy drinks were really a surprise treat. You can have them add those delicious little boba balls to just about any of their drink offerings. Have an Iced Mango Tea (with or without the boba balls) and you'll sip yourself to a nice smile.

Next time you’re in the Mira Mesa/Sorrento Mesa area, stop in for a good quick bite. And say hi to the owner for me, who is Taiwanese and as friendly as they come; you'll end up feeling like you just had a great meal at a friends house.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't watch this video!!!!!

This treatment of innocent Tibetan pilgrims is a disgrace to the Chinese government and people everywhere for just sitting by and DOING NOTHING! The world's leaders should be ostracizing the communist government in China to bring about the end of this KILLING! But most people don't even realize this is happening, and has been happening for many years now. That ignorance is because our leaders want so badly to ride on the economic wave produced by the near slave labor conditions in rural China. They're brutal to their own people and killing anyone that gets in their way. IT'S AN OUTRAGE!
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rice says U.S. ready to defend Japan

If the US gets involved, I just hope we/they do a hell of a lot better job than we/they have done in the Middle East. I hate to be suspicious of my/their government, but the past 6 years have been a total disaster from a human rights point of view. Or a military logistics point of view. Or just about any point of view you'd like to look at it from.
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Japanese Literature 101

For anyone interested in Japanese literature, this site is a must. Please take a look at the extensive database of authors, their books, their history and just about anything else you could want to know about Japanese literature. I'll include links to a few of my favorites in case you'd like to pick up a book and try out this fascinating world.

One of my all time favorites is Murakami Haruki (b. January 12, 1949). I'm not alone here; his works have gained an incredible following around the world and have won just about every prise given for literature. Not everything he's done has been translated into English, which is a shame, but those that have will reward you with a peek into this creative genius. He's still writing today so we can look forward to more great books in the future.

Here is a site that includes the text of an interview he gave back in 1997 that I think you'll like, and should give you a bit of an idea of this unique character.

Below are a few links to some of my favorites that are available at Amazon, where you can read reviews from other readers.

Kafka on the Shore

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Norwegian Wood

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

A Wild Sheep Chase

South of the Border, West of the Sun

in the Guardian

Interview in the Review of Contemporary Fiction

Interview in Metropolitan

Profile in The Guardian

Profile in the Daily Telegraph

Profile in The Harvard Crimson

Thanks for some of the links above go to The Complete Review

Hopefully this will give you a taste for how good Japanese literature can be. I'll toss up an author or two every few weeks for you to look into. I think you'll be glad you discovered this world.

Click the Read More link below for a list of interviews and many other reviews!


What others have to
say about Murakami Haruki:

* "And yet, despite his disclaimers, despite his three-year self-imposed exile in the Mediterranean, despite -- or because of -- his alienation from rootless, monied Tokyo, Murakami is very much a writer of modern Japan, nostalgic for missing idealism, aghast at sudden wealth. For in his Japan, the old has been destroyed, an ugly and meaningless hodgepodge has taken its place, and nobody knows what comes next." - Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post (25.12.1989)

* "(His) bold willingness to go straight-over-the-top has always been a signal indication of his genius (.....) A phenomenon in Japan, Murakami is a world-class writer who has both eyes open and takes big risks. A gifted translator, he has introduced Fitzgerald, Carver, Irving and Theroux to the Japanese audience. Murakami himself deserves similar attention from this side of the Pacific." - Bruce Sterling, The Washington Post (11.8.1991)

* "There are no kimonos, bonsai plants or tatami mats in Murakami's novels. His work (...) is shot through with a reverence for Western culture, particularly American pop culture of the 1950s and 1960s. Except for references to place names and certain foods, Murakami's protagonists might as well be living in Santa Monica (.....) Products of an affluent, educated culture, they exhibit a curiously American style of ennui and are always bemoaning their shallow, materialistic lives." - Lewis Beale, The Los Angeles Times (8.12.1991)

* "Whereas the characters in early-twentieth-century Japanese fiction could and usually did choose traditional Japanese ways, Murakami knows that no such choice is possible now. Japan has come too far. If a conflict still exists, his characters are not engaged in or even aware of it. So enmeshed are they in the forms of Western, and particularly American, culture that they accept these forms as integral to contemporary Japanese life. Nonetheless, their essential Japaneseness is never truly lost in spite of what the works appear to say." - Celeste Loughman, World Literature Today (Winter/1997)

* "The Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has built an international following because his stories move so effortlessly between the surface reality of materialistic yuppie life and the horrors of a sensitized imagination. His tools are a flatly realistic prose (influenced by Raymond Carver, whom Mr. Murakami has extensively translated) and what you might call a psychological metaphysics. His first-person narrators are at once reliable and half-crazy." - Philip Weiss, The New York Observer (1.2.1999)

* "The Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is one of the most compellingly original voices in world literature. (...) Murakami is, in many ways, the shape of 21st-century fiction to come. Using the narrative mechanisms of Hollywood noir, he explores, in a surreal way, the metaphysical anxieties of our age while retaining a mordant grasp of its mass-consumed realities. His fiction belongs to no genre but has the addictive fluency of the best genre fiction." - Scott Reyburn, New Statesman (15.11.1999)

* "(T)here is a basic plot-line in almost all his novels that is a bit jading." - Ian Hacking, London Review of Books (19.10.2000)

* "For Murakami, truth lies outside the regimented world of human speech. His novels often emphasize the value of music as an antidote to the narrowness of spoken words. Music anchors his characters' worlds, but also illuminates them, and the discography embedded within his writing is a key to its interpretation." - Henry Hitchings, Times Literary Supplement (11.5.2001)

* "Mysterious disappearances and equally unexplained sadness, even madness -- such is the gloomy psychological landscape in which Haruki Murakami sets his novels. Geographically, it is Tokyo, but it might be any of the world’s vast, unforgiving cities, where people get lost like tears in the rain and finding love is sometimes as hard as solving Rubik’s cube in the dark. (...) This is not to say that the books are no good. Reading Murakami is an unsettling, disorienting experience that can leave you feeling, well, immeasurably empty." - The Economist (17.5.2001)

* "You don't have to be Martin Amis to be provoked by Murakami's narrators, with their propensity to cliche and fondness for hackneyed, low-pressure generalisations about life (.....) To describe Murakami's characteristic mode of expression as childlike would be unfair to children: his clunky yet oddly weightless prose often seems to aspire to the banal. (...) And yet there is something bold and exhilarating about Murakami's writing, and always has been" - Julian Loose, New Statesman (4.6.2001)

* "Murakami has long been obsessed with subterranean realms; his stories often wander into physical and psychic netherworlds. At the becalmed center of even his most extravagantly plotted fiction lies a steadying imperative: to make sense of the senseless. (...) Murakami not only renders the banalities of day-to-day life with a precision that borders on the tactile, he somehow evokes the queasy coexistence of something unnameable and altogether more bizarre." - Dennis Lim, The Village Voice (12.6.2001)

* "Characters in novels tend to change incrementally; Murakami's shed personalities more easily than tears. (...) In Murakami's increasingly astral scenarios, the human self has become a disturbingly malleable thing." - Daniel Zalewski, The New York Times Book Review (10.6.2001)

* "The most perturbing -- and attractive -- aspect of Murakami's books is that they usually amount to far more than the sum of their parts. They resist definition, yet they seem to stand for an unnamed something - they seem to have a life outside themselves." - Julie Myerson, Daily Telegraph (16.11.2002)

* "Haruki Murakamis Werke entziehen sich solchen Obduktionen, denn seine Bücher sind Musik. Sie sind die Variationen des immergleichen Themas, und eine Geschichte, eine Handlung, ein Plot, sind völlig nebensächlich." - Sibylle Berg, Die Welt (20.3.2004)

* "In Japan, Haruki Murakami is the most influential and imitated novelist of his generation. I would not be surprised if his novels, which have the weightless and accessible resonance of great pop songs or genre movies, turned out to have a similar influence in the West. Murakami writes cool, fluent and addictive meditations on the strangeness of ordinary life, brilliantly evoking the coexistence of the mundane and the dreamlike." - Theo Tait, Sunday Telegraph (16.1.2005)

* "He has been compared to the American minimalists Chandler and Carver, but the comparison is inapt; minimalists believe in getting the details right, whereas for Murakami the details are an impediment to seeing the whole picture. This isn't an aesthetic decision so much as a claim about morality: The forest is good, and the trees are evil." - Paul Lafarge, The Village Voice (18.1.2005)

* "Though his work abounds with references to contemporary American culture, especially its popular music, and though he details the banal quotidian with an amiable flatness reminiscent of Western youth and minimalist fiction in the hungover nineteen-seventies, his narratives are dreamlike, closer to the viscid surrealism of Kobo Abe than to the superheated but generally solid realism of Mishima and Tanizaki." - John Updike, The New Yorker (24.1.2005)

* "Is it possible, however, that Murakami is a bit too likeable ? The flipside of such hipness is a suspicion that his novels are not terribly profound. It is true that they make frequent and extravagant gestures towards profundity -- but that is not the same as actually being so. (...) For all their cleverness and surface complexity, his novels are essentially works of escapism." - William Skidelsky, New Statesman (24.1.2005)

* "He writes uncanny, philosophical, postmodern fiction that's actually fun to read; he's a more serious Tom Robbins, a less dense Thomas Pynchon. Like those two, he mixes high and low culture, especially ours" - Steven Moore, The Washington Post (30.1.2005)

* "He isn’t always so blunt, but it’s apparent in everything he writes that the project of both his work and his life is the quest for a continuity of self, for a thread that, pulled taut, could put all those "convoluted extras," along with everything that really matters, on a straight line: a bullet train named Murakami. What he has to guide him is nothing more (or less) than the sound of his own voice, which tells him, and his readers, approximately who he is, for the moment. And over the years he has developed and sustained a remarkably distinctive narrative tone: calm, wry, intimate, gently interrogative." - Terrence Rafferty, The New York Times Book Review (17.9.2006)
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

yeah well . . .it's a little odd

. . . but then they probably think the pope cruising past in a bubblemobile would be a little odd. Different strokes for different folks (isn't that how the saying goes?).

I came across this festival while traveling around Japan one year, early in my time there, and was so busy watching the people, I didn't notice the 'floats' until later. I just hope they didn't take my big smile the wrong way.
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Who said girls can't play guitar????

This girl is great. Hope to hear more from her.
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Google Calendar

Well, I finally got the Google Calendar to behave and sit down along the right side of the site, so that I can post events, movies etc of interest to the Asian community. Next job is to enable everyone to post their own event, but of course, I can't really just open up the calendar as some inappropriate entries might be entered. So I'll have to come up with a way for people to send their events to me and I'll put them on after review. Keep checking the calendar, as I'll start to fill it soon.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday's offerings at the Asian Film Festival

Should be a good full day of films. Hope you can make it.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

An observation, a compliment and a confession

Ok so where do I start. I have an observation, a compliment and a confession. I guess I’ll start with the compliment. The staff at the San Diego Asian Film Foundation is one great cohesive wheel, working in tandem to weave together a complex tapestry of really (and I truly mean this) great content. They’re supportive of each other and obviously really like working together. A case in point was last night, when I was supposed to pick up some complimentary tickets (that by the way is my confession, but more on that later), that were to be held at the box office. Well, due to unforeseen problems and the general enormity of the event, the tickets weren’t waiting for me on arrival, but quick work and a few phone calls made them appear out of nowhere. So let me thank everyone involved in that magic trick.

So on to my confession. Although I was given a few complimentary tickets, I won’t let that cloud my perception of the events, especially since I’ve already purchased 7 tickets myself and it’s only the third day of the event, and I’ll surely purchase many more. The films that I’ve seen so far have more than surpassed my expectations and everyone that I’ve spoken with about it has been wowed, to say the least. When you realize how diverse what we call “Asia” really is, it’s truly incredible that any group could bring together enough artistic content to satiate even the casual observer. And I’m not a casual observer.

Now my observation. My mistake was in deciding to go to, and comment on, an event held downtown at the Luna Lounge, that was clearly billed as . . .well take a look and see for yourself. I figured it would be a sight and sound feast that would be interesting, if not innovative. Well, let me say first of all that I didn’t stay for most of it, in fact hardly any of it. I was there for the sound and light checks, the pre-concert interviews and the kickoff. Let me also say that the average age was 20-something, which I’m not. But I still have to make this observation which won’t be popular or politically correct; there’s a huge difference between Asians and Asian-Americans. I’ll end up insulting folks here, but if anyone of them thinks about it, I’m sure they’ll agree that I’m spot on. In fact I’m sure that their parents would also agree. They (the 20-somethings) are trying their hardest to not be a part of their parents’ generation. Well, there’s nothing new about that you say. Of course not; every generation goes through that to some degree, I’m included if you ask my parents. But I’d come to see the Asian Film Festival and what I got was an Asian-American version of an African-American rap concert. The participants will have seen it differently and I guess I should have realized it before I’d gone by the use of the term hip-hop in the description. I also should have gotten a clue when I realized that no one that I talked with had even the slightest accent. No apologies here for not being politically correct, but I’m sure that I’ve spent more of my life living in Asia than nearly all of them put together.

Which all brings me back to how I started this commentary; the Asian Film Festival has done a great job of providing something for everyone. Next time I’ll just look more closely at the venue I’m attending.
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Tonight's Schedule at the Asian Film Festival

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San Diego Asian Film Festival - Friday's Activities

There's a really full line up today and if last night was any indication, you won't be disappointed at any of the venues that you attend. You can follow the link above to get a complete list of when and where for each of the films including Blowfish: an Intersection of Sights & Sounds, which will be held at the Luna Lounge. You can find out more about the Luna Lounge here or click the link below the Google map on the right.
C'ya there.

Running Time: 360 minutes

Come kick off SDAFF 2006 with our inaugural music and video showcase. A dynamic musical massive at the Luna Lounge in downtown San Diego, Blowfish is an exploration of the intersection of beats, rhymes and film, through live performance and projected video. Blowfish hosts a rare and revolutionary convergence of South Asian hip hop, East Coast sensibility, Los Angeles party-rocking, and local San Diego flavor.

Media co-sponsors: Imeem and ImaginAsianTV

Emcees: Jelynn Rodriguez and Daniel Matthews

DJs Aesthetic, Iron Mike, Profile, and Style take a break from Thursdays at Bar Dynamite to spin fresh beats into the night.

South Asian beats collide with hip hop as Karmacy flips rhymes in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati and Spanish.

Far East Movement represents the Fresh Coast with their party-rocking New School sound.

An innovative melding of politics and skillful lyricism, this Brooklyn duo not only get you thinking, but make your neck snap.


4 min. | Video | 2006

DIRECTOR: Michael Carney

Don’t worry about the models in the magazines – you’re beautiful, so do your thing!

Followed by

Director: Michael P. Douglas | 4 min. | Video | 2006
Canadian group Kuya sings lyrical homage to Southern Girls.


Director: Patricio Ginelsa | 6 min. | Video | 2006
Apl d Ap and the BEP show us how the OG bebots (hotties) get down.


Director: Todd Angkasuwan | 5 min. | Video | 2005
Who’s the best emcee?


Director: Evolution Jackson | 5 min. | Video | 2005
High noon showdown, downtown Los Angeles, hip hop style.


Director: Tonaci Tran | 5 min. | Video | 2006
Rap Artist Thai talks about over coming struggles to become a postive role model for his son


Director: Shilpa Mankikar | 3 min. | Video | 2006
Like a fire in the dark, this Brooklyn-based Pinoy MC spits visceral verses about Hurricane Katrina and politics.


Director: Nimesh Patel | 4 min. | Video | 2006
Highlighting the commonality among all peoples, this lyrical procession is stitched together using five unique languages.


Director: Rich Newey | 3 min. | Video | 2006
Making bling, beauty, and beats at this party, this UK duo are the life of the party Featuring Twista.

Fri. Oct 13, 2006
Luna Lounge
downtown San Diego
$10 at the door
$8 w/ festival ticket stub
21+ only

UCSD Beta Chi Theta Fraternity


Homegrown Blends

San Diego Asian Professionals


Luna Lounge
639 J Street (Corner of 6th and J)
San Diego, CA 92101
[ map ]

8 PM – 2 AM, Doors open at 8 PM
$10 at the door, $8 with festival ticket stub
21+ only

People complain about parking downtown, but it's not that bad if you know where to park. We've made it easy for you! Of course, you can always try your luck at free street parking but here are several easy and affordable options:

1) Ace at 6th and K (Parkade Parking Structure) - $7 flat rate from 6pm - 3am

2) Park-It-on-Market at 6th and Market (Parking Structure) - $6-$10

3) 5 Star Parking Lot at 6th and J - $10 or $20

4) Parking Co America Lot at 6th and K - $10 or $20

5) Central Parking Lot at 7th and Market - $10-$20
Full Schedule
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The History of Chinatown in San Diego

The Chinese Mission had its beginning in 1885 when San Diego's Chinese population numbered several hundred, almost entirely male and huddled together in Chinatown, a part of the Stingaree or red light district. Alien Chinese kept strictly to themselves, seldom mixing with Caucasians. Since they were ineligible for citizenship, they had little incentive to become Americanized, either in thought or way of life. Most had every intention of returning to China and the families they had left behind as soon as they had made their fortune.

The Chinese Mission School offered them an opportunity to learn the English language, a necessity if they were to work or carry on business with the Americans. The dedicated Caucasian teachers at the Mission were the first to extend the hand of friendship to the lonely and isolated Chinese. For 75 years the Mission would be a place where Chinese could live, learn English, receive religious instruction and enjoy social activities among themselves and with their Caucasian friends.

The above is an excerpt from the site linked in the title. Please visit the link to read more.
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Asian film festival starts tonight !!!

Here's the schedule for tonight - click any title to see the movie outline.

7:00 pm - Theater 7

7:15 pm - Theater 6

8:00 pm - Theater 5

9:20 pm - Theater 6
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do you reary eat raw fish?

Japanese Secrets Revealed

I think that this video was created quite some time ago, when sushi was still not widely known outside of Japan, but it's still quite funny today.
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The Funny Falling Old Man


Another crazy Japanese prankster. I post these from time to time, not only because I think you'll find them funny, but also because they give you a peak into this unique culture.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Beautiful Japanese Women

I hope I didn't scare you with that title (don't worry, I'll never post anything nude or off color for you). These beautiful women were all painted by the famous Japanese printmaker of the 19th century, Eizan. These are part of his Ekiyo-e series, which roughly translates as Images of the Floating World. The paintings of this period (the Edo period in Japan) eventually found their way into the galleries of Europe and were known to have influenced the likes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Whistler and the graphic artists known as Les Nabis, to name just a few. They currently have 21 of his prints hanging in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

For those of you that want to learn more about this style of Japanese painting or printmaking, there are many good books available. One that I suggest is the hardcover edition of "Floating World of Ukiyo-E: Shadows, Dreams and Substance". You can find it at Amazon, and other good bookstores. It's a little pricy at USD$60, but you can sometimes find it used in a good used bookstore.

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San Diego Asian Film Foundation

San Diego Asian Film Festival

The San Diego Asian Film Foundation is having it's 7th annual film festival starting this Thursday. That won't matter to a lot of you that live a long distance from San Diego, but it could be very well worth looking over the list of movies, directors, actors & producers, as these could well be the next Takashi Miike, who by the way, has an entry coming on Sunday. It should be great and I'll definately be posting some reviews for you.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore

Just finished this book and it was a really good read, especially for those of you interested in where the current state of Japanese craftmanship in writing is at. Many people consider Haruki Murakami the best of this century's writers coming out of Japan. Below are a couple of reviews from Amazon and Publisher's Weekly. You can find many more reviewers by clicking on the link in my "Current Reading List" tab on the left side of this page.

Editorial Reviews
The opening pages of a Haruki Murakami novel can be like the view out an airplane window onto tarmac. But at some point between page three and fifteen--it's page thirteen in Kafka On The Shore--the deceptively placid narrative lifts off, and you find yourself breaking through clouds at a tilt, no longer certain where the plane is headed or if the laws of flight even apply.

Joining the rich literature of runaways, Kafka On The Shore follows the solitary, self-disciplined schoolboy Kafka Tamura as he hops a bus from Tokyo to the randomly chosen town of Takamatsu, reminding himself at each step that he has to be "the world¹s toughest fifteen-year-old." He finds a secluded private library in which to spend his days--continuing his impressive self-education--and is befriended by a clerk and the mysteriously remote head librarian, Miss Saeki, whom he fantasizes may be his long-lost mother. Meanwhile, in a second, wilder narrative spiral, an elderly Tokyo man named Nakata veers from his calm routine by murdering a stranger. An unforgettable character, beautifully delineated by Murakami, Nakata can speak with cats but cannot read or write, nor explain the forces drawing him toward Takamatsu and the other characters.

To say that the fantastic elements of Kafka On The Shore are complicated and never fully resolved is not to suggest that the novel fails. Although it may not live up to Murakami's masterful The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Nakata and Kafka's fates keep the reader enthralled to the final pages, and few will complain about the loose threads at the end. --Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Previous books such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood have established Murakami as a true original, a fearless writer possessed of a wildly uninhibited imagination and a legion of fiercely devoted fans. In this latest addition to the author's incomparable oeuvre, 15-year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from home, both to escape his father's oedipal prophecy and to find his long-lost mother and sister. As Kafka flees, so too does Nakata, an elderly simpleton whose quiet life has been upset by a gruesome murder. (A wonderfully endearing character, Nakata has never recovered from the effects of a mysterious World War II incident that left him unable to read or comprehend much, but did give him the power to speak with cats.) What follows is a kind of double odyssey, as Kafka and Nakata are drawn inexorably along their separate but somehow linked paths, groping to understand the roles fate has in store for them. Murakami likes to blur the boundary between the real and the surreal—we are treated to such oddities as fish raining from the sky; a forest-dwelling pair of Imperial Army soldiers who haven't aged since WWII; and a hilarious cameo by fried chicken king Colonel Sanders—but he also writes touchingly about love, loneliness and friendship. Occasionally, the writing drifts too far into metaphysical musings—mind-bending talk of parallel worlds, events occurring outside of time—and things swirl a bit at the end as the author tries, perhaps too hard, to make sense of things. But by this point, his readers, like his characters, will go just about anywhere Murakami wants them to, whether they "get" it or not.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Japanese Art III - Unknown Japanese Screen Artist

I've had these screens in my Japanese digital collection for quite a while now, but unfortunately I can't find out the name of the artist. If you click on any one of them. you can see the kanji and chop, but the writing is a very old style of Japanese kanji, which has changed much through the years, and now is unreadable, at least by me. If anyone out there knows who the artist was, I would really appriciate a message or comment from you. Thanks and I hope you like them as much as I do.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Nothing Asian about it

But just a wonderful view of the diversity of this great country of ours. I think you'll enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

A few viewers of this video and their comments:

Our Children
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by ipenavs

What a beautiful way to depict the diversity that the United States truely represents. Someone asked, who's child will you choose to represent the USA? My thought is that you have already chosen that child. It is everyone one of the children you have already photographed. Isn't this, who are?
A refreshing snapshot of innocence!
1/5 stars 10/07/2006by zgheza1

What a refreshing snapshot of innocence!! Children are not able to come into the world with an agenda other than innocence. They build on life's experience from their own interaction with experience. Thank you for allowing these beautiful children and their families the opportunity to have this memory to add to their building block called life! I hope to see a Maltese child, since I am of Maltese descent - and like all children - Maltese children are very beautiful! Please excuse my rating!! I meant it to be 5 stars and was not able to go back and correct it. Terri - MAryland, USA

5/5 stars 10/07/2006by f0xybr0wn_18

It's so amazing to see how small our world really is. It definitely shows how diverse America really is to see so many faces representing so many places. No matter what you say or think about our Country/Government as a whole. You can definitely see something here - diversity - that you don't see in other countries. This is a wonderful project!
NYChildren Photography Project
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by donlordrealestate

Fabulous!!!!!!!! We are so blessed to have so many perspectives in our country. We get to learn so many things from each other that people from less diverse countries do. Great job, Danny.
tears to eyes
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by ggn329

As a teacher, I get to see the beauty and innocence of children everyday of my life, even on weekends when I spend a lot of ime with my son, brother, and niece. This video is so full of love, not only by the children, but also by the proud and loving parents in the video. I really look forward to seeing the finished product. Who will you photograph as the USA child? God Bless you and your project.
My Ellohim Bless you for you work!
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by usfali19

In times like these where children are living the streets and the daughters of mothers are broad fighting wars of men are being left without a future generation. I think from time to time what America (Bush) is doing to the future generations of the “worlds” children by dropping two ton bombs on a city of civilians, didn’t “Americans” learn form Hiroshima? Mr. Goldfield’s art (photography) work is a gift (talent) and it shows through the work that he cares. The artists are the architects of creativity (originality) who have the gift to human understanding. Humanity today must reach a level of moral consciousness were greed should ever be at the expense of a child. We need to teach that charity is away of thinking without expecting a return for the purpose of wanting to share (educate) with others Thanks Mr. Goldfield, you have done just that! P.S. I would love to come to your opening event! Dr. Yusuf Ali al-Irshad San Francisco, CA
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by abbeyco2005

This video is so great. Children are so innocent and are not yet open (we hope not yet) to the racism and prejudices out there. Its so beautiful to see so many children, are gorgeous in their own way, interacting with eachother, and having fun, unaware of the differences that adults find faults with. As a speech therapist who has worked with children from several different countries, I have learned that children are all the same and treat eachother the same regardless of color or ethnicity. Perhaps children should be teaching adults rather than vice versa. GOOD WORK!
Eye opener;
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by bobbie_esters

Danny, thank you for opening the eyes of everyone in this country. This country was not made by one single race, but by many. The true people of this land are the American Indians, but yet they welcomed us. Innocents is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is the children,,they are our future. God made everyone different for a reason, so we could learn from each other. If you cut us, we all bleed the same color, if you hit us, it hurts just the same. We all cry the same tears, and laugh the same laugh. These children represent each and every one of us. If these children can get along and not judge each other, then why can't we? Thank you Danny for opening my eyes to the true America. Good luck on this project, I hope you succeed in this.
The Spirit moves through them to you. Thank you
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by pi_rex1

I read someone said "it brought tears to their eyes." Well, I think it is the onion I am holding that's making my eyes water. Wait a minute, I am holding a tomato not an onion. It must be this then. It's one of those things you think, "Why didn't I think of that?" Seeing the innocence in those children's eyes one wonders, where do we go wrong from here? I see my daughter forming instant friendships on the playground every time and I wonder, why can't we teach them to go on loving life and one another? I sincerely pray that your project gets to glorify the human spirit beyond your imagination. It is touching to see a celebration of life and I will look out for a picture of a child from the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi. "Bless your eyes and may your dreams come true with the rising of the morning sun." Thank you and God bless. ~EPN~
GOOD Presents: NYChildren photography Project
5/5 stars 10/07/2006by melanne5354

Absolutely beautiful ! The photographer did an excellent job of capturing the innocent of purity in its integrity without any interruption of background music. His story and point came across very well. I applaud him for this endeavor of enlightenment. May there be more of us like him.
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Friday, October 06, 2006

Japanese Pranks

Oh those crazy Japanese. Can you imagine that happening in America. The lawyers would be climbing the walls to get involved, instead of laughing. You gotta watch this through to the last one, remembering that these guys are naked (don't worry, no nudity will show). Actually looks kind of fun.
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

17th Century Japanese Art

I sincerely hope that you can just sit back and slowly savor the unbelievable magnificence of these Japanese screens. The color choices so Japanese that you can see their culture seeping though. But look at the structure. The compositions are perfect. Let’s put this in terms of music: How about equating this to Charlie Byrd’s magnificent Brazilian guitar compositions of the mid-60’s, or just about anything by Kenny Burrell; or Beethoven; or Mozart, or whatever piece of music leaves you knowing that you’ve just heard something that could’ve only come from someone knowing what it really feels like to be in touch with their soul.

Please feel free to click any photo and see it a bit larger.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Bonsai Show in San Diego

I've had a thirty plus year love affair with the art of bonsai, so it was a nice surprise on Sunday, while I was taking a shortcut through Balboa Park, to come across the San Diego Bonsai Exhibition. I had very little time, but I did have my camera, so I snapped a few shots for you. These little trees could very well have been the inspiration for me moving to Japan in the first place.

Dan Hubik has written up a nice short history of the art, which you can find here:

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