With the number of recent "Asian-inspired" movie projects like the Dragon Ball Z the Movie, where originally Asian characters were replaced by more well-known white actors, it's hard to believe that any progress has been made in mainstream media. But according to Edward Wyatt of nytimes.com, progress is being made, and being lead by programs for youth. In Wyatt's recent article Generation Mix: Youth TV Takes the Lead in Diversity Casting, Marjorie Cohn, executive vice president for development and original programming at Nickelodeon, states that this growing trend is all about reflecting audience:
Kids want to see themselves on TV. That is why diversity has always been a focus of ours and one of the exciting parts of how we develop shows. We want to reflect our audience.
At the 2008 Good Design Expo, Japan's wireless carrier, Willcom, showcased to the world the newest Kuma Phone. Essentially, the phone is a cute cuddly little teddy bear that you must violate in order to answer phone calls. First, you have to squeeze the bear's tail when it starts making noises (for an incoming call), then, you must plant your face into its groin area in order to speak to whomever is calling. This may present an interesting picture if, say, you were using the phone on the bus. The majority of people will probably have no idea you're talking on the phone... instead, all they see is a creep clutching a teddy bear's derriere, attempting to give it oral sex. And when you explain to them you paid $500 for this "phone", their funny glances will turn to wide-eyed horror as their fingers dial the beastiality police. But don't worry, this is all hypothetical ...
According to this article by the MATADOR NIGHTS, the only criteria to qualify as one of the top ten cities in the world with the sexiest women is to merely have...well...women in the city. It is rumoured that the MATADOR NIGHTS writers compiled this "top ten" list on a Saturday night by way of 3 simple steps: First, they blindfolded themselves with their ties or with whatever loose garments were laying around...then, they proceeded by throwing ten darts at the huge map pinned to their conference room wall. And lastly, all writers agreed to vigorously read the Lonely Planet guides of each city, with the travel channel playing in full blast in the background. The resulting article is proof that this rumour might be true. Here's the full splurge of what is said about the women in Prague:
"Prague's turbulent history has done nothing to quash its appeals. More often than not, Czech women feature in top ten lists of world beauties and with good reason. Not a capital of style exactly, but certainly well turned out and proud. Prague's streets teem with blonde haired, blue eyed beauties. A touch of old Europe."There is no argument here about whether or not the women in Prague are beautiful...that's not the point...the point is that it just seems like the supposed "good reason" as to why they are one of top ten cities in the world is missing. Aren't there an abundance of blonde hair, blue eyed beauties throughout the world living in different cities? Why aren't those cities on the list? Please, MATADOR NIGHTS, clarify to the world your selection process! Like, what if two darts had landed on one city?
MIKE RELM is a DJ and turntablist straight out of San Francisco, who mixes audio mash-ups with video images in real-time. His sound blends old school hip-hop with electronic dance music and comedy (think whacked-out Charlie Brown themes set to hip-hop beats and cartoons).
Mike Relm's career took off when he won the International Turntablist Federation's U.S. competition in 1999. Since then, he has performed at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and the acclaimed Audiotistic-Future Sound Festival, as well as opened for Canadian DJ Champion, and toured with the Blue Man Group. In 2005, Mike Relm released a DVD, Suit Yourself, featuring his time on the Fourth Dimensional Rocketships tour with Gift of Gab.
And while his mash-ups have been heard on a handful of battle records, compilations and DVDs, Mike Relm released is releasing his own full-length record, Spectacle, on Radio Fried this year.
Currently on a North American tour, Mike Relm will be stopping in Vancouver on Sept. 26, Calgary on Sept. 28, Toronto on Oct. 4, and Montreal on Oct. 5. For a complete list of tour dates, click HERE.
Have a listen to Mike Relm (under the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | September 19, 2008 | Comments (0)
Yeah, it's a bit dated but it needed to be resurrected for those who didn't catch it...because it's awesome.
In this Saturday Night Live digital short, Ricky Gervais, the creator of the British version of The Office, tries to convince us that idea for the show actually came from a Japanese TV show. Watch the Japanese version of The Office HERE.
Steve Carroll stars as the "Japanese" counterpart to the character he portrays on the US version of The Office. The actors in the skit are speaking surprisingly passable Japanese (with "Pam" giggling a lot, while she covers her mouth in the modest -- and stereotypical -- way).
The little Japanese touches are hilarious -- Hello Kitty, robot dog, karaoke, kampai!, incessant bowing. The scene where the boss begins taiso (morning exercise) is giggle-worthy simply because this is how they actually begin the day at some companies in Japan (and they use the exact music you hear in the skit)!
Oh, yes, Ricky's last line and its delivery is pure brilliance.Posted by Tamiko | September 16, 2008 | Comments (1)
SUCK UK is a design brand from London that produces witty and fun products that puts the cheeky in the mundane.
Their products range from mittens and USB drives, to mirrors and postcards, to lighting and furniture. However, it's the clever way in which they present their products that really make them a hit. For instance, their "Teddy Bear Lamp" is actually a lampshade sitting on top of a decapitated teddy bear doll. And their "Carve Your Own Card" postcards, allows users to carve messages and letters into a block of wood.
One of their newest designs for Fall 2008 is the "Ceramic Noodle Cup," which pokes fun at single-serving, instant noodle cups, usually made from Styrofoam or plastic, by being made of ceramic. Cheeky, no? The piece was designed by Adrian Allen, and while it's not up for sale yet, those interested can keep an eye on Suck UK for the "Ceramic Noodle Cup's" official launch.Posted by Michelle D. | September 15, 2008 | Comments (0)
Don't you just hate it when you can't find your keys right before work? As in, you already woke up late so you had to brush your teeth frantically as you fixed your bedhead...and you already had to eat an unbalanced breakfast (if you even managed breakfast) as you changed into uncomfortable work clothes. So, couldn't those damn keys just give you a break and just appear in front of you, for once!? Usually the answer would be "no," but the Japanese scientists behind the revolutionary SMART GOGGLES plan to change all that.
Admittedly, there is one very stupid thing about the Smart Goggles -- how you're going to look wearing them. However, once you get over the fact that you look like a low-budget Terminator while donning these super specs, you're never going to lose anything again. Sounds awesome? The bulky glasses come with a computer brain, a camera, a display screen, and a fold-out table (*smirk*). Essentially, the goggles are programmed to remember anything you input into its database.
"Each time the camera focuses on an object - such as a set of keys, a mobile phone or a purse - the wearer says the name aloud. The name is then recorded and stored into the memory."From then on, all you need to do after you have lost something is say the name of the object you lost and programmed into the super specs and then voila!...it will tell you exactly where it last saw them.
Noor is envied by millions of women. She's a successful fashion designer with a handsome husband who not only is supportive of her career but also owns a pair of "soulful blue eyes." Oh yeah, he's also romantic and attentive to her whims to boot. Their marriage was arranged by a grandparent, yet their union is successful -- even with that bit of illicit sex outside the vows.
Ho hum, sounds like a typical (and fantastical) soap opera couple. Except, Noor and Mohannad are the fictional stars of the popular Turkish soap opera NOOR ("Light" in Arabic), which just finished its run at the end of August across Arab countries. The show originally aired in Turkey (with the Turkish title Gumus meaning "Silver") between 2005-2007, but was released across Arabic countries in 2008. A bit scandalous as Noor idealized a modern married life, which disturbed Muslim preachers in the West Bank and Saudi Arabia enough to deem it "un-Islamic," urging viewers to boycott the show.
Did the viewers listen? Nope. Ever the faithful, die-hard fans deserted streets when the show aired; maternity wards in Riyadh and Hebron reported a rise in babies named Noor and Mohannad; and Noor fashion knock-offs were snapped up in boutiques.
The only thing is...the next series following Noor will be Bab al-Hara, a show that waxes nostalgia about the traditional Arab lifestyle. Aw, shucks.Posted by Tamiko | September 9, 2008 | Comments (0)
Canadian duo THUNDERHEIST makes music so delicious, your legs won't be able to stop movin' and your booty won't stop bouncin'. That's a promise.
The deep, hypnotic vocals up front are courtesy of Nigerian-born, Canadian-raised Isis, who's made a name for herself in her own right, sharing stages with hip-hop heavyweights Bahamadia, the Volume District, Vast Aire, and M1. The man behind the seriously snaky rhythms is DJ/producer Grahmzilla. Mash those two together, and you get Thunderheist: out of control, electro-house-fused hip-hop.
Thunderheist released a self-titled demo in 2007, and have since released two EPs, Bubblegum and Jerk It, featuring remixes of their two runaway hit singles. Having extensively toured the North American festival circuit, these two are headed to Europe later this year, where they will, no doubt, make dance floors tremble with their highly-addictive raps.
Have a listen to Thunderheist (under the cut) and get ready to get sweaty!Posted by Michelle D. | September 9, 2008 | Comments (1)
But on a cheery note, Margaret Cho has returned to TV with a reality series called THE CHO SHOW. The show will debut on Monday, Sept 8th on the Comedy Network at 10pm (ET/PT) in Canada...of course, a few weeks after the show first hit the waves on VH1 in the U.S (as you can see in the photo, that was back in August).
The 7-episode, 30 minute series follows Ms. Cho and her colourful peeps around Hollywood. Expect to meet her parents, her assistant Selena Luna, her hair/make-up/wardrobe people, and friends, in a show the comedienne self-describes as a "cross between Madonna's Truth or Dare, The Joy Luck Club and Little People, Big World." Hee.
No, this didn't happen in Japan. You would think, but you would be wrong. Still, this has got to be the weirdest, if not stupidest, story out there. For now.
Actually, there are two related stories out from Asia that catapult the continent into the stupid-human-tricks realm. First, a lonely guy in Hong Kong decided to hump a steel park-bench. Yes, a park bench. The park bench has small holes on its surface, and he must've thought it was a good idea to make the bench his bitch...until he got stuck, panicked, and called the police. Find out what happened next here. You have to give him credit, he's got some imagination.
Music lyric that comes to mind: "'Cause...I'm down to get the friction on..." (Sir Mix-A-Lot, Baby Got Back)
A month later a welder in Malaysia thought it would be genius of him to increase his size for his engagement (and presumably for his bride-to-be) by putting a heavy welding nut (no pun intended) on the end of his penis. *blink blink* The things people do. He hoped the heavy welding-nut would lengthen and stretch him out. There are no words, right? Find out what happened next here.
Music lyric that comes to mind: "I'm just a squirrel, trying to get a nut to move your butt..." (C+C Music Factory, Everybody Dance Now).
Don't blink, there's bound to be more.Posted by Tamiko | September 5, 2008 | Comments (3)
AMERICAN APPAREL, the brand best known for being sweatshop free (all of their clothes are made in downtown Los Angeles), for covering all of your cotton basics (T-shirts, leggings, hoodies, tanks, etc.), and for... oh right, having new">near-pornographic ad campaigns, has launched a new collection called "AFRIKA."
The Afrika collection ranges from high-waisted leggings, to tube dresses, to bandeau bras and headbands, all in an "African"-inspired print. This of course, follows the dominance of African, safari and "ethnic"-prints that were present on the Spring/Summer '08 fashion runways. American Apparel's Afrika collection comes in two colorways (red and black, or white and black) so far, but should become available in alternate colors if the collection is popular.Posted by Michelle D. | September 4, 2008 | Comments (0)
So you might not have caught this in Canada because the story was kinda buried under all the other "more important news" that was reported last week. Nevertheless, let's return to it, shall we? Okay, rewind back about half a century and remember when people would probably actually believe in the joke acronym for "GOLF," which was "Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden." Sexist, right? No worries, nowadays, forbidding the LPGA tours, which originated in 1968, would be like killing kittens. The world has moved on from all the ignorant sexism derived from the Victorian era. Now the world is better...now the world is no longer sexist (or is it?)...now the world is just racist.
The LPGA passed a new rule starting in 2009 that states all LPGA members must pass an English oral evaluation after two years of membership...or else they face suspension -- the rule is effective immediately for new players. Since when was speaking English a prerequisite to golf? One of the ridiculous arguments for this rule is that the LPGA depends on sponsors, and it's the golfer's job to entertain these people. Hmm. Isn't displaying superior golf skills supposed to entertain them? What type of sponsors are so ignorant that they need someone to express their gratitude in english in order to be entertained? Is the tour secretly about public speaking? Here's another brilliant rule for the tour... Why don't we get these LPGA members to dress up (like cosplay) in order to entertain and rake in more of that sponsorship money?
Clearly the news we receive from mass-media is filtered, censured, biased, controlled, and holier-than-though. It ain't right but it's expected, it's the norm. (*sigh*). The onus is on us; it's our responsibility not to be apathetic or complacent towards the news we are given. But yes, we live our lives, we are busy, we only have the attention-span of a few moments to digest current events, let alone analyze them.
And now the news is reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Gustav. And the news is once again reminding the public of the tragedy (gleefully it seems, in a macabre way) that was Katrina...but we will forget again. As such, it's important to be reminded of a story of humanity that can rekindle a belief, a hope that there's still goodness in the world.
One such story is that of the Vietnamese community of New Orleans East who were ignored in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, yet were one of the first communities to return and resettle. It's even suggested that the community leaders, used to the floods of Vietnam, were able to readily mobilize their community in efforts to rebuild their enclave post-Katrina. Their model was so successful that these leaders were then asked to consult aid-agencies in their plans to rebuild other parts of the city.
Even more remarkable is the story of the Vietnamese-American evacuees who fled to Houston, only to end up in an Asian shopping center owned by Ha Duong. Soon enough, she began a relief-effort that turned her mall into an aid center for Vietnamese American evacuees. Bring out the tissues before you read the article, "Houston Mall Is a Lifeline For Vietnamese Who Fled" by Mai Tran for the Los Angeles Times HERE.
Of course, there are stories of courage and hope daily, from around the world. Ones that are never reported; never known except to those who experience them. So take a moment to be grateful. Thank you.
Yes, guilty of being maudlin and sentimental. *shrug*
Tags: Current Events