Did minorities get screwed by the Baby Boomers?

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. It’s been ridiculously busy. Of course I’ve been busy with the kid stuff, but I’ve also been busy with other obligations. It’s been so busy that I’ve temporarily quit chess. Nor more chess for me…not for a long time. At the last scholastic tournament, another chess dad asked me, “Have you been following the Candidates?” I had forgotten that it had even started! Although it’s probably for the best since Naka is having the worst tournament of his entire life…

The Stanford Class of ’94 and the gender gap


early Paypal photo, from NY Times article


There’s a good article in the NY Times about the Stanford Class of ’94, its disproportionate influence on Silicon Valley, and the persistence of the gender gap. It sounds like many of the gender problems come from the fact that these tech startups began with friendships before developing into companies with male-centric atmospheres. Also, fewer of the women took big risks, and many of them decided to put family first. The article also has some interesting arguments against forced diversity and affirmative action. The Paypal co-founders talk more about that in an older article here.

Context matters. Writers set the context.


Interesting story coming out of the NY Times: An Old Chinese Novel is Racy Reading Still. A young 16-year-old son of missionaries goes into a Nanjing bookstore in 1950 in order to look for porn, and he finds a copy of a 16th century pornographic tale written by an unknown author. Nearly 65 years later, David Tod Roy is a professor of Chinese literature at the University of Chicago and is on the verge of publishing the fifth and final volume of the books’ translation. According to the Times, the translation is an extraordinary feat:

Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America by Helen Foster James and Virginia Shin-Mui Loh; illustrated by Wilson Ong (Review)


I’ve been trying hard to get my kids interested in Chinese immigration stories, so I was happy to have found this book. It’s a book about a fictional 12-year-old boy named Lee who immigrates from China to Angel Island in order to seek economic opportunity for his family. Lee is a paper son. His grandparents pay a paper father to falsify documents for his entry to the U.S., and the story is about how he misses his grandparents but has to study hard to pass the immigration test. The story is fictional, but the authors clearly did a lot of research on the living conditions of Chinese immigrants to Angel Island. The artwork by Wilson Ong is absolutely amazing.

The Chinese origins of “snake oil” and the rise of the “snake oil salesman”


Photo and original article from NPR (see link below)

Did you all know that the original “snake oil” in the term “snake oil salesman” comes from China and was brought to the States by Chinese railroad workers? The original Chinese snake oil actually worked very well and was used to cure ailments from arthritis and bursitis:

Obama pledges action, the NRA finally breaks silence

Obama spoke this morning to talk about guns and the fiscal cliff. It looks like he and biden will be working to submit gun control proposals to Congress in January:

During the appearance in the White House briefing room, the president said he has directed Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to lead an interagency effort to develop in the next several weeks what the White House says will be a multi-faceted approach to preventing similar mass shootings and the many other gun deaths that occur each year.