Protection dog videos

I’m going to drop off my ballot (and Mrs. WOWO’s ballot) today, so our civic duty will be done. It’s all filled out and ready to go. I don’t feel like talking about politics. I’m tired of all the anger. I don’t think I’ve lost any friendships, but I’m sure that there are lots of people who are angry at me. I hope I haven’t pissed off anyone here. I’m not sure that I have anything to say that hasn’t been said, although I’m also sure that there probably will be more to say after Tuesday. So until there’s something else that needs to be said, I’m just going to post dog videos. Today, I’ll post about protection dogs.

San Toy Laundry


Michael Huang, Photo credit: Hilary Swift for the NY Times

This is a really beautiful story of a Chinese laundry in New York: He Irons. She Stitches. It’s a story about two working-class Chinese immigrants who meet and fall in love in New York and then take over a laundry in Park Slope. They’ve been running it for years. They’ve done the immigrant thing by sending their kids to good schools so that they’ll never have to work in the laundry, and so they know that someday they’ll either close it or sell it–most likely close it, since mom-and-pop stores like theirs are disappearing. The pair bought the laundry at a pittance from another Chinese immigrant who made them promise never to change anything about it. They’ve kept the promise for over 30 years.

Simultaneous interpretation

Thought some of you bilinguals might enjoy this article: How To Translate Spoken Language. I’ve always been super-impressed by interpreters who can interpret and listen at the same time (simultaneous interpretation). As the Chinese interpreter in the video above says, “you have to speak while the speakers are speaking.” It helps that UN translators only translate into their mother tongue, but still, it’s hard to listen and speak at the same time. It’s especially hard if you get tripped up over a word; a large part of effective interpretation is keeping up with the timing.

Movies Without Mandonese

Mrs. WOWO and I have recently been watching Chinese movies on Hulu. Many of these movies are following the popular trend of cross-market casting. To sell the movie in Korea, for example, they’ll use Korean star actors. They’ll often teach the Korean star a few words of Chinese, and they’ll give him/her a relatively small speaking part. Korea and Japan cross-over in similar ways. But I’ve noticed that it’s different when Chinese/HK producers cross-market to Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking populations. These days, they’ll often just have the actors speak their own language exclusively so that viewers from their respective markets can see their actors/actresses speak in their native language.

Fighting to change (back) language

Here’s an interesting article. Vanessa Ruiz is a news anchor for 12 news in Phoenix. She is a Latina from a bilingual household, and she rolls her R’s and pronounces things the way the Spanish pronounce them when she broadcasts in English. She pronounces “Mesa,” for example, as “Mess-suh” rather than “May-suh.” Viewers questioned her pronunciation, and she fought back in the video above. She says she likes to “pronounce certain things the way they were meant to be pronounced,” i.e. you are all wrong and I am right. A Buzzfeed headlines says she “shut down the haters.”

Mathematics and the mind of Terence Tao

I’ve always thought mathematicians were really cool. Terry Tao is one of the top mathematicians in the world. He was a child prodigy who completed eleventh grade math when he was seven years old, and he’s now a professor at UCLA.

The NY Times has a great article about Tao (whom I thought I blogged about after his Fields Medal, but I guess not…) and his modern style of mathematical leadership. It’s a fascinating look not only into the mind of Terence Tao, but also at the field of mathematics as well. From a young age, he was fascinated by numbers. He has ventured into different areas of mathematics, but it sounds like his specialty is prime numbers.

How to overcome overcomplication, and how to make progress

One of the big problems with extreme Leftist thinking in the modern age is overcomplication, also known as paralysis by analysis. Someone will say something constructive like, “Black people need legacy,” and the extreme Left will counter with something unconstructive, such as, “Well, it’s easier said than done. Black people have a legacy of slavery, therefore you can’t expect them to own businesses.” Someone will say something constructive like, “We need to fix the testing achievement gap,” and the Left will counter with some diversion like, “Tests are racist” or “what does achievement really mean?” You’ll mention that black kids study less than Asian kids, and rather than encouraging black kids to study more, they’ll encourage race-based admissions, thereby dismissing the very idea of the necessity of hard study and hard work. The end result is that people don’t improve. No progress gets made. Discussion of success devolves into excuses for failure.

How to Fall in Love With Anyone

Fascinating article here. To summarize, a writer learns of a psychologist named Arthur Aron who, 20 years ago, was able to make two complete strangers fall in love in a lab experiment. The experiment was simple–two heterosexual single people ask one another 36 questions, followed by four minutes of simply looking into one another’s eyes. You can see the list of questions here. The takeaway is that the questions foster trust, vulnerability, and action. The writer tries the experiment herself, and so far it looks like it’s working.

Why American Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas

Thanks, H., for sending this: Why American Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas. It seems that there are cultural reasons for this.

And so, for Jews, the chop suey palaces and dumpling parlors of the Lower East Side and Chinatown gave the illusion of religious accordance, even if there was still treif galore in the form of pork and shellfish. Nevertheless, it’s more than a curiosity that a narrow culinary phenomenon that started over a century ago managed to grow into a national ritual that is both specifically American and characteristically Jewish.