Have Chinese Americans peaked?


Funny quote from Korean American politician Mark Keam:

In an interview with the Korean Times and reported on by AsAmNews earlier today, Keam predicted a Korean American would be the first Asian American elected US President.

In explaining his answer, he said “Chinese-Americans have made a mark, but we have to consider the fact that there are at least twice as many Chinese as Koreans in the U.S.,” he said. “Their level of success has peaked out as there are no real prominent elected Chinese officials now.”

He then released the standard non-apology apology.

Magnus Carlsen vs. Bill Gates

This is pretty funny. It’s pretty cool how everyone knows how to play chess. Magnus is making the rounds these days, playing chess with rich luminaries such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates was a good sport about it; Magnus beat him using only 12 seconds on his clock.

Michiaki Takahashi, inventor of chicken pox vaccine, dies at 85

Photo credit: Ko Sasaki

Photo credit: Ko Sasaki

Sad news from Japan: Michiaki Takahashi, the inventor of the chicken pox vaccine, died at age 85. From the story, it seems that Takahashi’s son got very sick with chicken pox when the son was 3. Takahashi, who was on a research fellowship at Baylor University in Houston at the time, had studied measles and polio. After his son recovered, he decided to use his knowledge to help eradicate the disease. Read an interview with him at the Financial Times. The vaccine tricks your body into believing it has had the virus that causes chicken pox, so kids today don’t actually contract the disease, but they produce antibodies to fight it.

Moderating changes in 2014

Hey All,

So we have a little less than two weeks before the new year.

As most of you know, I was somewhat burned out earlier this year. I was angry at the tech at our old hosting company who erased our work, and it was quite demoralizing. For a while, I was unable to really read or write anything. Plus, I was addicted to chess! (I still am.) Fortunately, time heals most wounds, so I’ll be back in early 2014. I’m not sure if it will all be gone by January, but it will be better.

Kim kills his uncle

Kim with his uncle, during happier times

Kim with his uncle, during happier times

It has been reported that Kim Jong-Un has killed his uncle, who, according to some reports, was the second most powerful man in North Korea. Of course, there’s some charge of trying to overthrow the government–which could be true or not. According to reports, Kim killed his Uncle Jang for trying to overthrow the government, among other “crimes”:

It also accused Jang of womanizing, drug use, gambling, eating at expensive restaurants and undergoing medical treatment in a foreign country.

Phillip Lim and Wen Zhou on the Chinese American Dream

See above for an interview with Phillip Lim and Wen Zhou from a company called 3.1 Phillip Lim. I really don’t know anything about fashion, but it’s great that they are having success. I don’t know why Suzy Menkes asks them about ABC’s when neither of them are ABC’s, but it’s great that they’re putting culture into their brand.

If you want to see another interview with an Asian designer, see here:

The Magnus Era

Magnus Carlsen, AP photo from BBC News

Magnus Carlsen, AP photo from BBC News

Magnus Carlsen is officially the new World Champion in chess. After a few weeks of battling with Vishy Anand, he emerged victorious with three wins and no losses in total, after playing ten out of twelve games. I didn’t follow most of the games in real time, but I watched some of the coverage on YouTube. It was very exciting. Congrats to Magnus!

bigWOWO 3.0


If you’re seeing this post, Byron is back in the house. You all are back in the house too. We now have a new web host provider, a new home for bigWOWO. Feel free to comment. Your work will now be saved for posterity. Cheers, and welcome to your new home.

How does one get better at chess?


Susan Polgar and husband Paul Truong

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about chess, but chess has been on my mind quite a bit. Old-timers may remember that I got my son involved in chess this year. I hadn’t been sure whether competition might be good for him, but he seemed to enjoy the mental challenge of trying to understand how to win. Anyway, he entered his first tournament just last month, and he tied for first place in a field of over twenty kids in his age division (Disclaimer: I don’t think he had to play any Russian kids in the course of his play).