I’m surprised that tech innovation has recently shown no signs of slowing down. It’s really quite amazing that people haven’t stopped inventing. In the latest round, California teenager Eesha Khare won a $50,000 prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Her invention? A supercapacitor phone charger than can fully charge in as little as 20 seconds. Imagine having devices that would charge that quickly. No more fighting for outlets at Starbucks. No more forgetting to charge your digital phone overnight. I don’t know what the capacity limit is, but if it could be used for cars, we could see more electric vehicles.
See here: ‘On Top Of The World’ At 80: Japanese Climber Summits Everest. Yuichiro Miura has now become the oldest person to ever climb Everest. A Nepalese climber, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who is 81, is now trying to break Miura’s record. I’ve heard it’s a pretty tough climb, and it costs about $40,000 a shot. Props to them for pushing their limits.
It’s graduation time, and just a few days ago, President Obama gave a commencement speech at Morehouse College, a historically black college. In his speech, he urged graduates not to make excuses and to set a good example. Michelle Obama gave a similar speech at Bowie State, where she urged black graduates to seek to become professionals rather than celebrities. This is the same advice that many Asian parents give to their kids. You would think that these kinds of values would be applauded, that people would clamor to hear the advice of people like the Obamas who have succeeded and are now in positions of power. Here are some of Obama’s words:
Here’s an interesting news item from the NY Times, not Asian American related, but we can think about it from an AA perspective. In Northern Mali, Islamic militants announced that they are banning music. I had to check it out to see if it was true, and it looks like it is; see the Guardian. According to the NY Times article:
Photo of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
It’s really gotten out of hand. In the latest flap over Japanese war crimes during WWII, Osaka mayor and co-leader of the conservative Japan Restoration party (not just some dude off the street) Toru Hashimoto defended Japan’s sexual enslavement of 200,000 Asian women: Japanese mayor: Wartime sex slaves were necessary.
Toru Hashimoto, the young, brash mayor of Osaka who is co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, also said that U.S. troops currently based in southern Japan should patronize the local sex industry more to help reduce rapes and other assaults.
According to the NY Times, more and more wealthy Chinese are sending their kids to expensive New York City prep schools.
Yijia Shi, a freshman, wanted to increase her chances of an acceptance letter from Brown University. And Meng Yuan, a junior, was seeking Western-style independence, not to mention better shopping. When she is not heading to track practice or doing her homework, she is combing Bergdorf Goodman for Louis Vuitton limited edition handbags and relishing in the $295 tasting menu at the celebrated Columbus Circle restaurant Per Se.
There was an article in Forbes by a white woman named Susan Adams whose son goes to Stuy, where most of the kids are Asian: Tiger Moms Don’t Raise Superior Kids, Says New Study. She wrote the article and read Amy Chua’s Tiger Mom book because she questioned whether her kid would lose out to the Asian students. Now, according to the article, there is evidence that ought to allay her fear. Su Yeong Kim, a professor at the University of Texas, had been working on the same topic before Amy Chua’s book came out, and she has just published her results. According to her, Tiger parenting doesn’t work. The Forbes article says:
Bill Cheng. Credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
I’ve always thought it cool when writers can go beyond their own personal experience. This NY Times article is about Bill Cheng, “a 29-year-old Chinese-American from Queens who has never set foot in Mississippi,” who has just written a book about life in Mississippi. The book is called Southern Cross the Dog. It’s about an African American man in the early twentieth century living in the Deep South. It has received high praise from Southerners and African Americans. Bill Cheng has never even been to Mississippi, but it seems people are saying he portrayed the experience perfectly.
Not Asian related, but tangentially race-related, so let’s jump in!
Check out the story of the rescue in Cleveland. Three women were locked up and kept in captivity for about ten years by three brothers. That’s some mighty scary stuff. One of them was kidnapped when she was just 14. They’ve arrested the three men allegedly responsible. One of the women, Amanda Berry, who was kidnapped when she was 17, caught the attention of two men who rescued them (see one of the men in his own words in the video above) and was finally freed. After ten years! In addition to the heroism of Charles Ramsey, the gentleman above, I’m amazed at Amanda Berry’s resilience–she still knew who she was and that she had to get out after ten years.