Things that I learned over my blog vacation

Hey Everyone Who Is Still Here:

I should be blogging again pretty soon. I hope you all enjoyed your vacations as much as I enjoyed mine. I wanted to share a few things with you that I learned during the break:

1. My Toisan is terrible, and my Cantonese is just as bad. I can’t believe how bad it is. I think I’m going to make it a goal to at least get it so that I can speak and understand somewhat passably. I can start by studying the video above and learning how to talk about family.

Cop shoots unarmed man

Has everyone been following the escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the maximum security prison? Richard Matt was shot and killed a few days ago. David Sweat was shot and apprehended yesterday, just a mile and a half from the Canadian border. Sweat was completely unarmed but was making a run for some dense trees after Cook approached him. Deputy Jay Cook shot him in the back, and he was taken alive.

I agreed with the deputy’s decision to shoot–after all, Sweat has shown himself to be quite elusive and hard to find–but I wondered whether there might be legal repercussions. It turns out that there shouldn’t be:

MMA in China

The video above is interesting. It sounds like there are lots of opportunities in China. I do think it’s a really hard sport to promote in China. It’s awesome that they’ve managed to assemble a team of young people who want to train. It’s great that Andy Wang has managed to use his time on TUF to bring it to China.

Taking a blogging vacation

Just wanted let you know that I’m taking a blogging vacation. I’ve done this before–it could last two weeks; it could last the whole summer; maybe the whole rest of the year. If something notable happens in the news, I’ll drop in to post it, but that’s about it–I don’t see myself engaging in any conversations on the blog. Conversations in real life are a whole different thing–if you’re in Portland, let me know. Same goes if I have an opportunity to travel this summer–I’ll let you know. Feel free to e-mail me. I also just changed the tagline on this site. (Read below for my last book rec before leaving.)

14-year-old Jeffery Xiong wins Chicago Open

Picture from

Picture from

Jeffery Xiong won the Chicago Open ahead of well-known chess greats Gata Kamsky and Boris Avrukh. It’s quite an accomplishment given that he’s only 14. With his great performance, he completed his third grandmaster norm. He’s already over 2500, so he will become America’s next grandmaster. He’ll become the second youngest American grandmaster in history, behind Sam Sevian. More about Jeffery on the Chess Drum.

Liquid food that replaces actual food

This sounds crazy: In Busy Silicon Valley, Protein Powder Is In Demand. In Silicon Valley, programmers are so busy and food is so expensive that workers are drinking their meals, rather than eating them. Those ethnic Chinese and Indian workers seem to be tossing aside their ethnic cuisines for scientific drinks that go by names like Soylent, Shmoylent, and Schmilk. Demand is so high that some people are on waiting lists. According to the article, unlike drink supplements like Slimfast, these drinks actually replace all meals. In other words, you could live on Soylent alone.

Suasion and education aren’t always enough

Check out the video above. The girl’s voice is amazing. It’s amazing what these two can do with just a guitar and voice.

Anyway, in light of the recent discussion between King and ChineseMom about history, I wanted to say the following: “Suasion and education aren’t always enough.” I think King and ChineseMom agree on where America needs to go, but they disagree on the role of education. I agree with King. Knowledge is necessary, but it isn’t always going to convince people to change their habits. You can especially see this among extremists who support affirmative action/affirmative racism, even to the detriment of those they purport to help. I think deep down inside we all know this, but it bears repeating: some people can’t be helped. You can lead a horse to water, but if he doesn’t want to drink, you can’t make him. While it’s important to extend a hand to those in need, it’s also important to realize that sometimes a more forceful approach is necessary.

Kasparov at SLU: “Hard work is a talent.”

Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov gave a great commencement speech at St. Louis University. You can click the video above (speech starts at around 1 hour and six minutes). See the full transcript at My two favorite parts:

1. The story about Tigran Petrosian’s wife. You always have to have a new dream. I wish someone had told me this when I was young.

2. This quote:

60 Asian American groups file lawsuit against Harvard

I keep trying to leave, but they keep pulling me back in. I’m talking about the progress (not “progressive”-ness) that more than 60 brave and honorable Asian American organizations made when they filed a discrimination complaint against Harvard. In doing so, these brave individuals raised the ire of the Far Left, which has its own agenda. (thanks to GuitarDude and Sengge for sending this along.)