Northern Blvd McDonald’s employee attacks old Korean guy with a broomstick

Last time the Northern Blvd McDonalds was in the news for kicking out old people who were loitering. This time, when an old Korean guy complained about slow service, an employee hit him with a broomstick. See the video above, or check the NY Times article here. He’s now suing for $10 million–which I think is ridiculous. Even if you’re 62, how can getting swat with a broomstick be worth $10 million in pain and suffering? Free Big Macs for life, maybe, but $10 million? I don’t think so.

Officer Liu’s funeral

Photo credit: Victor J. Blue for the NY Times

Photo credit: Victor J. Blue for the NY Times

It’s hard to believe, but Officer Wenjian Liu was the first Chinese American NYPD officer to die in the line of duty. There’s a great article about the cultural aspects of his funeral here: For Officer Liu’s Funeral, Blending Police Traditions With Chinese Customs. I appreciated this:

Little in the rituals of a police funeral will be familiar to Officer Liu’s relatives. At a traditional Chinese funeral, mourners wail and sob throughout. Some fall prostrate on the ground. Many attendees pay their respects and leave, rather than staying for the full service. Eulogies are not usually given.

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.

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.

2 cops murdered in retaliation for Brown and Garner

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

Two NYPD police officers were murdered yesterday in cold blood. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a young man angry over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, had announced through social media that he was going to kill cops. Unfortunately, he did. There’s a good article on the lives of Officers Ramos and Liu here.

The largest police union in NYC has blamed Mayor Bill De Blasio for the tragedy. NYPD cops turned their backs on De Blasio when he entered a police press conference. George Pataki, former governor of New York, also criticized De Blasio and put the blame on his terrible leadership. I wholeheartedly agree. De Blasio has NYPD blood all over his hands.

Culture Clash (Podcast)

Last podcast of the year, and man, it’s a good one! Last night, Snoopy Jenkins/James, ChineseMom, and I had a podcast. Download it here, or hear it here:

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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin (Review)


The Organized Mind is one of those books written by professors for common people. Levitin is a professor of neuroscience. In this book, he writes about how our memories evolved through the needs of our ancestors, how the information at our disposal has exceeded our biological ability to retain information, and how we can cope. The basic premise of the book is that we need to offload as much information as possible into the external world. Instead of memorizing everything, we need a system of notes/computers/other people to remind us what we need to do. Only then can we be effective.

Do macadamia nuts fall far from the tree?

Interesting story from South Korea: a Korean Air Lines executive, who happens to be the eldest daughter of the CEO, threw a tantrum because she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than on a plate. I’ve never flown first class with Korean Air–actually, I’ve never flown Korean Air period–but apparently when you fly first class, nuts are supposed to come on a plate, not in a bag. The executive held up the entire flight to punish the head steward for this terrible and unforgivable mistake. People in Korea didn’t feel it was so terrible–actually they sided with the steward–and people are now angry at the airlines and the family that controls the airlines.

The experiences of an affirmative action supporter (podcast)

James Lamb/Snoopy Jenkins and I did a podcast last night. You can download it here, or you can play it here:

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