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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Tathagat Avatar Tulsi


Name: Tathagat Avatar Tulsi

Hails from: Bangalore, India (via Bihar and Patna)

Occupation: Physicist

Known for: Efficiency. Long recognized as a child prodigy (he completed high school by age 9, received a Bachelors degree at 10, and completed his Masters at 12), Tulsi–now just 21 years old–has just completed the six-year Physics doctorate program at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore to become one of the world’s youngest scientists. He is now potentially the youngest PhD in India. This basically means that he has successfully lived the collective wet dream of Jen’s and my fathers, making us seem all the more disappointing for pursuing careers in the liberal arts at an average American pace (Thanks, buddy!).

Worse Better still, Tulsi adds to the honorableness of his record achievements by humbly crediting his parents, saying, “I feel very lucky that I got proper environment in terms of my family members, particularly my father. He did his best to encourage my talent.”

Golly, we’d have to hate the kid if he wasn’t so freakin’ awesome. And accomplished. And adorable. And brilliant.

The one thing we’ve got on him is an updated site, however–his could some new finesse. But with his track record, we’d hate to see how quickly he’ll trump us on that one!

[ANI: Indian Prodigy Boy Completes PhD in Physics at the Age of 21]
[Times of India: Youngest PhD and Shortest Thesis]

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Thanks, Dave!

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Please, God, Let This Be Jon Gosselin’s 15th Minute


“Fuck you, TLC! Why don’t you take your fuckin’ morals and fuckin’ shove ‘em? Do you see me? Hostin’ a pool party in Vegas. I’m gonna be a fashion designer, dudes, so I ain’t gonna need your dumb baby-parenting show anymore. I have officially arrived.

My god, I am livin’ the life… livin’ the G.D. life, aight? Fame and uh, fortune. Bitches, bikinis and booze, yo. Look how large I’m rollin’.

Ahem. You may try to squash my Ed Hardy promo tour, but I will make you regret the day you ever put me on camera, touting me as a good parent. Ya hear that? YOU WILL REGRET IT. I AM NOT A GOOD PARENT. SO THERE.

[NY Mag: Christian Audigier and Jon Gosselin Want to Design a Kids’ Line Together]
[Access Hollywood: Jon Gosselin Hosts Vegas Pool Party, Kate Throws Bash Of Her Own]

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A Shot at Marriage with Tila Tequila

by Guest Contributor Intern Jasmine of This Is Jasmine:

Apparently, somebody proposed marriage to Tila Tequila this month.


There it was on her (now protected) Twitter stream, and you know if it’s on Twitter, it must be true, right?

While Tila Tequila is, in fact, the person I believe is doing even less for Asian-American women than Michelle Malkin, I guess that doesn’t mean she isn’t entitled to martial bliss. In fact, Jen and Diana wondered if maybe DISGRASIAN™ shouldn’t send over a present or something to congratulate the happy couple, an attempt to bury the hatchet for a little while. Frankly, I thought the money could be better spent on a present for me, their devoted intern, but I’m trying to be a better person. So I set about looking for the perfect gift with a minimum of whining.

What do you get for VH1′s premiere reality show fame ‘ho? As she is, supposedly, the queen of the internet, I went a-Googling for some clues. While Tila’s Twitter is now hidden, pics posted to Twitpic from her Twitter are still available. Pictures of her “bow pams” (read: her boobs) and celebrity pals like P. Diddy aside, there really wasn’t much to help me figure out what would make the best gift. Would a media mistress like her do something so pedestrian as actually register for presents?

She would! She did! It’s right here!


I forwarded the registry to Jen and Diana, who were just as surprised as I was. Jen handed over the DISGRASIAN™ credit card, warning me not to spend more than $75 and not to buy anything that I couldn’t return.

Tila was smart enough to list a number of items at various price points, because, you know, bloggers are a budget-conscious crew. The registry obscured the identity of her groom, alas – he’s listed as “Tilo Tequila” on the registry. Who is this dude? Is he so much more famous that the sheer knowledge of his identity as the groom would turn all of our worlds upside down? There weren’t a lot of “manly” things on the registry anyway–many of the gifts seem targeted towards her, um, taste. Unless I’m wrong and the size 5 clear heels from “Exotic High Heels” are actually for the groom (Tila’s comments below are italicized):

“CLEAR HEELS ARE THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS OF YOUR FEET.
THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING.”

Can’t argue with her there. I mean, clear heels are a reality tv fashion “do,” right?

Tila also registered for some white lingerie, which sounded so sweet:

“PERFECTO! I need a wear a costume to be a virgin bride, LOL.

Oh dear. You can accuse Tila of a lot of things (believe me, I know I do) but you can’t say she doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Other items on the list that caught my interest:

“TILA LOVES SMOOTHIES AND THINGS THAT VIBRRRRRRATE!”

“I want ‘my first time’ as a married woman to be ELEGANT & CLASSY.”
“NO COMMENT! LOLZ!”
“Blu contacts on an AZN? Not natural but SUPERNATURAL! These are my ‘something blu’!!!!!”

The Magic Bullet and the sheets strike me as being normal gifts, the kind of stuff you’d see on anybody’s wedding registry. But the Magic Wand Massager? That’s a little intimate, though I suppose in 2009 it shouldn’t surprise a prude like me that ladies would not only have them but think to put them on registries for other folks to see in the first place.

Part of trying to be a better person is challenging one’s norms. So I guess I’m settling on the Magic Wand Massager as a gift to Tila and her Mr. Tequila-to-be. Weirdly, there’s an option on Amazon to buy this used, a thought I entertained for five seconds, being a budget-conscious blogger myself (plus, it’s kinda funny, no?). But I don’t think I could bring myself to buy a used vibrator massager for anybody–no matter how gross I thought they were–not even for Tila Tequila.

[Tila Tequila Wedding Registry]

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Rosemary Port and the Internet’s Anonymous


By now you’ve probably heard the story: Former model Liskula Cohen, 37, subpoenas Google in January, in pursuit of a defamation suit “concerning her appearance, hygiene and sexual conduct” against the anonymous author of a Blogspot site called “Skanks in NYC.” The blog features only five posts with photographs, all devoted to calling Cohen a “skank,” “hag” and “ho.” Cohen ultimately wins in court, and Google is forced to fork over the IP address and email of the anonymous blogger, identified as Cohen’s acquaintance, Rosemary Port. A media frenzy ensues.

Port: Still hiding?

Satisfied by knowing Port’s identity, Cohen decides to drop the defamation lawsuit, even calling to forgive her. Port, on the other hand, blames Cohen for the Streisand Effect on the issue, and prepares her own $15 million suit against Google for invading her privacy.

Dizzying, isn’t it? And fascinating. Even though we live on and in it, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Interwebz is still a rather young entity, and we’re only just starting to understand the power–both positive and negative–of this vast, largely anonymous space.

Inevitably, people have landed on both sides of this matter. And though a court did side with Cohen when she initially pressed Google, we’re likely see the saga shift legal momentum with respect to Port’s suit (perhaps “all the way to the Supreme Court”), for months.

The Web being a maze of aliases, handles, social identities and passwords, it’s only natural for us to revel in the freedom of its virtual invisibility cloak. After all, stalking an ex quietly on Facebook is much easier than hunting the fucker down at his neighborhood haunts. Pay-as-you-go online porn is effortless compared to walking behind the partition at a dingy, outdated video store. Discussion boards for personal problems are sometimes more accessible and helpful than group therapy. Who would sniff their nose at a buffer for the stuff we’re not so proud of?

But anonymous Internet flaming, which we see so often on blogs, YouTube, social networks and message boards, is the e-quivalent of pulling a shirt over your head, running over to somebody, kicking them in the mouth, yelling, “You’re a fat asshole, you fucking fat asshole!” and then taking off down the street. Afterwards, one person’s still bleeding, and their attacker–a total chickenshit–has already moved on.

Or, as Maureen Dowd cited in NYT’s Opinion section:

“The velocity and volume on the Web are so great that nothing is forgotten and nothing is remembered,” says Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic. “The Internet is like closing time at a blue-collar bar in Boston. Everyone’s drunk and ugly and they’re going to pass out in a few minutes.”

It’s simply impossible to respect this brand of cowardice, at least for us. Recently, some anonymous shitbag lamely slammed DISGRASIAN for being “BOOORRINNG” on The Roast List. Every comment posted in reply was also anonymous (save for a dude named “RelentlessX”, who’s probably either a huge fan of Avril Lavigne and the Pussycat Dolls, or this guy). To be honest, it’s hard to dignify criticism from phantoms: Er… um… we guess we’re sorry we don’t impress a bunch of dickless, spineless, St. Martin’s Guide-less, anonymous pussies. Perhaps they’re just not our demo? Our demo probably gets laid more.

We at DISGRASIAN don’t have a legal position (Sorry Mom, still not going to law school!) on Port’s anonymous mudslinging, but we do have an opinion. And we’re posting it here:

Rosemary Port’s worst anonymous words may have been: “How old is this skank? 40 something? She’s a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank.” Not only is her prose a hot mess, but she didn’t have the nards to stand behind them. We couldn’t care less that a model loves snorting crack while wearing uncooked bacon and at the center of a bukkake circle (Don’t they all? Hee!), if the person telling us can’t stand up while saying so.

That’s an opinion, like it or not. We’re not only willing to state it, but sign our names behind it.

Mine is Diana Nguyen.

[Times UK: Unmasked Blogger Rosemary Port to Sue Google for $15m]

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On Romantic Gift Giving

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No, Baby! [Project Runway Spoiler Alert]

Somehow, as if to prove my endurance, I trudged through last night’s criminally dull second episode of Project Runway‘s 6th season. This was mostly to see if there was anyone in the group with enough talent to give a damn about–for their ability, that is, not just their meth addiction or nude caftan design.


Frankly, I held high hopes for Malvin Vien, a cerebral designer that wistfully handles fashion with the free-associative approach of a philosopher or person on shrooms. Sure, his first Runway piece was an exoskeleton-inspired frock for a red carpet, but an ability to commit to an actual concept can sometimes be a good thing. He was worth further investigation.

The challenge in episode two was to design a chic look for pregnant Rebecca Romijn (her twins are now nearly a year old, by the way–a well-known fact that casts a dated feel over the much-delayed production). The safe designers went for draping, the bold designers created short-shorts and unforgiving jumpsuits, and Malvin…


…built an outfit around the concept of a “Mother Hen.”

Because that’s exactly the image a woman with leaking boobs, adult acne, swollen hands and feet, constipation, and a 40-pound basketball sitting on her belly wants to conjure up while trying to feel beautiful and chic. Please, somebody tell Malvin, one should know women if they are to design for them. Otherwise, they’ll be the second person to hear “auf Wiedersehen” chirped out of Heidi Klum’s perky little mouth.

I’m not sure what’s worse, though. Malvin’s poor decision-making, or the whole shoddy cast of this bedraggled season of Runway. I’ll have to assess a few more mediocre looks to decide.

[Project Runway Season 6 - Official]

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Caption This: IKEA Beijing

A scene from the IKEA Beijing

“Fuck. We forgot to pick up a bag of GLIMMAs. And didn’t you say you needed another LÄMPLIG? Who’s gonna go back for them? Not It.”

[LA Times: Beijing loves IKEA -- but not for shopping]

Thanks, @irwin!

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Yellow Is Mellow, But Black Is Wack in Microsoft’s Polish Advertising

A couple of days ago, TechCrunch reported on a curious case of race-swapping that they discovered on two identical Microsoft marketing sites. In the U.S. version of the site, a photo of an Asian man, a black man, and a white woman could be seen on Microsoft’s “Business Productivity Infrastructure” home page:


But in the Polish version of the same site, the head of the black man had been photoshopped out and replaced with that of a white man:


After the blogosphere caught wind of this, the Polish site was changed, and the black man restored to the photo. Microsoft apologized Wednesday for this racial switcheroo and stated that they were “looking into the details of this situation.”

Presumably that also means they’ve fired the photoshop guy who not only did the horrible cut-and-paste job on the replacement head–notice its distinct Linda-Blair-in-The Exorcist-head-swivel–but left in the black hand, and, perhaps most devastatingly for Microsoft, failed to notice, unlike several savvy commenters over at Photoshop Disasters, that the computer in front of the black/not-black guy is an Apple MacBook(!).

[via TechCrunch]
[Photoshop Disasters: Microsoft Poland: At Least They Left The Asian Guy In]

Thanks, @arcadius!

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! No Doubt’s Tony Kanal


Dear Tony,

Thank you for taking Gwen Stefani off our hands this summer. And by off our hands, we mean touring with her and making a new album together, thereby preventing her from doing something foolish and godawful on her own, like parading around with her four matchy-matchy Harajuku Slaves or doing another solo record of lobotomizing tunage that serves no discernible purpose other than to fill the void during a 30-second timeout at a Laker game (some of which you’re responsible for, but let’s just pretend we don’t know that). You’re doing us–and, we like to think, the world–a HUGE solid.

Oh, and happy 39th birthday, too!

with gratitude,

DISGRASIAN

Tony and Gwen back in the day

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Finally, Asians Score Well on a Test!

The following headline appeared in the Wall Street Journal today:


At first I was like, “Fucking woo-hoo! We rule!”

And yeah, we do rule, as the ethnic group taking the largest strides with rising SAT scores last year.


But then I realized that the numbers tell a darker story: that a generation’s worth of education reform in our country has failed to strengthen the overall performance of all minority groups.

Which means we’ve all failed.

Fuck! Boo.

[WSJ: SAT Scores Fall as Gap Widens; Asians Gain]
[via @channelapa]

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R.I.P. Ted Kennedy


Goodbye, Ted. Thank you so much for believing.

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Woods


As you may or may not know, Los Angeles is burning right now. An uncontrolled blaze is tragic and terrible–but sometimes for Angelenos, the L.A. fire seems like an almost necessary purge of all things impure (and oh, there are many), wiping the slate clean for another magical incarnation.

Perhaps it is this routine that turns fire times into days of anomalous calm, our millions of city dwellers just waiting and watching as thick rolls of gray smoke cloud the sunshine over our strip malls, reminding us that we don’t have as much control over tomorrow as we think we do. And perhaps our dirty deeds will just burn up and blow away.

Fascinatingly enough, it is not the hills of the metropolis engulfed in flame at the moment, but the Angeles National Forest (Non-cellphone-tower trees in our midst. For those of you who don’t believe, trust. It exists). Seems almost appropriate, then, that the album we can’t stop spinning is the latest from Woods, called Songs of Shame.


The Woods are based in Brooklyn, but one of the most infectious tracks on the album is an expectant heartbeat-instrumental called “Echo Lake” (a tribute, we hope, to the common name of a strange urban oasis on our city’s east side, not our neighbor in the Sierras), which could easily be the soundtrack to the day’s fire-calm. The rest of the album is a messy, raw compilation of psychedelic lullabies made distinct by both irregular composition and layered teeny vocal tracks–so small, lilting, and ethereal that they remind me of Miyazaki’s Kodama.


But let’s be real here. Um, hello, the album is called Songs of Shame. Isn’t a record, in its own way, simply a vehicle to purge thoughts and emotions (and arguably in this case, guilt/shame)? If it’s possible for an LP to be custom-made for DISGRASIAN, this would be it.

So why don’t you listen here. Then buy here.

And for those of you whose city is burning, temper your calm with Woods *live*: tonight at the Troubadour or tomorrow night at Echo Curio.

[MySpace: Woods]
[Amazon: Woods - 'Songs of Shame']

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Thanks, Maris!

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