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We’re #1: 2012 Election Was An Election Of Firsts For AAPIs

November 8th, 2012 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

This year’s election was an election of firsts. Not least of all for our people, who are often left out of election and post-election talk altogether. A brief recap:

MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI) becomes the first Asian American woman elected to the Senate, and the first woman senator representing Hawaii. She’s also the first Senator born in Japan, and she’s Buddhist. Plus her name is Mazie–from the Japanese “Meiji,” pronounced “May-zee”–which officially gives her the coolest name in Congress.

TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL), who will represent the 8th Congressional District of Illinois, becomes the first Thai American and the first disabled woman veteran elected to Congress. She’s fluent in Thai, Indonesian, and before she was deployed to Iraq in 2004, she was pursuing her Ph.D. She was a US Army combat helicopter pilot in Iraq when the Black Hawk she was co-piloting was hit by an RPG, causing damage to her right arm and the loss of both her legs. Now, thanks to prosthetics, she is fully mobile. So yes, she is more badass than anyone you know.

GRACE MENG (D-NY), from New Yorks’s 6th Congressional District, becomes the Continue reading We’re #1: 2012 Election Was An Election Of Firsts For AAPIs

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Meet The First Asian American Gold Medalist, 91 Year-Old Sammy Lee

July 20th, 2012 | 8 comments | Posted by Jen

The last time the Olympics were in London in 1948 was also the first time an Asian American won a gold medal in the Games. That distinction belongs to 91 year-old Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, who was born in Fresno, CA and is of Korean descent.

From Time Lightbox via Wired:

Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, 91, was the first Asian-American to win an Olympic gold Continue reading Meet The First Asian American Gold Medalist, 91 Year-Old Sammy Lee

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ROCK OF ASIAN: “I Got My” Cameo In A Hot Azz Music Video

May 25th, 2011 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Do you love yourself some Home:Word, the collabo album that Bay Area hip-hop duo Magnetic North and the hotness Taiyo Na released last year?

Then check this! That crew teamed up with fire-tongued superMC Jin to create a celebratory track, just in time for 2011′s API Heritage month. It’s called “I Got My,” and according to MN’s Derek Kan, the song is essentially about “embracing who you are and what you got… fam, music, arts, community, love.  It’s for anyone and everyone who respects themselves and is doing something positive with their life.”

Adorably, to honor API Heritage month, the artists have chosen to highlight the gobs of AZN-American peeps they’ve met throughout their musical journey by inviting them into the single’s music video. It’s all our favorite people, from Beau Sia to Wong Fu Productions to Curtis Chin to this-list-of-favorite-people-cameos-is-so-long-we-can’t-list-them-all. They even asked us! But whatever, forget about us! THEY GOT YURI KOCHIYAMA to lip sync hip hop tongue twistaz! WHAT!?!

Check it, love it, love your peeps:

Continue reading ROCK OF ASIAN: “I Got My” Cameo In A Hot Azz Music Video

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Dan Choi Is On Duty (And Still Gaysian)

February 10th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

Since an Army National Guard committee recommended his discharge last summer, Knights Out founder Lt. Dan Choi has been staying active in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Meanwhile, his commander, a big supporter, fought the discharge decision and recently called Choi personally to ask for his return.

Great Choi-ce

The Advocate has reported that Choi rejoined his unit in Pennsylvania last weekend, opting out of a speaking engagement at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference.

As far as we know, he has not snapped a towel, leered at any of his military colleagues, referred to any unform as “fabulous,” nor told any soldier to give him head. In short, he is doing what he was meant to do: serve his country professionally, with honor and loyalty. That duty has nothing whatsoever to do with the gender he dates and is a heckuvalot more than most of us would or could do ourselves.

We sure as hell feel a whole lot safer knowing he’s out there protecting us.

[The Advocate: Dan Choi Back On Active Duty]

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Thanks, Isaac and Jaime!

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! Jerry Hsu

December 17th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Happy 28th birthday today to pro boarder Jerry Hsu!


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This dude is the reason that Diana rides an Enjoi skateboard (poorly; with near-catastrophic drop-in attempts under her belt). Known fondly as Asian Elvis, he is not only a skate prodigy but a pretty sweet photographer, and one of our heroes.

Here’s hoping he ends up passed out in a pile of his own birthday vomit tonight! It’s the only way to celebrate.

[Epicly Later: Jerry Hsu Photo Gallery]

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What The Hell Are We Doing On The Cover Of Hyphen Magazine?

December 17th, 2009 | 16 comments | Posted by Diana

The last issue of Hyphen featured our heroine, Ms. Margaret Cho, on their cover.

A-M-A-Z-I-A-N!

The new one, Issue 19, bears a photograph of us.

Either we’re blowing all the right people, they’re out of ideas, or we’re all doing something right!

Continue reading What The Hell Are We Doing On The Cover Of Hyphen Magazine?

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Congratulasians To Efren Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero Of The Year!

November 23rd, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Diana

The people have spoken, and what they have said is that our man Efren Peñaflorida, with his pushcart school, is a hero among heroes. Try not to cry during his acceptance speech:





Perhaps we could all learn something from his tireless efforts and pushcart lessons. Peñaflorida said:

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.”

And right now, from behind our walls of daily snark and selfishness and shame, we kinda believe him.

[CNN: Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero Of The Year]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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NBC’s "More Colorful," Except When It Comes To People

September 21st, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

In the last week, you may have noticed that NBC’s launched a new marketing slogan in its promos: “More Colorful.”


NBC Entertainment marketing president Adam Stotsky told Variety that “color is what we strive to do in our programming” and the slogan signifies “innovative programming” (like the unabashedly hacky Jay Leno Show, for example).

We think theTVAddict.com has a better take on NBC’s new tagline, however:


Meanwhile, if you still care, the fourth season of Heroes premieres tonight. Now there’s an NBC show with more colorful people!


Or, uh, more corolfur, as it were.

[theTVAddict.com: NBC (Unintentinally) Brings Back the Funny with their New Marketing Slogan]
[Entertainment Weekly: Diversity in Entertainment: Why Is TV So White?]

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R.I.P. Walter Cronkite

July 20th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

As bloggers, we know we’re part of a huge paradigm shift that has forced the world to witness the rapid decline of our beloved newspapers, and in lockstep, a bittersweet goodbye to a beautiful old school of gritty, focused, research-and-field based journalism.

Walter Cronkite, 1916 – 2009

Few things signify the end of that truly incredible journalistic era than the loss of Walter Cronkite, who passed away on Friday evening, at the age of 92.

Is it his tone of honesty that will be missed most? His dedication to the country? Perhaps his immeasurable influence (defined, one could argue, by the devastating impact his February 27, 1968 statement had on the on the nation’s support of the Vietnam War, see video link below):


We don’t really have an answer to those questions. We can only bid Cronkite an eternal goodnight with due respect and much sadness. He will be missed.

[NYT: 28 Years After Retirement, Anchorman Goes Off Air]

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BABEWATCH: Somaly Mam

May 12th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Bar Rafaeli, Somaly Mam, and Petra Nemcova at a 2008 benefit for the Somaly Mam Foundation

Name: Somaly Mam

Hails from: Cambodia

Occupation: Human rights activist

Why She’s a Babe: You wouldn’t guess, just by looking at her, especially when she’s holding her own while sandwiched between two Sports Illustrated swimsuit models (above), that Somaly Mam has lived a hellish life that most of us can’t even wrap our heads around. Growing up in war-ravaged Cambodia, Somaly was sold into sex slavery at age 12. Later she wound up in a Phnom Penh brothel, where she was repeatedly beaten and raped for ten years. Three years after fleeing Cambodia with the help of an aid worker, she started the nonprofit AFESIP (Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire, or Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances) that has helped over 4,000 women escape brothels and reintegrate into society. She’s been named a CNN Hero, Glamour Woman of the Year, and in 2009, she made the TIME 100 list. You can see a snapshot of her chatting with Michelle Obama at the gala dinner here; it’s a striking photo of two strong, beautiful women locked in an intimate conversation, not to mention a toned-arm-o-rama. In other words, doing good never looked this good.

Read Marianne Pearl’s 2006 profile of Somaly Mam in Glamour here.

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BABEWATCH: Tamlyn Tomita

December 9th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: Tamlyn Naomi Tomita

Age: 42

Occupation: Actor

I bonded with Phil (aka Angry Asian Man) this weekend over the decades we’ve spent crushing on Tamlyn Tomita. For me, Tamlyn is forever Kumiko from Karate Kid II, her film debut, with all of that wispy hair and that worried, downturned, but oh-so-pretty mouth. I’m pretty sure she’s the first Asian girl movie character I ever saw get the boy–albeit a skinny wuss who got his ass beat 12 times across three acts until the last 10 frames of the movie, but whatevs. Tamlyn has a Manchurian Candidate kind of effect on me, wherein I see her lovely face and then I break into an awful rendition of “The Glory of Love” that would most likely get me killed in Borneo.

Last night, Tamlyn had a cameo on the show we love to hate, Heroes, where she played Hiro’s mother, who dies when he’s a young child. And she looked goooooood. So good, in fact, that her playing the wife of George Takei seemed really creepy, as though George’s character had actually robbed the cradle. Tamlyn…what’s your secret, gurl?

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BABEWATCH: James Kyson Lee

October 7th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Name: James Kyson Lee

Hails from: Seoul, Korea and New York City (from age 10 on)

Occupation: Actor

Why He’s a Babe: Forget Hiro. Season 3 of Heroes is all about Ando, James’s character on the show who’s spent the previous two seasons totally underutilized as Hiro’s sidekick (as played by our favorite fister, Masi Oka). But this season’s premiere suggested that Ando is headed over to the dark side, and, as ladies, we’re genetically programmed to love bad boys. Especially one who murders the relentlessly-annoying, Engrish-spreaking Hiro, while wearing only his skivvies, no less! Okay, we made that last part up (about the underwear, not the murder)…but we can dare to dream.

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