Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Dalai Lama endorses book on peace

In A&E, Culture on July 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Inspired by a school mural of peacemakers, atist and poet Fereidun Shokatfard published the book “Colors of Love and Peace” with artwork and hopeful messages to children receiving treatment in hospitals. With the help of Shokatfard, the students of 186th Elementary in Gardena created an art-filled book promoting harmony, peace, and respect. In a cover image, the students are gathered around a photograph of the Dalai Lama, who is the Nobel Peace Prize winner and spiritual leader of Tibet.

Shokatfard sent an outline of the book’s artwork to the Dalai Lama, who heads Tibet’s government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India in hopes of the Dalai Lama writing a foreword. To the surprise of the artist and students, the Dalai Lama wrote a forward endorsing the book.

“I am impressed by this gathering together of their colorful paintings and messages to encourage children receiving treatment in hospital,” he wrote. “It’s a bright, cheerful and practical expression of concern for others. What better example for all of us could there be?”  

According to school principal Marcia Sidney-Reed, about 5,000 copies of the book have been printed. Half of the copies will be donated to children’s hospitals; the other half will be sold with most of the proceeds from the sales going to charity. The book comes with a CD of songs from the International Children’s Choir of Long Beach.


Oldboy director gets a little bloodier

In A&E on July 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Nothing personal against Korean cinema (quite the contrary), but when I think Korean movies,  my mind immediately goes to titles such as The Classic (along the lines of The Notebook, but more memorable, in my humble opinion) and the smash-hit rom-com My Sassy Girl (whose American adaptation, predictably enough, failed to achieve the same success).

Yes, they do horror as well (A Tale of Two Sisters ring a bell?), but with about 80% of my female friends (and a couple male) having seen at least one Korean drama, I can’t help but associate ‘love story’ with most Korean entertainment.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that one of Korea’s most talented directors (albeit not for love stories), Chan-wook Park, has a new film out – featuring none other than a priest who becomes a vampire. A Korean vampire flick that’s about as far from the Twilight saga as you can get — how could I possibly resist?


Bite me, Twilight - here's how real vampires are supposed to behave.

Thirst, Park’s latest cinematic thrill ride, seems to have the same creepy vibe as his previous masterpieces Oldboy (please stay away from this as well, Hollywood) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, but promises to be unique as well. Knowing the director’s not-so-opaque style, it’s bound to have some bone-chilling moments coupled with humorous intent.

The synopsis, borrowed from ropeofsilicon.com:

Sang-hyun, a priest who believes that life is precious, volunteers for a secret vaccine development project to help save lives from a deadly virus. But during the experiment, he is infected by the virus and dies. When some unidentified blood is transfused into him, he miraculously comes back to life, but the blood has turned him into a vampire. Sang-hyun is now conflicted between the carnal desire for blood and his faith, which forbids him to kill. But if he cannot survive without feasting on human blood, how can he get it without resorting to murder?

I for one can’t wait until it’s released in the U.S.

Watch the trailer

-posted by Shirley Mak

Miyazaki makes rare U.S. appearance

In A&E, NEWSPRINT on July 23, 2009 at 12:02 am

Anime fans have cause to rejoice – revered animator and living legend Hayao Miyazaki is making a rare U.S. appearance this Saturday at the Zellerbach Auditorium in UC Berkeley.

The event involves a conversation with Roland Kelts (Tokyo University lecturer and author of Japanamerica – a book I conveniently happen to own due to my Global Studies 1 class) and a Q&A with Miyazaki afterwards.

Tickets have long been sold out, but luckily I managed to grab one off the internet weeks ago and will hopefully have some updates post-Saturday.

Miyazaki is also slated to make an appearance at the 2009 Comic Con in San Diego on Friday (two different U.S. appearances over the span of only two days? The man is a powerhouse!). He will be featured in a panel hosted by John Lasseter, vice-president of Pixar and a close friend of Miyazaki’s, along with a couple other Disney representatives.

Miyazaki is famous for Academy award-winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and the Oscar-nominated Howl's Moving Castle. His newest movie, Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea, is hitting U.S. theaters Aug. 14. Among creating other masterpieces, Miyazaki is famous for the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and the Oscar-nominated Howl’s Moving Castle. His newest movie, Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea, hits U.S. theaters Aug. 14.

-posted by Shirley Mak


More info on Comic-Con line-up

WWII internees receive UC honorary degrees

In NEWSPRINT on July 19, 2009 at 1:46 pm

On July 16, the University of California Board of Regents voted to grant honorary degrees to approximately 700 Japanese-Americans forced to discontinue their studies at the UC for internment during World War II. After Roosevel’s 1942 executive order, students of Japanese ancestry at UC Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Davis were removed by the military to send Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals to be sent to internment camps.

UC President Mark G. Yudof noted that addressing the “historical tragedy” was long overdue, thus prompting the Regents’ Committee on Educational Policy to recognize this act of injustice. All of the students, whether living or deceased, will be awarded honorary degrees. The diplomas will read the inscription “Inter Silvas Academi Restituere Iustitiam” — meaning “to restore justice among the groves of the academe.”

Yudof remarked that the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Commission, established by Congress in 1980, found that the internment was not justified by military necessity; in fact, the “grave injustice” was a result of “race prejudice, war hysteria and the failure of political leadership”

“To the surviving students themselves, and to their families, I want to say, ‘This is one way to apologize to you,” said Yudof, “It will never be possible to erase what happened, but we hope we can provide you a small measure of justice.’”

The University of California is encouraging family members and others to help identify students who were unable to graduate because of internment. Please send e-mails with information to HonoraryDegree@ucop.edu or call (510) 987-0239.

Source: “WWII internees to receive honorary degrees,” UC Newsroom http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/21513

Judy Chu, 1st Chinese American woman elected to Congress

In Politics on July 19, 2009 at 11:48 am


On Tuesday, Judy Chu became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. Winning nearly 62% of the vote,  Chu succeeds current U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in the 32nd Congressional District. She managed to tap into Asian voters which compose 13 percent of voters in the congressional district, as well as Latino voters who make up nearly 50 percent.

Chu’s political career began on the Garvey School Board and the Monterey Park City Council, gaining the support of diverse individuals from different parties and backgrounds. In 1986  Chu and husband attorney Mike Eng created the Coalition for Harmony in Monterey Park to promote cultural diversity in the midst of English-only backlash. They created “harmony days” to celebrate the city’s multiple cultures and petitioned to reverse discriminating resolutions.

In 1988, Chu was elected to the council; in 2001, she won an Assembly seat after two unsuccessful attempts. In 2006, Chu ran and won for a position on the Board of Equalization. Chu was sworn in on Wednesday to represent the 32nd congressional district, which includes El Monte, Azusa,  and Covina.

(Photo from californiatargetbook.com)

Cool API environmentalist: Allison Chin

In Monologue/Dialogue on July 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm
DC Fillmore 024With Allison Chin in front of the Sierra Club office in Washington DC. Photo by Lisa Fouladbash.

Allison Chin is one of my Asian American eco-heroines.  She is the current president of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. As president, she is the top leader of the Club’s volunteer structure.

Even before I was hired by the Sierra Club, I’d seen her blog on the Sierra Club’s website and thought, “Wow! She’s pretty cool!”

I got to meet Allison Chin when I went to Washington DC for orientation for my new job at the Sierra Club.

Allison stopped by to have lunch with us and shared that volunteerism and an appreciation for the environment have played big roles in her life since she was young.  She is optimistic about Asian Pacific Islander Americans’ growing involvement in the environmental movement, especially as APIs recognize that a healthy environment is important for human health and going green saves money in the long term.

Earlier this month, I was working in the Sierra Club’s San Francisco office, making phone calls alongside volunteers nationwide to urge constituents to thank their congresspeople for voting for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

By the end of the two hour phone banking period, all the volunteers had logged off the system — except for Allison!  She was still on the line making phone calls, and there was nothing we could do but let her keep going!  Despite her busy schedule, Allison remains a true volunteer.  Talk about inspiring!

— posted by Debbie Chong

Pacific Ties Wins Best Overall Publication Award

In PacTies News on July 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Even though I’m no longer part of Pacific Ties, I would just like to make one more post.  Recently, Pacific Ties won the Best Overall Publication award from Campus Progress – a non-profit organization that supports student journalism on college campuses throughout the US.  Without their generosity and support, we would’ve never come this far in such a short period of time.

Here are a few words from David Spett, our friendly liason at Campus Progress:

“Pacific Ties, the oldest student-run Asian American Pacific Islander newsmagazine in the nation, has a better design than many if not most professional publications. It mixes its written content with info graphics and a diverse array of eye-catching photographs. Every single one of its stories has an angle that makes it directly relevant to the audience at hand,” said David Spett, Campus Progress Publications Associate. “Pacific Ties injects itself into the local debate by providing original reporting and informed opinions specifically relevant to its campus and community. In turn, its journalism enlightens readers and encourages critical thought,” he added.

We feel truly honored and we thank all those who have worked with Pacific Ties over the past 31 years and all those who have supported us.  A big thanks goes out to UCLA Student Media (esp. to Amy Emmert, Arvli Ward, Doria Deen, Mike O’Connor) and all the other newsmags in our hallway.

There are no words to describe how proud I am of my staff and how much we’ve accomplished in just one year.  All I can say is that we all look forward to seeing bigger and better things from Pacific Ties and that we’ll be sure to be around no matter how the world of journalism changes.

Maria Iu was editor in chief of Pacific Ties from 2008-2009.  She has recently graduated from UCLA with a BA in Communication Studies and looks forward to seeing where life takes her next.  Malina Tran will be editor in chief for Pacific Ties’s 2009-2010 publication run.