Remember the good ol’ days when chopsticks were just used as utensils? Okay fine, we may still be in the “ol’ days” right now, but if the Chinese company Baidu succeeds, we may be kissing the reign of plain chopsticks goodbye.
Last week at an annual tech conference in Beijing, CEO Robin Li revealed that Baidu has been working to incorporate technology into our beloved utensils. To everyone’s amazement, he announced that these chopsticks of the future can detect the nutritional makeup of the food it touches. Apparently, this means the chopsticks can count calories, determine salt content and provide you with all sorts of information that you would want to know about your food before consuming it.
Many seem to be intrigued by the chopsticks’ ability to determine whether food has gone bad. The chopsticks can also be used as a thermometer to ensure that you are frying and cooking at the correct temperature.
So how can a pair of sticks tell us so much? Apparently the high-tech chopsticks will connect with an app that will give you all the information that the chopsticks detect.
By now, many of you are probably itching to get a pair of these. No more food poisoning for you! But unfortunately, these are nicknamed the chopsticks of the future for a reason. Apparently the chopsticks are still at the very early stage of development and all information regarding the price or release date of this product has yet to be announced.
We’ve found the perfect person to help make your Friday even better! Pan Cheng Hao the tiny toddler who made his debut appearance on China’s Got Talent willcertainly put a smile on your face.
The panel of judges didn’t quite know what to make of Pan Cheng Hao when he ran up on stage. He begins by very seriously teliing them that he joined China’s Got Talent to train himself and his body. Of course, later he clears things up and admits that he took part in the show to try and get the other kids to play with him again (Awww).
The second the music begins, Pan Cheng Hao snaps into attention. He nails everything from the moonwalk to MJ’s hip thrusting and even does an impressive amount of facials. This adorable and impressive dance pushes the crowd to their feet and Pan Cheng Hao walks away with a giant “yes” from the judges.
But not before striking a few more poses, of course.
You may remember 24-year-old journalist Esther Honig who did the original beauty photoshop experiment which revealed the various ideals of beauty around the world. Honig sent her picture to people in over 25 countries and asked them to use photoshop to “make her beautiful.”
The goal of the experiment was to get people to reconsider the beauty standards and expectations that they hold themselves to. What is considered beautiful in one country doesn’t apply to all. Ultimately, she wanted to prove that beauty ideals are subjective and we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves if we don’t fit just one standard of beauty. Proving her point, all her pictures came back looking drastically different.
But journalist Priscilla Yuki Willson was left with a lot of questions following Honig’s experiment. Most importantly, Wilson (who is half black, half Japanese) wondered how these standards would be implemented on a bi-racial woman of color. After all, the multi-race community is the fastest growing community in the United States. Following Honig’s footsteps, she decided to conduct the experiment herself.
“It’s a dialogue that specifically addresses race and ethic features in an industry where beauty standards are apparently euro centric,” she said.
The results? She discovered that countries who were more accustomed to diverse ethnicities, such as the United States, had very little to change from her original photo. Other countries, such as Vietnam, left her nearly unrecognizable.
We thought the days of “Let it Go” covers had come to an end, but it looks like we may have spoken too quickly. Just last week, we showed you a girl group from the Philippines who left Korean Superstar K judges in awe with their version of the popular Frozen song.
Now, it appears we have yet another aspiring Filipina blowing us away with her vocals. Of course, 19-year-old Alisah Bonaobia is not singing to a panel of judges during a television show. No, she seems to have been uncovered in a far less likely place– a shopping mall in Manilla.
In fact, the shoppers surrounding this karaoke station are chatting away loudly and initially we can’t even hear the young girl. However, she quickly demands attention with her strong voice and she effortlessly belts out all the high notes of the beloved song.
The video was captured and uploaded by a YouTube user by name of Henrik Jensen and was re-uploaded by Bida Sa Kalokohan. Both videos have over 300,000 views and are capturing the attention of viewers worldwide.
East West Players, the nation’s longest-running and most esteemed Asian American theater company, will celebrate its highly anticipated 50th anniversary with an extended season, titled “Golden,” that will take place over the next two years. “It’s not everyday that you get to celebrate a 50th anniversary,” says Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang, who has been with East West Players (EWP) since 1980. “We probably started thinking about and preparing for the 50th anniversary since 2011.”
It’s quite an achievement for the longest-running professional theater of color in the country, one whose stage has been graced by “nearly 4,000 Asian and Pacific Islander ac- tors,” says Dang, including the likes of John Cho, Lucy Liu, Kal Penn and Daniel Dae Kim.
Clearly, EWP has found a way to shape the talent of young artists and steer them in the right direction. Part of this has to do with the many programs offered by the company. “In addition to the award-winning productions that we do, we also have a great arts education program,” explains Dang. “We bring theater to a number of different schools, especially schools that don’t have a lot of funding for the arts. We also have a great professional enrichment program where we have classes here at East West Players.”
Of course, their work is hardly done. With the growing and changing demographic of Asian America, EWP strives to increase its scope of voices and perspectives. “Back in the mid-’60s, there were only a handful of cultures that really made up the Asian American community: Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Korean,” Dang recalls. “These days, you have Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Indonesian and the Pacific Islander ethnic communities such as Samoan, Tahitian and Tongan. We find that the Asian American community is growing so large now, not only in its own diversity but in its numbers. East West Players has been challenged to try and represent all these voices.”
After years of preparation, eight productions have been chosen for the Golden Anniversary, including the West Coast premiere of the black comedy Takarazuka!!! by Audrey contributor and playwright Susan Soon He Stanton (which runs November 6 through December 7), Animals Out of Paper by Rajiv Joseph (September 4 – October 5), Washer/Dryer by Nandita Shenoy, Chinglish by David Henry Hwang, and an Asian production of the Tony Award-winning musical La Cage Aux Folles.
For todays #TBT, we bring you a video from 2011. Now don’t let the date fool you– even now in 2014, the video is still making us smile. In fact, the video is making it’s way onto social media once again for another round of viral popularity.
Jared Young, an aspiring performer, claims that he dreamed of playing the role of Aladdin. The driven young man auditioned for the role at Disney’s California Adventure and even made it to the final cut, but he wasn’t casted. Not one to give up, he auditioned again the next year and (sadly) was not casted a second time.
As it turns out, Young only had to wait a few more years for his dream to come true. On September 2011, Young attended Lea Salonga’s Concert at the BYU De Jong Concert Hall. As many of you know, the popular Filipina singer and actress was the official singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin.
To everyone’s delight, Salonga surprised her audience by inviting a random audience member to join her on stage to sing “A Whole New World.” As fate would have it, Salonga chose Young.
The best part of this video is Young’s clear excitement and enthusiasm. The entire time, Young is grinning from ear to ear and his happiness is simply infectious. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself.
Meet Faa Mai, a 5-year-old elephant residing at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She’s here to make your day.
The Elephant Nature Park operates thanks to the Save Elephant Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides care and a safe place for Thailand’s captive elephant population “through a multifaceted approach involving local community outreach, rescue and rehabilitation programs, and educational ecotourism operations.”
The founder of the Save Elephant foundation is Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, who was named one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of Asia in 2005 and the Ford Foundation’s “Hero of the Planet” in 2001. She has been advocating for the rights and welfare of the Asian elephants in Thailand for years and has created a safe sanctuary for them for almost 20 years.
Faa Mai certainly seems to be enjoying herself at the Elephant Nature Park. In this video, she is seen joyously playing with blue ribbon. Although we first worry that she is simply tangled in the ribbon and is trying to shake it off, it soon becomes clear that she’s having the time of her life.
If you’re in need of a pick me up today, this 3 minute video should do the trick.
By now, you’ve probably heard of Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University senior who was raped by a fellow student on the first day of her sophomore year. She is now carrying around a dorm mattress on campus until her rapist is expelled or leaves school. This act is also a way to protest the manner in which the university handled her rape complaint, or rather, mishandled her rape complaint.
“Rape can happen anywhere,” she explains in a video published by the Columbia Spectator. “For me, I was raped in my own dorm bed. Since then, it has basically become fraught for me, and I feel like I’ve carried the weight of what happened there with me everywhere since then.”
Seven months after the incident, her case finally made it to a university hearing. Sources claim that the three administrators on the panel were confused about anal rape and skeptical about “how it was possible for someone to penetrate her there without lubricant.” Allegedly, Sulkowicz had no other option but to draw a diagram to make them understand. Sulkowicz was left feeling empty and sick after the hearing and worst of all, the man Sulkowicz had accused was found not responsible.
“Every day, I am afraid to leave my room,” Sulkowicz toldTime.“Even seeing people who look remotely like my rapist scares me. Last semester I was working in the dark room in the photography department. Though my rapist wasn’t in my class, he asked permission from his teacher to come and work in the dark room during my class time. I started crying and hyperventilating. As long as he’s on campus with me, he can continue to harass me.”
She allowed her experience to shape her senior thesis called “Carry That Weight.” Carrying her mattress around is her way to protest the fact that her rapist continues to study on campus and acts as a visual representation of the weight she carries with her since the incident.
Yes, this matters to the Asian American Community.
For those of you who have glanced at this story and find that it doesn’t apply to you, you may want to think again. Aside from the fact that rape is a very serious issue for everyone, the Asian American community in particular has reason to care about this protest.
Larry Lee, NYAWC’s executive director points out, “Sexual assault in the Asian American community is far more pervasive than might be assumed. A recent report indicates that 19% of Asian women compared to 11% non-Asian women are sexually abused in America’s colleges.”
Worst of all, many of the rape incidents which involve Asian American women go unreported. Sulkowicz did not immediately file the rape complaint out of fear. As a result, when she turned to the NYPD nine months after the incident, there was no evidence left for the NYPD to make an arrest.
As it turns out, the Asian American community also has an issue with reporting rape incidents. Fear definitely plays a factor, but also, studies show that Asian American women are more likely than Caucasians to believe that preventing rape is a woman’s responsibility. Such myths drastically lower the motivation to report the incident. Additionally, Asian American women are more likely to believe that rape is committed by strangers, which is not always the case.
Clearly, this is an ongoing issue within our community and one that we don’t speak of half as much as we should. Sulkowicz’s protest shines a very public light on rape and we can only hope that such candidness will allow victims in our own community to recognize that it’s not their fault that they couldn’t prevent the rape from happening. Sulkowicz makes it clear that it’s alright and important to speak out about something as taboo as rape.
Although carrying around a mattress may not be the solution for everyone, we hope that members of our own community (once they’re comfortable enough) will follow her footsteps in creating dialogue about this very serious issue.
“They took me to the hotel and even though I said no, they forcefully raped me, ” said one anonymous victim of human trafficking, her voice heavy with emotion. “In the morning I had no clothes on my body. I didn’t know what had happened, I was insensible. I felt very uncomfortable, blood was coming out. It was really difficult.”
Unfortunately, this vicious experience was endured by many of the woman who chose to tell their story for the documentary “Stolen Innocence.” Casey Allred, an American educator in India, and film director Chris Davis are the two behind this important project which all began in 2011.
Allred had opened a school in India and it was there that he noticed a peculiar trend: the girls were disappearing. Even when Allred and other teachers when to the homes of the missing girls to investigate, many were no where to be found and the citizens were reluctant to go into detail about the girls’ whereabouts.
“I will never forget the day that I learned the truth,” Allred said. “I spoke with a local attorney who told me that he had parents coming to his office every day looking for their lost daughters. He then told me that these girls were being trafficked into the sex trade.”
Shocked by all this, Allred joined forced with Davis and went undercover to red light districts and brothels throughout India, Nepal and Bangladesh to interview the sex workers. They have created a Kickstarter in hopes of raising funds to complete filming so that they can show the world the truth behind these brothels.
“These men, the problem with them is that they don’t give a f— about who you really are. The idea of you is enough,” Akana rants. “I don’t understand why you would romanticize an entire race as being submissive or weak or docile or delicate or fragile or whatever the f— is the allure of Asian women.”
But some women, such as Joy Regullano, opt for other ways of showing disdain for yellow fever. In a sketch called “White Fetish,” Regullano uses satiric humor to turn the tables and show everyone just how annoying yellow fever truly is.
So for all the Asian women out there who have been called exotic, or who have had drunk men scream “Ni Hao” in their ear at a bar (’cause we all apparently speak Chinese), this ones for you.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.