(Safe) Big Circles Lenses Are Finally Available in the U.S.

An Asian model with 1-Day Acuvue Define in Natural Shine, top, and without, bottom.


When circle lenses took off in Asia in the early aughts, everyone walked around with big, black, monochromatic, alien-like eyes. Sure, they made your eyes look bigger, especially for those with smaller irises, but everyone knew you were wearing circle lenses. Back then, they looked pretty fake, and who knows what the manufacturer was putting in those lenses. I, for one, was relieved when longtime eye care expert Acuvue finally had the genius to come out with their version of the circle lens, 1-Day Acuvue Define (a disposable circle lens, no less). The problem? It was only available in Asia.

But we in the Western Hemisphere no longer have to wait— Acuvue Define is now finally available in the U.S., and with a few upgrades. The U.S. version is based on a recent study that showed that those with darker limbal rings — the dark outline around the perimeter of the iris — are seen as more attractive, healthy and youthful than those without. In fact, the limbal ring is most prominent in infancy and gets thinner and lighter as we age. This next generation of Define adds a realistic limbal ring without changing eye color. And for those with darker eyes, Acuvue Define in Natural Shine gives just the perfect amount of pop — a defined yet natural-looking limbal ring with fine veins of bronze in the iris to enhance the texture of dark eyes. (I like to think of them as gloss for the eyes — they even come in plano for those with 20/20 vision.) Add in UV protection, Lacreon technology, which keeps lenses moist and comfortable, and the fact that they’re disposable, and you’ve got no reason not to try them. Details Acuvue.com.


This story was originally published in our Summer 2015 issue. Get your copy here. 



[Video] Americans Try Indian McDonald’s

We’ve already seen many interesting fast food menu items from Asia. I’m not a big fast food fan myself, but I wouldn’t mind eating at a McDonald’s in Japan just to try out the unique options.

Speaking of McDonald’s and its unique variations from each country, BuzzFeed piqued our curiosity (yet again) and tried out several items from an Indian McDonald’s menu. Since beef is not commonly consumed, we get to see how they spice up their version of an American classic. First item on the menu? A Chicken Maharaja Mac. Apparently, calling it a “Big Mac” is not epic enough.



The verdict? Compared to American McDonald’s, it seems India has more vegetarian-friendly items, more chicken, a “mysterious orange sauce” that’s in all the sandwiches and spice levels are turned up a notch or two.

While many of the participants seem confused with the food, they certainly seemed to more willing to taste the food compared to Filipino street food, “exotic” Asian foodspam and even Japanese snacks. Maybe there’s a sense of comfort when a sandwich has a “Mc-” in it’s title?


All photos courtesy of BuzzFeed.



After 70 Years, This Couple Finally Received Their High School Diplomas


While I’m happy for all the graduates who walked the stage this year, there are two in particular who put a smile on my face. After all, these 90-year-olds have been waiting seven decades to receive their high school diplomas from Tustin Union High School.

Miko and George Kaihara both attended Tustin Union High, but are not listed in the 1943 graduating class. That’s because as teenagers, Miko and George were part of the nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forced out of their homes and into an internment camp. Instead of receiving their diplomas from Tustin Union High, they instead received diplomas from the Poston internment camp in the Arizona desert, where school was taught by other Japanese Americans confined in the internment camp.

70 years later, this all changed when the couple, who got married in 1950 and had four sons and seven grandchildren, was reacquainted with their former classmate, Denny Hayden.

After discovering that they never received their diplomas, Hayden called up the school and insisted that it wasn’t too late.

And so, a week before their 65th wedding anniversary, Miko and George Kaihara — both proudly wearing a cap and gown –walked out to a standing ovation as they received their high school diploma in front of their family, friends and the other graduates. Although the high school is now called Tustin High School, their diplomas read “Tustin Union High School — 1943.”



All photos courtesy of Angry Asian Man



Samsung’s ‘Safety Truck’ Allows Drivers to See the Road Ahead


Story by James S. Kim


Overtaking a truck on a two-lane highway isn’t always the easiest task in the world. But what if we could see through the truck instead of cautiously attempting to peek around the edge of the semi?

Samsung’s experimental Safety Trucks could provide a solution in the near future. Utilizing a combination of wireless cameras and four Samsung monitors, the Safety Truck seeks to make driving on single-lane roads easier and safer.

Samsung Tomorrow wrote in a blog post that the Safety Truck technology can also help reduce accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road. The camera and displays also support night vision.

Samsung ran a pilot test with a prototype of the Safety Truck in Argentina, which has some of the worst accident rates in the world. While the prototype truck is no longer operational, the technology does work. With this in mind, the company said the next step would be to work with safe driving organizations and the government to obtain permits and approvals, as well as make sure any future versions of the Safety Truck comply with existing protocols.

Forbes brought up a few questions and potential issues—for one, would the system end up causing more problems than it proposes to solve? How distracting would the screens be, especially at night? How reliable will both the camera and display be in bad weather? Also, will the screens would be prime targets for stealing and/or vandalizing?

Regardless, if all things check out for Safety Trucks, there’s a possibility that the new tech will help reduce South Korea’s high number of road deaths. In 2014, South Korea was reported to have the second-highest traffic fatality rate among 31 OECD member nations, according to Yonhap News Agency.


Featured image via Samsung Tomorrow
This story was originally published on iamkoream.com 



How a Two Minute Youtube Video Became a Feature Length Film


Story by Se Yeon Kim 


YouTube duo National Film Society brings together the Asian villains from your favorite action movies of the 80s and 90s in their film Awesome Asian Bad Guys, which will be released tomorrow, June 23.

In the movie, actress Tamlyn Tomita (Joy Luck Club) and the National Film Society (Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco) recruit a league of Asian “bad guys” from classic blockbusters in order to defeat the powerful actor-turned-mob boss Aaron Takahashi (The Wedding Ringer) and his henchman Dante Basco (Hook). However, the league, which includes Al Leong (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon), Yuji Okomoto (The Karate Kid, Part II), George Cheung (Rambo: First Blood, Part II) and Randall Park (The Interview), overcome their differences and work together — this time, as heroes.

According to Epino and Dypiangco, Awesome Asian Bad Guys is “like The Expendables, but with Asian villains in the spotlight.” The film salutes the unsung Asian action actors who often risked their lives on set to perform their roles as kick ass antagonists.

The idea began as a simple YouTube video in which the National Film Society talked about their favorite Asian movie villains, only briefly mentioning the possibility of creating a web series.

“We just thought, conceptually, it’d be funny,” Epino had told Audrey last spring. “We weren’t like, ‘Let’s make it!’”

However, in three years, with the help of a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign, film distributor Filmbuff and a production team that included Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man, what was initially a two-minute vlog developed into a feature film starring some of the very names that the duo mentioned in their original video.

The movie also has guest appearances from various YouTubers such as Wong Fu Productions, Wendy Nguyen and AJ Rafael.

Awesome Asian Bad Guys will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, and Playstation. Check out the official trailer below.


Feature image courtesy of 5 Questions With.
(Source 1, 2)



Sleeping Beauty: Perfect Overnight Skincare Products For Every Skin Type

New research confirms that sleep time is indeed the best time for skin to recover, rejuvenate and heal.

“Sleep is a time of repair, as this is when the metabolic rate and the production of skin cells increases, while the breakdown of proteins needed for cell growth and repair decreases,” says Diane Nakauchi, skin care expert and CEO of Japanese beauty brand Koh Gen Do. It’s especially an important time because during the day, adds Nakauchi, the body is expending energy taking care of other organs and can’t focus on tissue repair like it does at night.

To that end, sleep masks and other overnight products work to take advantage of those nighttime repair systems. “Overnight masks seal in moisture, helping to prevent moisture loss during the night,” says Nakauchi. “While night creams also help in preventing moisture loss, overnight masks often have more ‘sealing’ type ingredients, which are not suitable to wear under foundation.”

And even better — there’s an overnight product for almost anything.



This sleep mask is thick but sinks in fast. White water lily and peptides help firm and improve elasticity. Kate Somerville Age Arrest Hydrating Firming Mask.



2. DETOXIFYING: From the new super antioxidant-powered Nutritious Vitality8 line, made exclusively for Asian skin, comes a detox concentrate you use seasonally for 28 consecutive days. Estée Lauder Nutritious Vitality8 Radiant Overnight Detox Concentrate.



3. MOISTURIZING: A skin-identical ceramide formulation prevents moisture evaporation during the night, and antioxidant-rich red algae has an anti-microbial effect to help fight blemishes. Bonus: encapsulated Vitamins, A, C and E. Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Night Moisture Mask.



4. OIL CONTROLLING: With calcium, retinol, peptides and vitamin E, this night mask not only controls oil but also boosts collagen and elastin production. Bioelements Oil Control Sleepwear.


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5. BLEMISH TREATING: While not technically a mask, this overnight blemish treatment has salicylic acid, colloidal sulfur, witch hazel and cucumber in a unique concentrate to decrease redness and size of the blemish by morning. M-61 PowerSpot Blemish Lotion.



6. SELF-TANNING: A fragrance-free, translucent gel with hyaluronic acid to moisturize as you self-tan overnight, and it won’t stain your linens. James Read Sleep Mask Tan Body.


Feature image courtesy of www.waytoskinny.com
This story was originally published in our Summer 2015 issue. Get your copy here. 



Get to Know Ki Hong Lee from Wong Fu’s ‘Everything Before Us’



Full name: Ki Hong Lee
Age: 21 and over
Where you were born: Seoul, South Korea
Where you were raised: Seoul, Auckland, Los Angeles, Berkeley

In Wong Fu’s very first feature-length film, Everything Before Us, Ki Hong Lee plays Jay, a teacher’s assistant who guides Hayley through her freshman year in college and gives her relationship and academic advice.

  About the film:

1. Describe your character in three words.

2. What is the most crucial part of being in a romantic relationship?
“Love is all you need” – Beatles

3. What would your real-life relationship score be, and why?
I hope it would be in the 90’s. But I haven’t checked in a while — hope I’m not a victim of EI score theft.

4. Any bloopers or memorable episodes on set?
Brandon Soo Hoo is a real life ninja. He is so fast and agile. I learned the hard way.

5. What is your opinion of Wong Fu as film directors?
Same as my opinion of pizza — Cannot live without ‘em.  

  About Ki Hong:

1. What always makes you laugh?
My wife.

2. Your go-to comfort food?
Not so much comfort but an obsession — PIZZA

3. Currently on “repeat” on your ipod?
I lost my ipod :(

4. A guilty pleasure you don’t feel guilty about?
Eating pizza every day

5. Current favorite place?

6. Favorite drink, alcoholic or otherwise?

7. Current obsessions?

8. Pet peeve?
When I put my left contact lens in my right eye, and vice versa.

9. Habit you need to break?

10. Hidden talent?
I can run a mile in 4 minutes…I just exaggerated.

11. Talent you’d like to have?

12. Word or phrase you most overuse?
Bro, dude, pizza

13. Favorite hashtag?

14. Greatest fear?
If there was no more pizza on earth

15. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what occupation would you be doing?
Professional Sleeper  

Want to get to know the rest of the cast? Click here to learn more about Randall ParkVictoria Park and Brittany Ishibashi. Be on the look out for profiles on the rest of the cast coming soon! Everything Before Us is currently available on Vimeo. Click below to check it out.


Top Stories of the Week: UCLA’s LCC Theater Group and Its Trailblazing Alumni

1) Live From UCLA, It’s LCC! [READ HERE]





2) South Korean Womenswear Line, FREAKS By Designer Tae-Hoon Kim [READ HERE]






3) Get to Know Victoria Park from Wong Fu’s ‘Everything Before Us’ [READ HERE]







4) LCC Theatre Group Alumni Are Making Their Mark in the Entertainment Industry [READ HERE]







5) Get to Know Randall Park from Wong Fu’s ‘Everything Before Us’ [READ HERE]




Aziz Ansari Reads Embarrassing “First Textual Experiences” with Jimmy Fallon


Aziz Ansari recently joined Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to discuss a very serious issue faced by our generation: the proper way to flirt through text. Okay, who are we kidding? The two comedians actually just took time to laugh at some embarrassing examples of really bad text flirting.

The segment was done to promote Ansari’s recently released book, Modern Romance, which hit bookshelves on June 16th. As you probably already guessed from the title, the book explores the very unique experience of dating in this day and age.

“I had been starting to do this stand-up about dating and realized that the current romantic landscape is way different,” Ansari told TIME.  “All these very modern problems — like, sitting and deciding what to write in a text — that’s a very new conundrum.”

“I want to be clear: The book is not, “It’s crazy! We have phones now!” The changes are far beyond the technology,” Ansari said of his book. “And marriage, not that long ago, was an economic institution where two families would come together to bring their wealth together. The whole idea of finding a soul mate only became a thing in the past 100 years. So the whole redefinition of what marriage is — nobody’s really written this comprehensive book about this kind of thing. I think it’s really funny and very interesting.”

According to Ansari, he and his team looked through the phones of actual people in search of their most face-palm “first textual experiences.”

“It was really surprising,” Ansari laughed. “The kind of bozo texts a lot of dudes send [because] it seems like a very simple thing to just say ‘Hey, would you like to do this specific thing at this specific time?’ but most dudes are just writing very weird things.”

Fallon decided to reach out to his own viewers and asked them to send in their most embarrassing first text interactions. They may not have secured a second date, but they certainly gave us a good laugh.



Feature image courtesy of Today



Tina Desai Travels the World for her Role in the Netflix Series ‘Sense8′

Story by Caroline Wong 

Tina Desai is talking travel. “I feel most at home there,” she says of London, her current favorite locale. “It’s the place I’m the calmest. Everything about the architecture, the food, the people, the shopping, the history.” She adds, laughing, “And the accent!”

Fortunately for her, Desai has had the opportunity to visit London frequently, due in no small part to her latest film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which she reprised the role of Sunaina, the fiancée to Dev Patel’s Sonny. She’s also become a travel expert of late, having wrapped shooting on the new sci-fi drama Sense8, Andy and Lana Wachowski’s forthcoming Netflix series premiering on June 5.

“We traveled to several locations around the world,” she says — nine sites in all, spanning four continents, from Nairobi to Reykjavik, Seoul to Mumbai — “and going to each city actually adds a different flavor to the story. The cast is multinational so the mix that you feel on the show — that’s really what we experienced in our lives, too.”

The Wachowskis’ first foray into television explores those overarching themes of place, culture and identity with breathtaking magnitude. Boasting an international cast from six different countries — including Korean actress Doona Bae and Indian British actor Naveen Andrews — and a narrative that weaves eight main characters into the fabric of a science fiction world, the series reimagines the possibilities of television with true cinematic flair.

These eight strangers, including Desai’s Kala, a scientist from Mumbai, “experience this intense incident, and after that, they realize that they’re mentally and emotionally linked, that they can see and feel and hear each other,” says Desai. “They haven’t met each other before this incident so [the series] brings to the floor the cultural [clashes] that can happen.”

Whatever conflicts may happen onscreen, there was one co-star with whom Desai bonded. “I’m very fond of Doona Bae,” she says of the Korean actress. “[As Asians], we are similar in many ways. She has an amazing heart and is very gentle. She’s also alarmingly different on screen. A true talent.”

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Tina Desai and Max Riemelt in Netflix’s Sense8. Photo courtesy of Murray Close/ Netflix.

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Photo courtesy of Murray Close/ Netflix.

A relative newcomer to acting, Desai made sure she had a backup plan. “I liked finance, investments, taxation, things like that,” says the actress, who received a college degree in business management. “I will still do my M.B.A. at some point because I’m very unhappy that all my friends have done their M.B.A. and I haven’t,” she adds. “I feel very undereducated when I talk to them!”

Acting was, in fact, a pursuit that Desai had originally kept hidden from her peers. “I was too shy to tell any of my friends, too afraid of their reactions,” she says. “So I [didn’t] share it until I actually moved to Mumbai to start work.” Her family, on the other hand, thoroughly supported her. It was her mother who approached Desai about trying her hand at modeling after she graduated college. “I never had to have that discussion about wanting to make the entry into acting. [My mother] always thought I should do it anyway.”

After appearing in a couple Indian films, Desai landed the role of Sunaina in director John Madden’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Most of her screen time was with Indian British actor Dev Patel, who Desai says is “the most fun person I know. There’s never a dull moment with him around. He also has terrific comic timing. He is a spontaneous actor who gives you so much to play off of in a scene.” As for her other co-stars — including acting legends Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith — the then-budding actress claims the veteran cast gave her space to develop her own skills. “The Marigold actors truly never interfered in your process,” she says. “They really just left it all to John, and he has a lot of faith in you, and you have a lot of faith in yourself because of how much faith he has in you.”

With the Wachowskis, Desai experienced a similar give-and-take. “Lana actually said, ‘Let’s all discuss this and whatever you feel like doing, whatever the best idea is, [that’s] what we’ll actually end up doing,’” recalls Desai. “We didn’t have to follow the rules of nature, so we could actually use our imagination to do what we wanted. I didn’t know how much fun that could be until I did this show.

“The sort of work [the Wachowskis] do is really incredible,” she continues. “It’s very hard to be able to imagine or see things the way they do because they just have brains that are a lot more genius than ours. Even when you’re reading the script, you’re in wonder about how they think up concepts that are so out of the norm.”

Such imaginative concepts include the characters’ abilities to telepathically delve into seven other lives, and the process of inhabiting her character’s experience influenced Desai’s own understanding of self. “It actually made me realize that I should not limit myself to what I have been taught or what I have been exposed to, because there are so many things that we as a culture believe in so strongly and yet other cultures haven’t even heard of it,” she says. “That’s why I like traveling so much, because of how much you learn. You realize there are no rules — and then there are so many different sets of rules.”


Feature image courtesy of Atul Kasbekar. 
This story was originally published in our Summer 2015 issue. Get your copy he