Lana Condor will play Jubilee in ‘X-Men Apocalypse’

jubileecover

Audrey Magazine:

Yesterday, X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer posted a picture of actress Lana Condor on Instagram to announce she will play the character Jubilee in the upcoming film. In the X-Men comics, Jubilee is a teenage mutant who attacks enemies using “explosive plasmoids” from her hand. She is most recognizable for her trademark yellow raincoat and goggles.

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Not much info can be found on this young actress since Jubilee will be her first role. Despite this, we are beyond happy to see more Asians in major comic book films and we can only hope that Lana Candor will have a big part as Jubilee in this upcoming film. After all, Chinese superstar Fan BingBing, who played the character Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past, had a rough estimate of two lines and five minutes of screentime in the overstuffed film.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Lana and for the possibility of more Asian American actors on screen soon. Lately, there have been an increase of Asian American comic book characters such as Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel, Silk and a few others. Since most of the blockbusters seem to be comic book adaptations nowadays, let’s hope the casting of Jubilee is part of an increasing trend!

Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge or S5… Which do I choose?

CNET: (by /ASK MAGGIE):

Lovers of Samsung Galaxy smartphones have a lot to be excited about. The latest flagship phone from Samsung is available for preorder starting this weekend.

With a sleeker design, a better camera and easier-to-use software, the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are being called Samsung’s best smartphones to date. But truth be told, the Galaxy S5 was no slacker either, even though it didn’t sell as well as expected. And for savvy smartphone consumers, it shouldn’t be ruled out entirely when buying a new device.

All four major wireless operators started taking preorders for both the Galaxy S6 and its sexier sibling, the S6 Edge, on Friday. The devices will be on sale starting April 10.

With this in mind, I think you should wait till the S6 and S6 Edge are available before you buy a new device, regardless of whether you decide to get one of the newer phones or opt for last year’s model. By waiting, you’ll have the option of getting one of the new devices, which comes with a brand-new design and a few upgrades over the Galaxy S5. Also, even if you decide to forgo one of the newer products, the Galaxy S5 will be offered at a reduced price once the S6 is available. So either way, it makes sense for you to wait a couple of weeks longer before upgrading your device.

If you can’t wait to try the S6 and S6 Edge, both devices are already available in carrier and retail stores to check out.

Design, design, design

Samsung says that it’s listened to customers when it comes to the design of this year’s Galaxy S smartphones.

Even though the Galaxy S5 is loaded with great features, the phone wasn’t a big hit with consumers. Why? Most Samsung fans complained that its plastic body felt too cheap in comparison with competing flagship devices from Apple and HTC, which both use premium materials like aluminum for device bodies. Up until the Galaxy S6, Samsung argued that the plastic casing was more durable, but the company finally relented in the latest version of its flagship. Gone is the plastic casing of the former Galaxy products.

Instead, the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge feature a glass back and matte metal frame, wrapped in glossy Gorilla Glass on the front. There’s no question these are prettier and slicker smartphones than previous generations of the Galaxy family of smartphones. The new design makes these phones narrower and thinner than the S5. Samsung has also made them a smidge taller.

In terms of specifications, the S6 and S6 Edge are pretty much the same device. The big difference between the phones is the design and the price tag. The lower-priced S6 has straight edges, while the sexier S6 Edge has a curved edge on each side, creating an infinity-pool-like effect. Both devices look remarkably similar to the iPhone 6, but it’s the S6 Edge that’s likely to make even iPhone fanboys and -girls jealous.

CNET Reviews Senior Editor Jessica Dolcourt said in her review of the S6 Edge that its wraparound screen “transforms an already great phone into Samsung’s best-looking handset. Ever.”

But before I get too deep into offering advice on which S6 model you should choose, you should decide if you really want the newer design or whether you’d rather have the S5.

S6 vs. S5

So let’s start with some basics.

The Galaxy S5 was worthy of its flagship designation when it was introduced a year ago, and in terms of specifications, features and functionality, it’s still near the top of the pack when compared with smartphones in the market. As a result, there’s no doubt you’d be well served by this device.

That said, the S6 does offer some upgrades, even if they aren’t revolutionary. They’re more evolutionary. For instance, both the S5 and the S6 sport 5.1 displays. Samsung tweaked the resolution on the S6 smartphones, giving the already excellent display found in the S5 a slightly improved resolution that’s incredibly crisp and sharp.

Samsung also improved the already very good camera found on the S5. Cameras on both the S5 and S6 offer 16 megapixels. But Samsung has added a wider f/1.9 aperture on the new phones, which captures 40 percent more light as compared with the S5, which means higher-quality photos taken in low-light environments.

Samsung also stripped away some of its TouchWiz device software, which makes the S6 run faster and smoother than the S5. The software running on the S6 makes navigation a lot more pleasant, especially for those who prefer a more pure Google Android experience rather than Samsung’s customized TouchWiz experience. It also runs Google’s latest version of Android.

But the new sexier design of the Galaxy S6 also comes with a few potential drawbacks. First, the aluminum and glass body doesn’t allow for a removable battery. And there’s no SD memory card slot to add additional memory. These functional features were considered staples of former versions of the Galaxy products.

Though these design trade-offs may be deal breakers for some Samsung Galaxy fans, the fact that millions of iPhone customers have never had the option of a replaceable battery or expandable memory suggests that the absence of these features might not bother most consumers. You should note that the phones come in 32 gigabyte, 64GB and 128GB configurations, so you can choose more memory if that’s a concern.

Whether those features matter to you is a personal decision. For me, they’re something I can and have lived without for years. So I have little problem recommending a device that doesn’t include them. But as I say, it’s entirely up to you.

In terms of features, the S6 smartphones offer improvements across the board, though some of these improvements may be so slight that they’d be imperceptible to some customers.

If you can live without the flashy new design and the slight improvements in functionality, you could get the S5 and save some money. Traditionally, wireless operators have offered the previous model of an iconic device like Samsung’s Galaxy products or Apple’s iPhone at a discount once the newer model is released. This is likely to be the case again with the Galaxy S5.

With the new device-financing plans carriers offer today, this means you can likely save yourself at least $100 over the life of the product if you buy last year’s model. For this reason, I’d argue that buying the Galaxy S5 is a safe and frugal option for a more practical and price-sensitive smartphone shopper.

S6 vs. S6 Edge

If looks are important to you and you want a more premium-feeling device in your hand, then you should consider one of the new Galaxy S6 phones. But which one should you choose?

As I said earlier, the specifications and functionality of the S6 and S6 Edge are identical. The real difference between the models is design and price. The sexy design of the S6 Edge will cost you more. How much more depends on the carrier you subscribe to and the type of plan you have. For instance, AT&T offers the 32GB S6 at full retail for $685, and the 32GB S6 Edge will cost you $815. That’s a difference of $130 for the curvier and cooler looking S6 Edge without any other additional bells and whistles.

But if you plan to finance your device on one of AT&T’s installment plans, the difference in cost is spread out over many months, so it will likely cost you only about $5 more a month to get the S6 Edge rather than the S6. Though each carrier is offering the new devices at different prices, they all offer programs that spread out the cost of the devices in such a way that the difference in price between the S6 and the S6 Edge in terms of your monthly bill is around $5 a month.

For example, Sprint is offering these devices as part of its new leasing program. For $80 a month, its customers can get the S6 with an unlimited voice, text messaging and data plan. The S6 Edge is offered for only $5 more a month at a cost of $85 a month.

The bottom line: What should you do?

If you’re on a tighter budget and you absolutely need a Samsung phone, I’d say go for the Galaxy S5. In spite of the fact that the device may not have sold as well as Samsung had hoped, it’s still a solidly good device that offers a lot of high-end features and specifications. But if design is important and cost is only minimally important, I’d say the Galaxy S6 Edge is the device for you. The S6 is nice, but for the cost of a latte each month you can have a smartphone that could make your iPhone-toting friends drool.

 

Singapore bids farewell to Lee Kuan Yew in elaborate funeral


TIME:

Tens of thousands of Singaporeans undeterred by heavy rains lined a 15 kilometer (9 mile) route through the Southeast Asian city-state to witness an elaborate funeral procession Sunday for longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee’s coffin, protected from the downpour by a glass casing, lay atop a ceremonial gun carriage that was being led solemnly past city landmarks from parliament to a cultural center where the state funeral will be held. Walking slowly in the coffin’s wake as it exited parliament were Lee’s son, the current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, other family members and government officials.

Crowds of people that began forming not long after dawn for the early afternoon funeral cortege chanted “Lee Kuan Yew” and waved Singapore’s national flag. Four howitzers fired a 21-gun salute, air force fighter jets streaked over the island and navy patrol ships blasted horns.

During a week of national mourning that began Monday after Lee’s death at age 91, some 450,000 people queued for hours for a glimpse of the statesman’s coffin at Parliament House. A million people visited tribute sites at community centers around the city.

The expansive show of emotion is a rare event for Singapore. The island nation about four times the size of Washington D.C. is known around the world as a wealthy trade and finance center with a strict social order including a ban on chewing gum and caning for some crimes.

Lee was Singapore’s prime minister for more than three decades, ruling with an iron grip until 1990, and is regarded by Singaporeans as the architect of their nation’s prosperity and harmonious race relations. But his authoritarian rule has also left a legacy of restrictions on free speech, a tame media and a stunted democracy.

He did everything for us Singaporeans regardless of race, language or religion,” said Jennie Yeo, a 58-year-old teacher, who arrived at 7 a.m. to stake out front row positions with two friends. “Education, housing, everything you can think of, he’s taken care of for us,” she said.

Leaders and dignitaries from more than two dozen countries are attending the state funeral. The U.S. delegation is led by former President Bill Clinton. Abroad, India has declared a national day of mourning and in New Zealand, the government is flying flags at half-staff.

During the funeral service, civil defense sirens will blare across the island to begin a minute’s silence.

Japan whaling ships return home from Antarctic with no catch

The Japan Coast Guard patrols Ayukawa port as a whaling fleet departs from Ishinomaki City on April 26, 2014

France 24:

Japanese whaling ships returned home from the Antarctic on Saturday for the first time in nearly 30 years with no catch onboard, after a UN court ordered an end to their annual hunt, local media reported.

The two ships — the 724-ton Yushinmaru and the 747-ton Daini (No 2) Yushinmaru — arrived at a port in western Shimonoseki city, a major whaling base.

It was the first return by Japanese whalers without catching any whales since 1987 when the country began the annual “research” hunt in the Antarctic, the Asahi Shimbun said.

The two ships did not face any attacks by anti-whaling activists during their three-months voyage, the daily added.

Tokyo had said this season’s excursion would not involve any lethal hunting. Harpoons normally used in the capture of the giant mammals were removed from the vessels. Crew members on the two boats carried out “sighting surveys” and took skin samples from the huge marine mammals, news reports said.

The non-lethal research came after the International Court of Justice — the highest court of the United Nations — ruled in March last year that Tokyo was abusing a scientific exemption set out in the 1986 moratorium on whaling.

The UN court concluded Tokyo was carrying out a commercial hunt under a veneer of science.

After the ruling, Japan said it would not hunt during this winter’s Antarctic mission, but has since expressed its intention to resume “research whaling” in 2015-16.

In a new plan submitted to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and its Scientific Committee, Tokyo set an annual target of 333 minke whales for future hunts, down from some 900 under the previous programme. It also defined the research period as 12 years from fiscal 2015 in response to the court’s criticism of the programme’s open-ended nature.

By collecting scientific data, we aim to resume commercial whaling,” agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in the city as he attended a ceremony for their return.

Japan killed 251 minke whales in the Antarctic in the 2013-14 season and 103 the previous year, far below its target because of direct action by conservationist group Sea Shepherd.

Despite widespread international opprobrium, Japan has continued to hunt whales using the scientific exemption, although it makes no secret of the fact that the meat from the creatures caught by taxpayer-funded ships ends up on dinner tables.

How Asian Americans should deal with racist “microaggressions”

Dr. Richard Lee, Professor of Psychology- University of Minnesota

The Mac Weekly (by Minju Kim):

Microaggressions is a form of racism, often subtle, many Asian Americans deal with in their daily lives. Dr. Richard Lee, a psychology professor at University of Minnesota, is an expert on microaggression towards Asian Americans. He does extensive research on Asian Americans, including diverse issues ranging from international or interracial adoption and immigration to media portrayal of Asians.

On February 26th, he visited Macalester and gave a lecture titled “What does FOB mean? Fresh Off the Boat or Foreigner Objectification?

He explained that microaggression, which is a subtle but still concrete form of racism, occurs because many people regard Asian Americans as “forever foreigners,” rather than a part of “American identity.” They objectify Asian Americans in categories and exoticized as to serve their curiosity. The question that they frequently ask, “Where are you REALLY from?” manifests their perception of Asians as foreigners. Thus, the term FOB, which originally means Fresh-Off-the-Boat, can be interpreted as Foreign Objectification.

While the lecture marked a great success with high turnout, some questions remained among the participants. With regards to the questions, the follow-up interview was conducted through email in order to help the readers to better understand the argument that he makes.

TMW: At the lecture, you mentioned that it is important for adoptees to be connected to their original ethnic cultures. At the same time, their identity as American is essential to their self-esteem and life satisfaction. Then, what is the best and most stable identity for them to have? The American identity? The Asian identity? The Asian-American identity?

RL: There is no one best or most stable identity for any group of people, adopted or not. Research suggests that what is most important is that individuals develop an overall healthy, positive identity. If identifying with a particular social group (e.g., Asian American, Vietnamese, African-American) contributes to this overall identity, then all the better. Other research also suggests that feeling like you belong in this country (and hence identify as American) is important to well-being.

You said “Microaggression towards Asians is more cognitive rather than emotional.” Could you elaborate that point?

Our view is that microaggressions toward Asian Americans often are based on stereotypes that are not necessarily laden with negative emotions (e.g., angry black man). Instead, they are based on stereotypes such as nerdy, weak and foreign.

What do you think is the cause of microaggression? Would it be strictly because of the media portrayal of Asian Americans?

Media plays a big role but it’s also historical, dating back to the first Chinese immigrants to come to America.

You mentioned that you are interested in researching the ways in which Asians Americans cope with microaggression. However, as of now, how do you recommend Asian Americans to react when they encounter such racism?

It is important for Asian Americans to develop a repertoire of interpersonal and emotional coping skills to manage racism and discrimination. These skills should help people immediately after a discriminatory event occurs and afterward too. For example, if someone keeps asking questions and making comments that make you feel like they are treating you as a foreigner, it is helpful to know how to address this treatment rather than just accept it and thereby reinforce this person’s stereotype, but if there is a potential threat in the environment and its not safe, then it is important to know how to defuse the situation and step away. It also is important to know when to seek support from friends and family.

For those students who are not Asian Americans, what is the proper way for them to interact with Asian American students? Should they just not ask questions even when they have questions?

I think it’s important for people to just take a minute to examine their assumptions before making a comment such as “Where are you really from?” Is it the same kind of question you would ask a white person? If not, then why are you asking it now? If you are curious about someone’s ethnic background, ask yourself why. Is it to satisfy your curiosity? But then ask if you would ask another white person this question. Why are you only curious about the background of someone who is Asian? Is it the novelty or because you perceive Asians as an Other that is exotic and foreign?

To conclude, foreign objectification all comes down to hasty assumptions and inappropriate questions. Don’t get me wrong, I do not intend to say that microaggression always stems from ill intention. However, to borrow W. Kamau Bell’s words, “ending racism is not about ending your curiosity.” It takes a long time to change the society. However, it takes only few seconds to think before asking an inappropriate question and to avoid partaking in microaggression.

23-year-old chef Julian Fukue hits it big with “PokiNometry”, his create-your-own-poke bowl restaurant

 

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Food Beast (by Peter Pham):

Julian Fukue introduced the concept of poke to a completely new audience this past year. The 23-year-old chef hails from Orange County, CA, where his famous PokiNometry restaurant is based from. Fukue brought the Hawaiian dish of ahi tuna into the mainstream with his innovative Poke Bowls. The tuna and rice bowls are what made Fukue arguably one of the youngest entrepernuers in the OC poke industry.

When the humble poke-themed restaurant opened, Fukue set a goal for himself of 100 bowls sold each day.  In the weeks to come, however, the bowls began selling like mad. Thanks to word-of-mouth, PokiNometry became instantaneously famous and began selling around 800-1,000 bowls a day.

PokiNometry-Menu

Fukue came from a restaurant background. When he was a kid, his mother purchased Tustin-based Tommy’s Sushi. There, Fukue learned the ins and outs of the restaurant game starting from the bottom as a dishwasher and working his way up to sushi chef. One dish, in particular, stood out for him: the Poke Bowls.

The concept of the PokiNometry is similar to Chipotle, where customers would line up and assemble their bowls in a customizable fashion. The quick-service restaurant eventually became so busy that Fukue had to close the restaurant down in order to restock and train more employees. He reopened weeks later.

Fukue is set to open a second location of PokiNometry in Hollywood.