Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Ramen

Once again offering conclusive proof that Asia gets all the cool and interesting food items, Japanese ramen chain Mensho will start serving chocolate ramen starting in February in time for Valentine’s season.

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The ramen itself is not made out of chocolate, but the dish features floating chunks of chocolate in the Toyama-style black soy broth.

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Why Japan is Awesome #1824: Floating Bonsai Trees

This is the Air Bonsai:

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And yes, it’s a real bonsai tree that apparently really floats. Designed by Japan’s Hoshinchu Team, it consists of two parts: the “energy base” which is the foundation and the “little star” which is the floating ball with the bonsai tree (or any other plant you’d prefer to replace it with). Both halves contain magnets which is what allows the “little star” to float.

YOMYOMF Rewatch: The Twilight Zone “The Encounter” (1964)

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TV SERIES: The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) created by Rod Serling
EPISODE: “The Encounter” Season 5, episode 31 (aired May 1, 1964)
DIRECTOR: Robert Butler
WRITER: Martin M. Goldsmith
PLOT SYNOPSIS: A Caucasian World War II veteran and a Japanese American gardener find a samurai sword in the attic which leads to the revelation of dark secrets that both men have been hiding.

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So far for my rewatches, I’ve focused on feature films but today I turn to TV, specifically, Rod Serling’s classic genre anthology series The Twilight Zone. In its fifth and final season, an episode entitled “The Encounter” aired and quickly became the series’ most controversial for its handling of a Japanese American storyline. In fact, this episode never aired again on American television until earlier this month and we’ll go into the reasons why later, but first, the plot:

We open in the attic of what appears to be a typical suburban home. Fenton (Neville Brand) is a middle-aged Caucasian man who is in the midst of cleaning out his old junk. He comes upon a Japanese samurai sword, picks it up and throws it across the room.

North Korea has Invented Alcohol that Doesn’t Give You Hangovers

According to The Pyongyang Times aka North Korea’s state-sanctioned newspaper, North Korea–under the leadership of the god-esque Kim Jong Un–has created another startling invention: alcohol that doesn’t give you hangovers.

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Made from an indigenous ginseng, the drink allegedly boasts a 30-40 percent alcohol content and will get you properly fucked up, but without the morning after booze blues.

The Pyongyang Times reports that this “miracle drink” is a big thing in North Korea and is “highly appreciated by experts and lovers…it’s a national scientific and technological hit.”

It’s Great #OscarsSoWhite has Sparked More Talk of Diversity in Hollywood but Can We Include Asian Americans?

CIVILWhile it’s great that the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations has revived the conversation on this topic, when people talk about the absence of minorities they’re often referring to African Americans with the occasionally Latino shout-out included. But what about Asian Americans?

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Take the statement released by Oscar winner/traditional white movie star George Clooney today, where he said:

If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films?

YOMYOMF Rewatch: Phantom of Chinatown (1940)

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FILM: Phantom of Chinatown (1940)
DIRECTOR: Phil Rosen
PLOT LOGLINE: Chinese American detective James “Jimmy” Lee Wong investigates the murder of an archaeologist who has returned from an Asian expedition where he unearthed an ancient scroll that contains valuable information that someone is willing to kill for.

NOTE: If you’d like to watch the film first before reading so as to avoid spoilers, the full movie on YouTube is embedded at the bottom of this post.

This film contains a number of “firsts” for Hollywood and I’ll get to those later, but “first”, the plot:

We open at Southern University where archaeologist Dr, John Benton (Charles Miller) has returned from an expedition to China and the Mongolian desert and is giving a lecture about his findings. A magazine article that we catch a glimpse of suggests Benton may have discovered something known as the “Temple of Eternal Fire”. In attendance at the lecture are Benton’s colleagues and three of the people who accompanied Benton on his trip—his cameraman Charlie Frasier (John Dilson), his daughter Louise (Virginia Carpenter) and her fiancé and pilot Tommy (Robert Kellard) as well as University President Dr. Norman Wilkes (Huntley Gordon) and Benton’s Chinese secretary, Win Len (Lotus Wong).

Here’s Another Thing Asians Got Right (Shoes Edition)

If you’re Asian, there’s a pretty good likelihood that you practice a strict “no shoes in the house” policy. Growing up, if I walked into the house without taking off my shoes, that was sure to lead to a stern warning from my mom. Well, it turns out that science has now weighed in to prove that taking off your shoes is also a sound policy health-wise.

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According to a study by the University of Arizona, 421,000 types of bacteria can be found on shoes. In fact, 96% of shoes examined in the study were found to have coliforms, which is a broad class of bacteria including those found in feces aka poop aka shit. In addition 27% of the shoes had E. coli along with seven other kinds of bacteria.

Uh…like gross.

Wookie the Chew is Here to Brighten Your Otherwise Miserable Day

If you’ve been having a bummer of a day because of this:

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Or this:

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Wookie the Chew has arrived to save your Thursday.

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Florida-based artist James Hance has mashed-up Winnie the Pooh and Star Wars to create these unique “Wookie the Chew” prints. You can check them all out here, but here’s a sampling:

Nikki Haley=Ventriloquist?

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Hey, did you see last night’s State of the Union rebuttal by Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley? If not, you can catch it here:

Did you notice something strange/odd/amazing/disturbing about the way she talks? Well, so did a lot of other people.

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Apparently, Gov. Haley has the ability to talk without actually opening her mouth. And while it’s unclear how she learned this impressive skill, folks on twitter have their theories: