Prison: Rehabilitation Or Retribution?

Locals call them “angels in orange.” Others might find the name “devils in jumpsuits” more apt.


That California has been devastated by a recent series of wildfires which have claimed both lives and property – the Valley Fire has claimed four lives and over 1200 homes – is no secret. That part of the fire crews battling the blazes is made up of felons might not be so well known.


The state’s inmate firefighter program begs a fundamental question about the role of incarceration: should prisons be the tool by which society punishes people for breaking the law, or should it be the tool by which they are given a chance to better themselves, or – and shades of gray can be very unsatisfying – both?


The Trombonist

He wore his hair cropped short and slicked back. His face was heavily pock marked, his shoulders rounded and thick. His name was John Kim, but I wouldn’t know that until the end of our conversation.

(not him, but…)


“It’s a long story,” he said to me, slightly exasperated.


Those were the first words out of his mouth, as if we had already been talking, as if I had just asked him to expand on the answer to a question I hadn’t yet posed. I was sitting at the bar during a fundraiser we were hosting, waiting to catch the bartender’s attention, when the man with pockmarked skin and a tight, thin smile turned to me.

Passive-Aggressive Awesomeness, Presidential Style


Do you ask other people if they’re hungry when you’re hungry? When you want to criticize someone, do you claim merely to be passing on criticism you overheard from someone else? “Look, I think you’re restocking the office supplies just fine, but Doris in accounting said something to me the other day about us running out of staples.”

Do you allow the U.N. to scold you on your antiquated, pointless Cuba embargo, just to piss off the Republican opposition?

Well, that’s just what the Obama administration might be doing….and I love it!

The “Be Nice” Speech


Recently it was announced that UFC fighter Ronda Rousey is slated to reprise Patrick Swayze’s bouncer role in the 80′s cult classic, “Road House.”


(for the record, as a bar owner, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of hiring a “doorwoman” – I mean, seriously, how much of a douche do you have to be to swing on a woman?) Gotta talk to my business partner Mikey about it.

I never saw the original film. Well, to clarify, I’ve only seen one clip from it:

The “Be Nice” speech.

Mikey, himself a former bouncer, showed it to me after we spent half an hour trying to figure out how best to teach new bouncers – we actually call them “hosts,” (not euphemistically, either) – to do their jobs.

DOMINUS vs. MEGATRON: If Asian-Americans Could Smash, or How To Talk To Asian Hulk In A Bar


DOMINUS PRIME: Megatron did you hear that the Hulk is an Asian-American guy now?

MEGATRON: He is? How did that happen?

D: Korean-American writer/filmmaker Greg Pak somehow gives Bruce Banner’s power to his friend/sidekick Amadeus Cho, no one knows how it happens, the issue hasn’t come out yet. EVERY PROBLEM EVER, SOLVED!

M: There is Glenn from The Walking Dead, and Asian men who know Karate. But I think what you’re referring to is that the everyAsianman can now be viewed as a potent rage machine as well.

Japan’s Shitty Curry Restaurant is a Hit and They Need Your Help!


Last month, I blogged about Tokyo’s Curry Shop Shimuzu, a restaurant owned by Japanese porn star Ken Shimuzu that serves shit-flavored curry (no joke, read about it here). Well, the business opened a couple of weeks ago and it’s apparently a huge success. Yes, regular readers of this blog should already know that the Japanese have eccentric, uh, tastes, but a restaurant that serves food that reminds you of your last bowel movement? All I can say is, you go, Japan!

With the success of this venture, Curry Shop Shimuzu is looking to bring on some interns to help with the day-to-day management of the business and supposedly top-tier candidates “on par with the nation’s leading corporations” are applying for the coveted positions. So while you could get that internship at Sony or Toyota–nah, let’s go with the restaurant that serves food that literally tastes like shit (insert any number of puns here about how this internship pays like shit or you’ll work under shitty conditions or…you get the point). Once again, you go, Japan!

Dog Stuck in Bush Teaches us How to Live Life

Japanese twitter user @yamamochi223 came upon this sight while taking a walk:


It’s a Shibu Inu stuck in a bush. Eventually, the dog was rescued, but not before the images went viral. Sure, any picture of a dog stuck in a compromising position has entertainment value, but I believe this Shibu Inu has touched a nerve because of what he or she is teaching us about life. Just look at that expression:

South Korea’s ‘Shitty’ Coffee Shop

FANTASTICWhat is it with my fellow Asians and their love for seemingly inappropriate shit-themed businesses? Among other things, South Korea has a theme park dedicated to toilets and Taiwan has a chain of toilet-inspired restaurants. Now, comes word of the Poop Café in Seoul, which appears to be a trendy coffee shop devoted to all things…shit—including the decor:



And the cups:

The Best Way to Teach Kids About Bodily Functions is to Let Them Walk Into a Giant, Inflatable Anus

An exhibit geared toward teaching children about bodily functions has opened in Saitama City, just outside of Tokyo. Entitled Karada no Fushigi Daibouken (Mysteries of the Body Adventure), the exhibit is drawing criticism from some for what they consider to be inappropriate elements. Specifically, this giant, inflatable anus that kids and adults alike can walk through:


It’s unclear what visitors will actually encounter once they enter that opening—hopefully, it’s not 100& scientifically accurate. But frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is.

Korean girl does shot-for-shot remake of JURASSIC WORLD trailer

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I know this is old news, but I can’t get enough of this. A young Korean woman, who goes by the YouTube name Hozzah2 uploaded a shot-for-shot remake of the gargantuan box office hit JURASSIC WORLD trailer and she did it all in the comfort of her bedroom. It’s super lo-fi, but she totally commits to the various roles, including playing Chris Pratt (with moustache) and Bryce Dallas Howard with a coffee cup always in her hand. She even does a mean velociraptor too with a fierce facial expression, a hair clip and a hoodie.