Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of China Copying Everyone Else

Anyone who knows China well enough can attest to the fact that a lot of what you see in China was taken from elsewhere. That’s why there are high profile cases like the Huawei telecommunications company, which was featured on 60 Minutes – the investigative American TV program – for its alleged role in stealing trade secrets and espionage. But not all of what China has been doing – stealing, copying, imitating, or whatever you want to call it – is a bad thing. In fact, there are some imitations that should even be celebrated.   The question is really about how much should be celebrated vs. condemned.

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The International Gangnam Style Phenomenon

Music videos aren’t usually, in my opinion, news worthy. But one video has gone so viral that it should probably now be described as a worldwide infection. It seems like everyone has caught the “PSY” bug, and this English-speaking Berklee-educated Korean pop star is now one of the most famous people in the world. The music video for his satirical song “Gangnam Style” has become the most watched video in the world, skyrocketing in popularity shortly after its release in the middle of July, and it’s now a global phenomenon.

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SATIRAN – Part 2: Ahmadinejad, Israel, and the Presidency

In Part 1, the recent health issues of Ahmadinejad were discussed, showing a man more human that people give credit for. But the timing was unfortunate. Ahmadinejad’s collapse was during a political time in which the public perception of his strength as a leader is rumoured to be at risk. For example, his recent attempts at improving his image through Iranians’ love of sports have been failing due to international sanctions that make it difficult for players to continue playing. Now, the president is finding new obstacles from all strata of society.

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SATIRAN – Part 1: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Suffers in Silence

Reports are coming in now saying that Iranian President Mahmour Ahmadinejad was rushed to a hospital earlier this month following a sudden collapse during a meeting regarding the “false Zion regime” – known to the West as “Israel.” At first, doctors reported the early signs of cranial-rectal insertion syndrome, a rare yet devastating disorder – which may finally be included in the newest revision of the controversial DSM, to be released next year – that has left many suffering throughout the world. However, after the doctors operated, the diagnosis turned out to be far less complex, though no less hard to live with.

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58 Year-Old Store Clerk to Robbers: “If You’re Going to Hit Me, Hit Me!”

If convenience stores don’t have “employee of the month” awards, I hope they have “regional badass” distinctions, because one employee did something amazing last night. When two robbers came into her store with a bat and started demanding money, she stood her ground. The most salient part of this story is what she shouted at them: “Naguru nara, nagare!” In English, this means “If you’re going to hit me, hit me!”

Yesterday, November 10, when no one was around one popular 24-hour Lawson convenience store in Ota City, Gunma (Japan), two masked youngsters came in wearing black clothing. “Give me the money” one of them said.

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If Only All Bully Stories Ended Like This…

I feel like I’ve been writing so many articles about disappointing or disconcerting events in recent months that when I came across an amazing story from a random high school in Arizona, USA, I felt like it was necessary for me to write about this. The main character of this story is Chy Johnson, a sixteen year old girl with a brain disorder. The setting is Queen Creek high school, where she was an immediate – not to mention easy – target for bullying. But the story has a happy ending, which is why I’m so excited to tell it.

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And This Concludes the 2012 US Presidential Election… Now Let’s Have a Laugh!

The election is finally over, and nothing has changed overnight except for the end of the egregious amount of resources spent on campaigning and advertising. The US will still have conspiracy theorists – Obama isn’t American, Hurricane Sandy was a government plot, etc. – and the White House won’t look any different than it has in the past. Republicans can now finally stop the nonsense about how this time, the “worst president in American history” will radically change the political landscape. Indeed, we’re all pretty tired of the election coverage now, so instead let’s enjoy some of the comedy that has come from this election.

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Russian Boy Commits Suicide Over a Japanese Anime Character’s Death

Who cares about “anime”? Lots of people, evidently. In 2009, the anime (Japanese-style cartoon) industry in Japan alone was worth 77.7 billion yen ($865 million) from DVD and Blu-ray sales. And though the industry seems to have peaked around a decade ago, anime have become an international cultural product that people who feel absolutely no connection to Japan consume (many don’t even realize that they are made in Japan). Just like American movies have become a worldwide phenomenon, so have anime. But anime fans the world over were shocked a few days ago by the connection between two teens who just died. One was the Japanese anime character, Itachi Uchiha. The other was the real Russian boy, Leonid Hmelev.

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