Friday, March 19, 2010

The Pacific

Have any of you seen the new HBO Miniseries The Pacific?

It's shaping up to be awesome! I just love history and I love historical miniseries. I remember watching Band of Brothers like 6 years ago! That series was out of this world. The Pacific is made by the same folks.

Band of Brothers was beautiful to me. The overwhelming theme of the series was how men from different backgrounds and walks of life become brothers during wartimes. The title of the series is from Henry V by Shakespeare:

We Few, we happy few, we band of brothers
For he today that sheds his blood with me, shall become my brother.

How amazing is it that in Shakespeare's time he's saying the same thing as we do today? "Whoever has got my back, that's my boy".

I remember the single best scene in Band of Brothers was the very end. After the Americans have beaten and captured the German army, the General of the German army makes a request to address his men. While speaking German, he talks about how it was an honor to serve the men, how the men fought bravely and with honor, and how they all had formed a band of brothers. The Americans listen on...are just can't help but feel moved by their German prisoners.

It makes war feel like such a waste, in the end, mankind is so much alike.

I can't wait to see how The Pacific unfolds.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pacquiao Inspiration

Manny Pacquiao is such an inspiration to me. In case you don't know, he's the world recognized pound for pound champion of the world in boxing. The biggest inspiration for me, is not his skill in fighting, but his character as a human being and a dedicated follower of god.

This is a guy, who grew up in absolute poverty. Instead of attending school, he sold stolen cigarettes on the streets to make a living. Every penny he made he always gave to his mom to buy rice. As a child, his family was so poor that his own father ate Manny's dog out of hunger. Manny returned home, horrified to see his pet devoured by his own father. This prompted Manny to run away from home and attempt to make a career in boxing. When he was 16, he had his first professional fight, against a man twice his age. Not only was Manny underage, but he was under the weight limit as well so he hid metal pieces in his pockets to add weight on the scale. He fears nothing.

Recently, Pacquiao has brought his name into mainstream sports with sensational knockout wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, both naturally bigger men.

Through it all, Pacquiao has never forgotten his poverty-stricken roots or god. He spends hours daily praying to god, and he genuinely knows how much god has blessed his life. He has said that if he loses, it's because god wants him to lose and he's perfectly fine with that. It's truly amazing to me how he combines his career passions with complete dedication to god.

He is constantly donating his money back to the poor. He has charities and hospitals and visits sick patients and it goes on and on. Despite how big he is, he never forgets his family and friends. All of this makes him a big role model of mine.

Anyway, he's just an amazing human being. He has a huge fight coming up against 147lb champion Miguel Cotto, so check that one out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Apple Suicide

I'm working in silicon valley right now at high tech firm. Why would I do something so stupid? Actually my early inspiration was watching a film called "Pirates of the Silicon Valley". The movie re-enacted the early computer industry and rivalry of Apple and Microsoft. I was truly amazed by the original Apple Computer Company, and it inspired me to seek a career in high tech.

The original apple company was amazing. It wasn't just a company out to make money, but to make history by doing something unique. Nowadays, I don't like Apple as much. Instead of inspiring unique creativity, innovation, and expression, the Apple of today pushes people to be the same. Everybody wants an ipod, everybody wants an iphone, because it's the "cool" or fashionable thing to do. Maybe it's not Apple's fault, as they still can make some great products, but it's an unfortunate effect of their modern marketing. The old Apple users were unique and different. Nowadays, Apple has mass slave-like following of people wanting to follow a trend instead of set a new one. This is my old Apple that I remember:

Anyway. There's a controversial news regarding Apple. Apple's largest manufacturer of products is a company called Foxconn. Foxconn is a Taiwanese company with manufacturing plants in China. A 25 year old product manager in one of these factories was in charge of 16 of Apple's newest iPhone prototypes. It was discovered that one of the prototypes was missing. The Foxconn managers threatened him, accused him of stealing it, beat him, ransacked his apartment, and possibly other acts of intimidation. The 25 year old man committed suicide by jumping out of the window of his apartment.

Foxconn's management technique is frightening. But I think Apple should take responsibility over their partners. If I were the CEO of a company, I'd be one hecka angry guy if one of my employees or partners treated people like this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ethnic Riots in China, Again

Wow, I remember I basically started my blog to write about my feelings about the riots in Tibet last year. Now, the story is all too similar.

Two muslim factory workers were killed on the job in western China. A large muslim crowd gathered to protest, claiming the Chinese government didn't care enough about them. Somehow on Sunday, these peaceful demonstrations erupted into riots, leaving 156 people killed. Tuesday, as retaliation, mobs of Chinese went out into the street with knives and other weapons to hunt down the muslims as revenge. It's pretty scary how serious the ethnic hatred is out there right now.

It reminds me of the ethnic riots in LA back in 1992. Those riots basically started when a Korean lady shot a black girl in her convenience store because she mistakenly thought the black girl was stealing. A week later, a black motorist was beaten by police officers. Everything just starts with misunderstanding, and distrust.

The Chinese government has brought huge economic changes in western China. While the economy has drastically improved, millions of Chinese have also poored into the predominantly Muslim region. The Muslims believe the government favors ethnic Chinese and the influx of Chinese is displacing them of their homes and jobs. The Chinese, on the other hand, seem to believe the Muslims are being too ingrateful and are lucky to live under Chinese rule.

President Hu Jintao was on a trip to the G8 conference in Europe, but cut short his trip to come home immediately to deal with the problem. I think that is pretty cool. America has come a long way in dealing with ethnic tensions, it'll be very interesting to watch how the race issue evolves and plays out in China.

This kind of stuff makes me mad. I think the Chinese should be proud and honored that they have other cultures and ethnicities in their country.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Life

Wow, it's been so long since I last wrote. A friend recently read my blog for the first time and told me that i have "heart" and a "meaningful perspective". I guess these words reminded me why I wrote in the first place and gave me motivation to write again. She's sweet so I'm thankful for that.

A lot has happened since I last wrote. I moved to San Jose and am working now. My job is pretty good. I work for a software company called ZL Technologies. Actually, i stated earlier, my dream since middle school was to come to silicon valley and work in High Tech. Often times i felt in college that I made the wrong choice, and went to the wrong school. Wharton is very finance oriented, and basically everybody I know went down that track. I even had a huge 85k plus bonus offer from a private equity company. I decided to turn that offer down to follow my dream and come to silicon valley! I only get 50k now............. but I feel i really have a shot at doing what I've always dreamed of.

When I first told my dad about this "dream job" of mine, his reaction was "good, just take this job and get some experience, you can get your real job in finance later". I was really mad I guess, he will never understand my dream or my passion. My entire upbringing was like this, never any good words or encouragement. I've never liked my parents. I always think they're lousy parents, and I think i really hate them sometimes. I didn't even invite them to my graduation. I didn't want them there at all. I'm just kinda a bad kid. That's the rebel without a cause in me.

On the night after my first day of work, my dad suffered a seizure. I'd never seen this before, i think I showed no emotion, but actually I was really scared and confused. It all happened so fast, but I could see his future flashing in my mind. I genuinely believed he was going to die, he's old and unhealthy, and I felt bad for him, not so much for me. Coming off how I acted, I think God wanted me to take this opportunity to be more appreciative of my parents. The sight and sound of my dad's seizure kept flashing in my head the following week, and i just felt so bad. I kept thinking about all he had done for me. He drove up to San Jose with me. He flew out to my graduation to see me walk even though i told him not to come. The exact moment he had the seizure, he was fixing the router for me so I could have internet access. All of this made me feel confused, on one hand I think i genuinely hate everything about him, but on the other hand I feel extremely guilty.

Strange, this is probably my most personal blog so far.

Oh BTW! Eric Schmidt, CEO of google, was the graduation speaker for us! It was really awesome. One day, i'm gonna give the graduation speech.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nice Story

I saw a really nice story on tv yesterday.

The Chinese womens field hockey team won the silver medal, their first ever medal, and their head coach is actually a Korean. He's been coaching the chinese team for the past 9 years, and has learned to speak pretty decent Chinese. His wife and three children live with him in Beijing. He is really proud of his team, and has decided to retire after winning the silver medal. Despite retiring, he decided he won't be returning to Korea. Two of his children go to university in Beijing, and the other one goes to middle school in Beijing, and he enjoys his life in China very much. I really enjoyed seeing the passion and bond he shares with his players, celebrating birthdays, celebrating wins, giving lectures after losses. Kim Chang Back is his name. Also, his annual salary is just $45,000, but he donated $15,000 of his own money to the Chinese earthquake relief cause.

Shawn Johnson also appeared on China's top talk show with the Chinese gymnastics team as well. It was a cute little show. Shawn was really sweet, and the audience and her Chinese opponents really loved her. I think she's a stark contrast from the scary and highly competitive Nastia Liukin, who wasn't even invited despite winning all around gold. Johnson spoke whatever Chinese she learned, congratulated the Chinese gymnasts, and talked about her own interests and hobbies. I think the audience and Chinese gymnasts and coached really admired her. Despite looking like a tiny 16 year old girl, she has a lot of inner strength and I think the Chinese gold medal team even felt that and looked up to her.

I actually had the ticket to see the men's 110m hurdles final, which is auctioning for as much as 20,000 rmb in China. Unfortunately, Liu Xiang, the 2004 gold medalist, was injured and could not compete. It's a bit dissapointing to have the most desired ticket of the olympics and have it go to waste.

I haven't been able to watch NBC. I love NBC olympic coverage, but I heard this year all it's been is politically biased coverage and lots of whining. I think that's pretty lame.

At one of the track events I went to, an elderly late sat next to me and talking to me a lot. She asked me how's American peoples impressions of China, and I said it's good. She also asked me "why do so many Americans like to criticize Chinese human rights?" and I didn't know how to respond, so i said "I don't know." There's lots of places I'd like to see Chinese improve upon, and I think i'm as passionate about it as anybody out there, but I think the Chinese feel that they do not need others telling them that their lives are messed up because they have no civil rights. I think they feel if their lives we're as freedomless as Americans say it is, the Chinese would probably be the first ones to notice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Observations

Today, I went to see my first olympic competition live at the National Aquatics Center, which was really awesome. I watched the women's 10m platform diving. China won gold, Australia silver, and Mexico bronze.

I read in the news that Beijing would have tight security, and i even read an article calling this the "no fun games". From my experiences at the airport and subways, the security has been heightened, but I would definitely not call it "tight." I could EASILY sneak in a bomb or a tibet flag through the subway or into Tiananmen square. Yesterday, I had 3 shopping bags and they didn't even make me put it through the machine to check for bombs.

Another thing i've been seeing is how normal the North Korean delegation is. In America, I think often the news media depicts North Korea as such an evil state or whatever. But from what I've noticed of the athletes and coaches and stuff, is how normal they are as human beings. Cheerful, happy to be here, dreams to win, etc. I've met South Koreans in the past who realize that the North Koreans are simply in bad luck and put in a bad situation, but that it doesn't mean they are bad people. On the other hand, I've also met South Koreans who believe that the problems North Koreans face has nothing to do with South Korea, and that South Korea is better off by itself and forgetting about the North. Seeing the North Korean delegation this time really makes me feel happy that they are so happy to be here, but also makes me feel bad for their situation.

I also have to give props to Yao Ming. I watched him play his heart out today against top team Spain. His team mates don't even belong on his team, because they are not even close to the same level. China has no chance of winning a medal, and probably it would be best for Yao to rest during the summer, and prepare for the NBA season where he has Artest and Mcgrady for a legitimate chance to win a championship. But Yao is so loyal and admirable, that he played his heart out today with scrubs even though he probably knows the team has no chance. Very unselfish, very admirable.

More bombs are going off in the Muslim region of China. You can expect China is going to crack down and put a stop to it as much as they can. For the most part, the muslims live quite well in China. I went to a muslim restaurant the other day. Middle Easterners speaking Chinese is a pretty amusing sight, although i think the majority of Muslim in China can speak Chinese. The lady who owns that restaurant drives a sports car, so she makes a good life in China. I hope more of the Muslim can integrate into Chinese society like the ones I saw.