A definitive trait of us Asian folks is our determined focus on merit and achievement. As parodied by Glee's "Asian F" episode (Mike Chang got an "A-"), it is ingrained in our culture an expectation to be best, at any and all costs. To that end, in 2014, Lucy and I are determined to be best that we can be, in our Asianness anyway. Since we are far past the opportunity for educational merit, and really, we have full time jobs, so too tired and lazy to pursue our Asianness past a certain effort, we are choosing to embrace the Asian talents that we know best: gaining the figurative "Asian points". What are Asian points, you ask? Well, grasshopper, here you go:
You might argue, "Hey! These points are awarded to non-Asian people!" Well, there is another criteria for eligibility:
Furthermore, I was born in the motherland under Commonwealth rule (HK) and while Lucy was born in actual Asia-land (Taiwan), she spent her impressionable youth in the South (of America and in actual America), NY, and the county of Orange. Yeah, we lost our Asian badges ages ago, so technically also qualify under criteria 1. (Asian point for developing this technicality for our benefit.) So you get the point... and throughout the year, until we get lazy and let the tracking system go the way of the dinosaur, we will award ourselves Asian points when we perform actions that exhibit our proudest Asian traits, including finding elusive and massive discounts, extra bonus points for getting things for free, maximizing AYCE opportunities, checking of bucket list items, bad driving/parking, and being unnecessarily nerdy.
We will track these points on this blog, since this concept amuses few more than us and our readership. The concentric circle of those two groups likely reads like an eclipse. So welcome 2014! The year of the Asian!
Keep the soy sauce on your food, and use it in moderation.
Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images
First, let's spoil this tale right away by telling you the
19-year-old man in Virginia who downed a quart of soy sauce on a dare
It's a happy ending of sorts. But the guy had a close call. And you definitely don't want to try it.
While there's been quite a debate lately about whether the , there's no question that a massive amount of salt ingested quickly can lead to death.
In fact, suicide by soy sauce is not unknown in Asia. A 2011 in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
describes the case of a 55-year-old woman diagnosed with depression.
She died after drinking "a large quantity of shoyu (Japanese soy
sauce)," doctors wrote.
Back in the early '90s, Mayo Clinic doctors
on a 41-year-old man who died after swallowing a salty gargling
solution. That case and a look at the medical literature up to that
point led them to caution other doctors about using salty water to
A salt dose ranging from 0.75 grams to 3 grams
per kilogram of body weight can kill someone. A tablespoon of salt
weighs about 15 grams, in case you're wondering.
If you're metrically challenged, just consider that the unnamed fellow in the published online by the Journal of Emergency Medicine, weighed
about 160 pounds and probably consumed around 170 grams of salt by
drinking a bottle of soy sauce. That works out to a little more than 2
grams of salt per kilogram in his case.
After downing the soy
sauce, he ran into trouble pretty fast. Within two hours he was in the
emergency room at a local hospital. He was grinding his teeth and didn't
respond to pain or verbal commands. His arms were stiff and at his
Doctors were worried about seizures and put him on drugs
to control them. They also ran a tube from his nose into his stomach and
sucked out some "brown material with scant streaks of blood," the
The patient was transferred to a bigger hospital,
the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, within
four hours of the soy sauce guzzling.
His blood sodium level
measured at the medical center was the highest ever seen in an adult who
survived such intoxiciation without lasting neurological problems, the
medical paper says.
But the doctors didn't know if that would
be the case. They opted for rapid treatment with water containing
dextrose, a sugar, to dilute the sodium and encourage urination. The guy
got six liters of IV fluid in half an hour. The sodium concentration in
his blood fell, and he produced more than four liters of urine in short
The doctors took an aggressive approach even though
there was a risk the man might experience brain swelling and other
neurological side effects. They didn't see any.
Texas Tornado is one of the fluffy cows that went viral after appearing on Reddit. Lautner Farms Phil Lautner / Lautner Farms
Cute isn't a word commonly associated with cattle, but get ready for that to change, because you may yet use "cow" and "adorable" in the same sentence.
There are shows for dogs, cats, sheep, llamas — even hamsters, we kid you not — and so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that pampered cattle are put on display as well. And in the world of show cattle, cows do equal cute.
Show cattle can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $75,000.
Redditors discovered this last week after one user posted a photo of a fluffy cow taken at Lautner Farms in Adel, Iowa, for all to admire. Now, certain corners of the Internet are obsessing over fuzzy bovines, tossing out highfalutin adjectives like “majestic” to describe them.
These cows are not some special breed of cow-cum-teddy bear: They've just been all fluffed up thanks to the power of product and blow-dryers. Styling a cow for showtime can take around 2 hours and requires hairspray to keep all that fuzz in place and oil to make their coats shine. Who knew cattle had so much aesthetic potential?
Show cows are made to appear bigger than they actually are. Judges look for sound-looking legs and a square rump, according to Phil Lautner.
Phil Lautner of Lautner Farms says he was “somewhat surprised” by the Internet reaction to his cattle, though he certainly understands their appeal.
“Those cattle are pretty, and they’re tame,” he told TODAY.com. “They’re so fluffy-haired; I’m sure a lot of people would like to hug them like a teddy bear.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
It takes months of daily care to prepare a cow for a show.
While some of us are just learning about the intricate grooming routines of show cattle, the tradition has continued for decades out West. Oftentimes, teenagers participating in 4-H programs will wash, clip and blow-dry their cattle themselves in preparation for judging at state fairs and the National Western Stock Show in Denver. For others, it's a family affair.
"It takes months of daily care for presentation," Lautner Farms spokesperson Stephanie Cronin-Steck told TODAY via email. "It take a LOT of hard work, passion and love for the AG industry to be involved in this way of life."
Every year, Lapland erects a hotel made of ice in
Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. And every year, when the weather turns warmer, the
IceHotel melts back into where it originated: the Torne River.
Here's what the twenty-third incarnation of the IceHotel looked like when we visited it last year:
Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions
Click the link below to watch it melt! Now that's what I call riveting!
A larger-than-life inflatable rubber duck six
stories high by conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman sailed into Hong Kong's
Victoria Harbor. Since 2007 the art installation has travelled to 13 different
cities in nine countries ranging from Brazil to Australia in its journey around