Jan. 19th, 2009

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Bob May died on January 18 at age 69. He was an American actor best remembered for playing The Robot on the television series Lost in Space, though the voice was done by voice actor and long time Irwin Allen announcer Dick Tufeld. From the imdb news links:
His co-star June Lockhart, who played Maureen Robinson, recalls, "He always said he got the job because he fit in the robot suit.

"It was one of those wonderful Hollywood stories. He just happened to be on the studio lot when someone saw him and sent him to see (series creator) Irwin Allen about the part.

"Allen said, 'If you can fit in the suit you've got the job.'"

May and his wife were left devastated in November after losing their family home in the wildfires that ravished parts of Southern California.
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With all that's going on with Obama's inauguration and Martin Luther King's birthday, I found myself in my favorite Chinese restaurant, Seafood Palace, without a newspaper, and grabbed a couple of freebies from the stand in the vestibule. Usually (or, I guess, previously) they were full of local-kids-make-good, accolades to businessmen, the occasional political story, and the like. This time around, the paper was quite different.

Selected stories from Asian American Press, Week of January 9:

Shinseki, Chu wait Senate confirmation:
Prominent Asian Americans await Congressional approval of their appointments as cabinet posts in President-elect Barack Obama coming administration.

Gen. Eric Shinseki (US Army-Ret.) will appear before a senate committee on Jan. 14. He would be the first Asian American male to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Steven Chu, a physicist and Nobel laureate, will have a Jan. 13 hearing and would be the first Asian American to serve as Secretary of Energy.
Immigration Reform Prospects:
Latino, Asian, and New American citizens voted in an historic election that brought wholesale change to the White House and Congress. Since then, leaders on both sides of the aisle have been talking about how the record turnout of Asian, Latino, and New American voters was integral in the both the presidential and congressional victories.
China forces operating system switch in cafes (not on the web, so the following is keyed in):
Authorities in the southeastern Chinese city of Nanchang are requiring all local Internet cafes to replace their Microsoft Windows XP operating systems with a Chinese-made system, Red Flag Linux, officials and Internet cafe owners have told Radio Free Asia.
Richardson had role in Wen Ho Lee case

The Meanings of Text/Messages (about the Walker Art Center workshops)

Clint Eastwood film portrays Hmong Americans

Meanwhile, the print edition of China Insight is also full of local interest stories, though their on-line edition is far more wide ranging. The most interesting story, to me, in the print edition was a wire story, so I'll have to quote E!Science News (though it was in several other places as well.

U of Minnesota researchers uncover surprising effects of climate patterns in ancient China
University of Minnesota geology and geophysics researchers, along with their colleagues from China, have uncovered surprising effects of climate patterns on social upheaval and the fall of dynasties in ancient China. Their research identifies a natural phenomenon that may have been the last straw for some Chinese dynasties: a weakening of the summer Asian Monsoons. Such weakening accompanied the fall of three dynasties and now could be lessening precipitation in northern China.
The story compares the timing of the fall of Chinese dynasties with fall of the Mayans and the European Little Ice Age.

No wonder the sphincter conservatives are in denial about their role in global warming. Not only are they unable to accept that the status quo is not permanent, that America won't be an empire forever, but they are unable to face their role in the demise of the country they give lip service to. But I digress.

Based on a fairly small sample, I'm nonetheless impressed that restaurant freebies have such meat to their reporting.

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