Friday, August 16, 2013

Cambodian singing troupe tours Pittsburgh churches.

Churchgoing Pittsburghers interested in seeing a Cambodian orphan singing troupe can find the "Celebration of Hope" tour in the suburbs for the next week. According to a Post-Gazette story, the group of 18 children has performances scheduled in Oakmont, Pine Township, Zelienople , Penn Hills, and Monroeville through the 24th. From the paper:
The troupe of seven boys and 11 girls, organized by Oakmont-based South East Asia Prayer Center, are touring in an effort to raise awareness about their country and express gratitude for support from around the world. Pittsburgh is the next stop, where the group will spend 10 days performing at seven venues; the first performance is at 1 p.m. today at the Frick Art and Historical Center in Point Breeze, followed by Kennywood Park and several churches in the area.

The children, ages 9 to 17, come from five orphanages in Cambodia. Some have spent years in the homes, and some have just recently moved in. One is the 11-year-old adopted daughter of Pastor Sinai Phouek, the founder of Phnom Penh-based New Hope for Orphans of Cambodia, which partners with the Oakmont organization.
Not much advance notice given for their Frick and Kennywood performances, though. It's not the first time the Oakmont group has hosted Cambodian visitors.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

"There was no fresh bamboo available": Pittsburgh's first panda encounter leads to "rampage" in 1939.

Flipping through Dubuque, Iowa's Telegraph-Herald, we find a story of Pittsburgh's brief encounter with a panda. From May 2, 1939:
Pittsburgh--(U.P.)--Three transport plane pilots struggled with a giant panda in midair Monday as the animal, being flown across country, wandered into the plane's cabin when the airliner came into Allegheny County for a landing.

The plane was landed safely, although the 70-pound animal bit First Officer M.H. Cassing on the hand as the ship came to earth. Passengers on the TWA plane were unaware of the pilots' struggle.

Enters Control Cabinet

The panda was chained in the plane's baggage compartment when Tommy Tomlinson, chief test pilot for TWA, attempted to step through. The animal nipped at his trousers and chased him back into the cabin.

Encouraged by the pilot's retreat, the beast boldly ambled into the control cabin and approached Capt. Don Terry. Cassing then took over the controls while Capt. Terry struggled with the panda.

Eluding Capt. Terry, the animal managed to bite Cassing as the first officer brought the plane to a landing.

Bound from China to the Bronx Zoo in New York, the animal was in charge of Dr. A.E. Best of West China University, a passenger in the plane, Dr. Best did not know of the panda's rampage until the ship was landed.

"Does anybody have any fresh bamboo," he asked. "That will pacify him."

There was no fresh bamboo available.
The panda made it to the Bronx Zoo later in the day, but "Pan" died about a year later.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Taiwanese catcher "part of scouting revolution" for Pirates organization.

Via Pittsburgh Prospects.

Taiwanese catcher Jin-de Jhang (張進德), currently with single-A Jamestown, is "part of a scouting revolution" for the Pittsburgh Pirates, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today. Jhang was one of two Taiwanese players signed by the Pirates in 2011, and ranked #20 on the list of top Pirates prospects compiled by Pirates Prospects in January.

Library orientation in Japanese, Korean, Chinese for international students at Pitt, August 19 - 23.

International students at the University of Pittsburgh can sign up for library orientation sessions held in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
* Would you like to know and meet a librarian who speaks your native language?
* Would you like to know the differences between the academic libraries in the U.S. and libraries in your home country?
* Would you like to know what and how the library can help your area of study and research at Pitt?
The sessions will be held from August 19 through 23, and interested students can sign up by emailing one of the contacts listed on the East Asian Library event page. The East Asian Library, on the second floor of Pitt's Hillman Library, has books, journals, and periodicals in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as some resources about those languages and their respective countries in English. More specifically it has, says the website:
approximately 303,000 volumes of Chinese, 135,000 volumes of Japanese, 16,900 volumes of Korean and some English language materials, plus over 900 titles of periodicals (over 50,000 volumes bound) published in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and the United States.

In addition, it holds about 12,700 reels of microfilms, over 2,100 CD-ROMs, about 1,300 Video/audio tapes, 1,700 DVDs, and 20 major area studies online databases in East Asian languages.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Conflict Kitchen travels to [South] Korea to prepare for [North] Korean menu.

Wonsan Docks North Korea
Popsicles in Wonsan, 2012, from Joseph A. Ferris.

In April we wrote about Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen adding North Korean take-out to its menu this fall. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about the restaurant's trip to South Korea to research its latest incarnation:
Later this month, the co-founders of Conflict Kitchen and their head chef will find themselves close to North Korean soil again. Proprietors Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, along with culinary director Robert Sayre, will speak and cook with South Korean natives and North Korean refugees during a week-long research trip to South Korea. Their efforts will debut a new menu in late October at the Schenley Plaza take-out restaurant, where they serve food from countries with which the United States is in conflict.

"We want to get a sense of what [the refugees'] life was, what their life is, what they're feeling on what's going on inside their country," Mr. Rubin, 49, of Point Breeze, said.

Their trip is funded by the Anyang Public Art Project in South Korea. They'll begin their research by conducting interviews with native Koreans -- and then they'll begin chopping ingredients.

Friday, August 9, 2013

1967 Korean film Yonggary, 1968 Japanese film Genocide in Dormont tomorrow.

Yonggary poster 1967

On August 10, Dormont's Hollywood Theater is hosting "13 Hours of Sci-Fi", which will show 10 classic science-fiction movies from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. Among them are two old Asian monster movies: Korea's Yonggary (용가리) and Japan's Genocide.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WPXI's website looks at protests in Seoul.

The website for WPXI, Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate, found room between its advertisements to host a Reuters video on candlelight protests in Seoul, a post that attracted the attention of some Korean Twitter users.
South Korean protesters held a candlelight vigil against the government's ruling party on Saturday, after allegations surfaced earlier this year that the country's spy agency had meddled in the 2012 presidential elections. South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party, has accused the ruling Saenuri Party of failing to conduct a proper parliamentary investigation into the country's National Intelligence Service (NIS).
The original post from 소셜네트워크(SNS) 핫이슈, which says that a local NBC affiliate in the US reported on the candlelight protests in Seoul, ended up with 238 retweets. We are sorry to report, though, that news of this, or any other protest in downtown Seoul, failed to actually make Pittsburgh's local news.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pittsburgh City Council issues proclamation to "commend and recognize" Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace.

Pittsburgh Remembering Hiroshima Proclamation 2013

Yesterday, ahead of the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Pittsburgh City Council issued a proclamation to "commend and recognize the important work of Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace". The group received similar proclamations in its honor in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Yen's gourmet facade to go.

Via Google Maps.

The distinctive Chinese characters across the street from East Liberty's Target will meet the wrecking ball, according to plans that will have part of the block replaced with a new six-story building. The façade currently belongs to Yen's Gourmet Chinese Restaurant, a space that may soon look like this:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Teen Anime Club meetings in Oakland, East Liberty, Carrick, August 3.

Hey keen teens, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches in Oakland (map), East Liberty (map), and Carrick (map) will host Teen Anime Club meetings on Saturday, August 3. The Oakland branch hypes:
We've got the anime you want to watch and a mountain of pocky to keep your spirits running high. Whether you jump at shonen or shojo is more your beat, check out the fun at the Teen Anime Club!
The East Liberty meeting runs from 2 to 4, the Carrick one from 3 to 4, and the Oakland one from 3 to 5. More information available on the respective pages; registration is required for the East Liberty meeting.