Friday, March 31, 2017

Squirrel Hill's Thai & Noodle Outlet to open March 31.

Squirrel Hill's Thai & Noodle Outlet is scheduled to open tonight, March 31.

Signage went up earlier in the month at 5813 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill (map), in what was most recently Sukhothai Bistro. That replaced Cool Ice Taipei, a Taiwanese food place, back in June 2014.

"Natural and Unnatural Disasters 3/11, Asbestos, and the Unmaking of Japan's Modern World" at Pitt on April 3, IUP on April 4.

Dr. Brett L. Walker of Montana State University will speak at the University of Pittsburgh on April 3 and Indiana University of Pennsylvania on April 4 on "Natural and Unnatural Disasters: 3/11, Asbestos, and the Unmaking of Japan's Modern World":
At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake devastated northeastern Japan and caused one of Earth’s most dangerous nuclear catastrophes. Along with an enduring nuclear legacy, it also left an estimated 25 millions tons of rubble, much of it contaminated with asbestos and other carcinogenic toxins. Indeed, when the tides of the devastating tsunami ebbed, the unnatural disaster of cleaning up Japan’s pulverized and aerosolized built environment remained. Now, every time a backhoe or shovel digs into this rubble, asbestos fibers are released into the environment to threaten human health.

Japan's history of asbestos use contrasts with many other industrialized nations. Although the United States EPA began phasing out asbestos in the 1970s, Japan continued to chrysotile asbestos until 2004. Indeed, asbestos was a critical fiber in the construction of Japan's modern built environment because of the culturally engrained fear of fire. Professor Walker will examine asbestos in the construction and, more importantly, destrucution of Japan's built environment, with a focus on the impact of the 3/11 disaster and the later clean up.
The event at Pitt starts at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map). The event at IUP runs from 3:30 to 5:30 pm in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Rm. 225. Both are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) in Pittsburgh, from March 31.

The 2017 Chinese movie The Devotion of Suspect X (嫌疑人X的献身) will play at AMC Loews Waterfront from March 31, the date of its national premieres in China and the US. AMC provides a summary of the film, an adaptation of the 2005 Japanese novel:
Based on Keigo Higashinoas award-winning novel, THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X follows a professor (Wang Kai) assisting in a murder investigation, only to find that a longtime rival and friend (Zhang Luyi) from his early university days may be involved.
Tickets are available from the AMC website. The theater is located at 300 West Waterfront Dr. in the Waterfront shopping complex in Homestead (map), across the Monongahela River from Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and the rest of Pittsburgh.

Direct flights between Pittsburgh and China in the works?

Talk about burying the lede: a Tribune-Review story headlined by the cost of a trip to China hides the news that local airport officials are exploring the possibility of non-stop flights between Pittsburgh and China.
Allegheny County, Pittsburgh International Airport and tourism officials are traveling in China this week in the hopes of establishing air service between the airport in Findlay and China.

Bob Kerlik, airport spokesman, said the group includes County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis; Bryan Dietz, the airport's vice president of air service development; Vince Gastgeb, the airport's vice president of government and community affairs; VisitPittsburgh CEO Craig Davis; and Idea Foundry CEO Mike Matesic.
. . .
The goal of the trip is to establish scheduled nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and China, which would likely take several years to finalize, he said.

In the shorter term, officials hope to establish chartered flights to China and pursue opportunities with tour operators.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회), May 6 in Shadyside.

Look for the 2017 Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh Korean Food Bazaar (제22회 선교바자회) on Saturday, May 6, from 10:00 to 4:00 pm. The highly-anticipated annual Korean food festival is in its 22nd year, and is held at 821 S. Aiken Ave. in Shadyside (map).

Monday, March 27, 2017

"A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions in China and the United States", April 10 at Pitt.

The University of Pittsburgh's Institute for International Studies in Education will host PhD candidate and IISE Program Coordinator Weiyan Xiong and his talk "A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions in China and the United States" as part of this term's Symposium Series on April 10. The event runs from 12:00 to 1:30 pm 5640 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

Dubbed version of Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) in Pittsburgh, April 23.

If you missed the Pittsburgh premiere of the Japanese animated movie Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン -オーディナル・スケール) on March 9, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont will show a dubbed-in-English version on April 23 The official site provides a plot summary of the movie, which opened in Japan in February:
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba, called NerveGear. It was the first full-dive system, and with it, came endless possibilities to VRMMORPGs.

In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the Amusphere. A next-gen wearable device, the Augma doesn't have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality (AR) to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market. The most popular game on the system is "Ordinal Scale" (aka: OS), an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.

Asuna and the gang have already been playing OS for a while, by the time Kirito decides to join them. They're about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn't all fun and games…
Tickets for the 2:00 pm show are available online for $15. The theater is located at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont (map), and is accessible by Pittsburgh's subway/LRT at a block south of Potomac Station.

2016 Korean zombie movie Train to Busan (부산행) at Pitt, March 31.

The 2016 Korean movie Train to Busan (부산행) will play at the University of Pittsburgh on March 31 as part of the Department of East Asian Language & Literatures' Korean Film Festival. A July 2016 New York Times review summarizes the 2016 hit zombie movie:
The setup is lean and clean. A flattened deer, mowed down in a quarantine zone in Seoul where some kind of chemical spill has occurred (echoes of Bong Joon-ho’s 2007 enviro-horror film, “The Host”), springs back to life. Then, in just a few swiftly efficient scenes, we meet a harried hedge-fund manager and his small, sad daughter (Gong Yoo and an amazing Kim Su-ahn), see them settled on the titular locomotive and watch in dismay as a vividly unwell last-minute passenger lurches onboard. And we’re off!

Sprinting right out of the gate, the director, Yeon Sang-ho, dives gleefully into a sandbox of spilled brains and smug entitlement. (“In the old days, they’d be re-educated,” one biddy remarks upon spying an undesirable fellow traveler.) As zombies chomp and multiply, an assortment of regular folks face them down while furthering an extended critique of corporate callousness. The politics are sweet, but it’s the creatures that divert. Eyes like Ping-Pong balls and spines like rubber — I’d wager more than a few chiropractors were required on the set — they attack in seizures of spastic energy. They’re like break-dancing corpses.
The movie will play from 4:00 to 7:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

"Distant Reading and Modern Japanese Literature" at Pitt, March 30.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center is hosting the University of Chicago's Hoyt Long and his talk "Distant Reading and Modern Japanese Literature" on March 30. It starts at 3:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.

"San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" at Pitt, March 31.

The University of Pittsburgh's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures will present graduate student Sandi Ward's colloquium "San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" on March 31.
San Mao (三毛, 1943-1991) was one of the most popular writers in the Chinese-speaking world during the 1970s and '80s. Her most popular works concern life with her Spanish husband in Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) and the Canary Islands. These tales portray San Mao as an independent, resourceful wanderer making a home for herself wherever she goes, and interacting with overlooked members of society. San Mao's self-depiction as a representative of Chinese culture spreading goodwill throughout the world found a receptive audience in 1970s Taiwan, with her fame spreading to mainland China in the 1980s. These waves of enthusiasm for San Mao's work were dubbed "San Mao Fever" or the "San Mao Phenomenon."

"San Mao: Oasis or Mirage? The Phenomenon of the 'Chinese Woman of the Desert'" explores San Mao's popularity using Raymond Williams' term "structures of feeling." Williams used "structures of feeling" to describe the state of experiences as they emerge and develop; they help identify a generation or a spirit of an era. I argue that San Mao and her readers shared an affinity with a particular structure of feeling emphasizing freedom, equality, and self-expression, at a time when readers in Taiwan and mainland China faced government oppression and isolation from the wider world. Meanwhile, critics disdained San Mao in part because they inherently lacked access to this structure of feeling.
The talk begins at 12:00 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall (map) and is free and open to the public.