Chinese Canadian Comp Sci Prof. asks students to write a program: “Will a rape victim commit suicide?”

Dr. Shieh with a graduate student.
Dr. Shieh (left) with a graduate student.

Dr. John S. Shieh, a computer science professor at Newfoundland’s Memorial University, is in hot water after asking his student’s to write an algorithm that determines whether or not a rape victim will kill herself after cyber-bullying. Here is an image of the exam question from Jezebel:

An image of the exam question.
An image of the exam question.

Giving Shieh the benefit of a doubt, perhaps this was a ripped-from-the-headlines effort by the professor to engage his students in contemporary social issues. Giving Shieh the benefit of a doubt, perhaps this was an effort to show how programming concepts can be broadly applied to the real world.

Yeah, no. It’s not.

Continue reading “Chinese Canadian Comp Sci Prof. asks students to write a program: “Will a rape victim commit suicide?””

Asians Behaving Badly: Shashank Tripathi spread false updates during Hurricane Sandy

This past week, the East Coast was slammed by Hurricane Sandy, a category 1 hurricane that caused widespread flooding and power outages throughout some of the country’s most populous areas and left more than sixty people dead. During the hurricane, one anonymous Twitter account, @ComfortablySmug, was caught red-handed engaged in unspeakably irresponsible behaviour.

This Twitter user was, for reasons known only to himself, spreading false and alarming reports about the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy — everything from reporting that all power was going to be shut down throughout the entire island of Manhattan to Governor Cuomo being trapped in a flooded building to flooding of the New York Stock Exchange — to his over 6000 Twitter followers. (This Tumblr contains screen caps of many of ComfortablySmug’s alarming and false reports.)

This was a made-up report. The NYSE building did not flood during Hurricane Sandy.

The report of the NYSE building flooded was picked up by CNN and re-tweeted (apparently with no additional fact-checking done) for several hours, before it was later recanted by both CNN and refuted by the official NYSE Twitter account. But damage had already been done: this and the rest of ComfortablySmug’s false reports spread rapidly throughout Twitter — some being re-tweeted over 600 times  by users believing the reports to be fact — and causing unknown panic and confusion during an already hysterical time.

In the wake of this bizarrely trollish behaviour, Buzzfeed’s Jack Stuef outted ComfortablySmug as Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and Republican political consultant working as campaign manager for Republican Christopher Wight’s congressional bid for the 12th district this year. Tripathi may also have served as a volunteer coordinator for the Romney campaign.

Shashank Tripathi is pictured on the left with Congressional candidate Christopher Wight another hedge fund analyst. Tripathi served as Wight’s campaign manager until today, when he was summarily fired for his irresponsible tweets during Hurricane Sandy. I’m not responsible for the editorializing in this picture, but I agree with the sentiment.

Tripathi, who appears to be of Asian Indian descent, offered the following apology on his Twitter account today along with news of his “resignation” from the Wight campaign (which was quick to condemn and repudiate its former campaign manager):

Yeah, we all believe that he voluntarily resigned. Before he could be fired.

Tripathi offered no explanation for his bizarre behaviour over the last 48 hours, but in truth there was probably no explanation that could be satisfying. Anonymity, assholery, attention-whoring, narcissicm — it may be all of these things and none of these things. In the end, there can be no rational explanation for leveraging one’s Twitter fame to spread false reports that only serve to cause confusion and panic during a natural disaster.

All I know is that Shashank Tripathi, you win today’s award for the worst person in the world. You’re a disgrace to the race.

Chubby Kid Enters in Taiwanese Body-Building Contest (and Wins “Most Spirited”)

This kid is either an “Awesome Asian” or an “Asian Behaving Badly” for meeting a dare headlong and participating in a body-building contest for which he was clearly not prepared, and yet gamely striking a pose along with his fellow competitors.




K-Town, Episode 3 Recap (Part 2): Soju is the Relationship Killer (Spontaneous Dance-Off Edition)


Spoiler alert! Which hopefully you would have figured out by the word “recap” in the title.

(If, like Young, you missed all of the drama between Jowe “Prince of K-Town” Lee and Violet, you can check out Part One of this recap here.)

While Jowe “Prince of K-Town” Lee and Violet are having their roller coaster relationship drama in Hookup Hallway, Steve pulls Cammy aside to confess his disappointment that Young has forsaken bachelorhood to propose to an overseas chick that apparently none of the cast were even aware existed until Young’s Episode 1 engagement announcement. Young is his wingman, complains Steve, but now he is alone.

That's right -- because your boy getting married is really all about you.

But, Cammy is quick to point out that Steve should be happy for Young (which he should) and that Steve has other friends. Cammy, in fact, will volunteer to be his new wingman!

Cammy is totally like Young. Except, y'know, cute and with ovaries.

Now, I’m also one of those chicks who will drunkenly volunteer to play wingman for my single guy friends. Let me make a confession to you all now, while I’m good and sober: I am a terrible wingman. I don’t know how to be a wingman. I have no idea what qualities are even useful in a good wingman. My idea of being a good wingman is pointing at girls at the bar or on the dancefloor, and trying to harass my single guy friends into talking to them, getting frustrated, and then launching my drunken self at these same girls in hopes of starting a conversation myself. That, or hurling insults at them from across the bar, in hopes of starting fights with them (did I mention that I’m an angry drunk?). While I’m not going to turn this into some sort of “girls can’t be good wingmen” thing, I hope that Cammy is a better wingman than I am. For Steve’s sake.

On the other hand, I hope Cammy is as terrible a wingman as I am. For the sake of all of us K-Town viewers. Because that shit would be all kinds of hilarious and all kinds of guaranteed failure.

Either way, if Steve’s depression over losing Young as wingman is to be believed, than being a good wingman is nothing like what I thought it was. Specifically, being a good wingman involves doing one thing, and doing it as often and as publicly as possible, preferably whilst standing on a table and pointing at a woman of sexual interest: crotch-grabbing.

That's right. Crotch-grabbing. Or, Accelerated Public Masturbation.

This is clearly why I suck at being a wingman. I had no fuckin’ clue that wingman-ery entailed dry-humping your hand like a miniature poodle that’s just found a wayward stuffed animal on the floor, and has decided to mount its ear with frenzied hip thrusting.

In my mind, there are only a few reasons why anyone should be grabbing their crotch in public:

Readjustment of penis orientation between left and right pant leg.
Bladder incontinence.
Sudden herpes outbreak.
Your ball sack is on fire.

Now, as a straight woman, I really am no expert in pick-up techniques employed by men to signal their interest in a woman. But, as a straight woman, I don’t think that a guy spying me from across a crowded room and immediately trying to jerk it, is — in. any. way. — attractive.

"Girl, you make me so hot I'm going to play with myself through my pants right here while I'm standing six feet away from you and, and -... uhhhhh. Can I get your number... and a moist toilette?"

But, hey, what do I know? Apparently, Young’s frenzied jerking was a turn-on for the members of S2K, a girl dance group that “just happened” to be hanging out at S-bar the night of the K-Town shoot. In a “completely non-scripted manner”, Young approached these chicks with hero worship in his eyes, grabbed his crotch and… spontaneous dance-off! Because, of course, that’s how folks party in K-town.

Sadly, the spontaneity was just too… well, spontaneous… for Joe “Party Nazi” Cha’s tastes, who rushed in to apply much needed rules to the dance-off.

"What's this? Unstructured, unscheduled fun?!? This well never do! You must divide yourselves into two groups and engage in competitive dancing, STAT."

Now, sadly, the wonderful producers of K-Town edited out Joe’s rules, so I have no idea who won the dance-off. But I do know who lost: Steve Kim. Scarlet described Steve’s dancing in — in my mind — the best line of the episode:

"It was like if a fairy raped a crippled girl, and gave birth to Steve's dancing."

Although, I don’t think Scarlet was being entirely fair. I think Steve’s dancing was a perfect, gold-star, homage to this guy:

... and come on -- he's the LORD of the dance.

One spontaneous dance-off later, and Party Nazi moves us on to the “dare” portion of the evening, by reminding Steve that Cammy owes him a dare for having lost an Apollo 13 challenge to Steve earlier in the night. Steve — like most drunken single men — dares Cammy to make out with a random S2K dancer (whose only crime, I think, was being within Steve’s line of sight).

These are the faces of two chicks who 1) clearly don't know each other, and 2) clearly don't want to make out with each other. Steve should've stopped right here; because watching two people disinterestedly and perfunctorily kissing is TOTALLY HOT.

Now, it’s never made entirely clear what problems Cammy has with this dare (she says in her confessional “anything but that”). Is she shy?  Homophobic?  Turned off by the misogynistic implications of having her sexuality co-opted, against her will, for the male gaze of her peers? Does her breath stink? Either way, it doesn’t really matter: the point is that Cammy doesn’t want to, and Steve should’ve known better. Which results in (as Steve puts it):

"Fuck you. Motherfucker. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Motherfucker."

Eventually, after a few long-eyed puppy dog looks from Steve for getting verbally reamed out by Cammy, the two resolve their differences. I sort of hope that later in the season, it will get revealed exactly what Cammy’s problem was here. But we do know that when Cammy gets a) too much soju, and b) asked to kiss another girl, her language skills devolve into profanity-laden Tourette’s.

Whatever Cammy's problem was, at least they were able to hug it out.

By the way, while Cammy was having her f-bomb implosion, did anyone catch the camera pan to this for a split second? I missed it the first eight times I saw this episode (yeah, these recaps take forever to write, guys), but caught it just now. Seriously, Violet? What the hell kind of emotional masochism are you into, girl?

This is the dictionary definition of "mixed signals".

Not surprisingly, as the party winds to a close, the night ends with a Round 5 for the Prince of K-Town.


The moral of episodes 2-3 of K-Town: excessive soju leads to incredibly poor relationship decisions, f-bombs and strained friendships, and catfights with random pantsless smoking girls. I feel like there needs to be some sort of after school special.

Tune in later this week, when I recap Episode 4, in which Jowe calls someone “the Asian Jolly Green Giant”.

Wife of Chinese Politician Bo Xilai Charged with Murdering British Businessman

Gu Kailai is pictured on the left, and with her husband, Bo Xilai, on the right.

News outlets are reporting that Gu Kailai, wife of popular and ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai, has been charged with murder in the death of British businessman, Neil Heywood. Chinese officials argue that Gu and a family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, poisoned Heywood; the murder was allegedly prompted by “economic interests” disputed between Gu and Heywood.

It remains unclear (at least in my mind) whether these charges are authentic, or politically motivated. Or both. CNN has the full scoop.