I haven’t been active on this blog for years, other than the sporadic post regarding current events or writing about whatever topics are of interest at the time. Despite being inactive, the frequently searched posts are ones related to the old “Prison Break” TV show, a review of a now-aborted comic storyline where Batman died, and various essays on Asian history and culture. Even though most of those posts were written several years ago, they are still being searched by people to this day.
Why Does This Dormant Blog Hold Up?
I reckon this is a good question and I sometimes wonder why this blog is still relevant despite being dormant when compared to the period where I had the most content during 2006-2010. If the “Prison Break” posts mean anything, is it suggests a good number of readers are interested in the show’s long and convoluted storylines given the success of the revival series. Much of what I wrote about “Prison Break” spans from Seasons 2 to part of Season 3, where I stopped watching after they supposedly killed off Sara Tancredi.
After the show wrapped, there were enough people that still liked the cast and crew from the Prison Break TV show. Not surprisingly, many of the show’s leads were eventually cast in shows like the CW’s “Arrow” and “The Flash”, with the Dominic Purcell playing HeatWave while Wentworth Miller plays Captain Cold. With growing interest among the cast and solid home video sales of Prison Break, it was no surprise FOX commissioned a Season 5 revival of the show.
Even though the main character was killed off in the final season of “Prison Break”, they retconned it so that Michael Scofield somehow survived and is stuck in a Yemeni prison. Because of this, Lincoln Burrows and C-Note have to work together with much of the supporting cast to get him out while dealing with another conspiracy. I didn’t really have much interest in the revival series and joked with friends that liked the Arrowverse shows that Captain Cold and Heatwave were taking a break to do “Prison Break”.
How Does the Other Content Help?
Other than people’s revived or new interest in the “Prison Break” TV show, there seems to be ongoing interest in Batman being killed off, Asian social issues, and Asian-American issues. The original post about Batman being killed off was actually about the character’s apparent death in a comic book crossover called “Final Crisis”. The other posts mostly revolved either around social issues or essays about Asian culture.
In regards to the posts about social issues, I reckon many people are more conscious of social issues whether they are real like Climate Change or based on whatever Twitter is talking about. In this special place of social issues topics, many people are increasingly interested in posts about Asian-Americans given the lack of real conversations about issues that affect that community. On the other end, people are also having a growing interest in history as much of it has an impact on our daily lives.
After reviewing the popular blog posts since the blog’s inception, it appears television reviews and opinions of social issues are what keep people visiting. Even though the traffic gradually declined over the years due partly to inactivity and changes in search engine logic, the blog still gets on average a thousand views per month. I am sure it really isn’t much in the grand scheme of things but it’s really interested seeing as people are still interested in content that is years if not decades old. Thanks for your time and support.
Tesla sucks because not only are they dependent on government subsidies to make their models more affordable in the market, but they also have staff that are unprofessional.
While the sales team at their retail locations are generally professional and competent, I can’t really say the same about their corporate staff. I don’t know if it is because they are always busy or if they’re just millennials but they really like ghosting candidates in job interviews or have job interviews where the majority of time is spent talking about themselves and their projects.
While I admire the company’s founder and efforts to improve the quality of life, the fact their company is incapable of even any sort of professionalism outside of their retail stores is disappointing. On this note, it’s not a surprise Tesla’s various models have product defects and their overall messaging to the public is nothing more than what Elon Musk says or does.
According to glassdoor.com, the majority of employees say the following about the company:
“Watching the company literally change the world” (in 40 reviews)
“Fast paced environment, surrounded by passionate people” (in 65 reviews)
“Fast-Paced, dynamic work environment with employees that are incredibly enthusiastic about what they do” (in 41 reviews)
“Great company to build incredible experience with” (in 40 reviews)
“Tesla is everything you imagine it could be – amazing people doing cutting edge work” (in 31 reviews)
“work life balance needs improvement” (in 125 reviews)
“Long hours with large work load” (in 126 reviews)
“Absolutely NO work-life balance” (in 32 reviews)
“Upper management in my area created a huge lead-by-fear culture where people were threatened to be fired daily” (in 27 reviews)
“Intern Salary was pretty low compared to other interns in the Bay Area” (in 25 reviews)
Going through Glassdoor, the majority of interviews are largely negative with their HR and interviewers lacking any process or professionalism. It’s really heartbreaking to see such a wonderful brand be damaged by their own internal incompetence and dependence on their founder.
In the past and recently, I have been contacted by recruiters from Michael Page International. In the past I was brought in for an interview and the recruiters did not seem to have bothered looking at my application or my resume before evaluating a list of companies for me. Also, the recruiters gave me an attitude by saying the company I worked for at the time was “nothing” and they were the only gateway to a nice job in New York City. After the interview was over, one of the recruiters mentioned something about me being an “idiot” while leaving the interview room with the other recruiter.
From this experience, I can safely say that the recruitment consultants from Michael Page for mid-career or experienced candidates are unprofessional, ignorant and most of all arrogant. It would not surprise me if these junior recruiters were recent graduates who have cultivated a false sense of sophistication from their first job at Michael Page in New York City or possibly from their employee orientation programme.
This is one of the reasons I tend to dissuade my peers from taking Michael Page International seriously. Their recruiters are arrogant and they will mistreat you if you are not in a middle or executive management role.
Recently, two recruiters from Michael Page had contacting me. One was based in Philadelphia while the other was in Iselin, New Jersey. The person in Philadelphia for some reason assumed I was looking for work in sales in that area despite submitting my resume on MichaelPage.com, Monster.com, and Careerbuilder.com indicating that I am of a marketing and telecom background in several places. Another person called today when I was in the middle of a fire drill also asking if I was in sales.
I asked him nicely to email me the information so I can follow-up, yet he kept trying to collect information. After I reminded him I was busy in a fire drill and asked for the details in an email, he abruptly hung up on me. Again, I would like to point out the piss poor professionalism from the renowned Michael Page International recruitment consultants.
I have been told that these recruitment consultants do not get commissions from successful hires but these kids are acting as if they are under pressure to make quotas and they seem to have little or no training in properly contacting candidates.
I am not sure how the Michael Page International recruitment consultants are in the rest of the world, but I can safely say that the American office was rude, arrogant, and difficult to work with. If you don’t believe me, you can read all the wonderful reviews on glassdoor.com
Galton Voysey is a platform for building, buying and developing consumer product brands. We are home to 28 iconic brands that we have developed or acquired, and extend our professional expertise to a portfolio of global brands. We believe it makes more sense to test early to validate ideas that work and ones that don’t. This gives our operation and design teams a way to experiment with something tangible, gain experience in the process and reapply their learnings in the next iteration. With a proven network of over 140 factories, Galton Voysey builds brands across a broad range of consumer, lifestyle and home goods segments across Europe, US and the world.
Sounds like a normal private company developing and selling private label goods online leveraging manufacturing resources in the Asia-Pacific region with a startup mentality.
However, what is interesting is the background and the involvement of William Wolfram, the owner of DealDash.com and principle investor of Galton Voysey according to InsideRetail Hong Kong:
As it marks its third anniversary, Hong Kong-headquartered online luxury goods retailer Galton Voysey is recruiting more staff and expanding its presence in Mainland China.
Galton Voysey was founded by 28-year-old French woman Marine Aubrée Antikainen and its biggest investor is William Wolfram, 24, who believed the biggest brands of the next 50 years have not yet been built…
…Galton Voysey believes it is disrupting the global luxury goods market with new and fresh thinking, in many cases helping brands go direct from factory to consumer through their own brand websites.
According to LinkedIn, Marine Antikainen is listed as a co-founder while William Wolfram is both chairman and investor of Galton Voysey. Oddly enough, William Wolfram is not listed on the website and the majority of Galton’s partners are mostly law firms. These are the other companies listed as partners
The Loft Studio, – The Loft Studio does not cite Galton Voysey or its brands as clients. However, it is likely this company produced the photos seem on the company website and for its brands under NDAs.
Vistra – Vistra is a company providing “tailored trust, fiduciary, fund and corporate services”. It is likely they are supporting Galton with various offshore financing and related services.
A partner with a magnifying glass and letters “AI” as its brand logo.
The rest of the website is somewhat vague on their actual work aside from a sizzle reel about the office culture and a press release announcing the company’s 3rd year of existence.
DealDash.com positively describes and endorses products that are auctioned on its
website. Some of these products are sold by companies that DealDash founder William Wolfram is the Chairman of, a fact that is not disclosed to consumers in any DealDash marketing materials. For example, during any 24-hour period, at least 40% of DealDash auctions are for products made and sold by:
There is a clear conflict of interest when a major investor and chairman of Galton Voysey is also selling the company’s brands on DealDash.com, which is also owned by the same person. It is even more questionable when this strong connection is not disclosed to the public.
The Brands Examined
While the brands appear to have quality products when examined at face value, things are not what they seem. Galton Voysey’s marketing team and growth hackers have done a great job promoting these brands with a combination of paid Facebook likes, reviews by vloggers and blogs that are either paid or provided based on free products, compelling brand videos and standard SEO.
Although these brands appear to be private label brands one would expect to find online or at a premium retailer such as Macy’s, the pricing strategy for the various products suggests they should be treated as premium or luxury items, despite the relatively new brand development and limited brand history. What is even more interesting is that these brand have products that have pages of positive reviews without really describing much about the products.
I’ve had three major Galton Voysey brands, Kamikoto, Bolvaint, and The Barrel Shack, submitted to FakeSpot.com, which scans for unreliable or fake product reviews. Below are the general results:
Fakespot has analyzed 8 products and 148 reviews forThe Barrel Shack products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0%of those reviews to be unreliable.
The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with The Barrel Shack as the company name.
When reviewing the websites, it appears nearly all the Galton Voysey brands have the same website layout from Shopify, and relatively limited contact information. The Bolvaint website claims to have an office that is occupied by Patek Phillipe, while the Kamikoto brand doesn’t have a Japanese website, its return address is in a residential area, the brand site is hosted in the USA, and apparently the knives are made in China (which is unheard of for artisanal Japanese knives). The lack of real information behind the brands and brand history is a recurring pattern among the Galton Voysey brands.
While Galton Voysey initially appears to be a private company developing and selling private label brands, it is merely a tool for DealDash.com to promote overpriced products to unsuspecting customers. The fact the William Wolfram is involved in both companies without full disclosure, the limited information available for Galton Voysey, the strange trademarking process for the Galton brands, and irregular product reviews make the entire arrangement extremely questionable if not an outright scam.
Despite some glowing reviews by unsuspecting vloggers and blogs, none of the brands promoted by Galton Voysey can actually justify their prices due to their lack of history, actual reputation, or product quality in certain cases. I would have no issues with their brands if they were actually being produced and sold as private label brands to leading retailers as implied in their mission statement and official interviews. However, the reality is that they are primarily pushed through DealDash.com at inflated prices and placed on Amazon.com and their own brand websites to create the perception they are actual products.
The Asian-American Community is its own Worst Enemy
By Ronald Chiang
I’ve been following online sentiment and Asian-Americans at large seem to be interested in the following:
Issues surrounding ethnic identity
Issues related to systematic exclusion in society
It seems that the majority of Asian-Americans dwell on their identity. On one hand, they tend to do what they can to fit in with the majority population, whether it is just learning to be a monolingual English speaker, studying a eurocentric view of Asian history, or trying hard to fit in.
For whatever reason, many Asian-Americans chose to pursue a monolingual existence with English being their native or primary language. They tend to not like speaking their cultural language (Chinese, Vietnamese, Gujarati) over some misguided attempt to fit in with the majority non-Asian peers in school or because they believe they are superior by virtue of living in the USA.
Then later in life, they lament about having a narrow life experience because they cannot pursue other professional opportunities due to a lack of knowledge in an Asian language or some sense of regret that they’ve compromised themselves.
Like most people, history in the United States for Asian-Americans is taught from a western standpoint often with the general concept that much of the US, Canada and Europe are rich and free while the rest of the world is poor and dependent on the USA for their futures. As a result, enough Asian-Americans grow up believing they are again superior by virtue of living in the United States and develop a tendency to look down on their unamericanized Asian peers.
Again, as they get older and learn about reality being Asian-American, they regret being indoctrinated in such a falsehood and sometimes overcompensate with zealous support of their native country (China, Korea) in such a manner, including but not limiting to nationalism, and apologism, that they make native citizens of those places seem unpatriotic.
Then lastly, like their parents and other immigrants, many Asian-Americans work too hard to “make it” in the USA by becoming financially secure and often compromise themselves to fit in. Some ways they’ve done this is by embracing the Model Minority stereotype, which implies that Asian-Americans will be accepted and fit in American society if they choose to become leading professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) and avoid social issues of “undesirable minorities” like African-Americans and Latinos.
They’ve also persuaded the rest of the country that they do not need diversity programmes like other minorities because they’re superior Model Minorities and they can work hard to go anywhere. In extreme cases, they’ve gone out of their way to support Affirmative Action with calls to minimise Asian students to an absolute quantity in favour of diversity for everyone else (including White students).
Not surprisingly, because of the Asian-American community’s apathy and distance from diversity initiatives and the willingness of their majority to hold back their own community in favour of other groups, American society at large became indifferent to social issues in the Asian-American community ranging from dismissing Asians with personal struggles as “rejects” to simply keeping Asian-American media portrayals to an absolute minimum.
When the Asian-American community complains as a whole, the majority population does not take their calls seriously due to their ongoing claims of being Model Minorities, their willingness to put the interests of everyone else above their own community and their general need to stay inoffensive when faced with major social issues.
While it would be unfair to generalise the Asian-American community, the majority of individuals with such values tend to be those from California living in suburbs with upper-middle incomes, from families with university degrees, and have a misguided sense of social justice that involves letting everyone else benefit at their own expense.
These people are the reasons why no meaningful change has occurred among the Asian-American community due to outlandish fears of being grouped with the other minority groups, which often motivates them to avoid “rocking the boat” and an ongoing misguided belief that conforming to an untrue stereotype is the only way to succeed for a place in the USA.
Also, with the growth of social media and online forums these same individuals that often conform to stereotypes usually overcompensate for their perceived shortcomings by resorting to worshipping, if not cheerleading, events in their families’ ancestral country where they have no actual connection to their daily lives other than their ethnicity and known family history. Examples of this involve Chinese-Americans supporting China’s decision to restrict foreign NGOs or build artificial islands in disputed waters.
Frankly, I am frustrated by all of you Asian-Americans for being walking stereotypes that resort to passive and weak methods to overcompensate for a lack of self-respect and ignorance in their actual history. Moreover, any suggestions that Asian-Americans can improve their standing within the community through self-respect, understanding of their culture (bilingualism, history), and being assertive in society are often dismissed, invalidated and rejected by the majority who believe in conforming for the sake of pleasing others.
With that in mind, I honestly do not expect any meaningful change in the perception and treatment of the Asian-American community by Asian-Americans themselves and by other Americans in my lifetime.
“Why would anyone leave the USA?” wrote a friend on Facebook recently, beside a picture of a beautiful sunset beaming on the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Why does everyone leave the US?” might have been a more pertinent question.
Since my parents moved to this land of opportunity and freedom 30 years ago, my friendship circle has changed countless times, as fellow Asian-Americans move back home after college or leave for the expat life.
The years of pop culture; efficient transport; diverse foods; beaches; socials; and family just weren’t enough to make the USA the One.
Although, obviously, many Asian-Americans do end up staying, why do so many Asian-Americans leave after their parents’ sacrifices? Is there a fundamental reason for this trail of break-ups?
When watching a youtube clip for “Mistresses”, many commenters kept praising Yunjin Kim for her excellent English as a Korean.
Only Yunjin Kim wasn’t a foreigner; she grew up in Staten Island, New York with US citizenship.
“But she’s not an American,” some responded when others pointed out she is American. “She grew up here and her husband is Asian-American,” I argued. Her status, they said, would depend on how deeply she actually connected with American”culture”.
What is an American then, if not someone raised in the US and naturalized?
In the multicultural British capital, a Londoner can be of any skin color, eat any type of food and have a mother tongue other than English. To describe a British-born man with Indian parents, say, as a “foreigner” might well spark a riot.
If a lifetime spent in the US can’t make you an American, if the children you might have here can’t access that identity (at least, not in the eyes of some), perhaps this country – despite the idea of opportunity and freedom that welcomed our parents – isn’t a natural place to call home, after all.
Could anybody out there give me a quick introduction to the Hong Kong government and its political landscape? I’ve always had the impression it had a democracy and there are like dozens of political parties in the city.
Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous city that is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) within China under the Basic Law (HK’s mini-constitution). In essence, Hong Kong SAR is semi-democratic since it does not have universal suffrage, a basic tenet of a democracy.
The Chief Executive, currently CY Leung, is the head of the government in Hong Kong SAR and is answerable directly to Beijing.
According to the Basic Law, the Chief Executive (CE) must be a Chinese citizen who is a permanent resident of the HKSAR with no right of abode in any foreign country. The person must be at least 40 years old, and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of no less than 20 years
The Chief Executive is elected by 1200 members drawn from functional constituencies and government officials. There are no direct elections for the CE post as explained below:
However, because so many of the functional constituency parties are instructed by Beijing for whom to vote, the outcome was already known regardless of televised debates and campaigning.
Hong Kong also has a unicameral legislature popularly called the LegCo, or Legislative Council. The LegCo consists of 70 elected members with a fixed 4-year term. Lawmakers in the LegCo, are either elected by direct elections for the 35 seats representing geographical constituencies (districts) or by functional constituencies representing professional or special interest groups (numbering around 230000) for the other 35 seats in the 70-seat LegCo.
The major functions of the LegCo are to enact, amend or repeal laws, check and approve budgets, approve taxation and public expenditure, and review the work of the government. Due to the design of the Legislative Council, the majority of elected officials tend to be from pro-Beijing political parties or groupings, which often work together for corporate-government interests.
Currently, two groups are fighting for influence in the Hong Kong SAR government:
Pro-Beijing coalition: political parties united by the political ideology of being closer to Beijing government, but differ on other issues. Since the handover, the Pro-Beijing camp have never lost being the majority in the LegCo, thanks to support from functional constituents and collaboration among the Pro-Beijing parties. Notable parties include the DAB (Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong), Liberal Party, and FTU (Federation of Trade Unions).
Pan-Democrats: political parties united by calls for democratic reform, universal suffrage and human rights. Pan-Democrats are often labelled an “opposition camp” by various groups and media aligned with the mainland Chinese government, since the Pan-Democrats goal run counter to values promoted by the Chinese Communist Party. Recently, 27 democratic legislators formed the Alliance for True Democracy, a formal coalition to show solidarity for genuine democracy. Notable parties include the Democratic Party, Civic Party, and People Power.
Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is wonder. To follow the journey is to become one with it.
Our conversations with other travellers have led to a flowering of ultra-heroic consciousness.
Only a being of the solar system may ignite this oasis of passion. Greed is the antithesis of insight. You must take a stand against dogma.
Although you may not realize it, you are dynamic. The infinite is calling to you via molecular structures. Can you hear it? It can be difficult to know where to begin.
The goal of supercharged waveforms is to plant the seeds of inseparability rather than selfishness. By evolving, we reflect. This life is nothing short of a condensing evolution of non-local learning.
Have you found your circuit?
Without passion, one cannot reflect. You may be ruled by suffering without realizing it. Do not let it obliterate the growth of your path. The complexity of the present time seems to demand an ennobling of our souls if we are going to survive.
As you self-actualize, you will enter into infinite wisdom that transcends understanding. Through affirmations, our hearts are opened by rejuvenation. You will soon be aligned by a power deep within yourself — a power that is life-affirming, powerful.
On Super Sunday, thousands of satisfied fans were able to arrive and leave the MetLife stadium at record time. NJTransit, which had spent months preparing for Super Bowl 48, touted their high ridership numbers as a key indicator of success in playing part to the first “Mass Transit Super Bowl” of its kind.
“This..set an all-time record for ridership, which was previously 22,000 for (the) September 2009 U2 concert,” said NJ Transit spokesman John Durso Jr.
The crowds was in surprisingly good spirits, and they continued the Seahawks and Broncos chanting that had started on the train. Many fans were impressed by the large number of trains and mass transit networks.
“We live in the country,” a Broncos fan said. “We have cars — we don’t use subways or anything like that.”
Surprisingly, despite angry rumors of people fainting, NJTransit assured us that there are no incidents of people fainting or being addressed by local EMT services.
NJTransit said the crowds were being orderly and passengers were being moved out in a “safe and efficient” manner. Dozens of buses were later brought in to help shuffle fans out of the area and ease the congestion.
Thanks to NJTransit, New Jersey and many football fans were able to enjoy a green and safe “Mass Transit Super Bowl.”
“The number of people moved, not only on game day, but in and around New York City, the number of people moved to multiple events, in and out, I think that’s an extraordinary achievement,” said Eric Grubman, the league’s executive vice president of NFL ventures and business operations.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.