Friday, February 27, 2015

Look for Pink Box in Oakland later this year.

Last year, word on the street was Squirrel Hill's Pink Box---a Taiwanese "Asian-European fusion bakery"---would open a location in Oakland in late-2014 or early-2015. Ownership now says to look for it much later in the year, as the bakery will not be moving into the converted house behind K-Box but will instead be knocking it down and constructing a new, modern building incorporating shipping containers at 4527 Winthrop St. (map). An October Post-Gazette article says the Oakland spot will be four times the size of the Squirrel Hill location.

Honam University "Speech Pioneers" visit Pittsburgh.

via Honam University

A group of four students from the Speech & Language Pathology department at Honam University (호남대학교) in Gwangju visited the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University from February 1 through February 16 to view local developments in the speech pathology field.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ten Minutes (10 분), I Am Here (我就是我) part of CMU International Film Festival.

The lineup for the 2015 Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival was announced this afternoon, and the South Korean movie Ten Minutes (10 분) and the Chinese I Am Here (我就是我) are among the films that comprise it. 10 Minutes will play on April 8 at 7:00 pm. A summary from the Busan International Film Festival, where the movie premiered in 2013:
A young man preparing for an exam to work for a broadcasting company starts to work as an intern and a junior government employee. He is only there to make some money before finding a real job, but when his boss tells him that he wants to hire him full-time, he is tempted. After going through the interview and getting congratulated from others in the office, he is shocked that the full-time position is in fact given to someone else. An older co-worker tells him that it was a set-up, and the young man decides to fight the decision. The fight for justice is not as easy as his co-worker says. The film cruelly looks on as the man stoops lower and lower, from an intern loved by both co-workers and managers, to a disgruntled employee. He is at a crossroads. Should he stay a good, social employee, or start anew as a straggler?
And the Toronto International Film Festival profiles I Am Here, which plays on March 27 at 7:15 pm:
Every week, millions of viewers tune in to China's most popular singing competition, Super Boy. Tens of thousands of aspiring male singers audition every year for this prestigious talent show, but only ten make it into the months-long competition. Fan Lixin's documentary I Am Here immerses us in the finalists' gruelling, adrenalizing experience, even as it raises provocative questions about the social context of such a phenomenon.

The world of these young performers is a glossy fantasy, all-consuming and almost too good to be true. Overnight they've been elevated to demigod status, and are now recognized everywhere they go by herds of screaming teenagers. This fame comes at the cost of their identity; vocal coaches, dance teachers, and tyrannical producers exploit easily digestible aspects of the young men's personalities and backgrounds, grooming them in the images of archetypes that audiences can root for. But in a scenario where there can be only one winner, the boys band together, attaining a mutual harmony that extends beyond the singing contest.
The festival will run from March 19 through 28, and April 8 through 11. Ticketing information and a complete schedule is available on the festival's website.

Hotteok (호떡) sale at CMU, February 26.

via Happy Today.

The Carnegie Mellon University Asian Students Association will hold a Hotteok Sale tomorrow, February 26. Hotteok (호떡) is a fried Korean dessert with a sweet filling, commonly sold by street food vendors for 30 to 50 cents a piece. The sale runs from 11:30 to 3:00 pm in the University Center Commons Room.

Sunflower Occupation event at Pitt (匹茲堡太陽花一週年), March 28.

A rally commemorating the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan will take place at the University of Pittsburgh on March 28. Pittsburgh is one of eleven North American cities holding events on the 28th. According to the event's Facebook page, the event begins at 2:00 pm in room 232 of the Cathedral of Learning. Last year's rally took place at CMU.

Japanese Board Game event at CMU, February 27.

via sbszine.

The Japanese Student Association at Carnegie Mellon University will present Japanese Board Games on Friday, February 27. From the event's Facebook page:
Join Japanese Student Association at CMU for Japanese mahjong, go, and other traditional games!

There will be people who will happily teach you how to play any of the games -- and we'll have information slips on how to play!
The event starts from 4:30 pm in 5415 Wean Hall (campus map).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"'Radical' Thinking about Character Recognition: The structure of the Chinese orthography and its ramifications" at Pitt, February 26.

The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh will present M.A. candidate Frank Dolce and his talk "'Radical' Thinking about Character Recognition: The structure of the Chinese orthography and its ramifications" on February 26. The abstract:
Previous research has examined cross-linguistic importance of phonological and morphological awareness in Chinese and English word recognition, yet few studies have focused on the earlier, pre-lexical aspects of character recognition and evaluated why orthographic awareness is central to Chinese literacy development. Comparing spread of lexical activation between orthographic, phonologic and semantic stores in English and Chinese reading have helped to specify the lexical pathways underlying character decoding and reading comprehension as part of word recognition. The visual orthographic complexity and coarse form-form mappings of the logographic character system, considered in conjunction with the observations of the Lexical Constituency Model and other reading research, suggests that Chinese pre-lexical processing is exclusively orthographic and threshold-based. Sub-character radicals are decomposed sub-lexical (but not “pre-lexical”) representations and are utilized in unfamiliar reading (based on radical frequency and regularity,
and other factors). Radical parts are only accessed after orthographic lexical representations are already assembled, meaning their access involves top-down morpho-orthographic decomposition. The first study proposal uses two character recognition training tasks to examine the pre-lexical processing pathway that leads to the perceptual assembly of lexical orthographic representations. Beginning with the basic premise that the semantic cues provided by radical parts also contribute to reading of unfamiliar graphic forms, additional studies are proposed comparing the relevance of visual, orthographic and semantic salience of character components in pseudocharacter recall. It is anticipated that graphic and semantic salience of radicals will have independent and additive
effects on recall of unfamiliar forms and both may be able to be incorporated into L2 pedagogies.
The talk is held in room 4217 Posvar Hall (campus map) from 11:00 am and is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Law and the Legal Profession in China" at Pitt, February 27 and 28.

The University of Pittsburgh will host the "Law and the Legal Profession in China" conference on February 27 and 28. From the University Center for International Studies:
Over the past two decades the profession of law within China has undergone tremendous change. China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization, massive foreign investment, and an increasingly cosmopolitan middle class have forced both the central government in Beijing and the country’s practicing attorneys to grapple with new clientele, new areas of practice, and an increasingly nuanced popular response to legal issues. This conference will bring together an international panel of multidisciplinary experts to examine the development and current practice of the legal profession in China.
The event is held in the Alcoa Room of the Barco Law Building (map) and is free and open to the public. Registration is required and can be done so by emailing Lynn Kawaratani of the Asian Studies Center at lyk12 at

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Host families still needed for visiting Kobe Gakuin University students next month.

GlobalPittsburgh has sent a reminder that it still needs host families for a cohort of visiting Kobe Gakuin University students in an exchange program at Duquense University next month. An email from Gail Schrott, Director of the International Leaders Program:
GlobalPittsburgh is urgently searching for host families that we need for a program for a group of pharmacy students from Kobe Gakuin University (Japan) who will be participating in an exchange with Duquesne University between March 6 and March 16.

We have a total of 8 female students yet to be placed with host families (out of a total of 18 students). The students, who are between the ages of 18 and 23, will be using bus passes to go to and from their classes and activities. The students will be practicing their English while they are in the city. We are able to provide participating hosts with $150 per student to help offset their expenses for food, etc. Hosts are asked to include the students in their weekend activities, provide breakfasts and dinners on weekdays and also lunches on weekends. The students will be placed in pairs with one student speaking better English than the other so that, collectively, they may communicate more effectively with their hosts. We ask that each student have her own bed; they may share a bedroom or have separate rooms. It is not appropriate to have a student sleeping in a family room or living room on a sofa (where people may walk through). It is okay if the students have to share a bathroom with each other and/or other members of the family. We are able to provide hosts with information about the students' allergies. We have letters to prospective hosts from the students. We ask the hosts to guide their guests to a bus stop location where they may take a bus to the Duquesne campus or to the downtown area where they may then walk to campus.

I look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your consideration of our request. Our colleagues in Japan are extremely eager to learn the names of hosts so that the students may correspond with their homestay hosts in advance of their arrival in Pittsburgh on March 6.

If you are interested in hosting the Japanese medical students please contact me at 412-392-4513 or

Pittsburgh Taiko Beginners Workshop, February 28.

Performance at the University of Pittsburgh, via Pittsburgh Taiko.

Pittsburgh Taiko will hold its annual Beginners Workshop on February 28 for those interested in learning about Japanese drumming.
Over the course of 2.5 hours, you will learn the basic movements and techniques used to play taiko, as well as learn a starter piece that incorporates these playing techniques.

Drumsticks will be provided, as will earplugs (although you’re welcome to bring your own if you have some).
The event runs from 1:30 to 4:00 pm at Winchester Thurston City Campus Lower School in Shadyside (map), and the cost is $15 for Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania members and students, and $25 for others. Registration is required, and can be done so at the Pittsburgh Taiko website.