Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
for some reason, this video reminded me of one of my father's awkward aphorisms: "don't give up. continue to beat yourself!" obviously, by "beat," he meant best. but i like beat better.
my words of advice to this black ninja: "continue to beat yourself!"
Friday, May 25, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I'm moving back to Harlem but I feel like I'm entering Harlem v.2.1 All the blocks look like they've received updates, almost like automatic updates on your computer. Everyday something new keeps cropping up or coming down. will harlem's face lifts beat michael jackson's?
The most obvious change seems to be housing. Since my initial move in 2004, it seems like every avenue and every block has a new condo (with awesome names like SoHa118, The Amanda, The Blake). The NYTimes had an article about buying up in Harlem and everyone is buzzing about what's new and under construction.
The concentration of most of these changes are from 110th street up till 135th Street, from St.Nick's Avenue to 5th Avenue. here's my quick little map of new condos I've noticed in my neighborhood.
You can get a thorough list here.
It's alarming to see the process happen so quickly over the past 3 years. The condos, the big stores, the banks, and now, a medical school.
I have no doubt that this medical school will do wonders for the health of Harlem. The mission of the school is to train and to serve minority populations, particularly in Harlem.
i have a sneaky suspicion that though this might be a nice goal, there may be a lot of damage done to get there.
The new Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TOUROCOM), slated to open in the fall of 2007, will be New York's first new medical school in nearly 30 years and the first osteopathic college of medicine with a special emphasis on training minority doctors.
"There is a need for a medical school in New York City to serve minority populations and the underprivileged," said Dr. Lander. "TOUROCOM will function as an integral part of the New York City/Harlem community and work with the community, local schools and other colleges and universities to promote the increased availability of medical services in Harlem, the study of medicine, and to deliver osteopathic medical services in a variety of settings."
So far, the school has received 800 applications for an opening class of 125, but few of the applicants are qualified minorities -- a problem that the College aims to rectify. It plans to recruit from minority populations, working with elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools in Harlem to encourage students to major in science and consider a medical career. Most clinical training will take place in Harlem and other underserved areas. Graduates will be encouraged to remain in Harlem to practice medicine.
According to school officials, the percentage of medical students of African-American and Hispanic backgrounds is very low and getting lower, and the number of American-trained medical residents in Harlem area hospitals is well below 50 percent. Additionally, Harlem has been designated by the federal government as an area short in physicians, according to a report by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Source: Prime Newswire
20 years earlier:
people's forecasts of gentrification in harlem
IT is not the first struggle over the gentrification of Harlem and it certainly won't be the last, but new battle lines in the war were drawn last week when David N. Dinkins, the Manhattan Borough President, condemned a city plan to turn over 45 empty buildings there to a white construction company to develop 900 units of new housing.
Mr. Dinkins said the proposal ''opens the way for widespread gentrification of Harlem with no promise of improvement for present residents.''
''If you talk to 10 different people in Harlem about white gentrification, you're going to hear 10 different versions,'' said Mr. Brooker. ''I don't see a white takeover. There are isolated incidents of whites buying brownstones in certain neighborhoods, but they are limited in numbers to such an extent that they in no way could be considered a gentrification threat. It's inevitable that you're going to see whites moving in, as the area stabilizes itself, looking for the bargain that Harlem is. That's just good economic sense.''
Still, while the city and churches and civic-minded development companies struggle to refurbish and erect affordable housing, be it condominium or rental, other owners and investors continue to play the real-estate speculation game. Both blacks and whites are holding privately owned buildings off the market or flipping them repeatedly in anticipation of that gentrification potential that has made many local residents at once hopeful and scared.
''I have mixed emotions,'' said Inez Dickens-Russell, who, with her father, owns Lloyd E. Dickens Real Estate, a successful family business based in Harlem since 1925. ''Economically, it will raise our base, yes, but how many of us will be able to stay? I feel safe in Harlem. I don't know if I'd feel safe in a white neighborhood.''
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
wait, but isn't menstruation connected to pregnancy?
I'm not one for conspiracy theories but is this just another scam to give more money to pharmaceutical companies to put poison into our bodies and manage nature?
FDA approves first pill meant to end periods
The first birth-control pill meant to put a stop to women’s monthly periods indefinitely won federal approval Tuesday.
Called Lybrel, it’s the first such pill to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for continuous use. When taken daily, the pill can halt women’s menstrual periods indefinitely and prevent pregnancies.
Lybrel is the latest approved oral contraceptive to depart from the 21-days-on, seven-days-off regimen that had been standard since birth-control pill sales began in the 1960s. The pill, manufactured by Wyeth, is the first designed to put off periods altogether when taken without break.
The pill isn’t for everyone, an FDA official said. About half the women enrolled in studies of Lybrel dropped out, said Dr. Daniel Shames, a deputy director in the FDA’s drugs office. Many did so because of the irregular and unscheduled bleeding and spotting that can replace scheduled menstruation.
“If you think you don’t want to go down this road, this is not for you,” Shames told reporters.
Wyeth plans to start Lybrel sales in July. The Madison, N.J., company said it hasn’t yet determined a price for the 28-pill packs. The pill contains a low dose of two hormones already widely used in birth-control pills, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel.
A study showed Lybrel was just as effective in preventing pregnancy as a traditional pill, Alesse, also made by Wyeth. However, since Lybrel users will eliminate their regular periods, it may be difficult for them to recognize if they have become pregnant, Shames said.
It is, then, not surprising that when it was proposed that America should invade Iraq with the goal of establishing democracy there, Obama knew that it would be a terrible mistake. This was American innocence at its most destructive, freedom at its most deceptive, universalism at its most naïve. “There was a dangerous innocence to thinking that we would be greeted as liberators, or that with a little bit of economic assistance and democratic training you’d have a Jeffersonian democracy blooming in the desert,” he says now. “There is a running thread in American history of idealism that can express itself powerfully and appropriately, as it did after World War II with the creation of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan, when we recognized that our security and prosperity depend on the security and prosperity of others. But the same idealism can express itself in a sense that we can remake the world any way we want by flipping a switch, because we’re technologically superior or we’re wealthier or we’re morally superior. And when our idealism spills into that kind of naïveté and an unwillingness to acknowledge history and the weight of other cultures, then we get ourselves into trouble, as we did in Vietnam.”
“I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist,” he says. “I’ve never believed there are a bunch of people out there who are pulling all the strings and pressing all the buttons. And the reason is that the older I get, the more time I spend meeting people in government or in the corporate arena, the more human everybody becomes. What I do believe is that those with money, those with influence, those with control over how resources are allocated in our society, are very protective of their interests, and they can rationalize infinitely the reasons why they should have more money and power than anyone else, why that’s somehow good for the society as a whole.”
Monday, May 21, 2007
asian americans are largely absent from mainstream media, except for a small handful of caricatures (i just came across one this weekend: sandra oh, in a small side role in _waking the dead_ as the "korean whore" - that is what she is referred to, broken korean accent and all), so it's weird to have the large gaps about such a large, diverse group of people filled in with these droplets...about depression and suicide no less.
not that depression and other mental/emotional problems should be invisible. obviously, people, especially adoloscents - especially adolescents whose experiences in this country may be all the more complicated because of their ethnic background - need the spaces and support to decompress. in order to do that, we neeed to talk about what the problems are. however, the brief mentions of academic pressure, gendered socialization and expectations, and racial identity formation/confusion are only brief mentions. perhaps more could be understood about the challenges adolescents face if these sources could be more closely examined....
.. . . . .. .. . . . . .. . . . .. .
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- One evening in 1990, Eliza Noh hung up the phone with her sister. Disturbed about the conversation, Noh immediately started writing a letter to her sister, a college student who was often depressed. "I told her I supported her, and I encouraged her," Noh says.
But her sister never read the letter. By the time it arrived, she'd killed herself.
Moved by that tragedy, Noh has spent much of her professional life studying depression and suicide among Asian-American women. An assistant professor of Asian-American studies at California State University at Fullerton, Noh has read the sobering statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services: Asian-American women ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of women in any race or ethnic group in that age group. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Asian-American women in that age range. (Watch more about Asian-Americans' feelings of pressure to hide depression )
Depression starts even younger than age 15. Noh says one study has shown that as young as the fifth grade, Asian-American girls have the highest rate of depression so severe they've contemplated suicide.
As Noh and others have searched for the reasons, a complex answer has emerged.
First and foremost, they say "model minority" pressure -- the pressure some Asian-American families put on children to be high achievers at school and professionally -- helps explain the problem.
Push to achieve tied to suicide in Asian-American women
By Elizabeth Cohen
"In my study, the model minority pressure is a huge factor," says Noh, who studied 41 Asian-American women who'd attempted or contemplated suicide. "Sometimes it's very overt -- parents say, 'You must choose this major or this type of job' or 'You should not bring home As and Bs, only As," she says. "And girls have to be the perfect mother and daughter and wife as well."
Family pressure often affects girls more than boys, according to Dr. Dung Ngo, a psychologist at Baylor University in Texas. "When I go talk to high school students and ask them if they experience pressure, the majority who raised their hands were the girls," he said.
Asian-American parents, he says, are stricter with girls than with boys. "The cultural expectations are that Asian women don't have that kind of freedom to hang out, to go out with friends, to do the kinds of things most teenagers growing up want to do."
And in Asian cultures, he added, you don't question parents. "The line of communication in Asian culture one way. It's communicated from the parents downward," he says. "If you can't express your anger, it turns to helplessness. It turns inward into depression for girls. For boys it's more likely to turn outwards into rebellious behavior and behavioral problems like drinking and fighting."
But Noh says pressure from within the family doesn't completely explain the shocking suicide statistics for young women like her sister.
She says American culture has adopted the myth that Asians are smarter and harder-working than other minorities.
"It's become a U.S.-based ideology, popular from the 1960s onward, that Asian-Americans are smarter, and should be doing well whether at school or work."
Noh added that simply being a minority can also lead to depression.
"My sister had a really low self-image. She thought of herself as ugly," she says. "We grew up in Houston in the '70s and '80s, and at that time in school there were very few Asian faces. The standard of beauty she wanted to emulate was white women." In college, Noh's sister had plastic surgery to make her eyes and nose appear more European-looking.
Heredity, Noh says, also plays a role. She says in her study, many of the suicidal women had mothers who were also suicidal. She says perhaps it's genetic -- some biochemical marker handed down from mother to daughter -- or perhaps it's the daughter observing the mother's behavior. "It makes sense. You model yourself after the parent of the same gender."
As varied as the causes of depression, Noh says she saw just as many approaches to overcoming it.
While some women in her study did seek help through counseling and prescription drugs, most of her subjects were ambivalent or even negative about counseling. "They felt the counselor couldn't understand their situation. They said it would have helped if the counselor were another Asian-American woman."
These women found help through their religious faith, herbs, acupuncture, or becoming involved in groups that help other Asian women.
"It shows the resourcefulness of these women," she says. "They had really diverse healing strategies."
Elizabeth Cohen is a CNN Medical News correspondent. Senior producer Jennifer Pifer and associate producer Sabriya Rice contributed to this report.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
i'm sure this kid is going to have a phobia for breakdancers for the rest of his/her life.
as a form of public service, here is a link that will direct and assist any chorophobic to a path of healing:
Chorophobia: Treatment and Hope
"If you are living with chorophobia, what is the real cost to your health, your career or school, and to your family life? Avoiding the issue indefinitely would mean resigning yourself to living in fear, missing out on priceless life experiences big and small, living a life that is just a shadow of what it will be when the problem is gone.
For anyone earning a living, the financial toll of this phobia is incalculable. Living with fear means you can never concentrate fully and give your best. Lost opportunities. Poor performance or grades. Promotions that pass you by. chorophobia will likely cost you tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime, let alone the cost to your health and quality of life. Now Chorophobia can be gone for less than the price of a round-trip airline ticket."
...my 58-year-old catholic mother would of thought of this as an annual gathering of New York City Satan worshippers...
...but it was simply a joyous congregation of arcade fire fans, presided by the ever holy david bowie....
...who failed to make his much anticipated appearance...
the first guy is saying, "mahn-sae!"
i wish i had something more substantive to share on this inauguration night, but alas, this is all i've got for now. more soon...