kpop: let’s talk about cars.

been thinking about kpop.  people i know in the entertainment industry keep telling me that “asians are in” right now.  not sure what that means… but it got me thinking.  i was recently reading a discussion about influential kpop acts of the last decade, and acts like Epik High and BoA were mentioned.  when i watch these performances,  i have to wonder… what is “asian” about them?  basically what i take away is that koreans have paid attention to western pop, hip hop, r and b, etc.  we understand at some level how to perform in that place.  this stuff is professional grade.  the ability of the artists is not in question.

and?

the birth of the japanese auto industry is a remarkable thing to read about.  their year over year improvements in quality happened very quickly.  (btw, if you have the time, the history of the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont California is quite an eye opener.)  now we are at the point where people won’t bat an eye if you want to compare a lexus to a bmw.  in fact, they are both considered luxury brands.  the differences often have to do with what are perceived as conscious decisions to define a brand.  for better or worse, there is a “feel” to a japanese luxury automobile which is distinctive from a european brand.  do we see this in the burgeoning kpop scene?  i feel like we’ve passed the first step- we mimic well, and in doing so, demonstrate understanding.  these kpop acts are talented artists and are able to create original works.  i can’t call these performances entirely derivative.  so maybe this isn’t a fair question.

but i can’t help but wonder, can the asian culture add something to the mix?  i’m sure justin timberlake doesn’t want to be perceived as a white michael jackson….but the comparison acknowledges the influence.   is the day coming when a black or white artist will be known as the next BoA?  i wonder.

enough with the antibacterials everywhere

i’m constantly harping on everyone including my S.O. to stop with all the antibacterials.  instead of helping with anything, most of that stuff is just washing down our drains and messing up dolphins in the ocean.  it drives me crazy to see these militant moms running around practically coating their kids in antibacterial gels.  they don’t seem to get that we are covered by bacteria- most of which is actually helpful to us.  it seems like no one is pointing out how overuse of antibacterials mostly just results in tougher bad bacteria and kids with immune systems that are never challenged to develop properly.  i’m not even going to get into how this may relate to autoimmune disorders.

just came across some research that i found pretty fascinating.  it turns out that killing all the bacteria might quite literally be the stupid thing to do.

fyi- it is not just hype

for some reason i get a lot of questions about the ipad.  by far, the most popular question is “isn’t it just a big ipod touch?”

understandable.  but really what people seem to want to know is what additional functionality they would get over an ipod/iphone.   a complete answer is more than i’m willing to take on today.  let me simply say the ipad should end up being worth the cost if you already use the internet at home.

it comes down to convenience and utility.  anyone who already pays to have internet service at home nowadays is very likely to have a wifi network.  if you are already paying for service, with the ipad actually using that service becomes much more convenient.  you already have an inkling of what i mean if you have an ipod touch or iphone.  these devices give near instant access and can be used with ease wherever you have wifi signal. where the ipad sets itself apart is in its utility.  having a large, portable touchscreen makes the ipad so useful it is actually the best web surfng device for many situations.

example: last night, in bed, i realized i had not completed my todo list.  i was supposed to review a user manual for a hiking gps, but had forgotten to.  without even getting out of bed, i picked up the ipad from the nightstand and found the online pdf file for that user manual.  i then reviewed it on the spot, from my bed.  i read it a  full page at a time, with no need to zoom around on a tiny screen and no need to boot up a laptop.

this device is truly a new way to surf the web, and is a real improvement.  and yes, that claimed 10 hour battery life is legit.