All posts by Michelle

North Korea cuts all ties with South Korea

South Korean conservatives during an anti-North Korea rally in Seoul. Photo from Getty Images.

After an international report blamed North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship, North Korea is to cut all relations with South Korea. The North is also expelling workers from a jointly run industrial park near DMZ. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States stands firmly behind South Korea. She will be in Seoul for talks tomorrow.

Share your thoughts.

Skin Whitening Creams Contain Toxic Mercury


An alarming report from The Chicago Tribune: Some creams promising to lighten skin contain high levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems.

The Tribune sent 50 jars of cream purchased at stores across Chicago or online to a lab for testing. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law. Of those, five had more than 6,000 parts per million — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to a medical expert.

The six that tested high were manufactured in Lebanon, China, India, Pakistan and Taiwan. Here’s a graphic showing the specific products containing the toxic metal.

East Asians and Asian Americans have long slathered on facial whitening products as dark skin is considered unrefined in many cultures. Women of all ethnicities use the products to lighten age spots and freckles.

uring its investigation, t

The six creams that tested high in the Tribune tests were manufactured in Lebanon, China, India, Pakistan and Taiwan.

Laura Ling Breaks Her Silence

Laura and Lisa Ling have been on media circuit, making appearances on Oprah, Larry King Live and NPR. After a year of silence, they’re detailing their dual experiences with Laura’s imprisonment in North Korea, and promoting their new book about the five-month ordeal called Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other Sister’s Fight to Bring Her Home.

On Oprah, Laura, who is now pregnant, said that she gave her North Korean captors the confession they “wanted to hear.” She said it was the most difficult decision.

“I was told if you confess there may be forgiveness and if you’re not frank, if you don’t confess, then the worst could happen,” she said.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seem that Laura’s colleague and fellow prisoner Euna Lee has not yet spoken out.

KAs on TV: A Recap

I’ll admit this post is embarrassingly behind since most of you get your TV news, like, before shows even air, but I figured it would still be fun to do a roundup. So many KAs on the tube these days! Which shows do you watch or want to watch? Let’s dish.

Glee‘s Jenna Ushkowitz speaks!
No surprise to anyone who knows me but this is a show I watch religiously. What?

It’s great that there are two semi-prominent Asian Americans in the cast (Jenna and Harry Shum Jr.) but it always annoyed me that they are pretty much mute. Jenna, aka Tina Cohen-Chang, apparently faked a stuttering problem for the first nine episodes but this came as a surprise to me because she rarely spoke. Well, last week, she had some legit airtime as the girlfriend of Artie (Kevin McHale), whose dream is to rise from his wheelchair and become a dancer. What did you think of her role?

P.S. Check out her photo in ELLE magazine. RowR.

Goodbye Lost.
I wish I could say I’m part of the Lost cult but I stopped watching after the polar bears. I did watch the death of Sun and Jin (Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim) on YouTube and boy, it was as dramatic as a Korean soap. Here it is in case you missed it.

Coming in the fall: the remake of Hawaii Five-O
Check out the preview, featuring Daniel Dae Kim as squad member Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park as his bikini-clad cousin, who at 01:12, emerges from ocean to punch a dude in the face. We like this show already.

Think you’ll watch?

The Korean Food Dictionary App


Attention iPhone and iPad users. Here’s an app that looks mmm, mmm good.

The Korean Food Dictionary contains more than 130 of Korea’s most exciting foods and beverages, from the classic (bulgogi) to the unusual (bundaeggi: silk worm larva). Search by category, taste, photo or name (Korean or English). There are recipes that you try at home and even a Korean phrases section so you can order food at restaurants and indicate if you would like it prepared in a special way.

The app is $1.99 on iTunes.

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Has the fro-yo craze gone sour?

The little shop that started it all — the original Pinkberry in West Hollywood — stopped swirling last week after five years of business.

Do you remember the peak of the Pinkberry frenzy? Folks waited hours for a taste of what became known as “Crackberry.” The company’s success spawned countless clones and even led to some fro-yo fueds.

The West Hollywood location will be transformed into a “Pinkberry Support Center.” According to LA Weekly, Pinkberry reps cite the notorious scarcity of parking spaces and the volume of close by locations as reasons for closing its doors.

But perhaps the trend is simply melting away. Fans of tangy frozen yogurt still enjoy it, but the excitement has definitely died down. Fro-yo heads, care to prove me wrong?