Monthly Archives: November 2011

Bouncing Cats Documentary!

We were filmed at the Bouncing Cats event for a documentary, and Red Bull posted the footage online. Check it out here:

Bouncing Cats Reunion At Virginia Tech


Bouncing Cats

(Picture by Chad Tangchittsumran)
For our movie night this week, we had another special event! Red Bull Media came to screen Bouncing Cats! Weird title, right? But the title didn’t matter, because we were filmed for a documentary that Red Bull was making, and everyone got to get all hyper off of drinking the free Red Bull that was given out at the door! AND we got more points! Yay for marketing and free stuff and class credit!

Bouncing Cats documents b-boy Crazy Legs as he travels to Uganda. Abraham “Abramz” Tekya has begun a project in Uganda which seeks to unite the country through breakdancing. Though the situation in the country is not great to say the very least, Abramz is empowering the children of Uganda through an unlikely medium: hip-hop. Crazy Legs was invited to teach b-boy classes for this program, and was enlightened about the situation in Uganda, as well as (as we learned after the movie in a Q&A session) important lessons about his own life and how “simple” and “easy” we really have it. Crazy Legs and Abramz did have a lot to say, and they even gave us a breakdancing demo! Photos from the event are below!

Lecture: 11-28-2011

Our second to last lecture of the semester! Topics we discussed included:

  • Hilary Clinton to test Burma’s readiness for reforms
  • Putin was booed at a wrestling match!
  • Rage grips Pakistan over NATO attack. This is the beginning of the end of US relations with Pakistan.
  • Arab League Sanctions could hurt Syria’s regional standing – Is this the end for Asaad?
  • Yemeni President signs deal on ceding power!
  • Japan, continued: How it’s the most “western” eastern state (part two!), how it doesn’t have a military but does have a sweet self defense force, its post-WWII expansion, and how it’s still a player today, but its role is diminishing.
  • Name those Japanese companies and products!
  • Name that person: Japanese or Chinese?

Plaid Art!

Justin Sottile-Jackson made this really cool piece! Thanks, Justin!

Lecture: 11-14-2011

Topics for this lecture included:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi renews calls for the release of political prisoners in Burma!
  • Putin’s approval ratings are at an all-time low of 61%! But that’s still higher than any world leader at the moment!
  • Obama proposes Trans-Pacific Partnership at APEC in Hawaii and breaks the shirt rule! We then laugh at people in funny shirts!
  • Arab press predicts that regional war is possible over Syria
  • Arab League is doing something now – it suspended Syria!
  • Berlusconi steps down! Huzzah!
  • US military to be stationed in Australia – US is refocusing close to all the action in the Pacific.
  • Japan: the culture, earthquakes, why they’re rich even though they don’t have resources, and 6 major things to know about them: how they were the laggard of Asia, the Meiji Restoration, their time as an empire-builder, and how they are the most “western” eastern state.

We never got to the fifth or sixth points because we ran out of time.

Invisible Children

A special event took place on November 8. The class gathered in Burruss Hall for another movie night, but with a twist! We watched Tony, a documentary from a group called Invisible Children. Invisible Children’s goal is to, in short, get rid of a guy named Joseph Kony. Kony leads a terrorist group called the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. The LRA frequently abducts children to fight, with the goal of overthrowing the current Ugandan government. This has caused war in Uganda, and Invisible Children is trying to end that war. Tony provided an overview on the story of Invisible Children and its efforts to as it followed Tony, a child who was affected by the war in Uganda, and his experiences in Uganda as well as his journey in America as he continues to advocate for the organization.

After the movie, there was a question and answer session with one of the co-founders of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, and a Ugandan woman who is a mentor for 25 girls through the program, Stella Mistica. They really showed that the program is impacting the lives of the Ugandan people, be it through radios which alert communities of raids, education to empower the children, or rehabilitation of former LRA abductees into the communities through jobs. VT students broke records for donations to Invisible Children that night as well!

Want to support this cause? Click here!

Ip Man

On November 2, we were supposed to watch Life, Above All, but then Boyer got so many requests for a certain movie that he decided to play the requested movie instead. What was that movie? Ip Man, a 2009 Chinese film (in Chinese!) set in Japanese occupied China. This summary is going to be a bit more opinionated than usual, because I loved it that much. Here goes:

The martial arts film stars Donnie Yen as Yip Man, the most badass man on the planet at the time (1930s China). We’ll call Yip Ip Man from now on. Ip Man knows kung fu. When some out-of towners come and beat all the other martial arts masters, Ip Man comes in and pretty much slaughters them with his mad kung fu skills. From then on, it’s pretty much Ip Man being cool, lots of fight scenes (taking down ten men at once!), and general awesomeness.

Seriously, though, it does depict what life was like for the Chinese during the Period of Humiliation, and was based on a true story. From Japanese police brutality to starvation on the streets, life was horrible for the Chinese, to put it nicely. But in short, it was an action-packed film, also packed with some points for those in attendance!

(And for those who liked it as much as I did, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a sequel!)