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Not enough time in the world to explain everything in this photo.

On the weekend of October 3, I co-facilitated a Startup Weekend for the Blackstone Launchpad powered by Techstars for the University of Texas Austin and Dallas communities. The experience was my first time doing a completely online version. It got me wondering…

What if this is actually better?

Here are some reasons why I think the future could be bright for Virtual Startup Weekend, but only if they’re done properly with the suggested tools. Adding my experience as a serial facilitator here as well to support others wanting to go down this road.

1. You can literally conduct it anywhere


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I love Ranma 1/2. Everyone other anime fan in America as a kid watched either Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z. I obsessed over a show about Japanese teenagers who challenged each other to martial arts bouts and threw cold water on the ones cursed with weird transformations.

It’s awesome.

Someone gave me the idea to do some sort of subjective ranking, and I thought about doing so based on the character’s morality. By the end of this journey, I ended up learning a lot more about the show and why I like it so much. …


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Top row: Joon Kim + Lee Ngo. Bottom row: Anika Kan Grevstad, Ellison Shieh, Selena Yip.

As I deal with the inevitable withdrawal of attending Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) in 2020, I cannot help but gush about my experience and am already planning my next time there.

Here are four reasons why I think you should go, too.

SAAFF is all about community.


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Learn more: saaff.org

I’ve been looking forward to this all year. Seriously. SAAFF is an incredible community of artists, activists, movers, and shakers who come together for four days to celebrate great works from around the world.

SAAFF is small enough so that there’s usually no more than two activities at any given time, but it’s still impossible for someone to full enjoy its precisely curated program. Since I have an all-access pass (I’d encourage you to get one, too — it’s way more fun), I have tough decisions to make.

I’m going to offer my own choices, driven by three conflicting factors:


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“I still don’t feel safe.”

As I write this article, emotions run high over the outcome of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Knowing the process as well as the current political clime, I decided to follow it as little as possible.

Why? A quote from two comedians on Saturday Night Live:

Colin Jost: “Do you think that our political system is broken?”
Michael Che: “Um, no, I think it’s fixed.”

Still, there’s much to gain from the last few months for those who seek it.

Opponents shouldn’t be upset over the outcome.

Anything short of acquittal would have been the greatest turncoat event of the GOP’s history. The senate casted 47 (obstruction of justice) and 48 (abuse of power) votes out of the 67 needed to remove Trump from power.


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From left to right: Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jeong Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, Jeon Jungkook (BTS!!!!)

Hello. My name is Lee Ngo, and I may or may not be addicted to BTS.

What’s BTS?

(WARNING: YOU ARE AT THE EVENT HORIZON. DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON’T WANT TO JUMP INTO THE BLACK HOLE.)

BTS stands for 방탄소년단 (romanized as Bangtan Sonyeondan), which roughly translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts,” but they’ve adopted multiple aliases such as Bangtan Boys and Beyond The Scene.

At first glance, they look like yet another boy band from South Korea comprising of seven spritely young men between ages 22 and 26 (in 2019, international ages): four vocalists, three rappers, all dancers.

Such a description is insufficient. This video, however — pretty thorough.


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Life has been surprisingly eventful for me in 2019. I don’t often read too much into zodiac logics, but it is the Year of the Boar — my year.

Part of me wonders if I thumped my chest a little too much over something that happens once every twelve years. The year has been, well, transformative, with the added stress of life-altering events happening at roughly the same time.

Below are the big three.

I left my “ideal” neighborhood.

In 2018, I moved to a part of Seattle that I coveted for quite some time: the International District. …


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I’ve long anticipated the release of Always Be My Maybe on Netflix, starring Ali Wong and Randall Park and directed by Nahnatchka Khan. Two childhood friends reconnect after sixteen years and explore whether they might be meant to be with one another. Hilarity ensues.

I recommend that everyone watch this film. I’ve come up with six reasons why I did (and three on where the film could have improved.)

ALSO, MASSIVE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT. GO WATCH THE MOVIE ON NETFLIX AND COME BACK. SUPPORT DIVERSITY IN FILM, DANG IT.

What I love about Always Be My Maybe

The charming set up with the kids.
Child actors tend to be terrible to me, but for some reason, they do just fine at the beginning of the film. I especially connected to the realness of being a latch-key kid with hardworking immigrant parents who were never there for me in the evenings. My body was roughly 15% Spam growing up. …


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Source: Flickr.

So news of the Netflix cast is out, and I can’t help but wonder… did they get it right? I have some choices of my own for the four main characters (I don’t care about Vicious, really) that I’d like you to consider as well.

Consider the following criteria:

Aesthetic — irrespective of race, gender, etc., we’re going on how well the choices look and sound compared to the source material. Here, I’m leaning towards the English dubs more for what we’re going for.

HistoricityCowboy Bebop may be a mashup of sci-fi, westerns, and noir genres, but it somehow exists within a recognizable real world. …


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Photo credit: Amazon Black Employee Network (BEN)

I have just made it to my first year as COO of the Greater Foundation (begreater.org). I’ve had a wild ride so far, with some proud successes and certainly a few major hurdles cleared a long the way.

Below are ten lessons I’ve learned along the way, mostly through trial by fire.

1. Fundraising is about who you know. Period.

Until my thirties, I’ve lived close to the poverty line. If I ever donated anything, it was my time, volunteering for causes I believed in. Now that I’ve a disposable income, I find myself in a position to give, and do what I can.

What is it like to be able to truly give? I’ve attended a few fundraisers now where people are asked to give in the tens of thousands, and they can and will. Who are these people, and how can I make them my friends?

About

Lee Ngo

Write with intention. Think with compassion.

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