Friday, November 21, 2008

Yay Frogs!

So Pine Magazine issued a challenge to its readers a couple of weeks ago: take the Frog Leap Test (an exercise they say is used to test spatial reasoning, it seems), pass it, take a screenshot, and send it to them. I did it on the second try.

Now, this program may be used with Chinese students, but I doubt that their ability to solve it at a young age means “smarter than” compared to at least the Pine Mag. editors. It’s probably just a matter of how much training you have in spatial reasoning. Perhaps the students get a focus on this earlier than students with other nation’s curricula.

Still, I cringe at the thought of someone to suggest that my being able to solve the puzzle (see below) is due to my being Chinese American. Paranoia? Perhaps. But this twisted logic is hardly absent from discussion in an American society that seems to be experiencing an upswing in xenophobic thought. As usual, I’ll slough off this thought, though.

In my case, years of learning according to the NYC specialized math and science curriculum probably helped condition me to find this a rather straightforward exercise.

Whatever the case, I’m pleased! Woohoo!

Here's my screenshot:


The solution is:
Y (yellow)1 - R (red) 1 - R2 - Y1 - Y2 - Y3 - R1 - R2 - R3 - Y1 - Y2 - Y3 - R2 - R3 - Y3

Friday, November 14, 2008

New York Times Hoax Fit To Prank

article by NYCity News Service Staff
video reported by Heather Chin

In this piece, a team of reporters from the NY City News Service canvassed New York subway stations hit by volunteers distributing a faux special edition of The New York Times, declaring the Iraq War over, among other liberal utopian headlines.
I shot the accompanying video piece.

For the original article and video, go here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Election Night Festivities Unite New Yorkers

(previously published here at

In the evening hours before results of the 2008 Presidential Election were announced, people around the country gathered outside to wait for news and celebrate whatever outcome resulted. In New York, the main gatherings were in Harlem and Times Square, each area filling up with hundreds and even thousands of revelers.

In Manhattan’s Times Square, a festive atmosphere reigned as poll results trickled in on the outdoor jumbo screens. And amidst the neon lights, crowds erupted into cheers, whoops, car honks and all-around exuberance when Barack Obama was announced as the President-Elect of the United States of America.

In a city where strangers can go entire rides on the subway without acknowledging one another, people of all ages, backgrounds and histories blended together in a jubilant mass, posing for photos with each other and hugging and smiling at one another. The atmosphere was akin to a New Year’s party, but with a uniting theme: hope, change and a new future.

Click on the image above for a slideshow of the night's festivities.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The "Mayor" of Midwood: Educating Leaders of ALL Kinds

By Heather Chin

Some residents in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood have already chosen their president: Daniel Dory, a local 23-year-old who previously served as unofficial “mayor” of their street.

Danny, as everyone calls him, has trisomy 21 Down Syndrome, where each gene has an extra chromosome. But his outgoing and independent personality, combined with a love of life and all the people in it, make him a natural friend and leader. They also challenge commonly held public preconceptions about what someone with this most common of genetic conditions is capable of achieving in life.

Sarah Palin’s nomination as the Republican vice presidential candidate promised to broaden that awareness. As Americans met the Alaska Governor and her family, including her newborn son Trig, who has Down Syndrome, Gov. Palin declared that if she and John McCain were elected, families of special needs children would have “a friend in the White House.” In that large and tight-knit community whose voices often go unheeded, such promises have sparked contrasting feelings of hope and circumspection.

Read the rest of the article here...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Young Voters Speak: "I Want Change"

by Heather Chin, Igor Kossov, Lindsay Lazarski, Nicholas Martinez, Xiaomara Martinez-White, Rachel Senatore and Jeanmarie Evelly

(previously published at

Young New Yorkers responded to Obama’s calls for hope and change by trooping to the polls to cast their first votes. We asked some of them to tell us their stories and what they expect from the new administration.

Cleo Crooks
• Eighteen-year-old Cleo Crooks had a lot to do on Election Day. After G.E.D. and job-training classes, she had to pick up her niece from school, possibly take a shift as a cashier at the staffing agency where she works, and still find the time to vote.