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21st Century Boy now invites you to join its staff. We want those who share our curiosity for Asia’s emerging role on the global stage. You will help us cover East Asia and the Asian diaspora, on a variety of topics including pop culture, society, culture, design, and the Internet.

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The Tiananmen Mothers revealed this week that Chinese authorities approached the family of a 1989 Tiananmen protest victim with an offer of compensation.

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A recent YouTube video caught a masked female crusader distributing food and money to poor residents in the city. Even her family, whom she says is well known in higher social circles, doesn’t know about her antics.

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True story? North Korea’s Chosun Central TV has apparently released a survey conducted in its own country, ranking North Korea as the second happiest nation in the world.

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William Hsu interviews Misa Chien about her burgeoning Nom Nom Truck empire. What does it take to break into the food truck business? What is it about Vietnamese banh mi cuisine that’s so appealing? And what does “nom nom” actually mean?

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Actor and musician Jimmy Wong has received a good deal of attention on the Internet for his musical response to Alexandra Wallace’s YouTube tirade against Asians in the library. 21CB recently chatted with Jimmy about the controversy, racial representation, and his Internet fame.

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Listen to Asian-American singer-songwriter Dawen perform Rebecca Black’s YouTube “hit” song “Friday” in this new acoustic, Chinese language cover.

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Filmmaker Sirma Doruk‘s short clip Hong Kong gives a glimpse into a different side of the city, complete with fantastic use of color grading and disorienting glitch music. (h/t 21CB reader Larry)

What if K-pop artists like SNSD, Wonder Girls, and KARA were world nations? South Korean netizens have taken on this thought exercise, drawing analogies between the situations of their favorite girl groups and those of various countries.

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China’s central bank has released new figures showing that its foreign-exchange reserves surpassed $3 trillion at the end of March. To put that number into perspective, The Economist did a little fantasy window-shopping for the PRC:
China’s central bank has a lot of money but not a lot of imagination… Instead of the [U.S.] dollar, China might fancy the euro. China could buy all of the outstanding sovereign debt of Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece, solving the euro area’s debt crisis in a trice. And it would still have almost half of its reserves left over.
(The Economist via Reddit)