Posts by Vera H-C Chan

  • Top 10 News Stories of 2013

    Year in Review 1 yr ago
  • Top 10 Obsessions of 2013

    Vera H-C Chan at Year in Review 1 yr ago

    How do you measure obsession?

    At Yahoo, we look at concepts that not only had big search averages, but accelerated fast up the search charts. In lists pasts, obsessions have revolved around contentious figures (Tiger Mom), infectious dances (Gangnam style), coveted gadgets (iPhone), economic demands (mortgage rates) and the weirdly inexplicable (planking).

    [Related: Scroll through the 2013 Obsessions slideshow]

    Speaking of hypersexuality, readers of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy — which made Yahoo's 2012 Obsessions list — took the news that the bondage romance was cinema-bound with lustful enthusiasm: Virtual casting fantasies honed in on celebs like Matt Bomer and Ian Somerhalder as millionaire Christian Grey. Charlie Hunnam resisted then accepted the role but bailed out before he ever got to the Red Room of Pain. Jamie Dornan ended up opposite Dakota Johnson, but the movie was delayed anyway for a Valentine 2015 release.

  • Not the top 10 news stories of 2013

    Vera H-C Chan at Year in Review 1 yr ago

    We here at Yahoo like making lists out of chaos. As 2013 closes out, we're back with Top 10 rankings of searches, news, obsessions and more. But sometimes, what doesn't make a Top 10 list can be as intriguing as the frontrunners.

    You didn't have to dig too deep, though, to find corporate largesse didn't quite translate to robust hiring, and that inflated home prices could be traced to scarce housing supply. Another big anchor dragging the economy — and country — down: paralysis on the Hill.

    [Related: Scroll through our Top 10 News stories slideshow]

    [Read more from tech columnist Rob Walker: Whistlehacking in the surveillance age]

  • Top 10 Searches of 2013

    Vera H-C Chan at Year in Review 1 yr ago

    We here at Yahoo have been ranking the top searches since 2001, our way of providing snapshots into our collective fascinations and fixations from the year. In 2013, quite a few familiar faces return to our annual list of Top 10 Searches, although you wouldn't be blamed for not quite recognizing them. Whether they were coming of age or coming into motherhood, the celebrities who made the list all went through a startling metamorphosis in 2013.

    While the 2013 list isn't as news-heavy as last year, when "elections" and "political polls" dominated search terms, people weren't just ogling actors and musicians. Online focus homed in on the Obamacare rollout, a murder trial and — one more time — a smartphone.

    [Related: Get an eyeful with 2013 Top 10 Searches on Yahoo slideshow]

    [Related: Anchorman Ron Burgundy reads Yahoo Searches of the Year]

  • Exclusive: Asiana Airlines passenger describes crash, calm amidst chaos

    Vera H-C Chan at The Lookout 1 yr ago

    Wendell Hom trained at a Yongmudo martial art camp in Seoul, went diving and surfing in Bali and took muay thai boxing classes in Bangkok. "It's been a month," he posted from Thailand on his Facebook account. "The adventure ends and it's time to go home."

    Not quite.

    Hom, a senior software engineer at a Silicon Valley company, was a passenger on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 when it crashed-landed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. He walked away from the crash unscathed and told his story to Yahoo News in an exclusive interview on Monday.

    The flight itself, Hom told Yahoo News, had been uneventful. As passengers and crew prepared for landing, Hom could see the San Francisco Bay from his aisle seat, 15D. "We were going down and then it did seem like we were a little too close to the water," he recalls. The plane touched down with a thud—nothing that he hadn't felt before. Then, Hom says, "everything went crazy."

    He said he remembers focusing on finding his footwear and noticing that his middle-row seatmates had put on the breathing masks although the air wasn't smoky.

  • The fight over what grief means

    Vera H-C Chan at The Lookout 1 yr ago

    By Vera H-C Chan

    How much is too much grief? And how long do you wait before you decide?

    Among all the changes in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the most controversial may have been removing the so-called "bereavement exclusion." The proposal galvanized what the New York Times dubbed a "bitter skirmish" over what depression means, inspired petitions, and roused a former DSM-IV task force chair to call its removal a "dreadful mistake that flies in the face of clinical common sense."

    Acrimony aside, most in the debate agree that you can't put a clock on sorrow. There's little argument that grief and major depression are two different things, and that grief lessens its intensity over time while major depression is a recurring disorder.

  • Great Headphones for Under $40

    Vera H-C Chan at Yahoo On the Road 1 yr ago

    So you didn't score tickets for Yahoo! On the Road. Watching live-stream concerts on your iPhone may be the next best thing, but you may have noticed that your headsets aren't doing your music much justice. And these days, Dr. Dre has convinced the masses that they need to lay out anywhere between $200 to $1,000 for a set of headphones (a million, if you want yours diamond-encrusted) for seriously deep bass. But we understand, you may be prone to mutilating or losing your set, and, you're saving up for a bikini wax for the summer season.

  • SPORTS: How to get away with watching March Madness in the office

    Vera H-C Chan at The Upshot 1 yr ago

    Sure, your workplace will let you do an NCAA tournament office pool. Allow a little bit of smack talk about Notre Dame's leprechaun camouflage uniforms. Maybe some gung-ho boss will go as far as corralling saggy-bottomed minions to a game of after-hour hoops, in the misguided spirit of a team-bonding-cum-CPR-training exercise. But watch March Madness during business hours? Not unless you fill out your application for the local Dairy Queen at the same time.

    Then again, we're living in 2013, the era of auto-flush toilets and military drones. Don't tell me you can't sneak in some NCAA action without getting caught. The easiest way of course is to charge up the battery the night before, slip the phone somewhere inconspicuous, and work on stifling whoops of delight as you stream NCAA.com/march-madness-live from Yahoo! Sports. (Don't forget your cable log-in.)

  • Analysis: Women leaving extreme faiths

    Vera H-C Chan at Yahoo News 1 yr ago

    When Megan Phelps-Roper—heir apparent to the notorious Westboro Baptist Church founded by her grandfather Fred Phelps—left with her younger sister Grace in November, they joined that rare population of women who leave extreme faiths.

    Indeed, more women are more likely to be cast out—like former WBC follower Lauren Drain, whose memoir comes out this week. Experts say to an extreme faith — be they cults or fringe elements — there is only us vs. them, chosen vs. unenlightened, saved vs. sinners. To leave is to forgo community, structure, kin and perhaps one's eternal soul. Leaving meant "sadness, and Hell, and destruction, and losing the only family, friends, faith, truth I'd ever known," Phelps-Roper recently wrote. "It simply wasn't on the table."

  • Hard lessons from record-low law school applications

    Vera H-C Chan at Yahoo News 1 yr ago

    To paraphrase the Bard: The first thing we do, let's kill all the law school applicants.

    A matter of law degrees: chronic underemployment The Great Recession can't take all the blame. Critics have argued that schools have been pumping out an oversupply of lawyers as far back as the 1970s. Longtime watchdogs see the problems of law school as a microcosm of the larger and "growing disconnect" between labor market needs and college education.

    UCLA School of Law graduate Marc Gans considers himself one of the luckier graduates from the class of 2012, thanks to his job as a law clerk. Nevertheless, he started delving into employment numbers out of frustration over what he describes, in a conversation with Yahoo, as "a messed-up system."

    For those holding an acceptance letter in their hand, here's a grimly humorous video, from 2010, that lays out whether law school's worth the money.