Have a good weekend, folks.
Have a good weekend, folks.
Have a good Sunday, people.
For this edition of the open thread, I would note that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said a 15-year-old boy who died on Tuesday from injuries sustained in last year’s anti-government protests had links to terrorism (link). Of course Erdogan had to take a swipe at this kid since thousands turned out in the streets to protest his unjust death (link). Mind you, this is the *same* Erdogan that put scads of Turkish scientists, military, scholars, etcetera, in jail over phony treason charges (additional link) and has had allies and family members tied to money laundering and corruption charges.
This open thread is dedicated to that primordial cure for the boredom that strikes before real Spring weather comes. Mind you, the stuff in the green bottles is the cheap version and if you want a better experience, you should try these. Also this youtube piece should remind everyone of the dangers of using drum machines and soju together.
Have a lovely March 1 holiday weekend, folk.
And on a completely unrelated note, I’d like to say that Russian militia groups seem to dress a lot better than their American counterparts.
I figured the Kim Yuna thread was going so well, we didn’t need a separate Open Thread. But just in case you need one, here it is.
Lovely Saturday morning in Seoul. Hope it holds.
Have a good weekends, folks.
The times sure have changed. Getting around Seoul and Korea can be fun and for some, relaxing, as per Jodi Kantor’s fluff piece for the NY Times on spas (bathhouses) in South Korea.
We here at the Marmot’s Hole wish you all a happy Year of the Horse and a safe and joyous Lunar New Year holiday.
In the meantime, I’ll post some links sent by kind readers for your reading and commenting enjoyment:
- You’ll never look at sujebi the same way again (HT to Coco):
The 18 operators of a high-end escort service allegedly banking on Super Bowl week to deliver “party packs” of cocaine and prostitutes have been charged with drug and sex trafficking, New York authorities said Thursday.
Schneiderman said the ring involved thousands of clients and hundreds of prostitutes, primarily women from Korea brought by ring members to the United States.
Intercepted conversations involving the ring revealed that it used various code names for cocaine, including “party,” “jewelry,” “powder,” “maek” and “Soojaebi,” a Korean noodle and vegetable soup, the statement said. The prostitutes delivered the cocaine to the customers in what was referred to as a “party pack.”
In its headline on the same story, Yonhap refers to an “Asian prostitution ring,” and writes “Most of the arrested were Asian immigrants, and as they used sujebi as a word for cocaine, we cannot exclude the possibility that some are Koreans.”
Yes, I’d agree it’s difficult to exclude that possibility. At least at the current juncture.
To be fair, Yonhap quotes mostly from the AP report—which contains fewer details about the accused—and judging from the names of the 18 accused, one or two might not be Korean.
- The Daily Mail ran a piece about a woman, “allegedly a reporter on a South Korean TV channel,” who really screwed herself up with plastic surgery (HT to BK):
A South Korean woman has been accused of ‘ruining her face’ after ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of her plastic surgery procedure spread online.
The unnamed woman, allegedly a reporter on a South Korean TV channel, has undergone jaw surgery in order to achieve the dainty heart-shaped face desired by many east Asian women.
South Koreans currently have more plastic surgery than in any other country according to recent figures, with the craze particularly popular among 19 to 49-year-olds.
The result of the procedure is an unusually pointed chin, and the reactions on a Japanese online forum did not hold back.
The Daily Mail got the piece from this website, which got it from an Japanese online forum.
Now, I’m not surprised that this would go viral on a Japanese forum—spreading sordid stories about Korea comes second only to watching tentacle rape porn as the favorite activity of the Wa netizen. It is a bit odd, though, that one of the most widely read newspapers in the world would run such a poorly sourced and verified story. Even if it is the Daily Mail.
For something a bit more intelligent on the plastic surgery issue, read TheKorean’s latest post on the subject.
- Speaking of Japanese asshats—a category that would seemingly cover much of the Japanese diplomatic corps nowadays, it would seem—Wa ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki is unhappy about a special exhibit on the Comfort Women at the Angoulême International Comics Festival:
Japanese Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki expressed regret over the event, and the Japanese government plans to hand out brochures to visitors explaining Japan’s stance on the issue.
“It is regrettable that a manga festival aimed at promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding is instead used for a political cause,” Suzuki told French media on Wednesday.
You can read more about the exhibit here. The festival is partially sponsored by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
If moaning from Japanese diplomats isn’t enough to turn your frown upside down, it gets better—according to MBC, not only did Japanese pressure to stop the exhibit fail hard, but a Japanese exhibit that distorted the truth about the comfort women was forced out of the festival for being political.
As you may know, Seoul is pushing to register documentary evidence regarding the Comfort Women with UNESCO. And before you ask, yes, there are several similar examples: Anne Frank’s diary, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh and documentary evidence regarding the slave trade are also registered with UNESCO.
- And in the “More Good News from North Korea” file, we have this (HT to Boyd):
North Korea has followed through on its threat to advance its nuclear weapons program, the top U.S. intelligence official said Wednesday, while a research institute pointed to signs the communist country is preparing to launch bigger rockets.
Those developments will add to the international concern about the intentions of young leader Kim Jong Un, amid scant sign that negotiations to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will resume any time soon.
The article cites the analysis found in this post at 38 North, which you can read on your own. To add to the holiday joy, a recent piece of analysis at Jane’s suggests that “the Yongbyon nuclear scientific research complex threatens Northeast Asia with a disaster potentially worse than Chernobyl“:
This reactor comes from another world. The Yongbyon site has a concentration of so many nuclear facilities that if there was a fire in one building it could lead to a disaster worse than the Ukrainian one,” said Seo Kyun Reul, a professor at the nucleonic department of Seoul National University.
Yongbyon’s 5 MWe reactor uses obsolete magnox technology that, combined with the reuse of old graphite moderators, greatly increases the risk of a fire, Seo said.
Have a good weekend, folks.
Sorry for posting this late, folks.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the weekend.
- A recently published book reveals new details about the capture of the USS Pueblo (HT to Doug). As you know, the Pueblo is still, ahem, on loan to the North Koreans for use as a museum ship.
- Somebody has taken Linkin Park’s first album and reimagined it using the vocals of Gangnam Style. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
- So, just before Xmas, the JoongAng Ilbo did a piece on crappy city slogans. See also here and here. Some of the problems can also be seen in corporate slogans. Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-Ho spends half his time in Korea and half in Japan, so you’d think he’d have run into at least one native English speaker he could have bounced the slogan of his hotels division off:
- N. Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants better relations with the South. Or so he says:
“North and South Korea should create a mood to improve relations,” Mr. Kim said in a nationally televised New Year’s Day speech. “It’s time to end useless slandering, and the North and the South should no longer do things that harm reconciliation and harmony.”
I’ll believe it when I see it. And Kim’s speech wasn’t entirely warm and fuzzy, either.
- Multicultural families, rejoice—you now have a smarphone app!
- Drugs and hookers—North Korea is apparently a lot like Wall Street.
- Hey, one of my Tumblr posts reached 1,000 notes. Yay me. And in case you missed it, here are my shots of the first sunrise of 2014. And if you’re looking for photographic years in review, start here and here.
If you haven’t said it yet, get it off your chest now. Last chance. At least until 2014.