The Marmot's Hole

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Tag: korea

Korean Zombies Are Alive and Well . . .

Korean Zombies on the loose

Currently there is a three-day International symposium on cybercrime in Seoul and what better place to have such than in Korea since Korea is so wired and also, since September, has experienced a 4,236 percent increase in botnet activity alone. 

The Blues and L.P.G.A — Just How Do They Do It?

The NY Times has a really nice article on what it is like for the Korean women who go with the L.P.G.A. Tour.  As per the article, there is more than survival English to worry about:

(Jang Je-ong)spoke of the pressures that come with being her family’s Chosen One. “I really appreciate what my dad is doing,” she said. “But think about it. How you’d feel if your dad retires because of you, and your mom is lonely because of you. I don’t want everything to be about me.”

The link is here.

Korean Music Transfigured in Jazz

Ronn Branton Quartet
For Jazz fans, it turns out that the Ronn Branton Quartet will be having their Summer Night Jazz concert at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, on August 23, 7:00pm. Branton is performing standards and new Jazz arrangements of old Korean 가요 (gayo) (such as 목포의 눈물 “Mokpo Tears” or the art song 모견화 “Magnolia”, for example). Performing are Ronn Branton (piano), Kim JeeSeok (alto sax), Oh Jong-dae (drums), Yoon Chong-ryul (bass).

Call for tickets: 02)888-2698 (English and Korean spoken).

US Climatology Expert: Fan Death is Real

Okay, all you expat and gyopo skeptics, time to get out your hats and start munching. US climatology expert Dr. Laurence Kalkstein was in Seoul for a seminar on heat waves and explained the science of how fans kill:

“선풍기로 인한 사망 사고는 대부분 70대 이상 노인에게 발생했으며 주로 밀폐된 방에서 선풍기를 틀고 자다 숨졌다”며 “이는 지금까지 우리가 알고 있는 것과 달리 질식사나 저체온증이 아니다”라고 말했다.

“In a majority of fan death cases, the victim is an elderly person over 70 years old who died in their sleep in an enclosed room with a fan running. Differing from what we know up to now, it’s not suffocation or hypothermia.”

그는 “실내온도가 높을 때 밀폐된 곳에서 선풍기를 틀면 방안의 열기가 사람에게 집중돼 오히려 더 체온이 높아진다”며 “여기에 노출된 피부에 선풍기 바람이 지나가면서 몸의 수분을 빼앗아 결국 심장마비와 뇌졸중, 호흡곤란으로 사망하게 된다”고 설명했다.

He continued, “If a fan is run inside an enclosed room where the indoor temperature is high, the heat is concentrated on the person, so the body temperature actually rises,” further explaining that, “As fan air blows on exposed skin, the body becomes dehydrated, resulting in a heart attack or stroke and death from respiration difficulties.”

미국 환경보호국은 선풍기를 반드시 창문이나 방문 등 외부와 공기가 통하는 곳에 설치하고 밀폐된 방에서 오래 사용하면 안된다고 경고하고 있다.

The US Environmental Protection Agency advises that windows and doors remain open to circulate air and not to use a fan for long periods in an enclosed room.

The entire EPA booklet on heat waves and public health can be viewed in PDF here. Dr. Kalkstein has given numerous media interviews on heat-related illnessed and deaths, including this one with NPR.

*translation note: I had a little difficulty with the sentence “Differing from what we know up to now, it’s not suffocation or hypothermia.” Although it’s a direct quote in the story and was translated as such, the comment discounting suffocation and hypothermia was likely in response to a question, and thus, the “we” in “differing from what we know…” probably refers to Koreans, not experts like Dr. Kalkstein, who I’m pretty sure never believed that fans could suck up oxygen.

The Wiki entry on fan death notes US expert opinions that fans can accelerate hyperthermia when used in spaces with very high temperatures.

HTs to two fellow bloggers who thought the story blogworthy but didn’t have the time to translate it.

Active-X Korea: Why Korean Banks and Sites Have Security Problems

Glyn Moody of Opendotdotdot writes on professor Kim Ki-Chang of Korea University’s loss in suing the KFTC (Korean Financial Telecommunication and Clearings Institute) for its doggedly wrong insistence that Korean banks and other public web services use “ActiveX“, the symbol for all that is bad in Korean websites and seriously flawed security, to quote from a notice put out by US-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team):

“Web surfers are urged to immediately disable ActiveX controls from IE to protect against a swath of publicly reported — and unpatched — software vulnerabilities…

Despite this dire warning from globally-recognized security experts and the well-known problems with Active-X, the KFTC remains unconvinced of the problem, as Glyn Moody writes:

How can a government lock its people into one technology – one, moreover, whose flaws are now well documented? Even the UK government has never been *this* daft.

… and it’s not *even* Korean technology.

Koreans Hold Anti-Beef Import Candlelight Vigil at Duke

A whopping thirty-something Koreans showed up in front of Duke’s chapel holding placards and chanting slogans for one whole hour. The Chosun Ilbo found this event newsworthy enough for a brief article, but the vigil seems to have received no coverage from the local press.

Special School IDs for Korean Kids with Naturally Brown or Curly Hair

Commenter Brian on the Open Thread posted a link to Korea Beat translation of a story from the Hankyorehon some schools requiring students with naturally brown or curly hair to show proof that these features are natural and carry special IDs, called 자연머리 확인증, or Confirmation of Natural Hair.

Recently schools have been requiring students with naturally colored or curly hair to obtain proof. Students with naturally-colored hair must get confirmation form their parents and teacher and keep the proof with them when they go to school. A large number of schools in Seoul, including Ilshin girls’ High School, Gyeonggi Girls’ High School, Daewon Girls’ High School, Dongmyeong Girls’ High School, and Seomun Girls’ High School, issue the ID cards.

The Hankyoreh story at Daum shows an image of a special ID for a girl with naturally brown hair.  Is this for real?

Photos of Korea from the mid-1960s

Thanks to reader Gillian, who posted a link to a Flick collection of beautiful photos of Korea from the mid-1960s.  Most pictures were taken in Seoul or Gyeonggi-do.

More Sungnyemun Comparisons

This time it’s the burning of Sungnyemun and Naksansa versus the Sampoong Department Store collapse, the Seongsu Bridge collapse, and the Daegu subway fire:

Korea is still in shock after seeing live pictures of Sungnyemun, widely known as Namdaemun, burning to the ground.
We have had our fair share of tragedy: the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store and Seongsu Bridge, plus the arson attack on the Daegu subway.
However, cameras didn’t catch the moment of the accident. The fire at Naksansa Temple in 2005 still sticks in our memory, because we saw it on TV.
People could do nothing but watch the pitiful footage as the ancient temple burned and the bronze bell melted in the flames.
Viewers who saw those painful images will never forget them. The sounds of people shrieking as they looked on has been burned into the hearts of the people of Korea.

I have vivid memories where I was and what I was doing when I heard about Seongsu and Sampoong just as I recall first hearing about Challenger and the WTC attacks. Among the 32 people killed in the 1994 Seongsu Bridge collapse were several school children trapped on a bus that went off the broken bridge into the Han River. When I recall the Daegu subway fire, etched into my mind is the photographic image of seated passengers covering their mouths and noses, trapped in a gray haze of smoke, desperately waiting for help that took so long to arrive.

For days in the early summer of 1995, I sat riveted in front of the TV as rescue crews worked furiously to find and dig out dying people trapped in the rubble. My heart soared when I heard news of survivors freed after more than a week, strong-willed people who stayed alive by drinking their own urine. I felt bittersweetness for the young man who was the last to be rescued after 16 days underground. Early on, he communicated with a young woman trapped nearby. Water from hoses spraying out fires trickled down into her tomb, filling it with water. She explained to the young man what was happening, asked him to tell her parents she loved them, and told him when he couldn’t hear her voice anymore, he’d know she was gone. I felt deep anger at the greedy owners who fled the building just hours before it collapsed on thousands of shoppers.

There is a memorial on the site of the former department store. Inside are photos of the deceased. I used to live in that neighborhood prior to the collapse and had shopped at the store. While in the area to visit a friend, I engaged in a little “dark tourism” and stopped into the humble memorial to pay my respects to the 500 people who lost their lives there in late June of 1995.

To me, the deeply moving stories of real people facing tragedy, disaster, and violence are far more memorable than seeing a building burn down in real time, no matter how old or lovely the structure.

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