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Fresh, wriggling seafood at Busan’s Jagalchi market

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-01-29 07:27
Fresh, wriggling seafood at Busan’s Jagalchi market

If you want to shock your friends with huge, squirmy octopuses and giant crabs, Jagalchi market in western Busan is the place to be. Forget Seoul’s Noryangjin market, Busan is Korea’s biggest port city and has far fresher (and cheaper) bounty straight from the Pacific ocean.

This is where you can try the infamous “san-nakji” or live octopus. If you’re not sure how to swallow it, it could be dangerous to eat it whole, so do ask the stallholder to slice it up for you. Even sliced into small bits, the wriggling pieces will try to avoid your chopsticks or stick their suckers to your teeth – anything to escape being eaten!

Jagalchi market is at Jagalchi station on Line 1 (orange). Also, read my post on what else to do in Busan.

I maintain this site as a hobby and have personally verified or experienced most of the information posted here. However, prices and conditions may have changed since my last visit. Please double check with other sources such as official tourist hotlines to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to contribute an update or additional useful information for other travelers, please comment below!
Prices provided in Korean won or US dollars.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC and Snake Gaming

Webheadsinaction.org - Thu, 2015-01-29 02:06
Sunday Jan 25, 2015 1400 GMT

Learning2gether archive:

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/25/learning2gether-with-evo-minecraft-mooc-and-snake-gaming/

 

How this worked at showtime Jan 25, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL:  http://youtu.be/79TnXmRNP64 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cide7cjh020i47e6o28e5fr3j38
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was posted here
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC and Snake Gaming

Worldbridges Megafeed - Thu, 2015-01-29 02:06
Sunday Jan 25, 2015 1400 GMT

Learning2gether archive:

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/25/learning2gether-with-evo-minecraft-mooc-and-snake-gaming/

 

How this worked at showtime Jan 25, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL:  http://youtu.be/79TnXmRNP64 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cide7cjh020i47e6o28e5fr3j38
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was posted here
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

read more

Last 2 Weeks: ISIS Teen, Middle Class Tax Hike, K Pick-up, & More

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-01-28 12:34
L2W: ISIS Teen, Middle Class Tax Hike, & More

 

1. National

1) A Korean teenager joins ISISPolice concluded that a Korean teenager surnamed Kim missing since Jan 10 in Turkey voluntarily went to Syria to join ISIS. Using Mujahideen as his alias, the 18 year old boy inquired on Twitter about joining the terrorist group in Oct last year, and wrote in his Facebook “I want join Islamic state. I want leaving my country and families just want to get a new life.”  Kim had trouble in mixing with friends, and quit his middle school a few years ago. It is the first time a Korean joined ISIS.   If Kim intends to stay in Syria, all Koreans are praying Kim better work as an ISIS cook or a nurse, instead of showing up in black in video with a couple of orange cloth hostages next to him.  2) Anger mounts over tax hike in middle classThe middle class are fuming at the new tax law revised last year that turned out to take lots of money from their pocket in tax return, turning the usual “13th month salary” into a tiny pocket money. People got more upset as the government gave assurance the middle class would be untouched when it proposed the new law that is very complicated to explain with a few sentences. The Finance Minister had to make an apology, and President Park’s approval rate keeps falling from nearly 70% last April to 35% last week.    President Park promised more welfare without tax increase during the 2012 presidential campaign, much like Reagan’s “Read my lips. No new taxes.” Voters had to know there is no hot ice cream, and politicians tend to keep two tongues in one mouth.    2. Economy1) Hyundai Motor sells more, earns lessIn an investor conference call, Hyundai Motor reported its lowest annual operating profit in four years at 7.55 trillion won ($6.95B), despite 4.8% increase in global sales. It sold 4.96 million vehicles, a 4.8% up from 4.73 million units in 2013, making 89.25 trillion in revenue, up 2.2% over 87.3 trillion won in 2013. Hyundai said the drop in profit was mainly due to falling won-dollar exchange rate, and the declining currency value in other nations like Russia. Hyundai also announced two groundbreakings in China in 2015, one in Hebei and the other in Chongqing.  To please its disgruntled investors over land purchase, Hyundai said it will raise the current 1,950 won dividend per share to 3,000 won, a whopping 54% increase, automatically triggering my wife, a Hyundai stock owner since 1999, to thumb through Louis Vuitton catalogues. 3. Automotive 1) Ssangyong Motor launches new SUVSsangyong picked a small Italian town Tivoli as the name for its new small SUV. Tivoli is Ssangyong’s first new model since it went belly up in 2009. Tivoli has 1.6L engine with126 HP and 12.3 km/L Since taking pre-order on Dec 22, it has received 5,000 orders until now, with two months waiting line, expecting to sell 38,500 Tivoli models in 2015.     Lee Yoo-il, CEO of Ssangyong, made a surprise announcement he will retire in March. Ex-Hyundai, Lee was hired in 2009 when the company was in court receivership, turning the company around in six years. Mr. Lee was the head of Hyundai Canada in Toronto in early 90’s while I was a tail in Bromont Plant in Quebec. Well, sorry, I have never met Mr. Lee.  2) Hyundai shows off its pick-up truckHyundai displayed its concept pick-up truck Santacruz (HCD-15) at Detroit Auto Show. Santacruz is powered by 190HP 2/0L turbo diesel engine and features 4WD H-Trac system. Though Hyundai said they have no plan for its mass production, auto analysts believe Hyundai will eventually as a breakthrough to increase market share in North America.     Hyundai once produced pick-up truck, a tiny 1.6L gas engine variation from its Pony passenger car, Hyundai’s first own design model. Launched in 1976, the last Pony was produced at Ulsan plant in Jan 1990. Ex and current Hyundai employees can be divided into two groups; before Pony and after Pony. Old folks if you saw pony production in Ulsan, young chick if you didn’t. I am an old fart while Mr. Lee at Ssangyong is a Cro-Magnon. Regards,H.S. 
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Useful Or Not? Foreign English Teachers In Korea

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-01-28 05:20
Useful Or Not? Foreign English Teachers In Korea

 

 

During the last few years, the number of jobs available for foreign English teachers in Korean public schools has significantly decreased. According to an article on The Korean Observer, the number of foreign teachers has dropped from over 9,000 to 6,785 in three years. Meanwhile jobs at hagwons are becoming more competitive between foreigners. The question is whether these cuts are beneficial, or detrimental, for Korean students.

I currently work at a public middle school, but one which is recognised throughout Korea as having an impressive English programme; parents pay fees specifically for foreigners to teach their children. Needless to say foreign teachers are important to the school and their lessons are an important part of students’ timetables. And I think having such a system which incorporates foreign teachers is invaluable.
There are a number of reasons why. Firstly, because Korean teachers can focus too much upon English grammar, rather than speaking and writing, so that their students can perform well on tests. I recently read this article on Korea Times, which states that 7 out of 10 middle/high school students are unsatisfied with their English lessons because they’re too ‘test-orientated.’ Of course it’s important for students to score well, but it’s also essential that they can hold a good conversation and write well in English. As such, lessons with foreign teachers, held entirely in English, can greatly help to improve conversational skills.
Secondly, there are some mistakes which Korean teachers make, or don’t pick up on when their students make them. The Korea Times article mentions that some Korean teachers don’t have the English ability to teach well enough; they aren’t re-trained and don’t have their English skills evaluated properly. And while I’m not implying that Korean-English teachers are incompetent, there are errors made, even if they’re tiny ones. Errors that perhaps only native English speakers pick up on and correct. Here are some example of mistakes I hear daily from students (and teachers):

  • The use of stressed/ stressful/ stress: “I feel very stressful” “Homework is very stressed”
  • The word ‘funny’ instead of ‘fun': “Skiing is very funny” “My vacation was very funny”
  • The word ‘comfortable’ instead of ‘convenient': “My smart phone is very comfortable”
  • Pronunciation to add ‘ee’ sound on the end of words: “Finishee” “Changee”
  • The word ‘until’ being used instead of ‘at': “Until 3 pm, you can go home”

Mistakes like these may not stop someone understanding the speaker (apart from the use of the word ‘until’, which has confused me numerous times), but they prevent even the smartest students from speaking perfectly. And for this reason, having a foreign teacher to correct mistakes is extremely beneficial.

Understanding different accents is also important; American/ Canadian teachers are the most popular in Korea, because their accents are easier to understand. As I’m English, the problem with my accent came up when I was interviewed for jobs, and I didn’t think it would be a problem at all when teaching, but I was wrong. Time and time again, students and Korean friends have found my accent difficult to understand. Similarly South African accents, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh. But it’s important that Koreans can understand English speakers with different accents; what’s the point in speaking English fluently if you travel to Britain but can’t understand anyone? Or if you only understand the Korean-English accent of a Korean teacher.

There are numerous positives of having foreign teachers in public schools. However, there are ways in which I’d agree things can be improved. Mainly, the fact that English lessons taught by foreigners can be seen by students as somewhat of a ‘novelty’ and aren’t taken as seriously as other classes. In my case, foreign teachers aren’t involved in English exams, we give no homework and as for discipline, we don’t have much authority: we can’t speak to parents ourselves, and we don’t have the same respect as the Korean teachers, so any stern-words aren’t taken too seriously.

Moreover, despite the fact that parents pay a lot of money for us to teach their children, we’re constantly told to ‘play games’ and ‘keep the children happy’ rather than have a strict academic lesson. Of course it’s important to have fun, but if foreign teachers taught in the same way as Korean teachers, having tests, giving out homework, and keeping the focus on structured learning, students could learn more.

A number of South Korea students go abroad to study English.

Given the benefits, it would be detrimental to students to further decrease the number of foreign teachers. There may still be native English speakers working in hagwons, but not all students attend hagwons, and so some will miss out on valuable teaching. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the most fluent students are those who have travelled to English-speaking countries to learn the language: this alone proves how useful time spent with native-English speakers can help English ability.

No matter how good a Korean-English teacher may be, it’s a bonus for students to interact with, and be taught by, foreigners, and I hope that ten years from now, there’ll still be foreign teachers in Korean public schools.

© KATHRYN GODFREY 

Kathryn's Living
KathrynsLiving.wordpress.com

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korea’s 400-year-old Andong Hahoe village

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-01-27 08:59
Korea’s 400-year-old Andong Hahoe village

The Andong Hahoe (pronounced ha-hwe) village is known for its traditional mask dance, which you can read about here.

But it’s also a really special part of Korea where the traditional homes have been preserved for up to 400 years. That makes it the perfect setting for historical dramas like Arang and the Magistrate (starring Lee Joon-ki and Shin Min-ah).

If you can get up the cliff across the river, you can get a great birds-eye-view of the Hahoe village. There is supposed to be a ferryman who will take you across, but he was not around when I visited, so I had to hike for an hour to get around and across via a pedestrian bridge. Thankfully, I managed to hitchhike back to the bus terminal. Seoul and Busan are both several hours away by bus.

Hahoe village is pretty small and worth about half a day to visit, although it is also possible to book accomodation there. But with fairly large numbers of tourists passing through daily, it wouldn’t be my recommendation for a ‘quiet getaway in the countryside’. Try Gyeongju or Yeosu instead, as they are much more sprawling and more peaceful.

I maintain this site as a hobby and have personally verified or experienced most of the information posted here. However, prices and conditions may have changed since my last visit. Please double check with other sources such as official tourist hotlines to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to contribute an update or additional useful information for other travelers, please comment below!
Prices provided in Korean won or US dollars.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC and Snake Gaming

Englishbridges - Sun, 2015-01-25 16:28

Sun Jan 25 1400 GMT Learning2gether met with with EVO Minecraft MOOC and Snake Gaming co-moderators Filip and Marijana Smolčec and Vance Stevens,  to talk about #EVOMC15 .

EVO Minecraft MOOC #EVOMC15 is one of the many sessions you can participate in now to mid-February 2015 at http://evosessions.pbworks.com. This session is unique in many ways, not least of which is it’s a session with pre-teen participants who are emerging as experts to guide the adults. One of these is Filip Smolčec, who blogs and produces video on his YouTube channel and Snake Gaming. We all meet in this event to talk about how the session is going, and offer advice on engaging language learners with Minecraft.

All are welcome to attend and join us in the EVO Minecraft MOOC session if you wish. It’s never too late,
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112993649763396826671

What is this about?

Master Minecraft Snake Gamer and Tutor Filip Smolčec (and his mom) will bring us insights and perspectives on the world of Minecraft.

This Hangout on Air is a scheduled event for the Electronic Village Online #EVOMC15 – EVO Minecraft MOOC for 2015; however anyone interested is welcome to attend.

See examples of  Filip’s work on the EVOMC15 community page: https://plus.google.com/communities/112993649763396826671

Where?

Announcements

 


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Monoculture?

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-01-23 06:04
Monoculture?

This post started life months ago as the third in a series about clashing cultural norms. After more time in Korea and (hopefully) more understanding on my part, it turned into something a bit different…you can read where it all started here.

Here are some criticisms of the UK according to other Europeans:

1. Opaque communications: Our morbid fear of conflict makes our language indirect and gives us a reputation, amongst our continental counterparts, for being dishonest and sneaky. The rest of the English-speaking world, too, complains of the bafflingly high incidence of coded language in British English. For those new to this phenomenon, this handy chart should help:

2. Drinking culture Whereas in most European countries public drunkenness is seen as embarrassing, in the UK it is a bona fide bonding ritual. This tends to be linked to the point above: as noted by our cousins across the Channel we frequently need to be off our faces to lose the fear associated with saying what we actually think – a prerequisite for getting closer to anybody. This means that many British people would be aghast at the prospect of a non-alcoholic social event and, perhaps more interestingly, that bad behaviour when drunk is indulged to a much greater degree than elsewhere. British people tend to excuse almost anything (with a heavy dose of piss-taking) on the grounds that the person was drunk at the time.

3. The class system. This is one of those things that only really hits you when you are outside it, and surrounded by people who find it utterly bonkers and unfathomable. Class permeates every aspect of our communication and lifestyle, from our accent to our choice of groceries to the pubs we drink in.

These issues are uncannily similar to those Brits tend to cite as problematic in Korea. The internet groans with blogs and articles aimed at those making the move here, citing indirect communication styles, an extreme drinking culture and a rigid, unfathomable and outdated social hierarchy. You’d think we’d be at an advantage. So what makes the move so hard? The answer, for many, is Korea’s perceived monoculture which is often seen as the direct opposite of British multiculturalism (‘culture’ here refers both to race and ethnicity, and to culture in the sense of rules governing social interaction).

One of the biggest turnarounds in my own thinking has come from questioning this direct opposition, which is often taken as read by Koreans and Brits both. Whilst there are broad and generalised truths behind it, I’ve felt increasingly that it often comes from a place of privilege which has at times  obscured my empathy with and understanding of Korean culture and people. I want to talk a little more about this over the next couple of posts.

Korean Identity: Popular Wisdom

Korean identity can seem to be shaped largely by ethnicity. The population is around 96% ethnically Korean and children are taught from an early age (with a pride that many Westerners find disconcerting) that Korea is ‘ethnically homogenous’ with a ‘pure bloodline.’ This marginally Malfoy-esque discourse contains both holes and justifications, which I’ll explore in the next post. Nationalism – particularly defined in opposition to Japan – is strongly and frequently expressed while racism, particularly towards Black and South Asian people, is a real issue (see here and here). The attitude to Caucasians is more nuanced, resulting from concurrent feelings of inferiority and resentment – again, I’ll look at these in more detail in the next post.

If the criteria for Korean identity seem stringent, the same can be said of those for social acceptance. Here, there is one way to be beautiful (white skin, thin, small face, big eyes, V-shaped jaw) and one way to be successful (top university, big company, car, house, marriage). Even clothes shops are often ‘one size fits all’, underscoring the idea that if you do not fit that size it is your responsibility to make it happen – why should extra clothes be made for the minority? At school, I notice that ‘tribes’ – the Trendies, Goths, Skaters, Geeks and Townies of my youth – do not exist: all my students dress in much the same way and seem to decide by mutual, unspoken consensus that one jacket , T-shirt or pair of trousers is this week’s must-wear item. Tellingly, they informed me that if they do not conform to such trends it is seen as ‘dangerous’: they are choosing to set themselves apart from the group, upsetting its harmony. My partner and one of my students – raised in New Zealand and the USA respectively – arouse suspicion and resentment because, though they fulfil the ‘ethnically Korean’ criterion, they do not follow the expected rules of dress and beauty, and speak ‘unusual’ Korean. These behaviours are seen to disturb a group harmony which often seems more like group homogeneity and which runs through all aspects of Korean life. It results in things like my student being referred to as ‘America’ by her teachers, and refused help with Korean language and history on the grounds that she ‘should know’, or my partner being told he doesn’t walk ‘in a Korean enough way.’ Foreigners, meanwhile, have a much easier ride but nevertheless occupy a strange place in this setup. At once expected to be a contributing part of the group, we are simultaneously seen as removed from it; reminded of our otherness in ways that can create tension, as when I was told it was fine for me to go to the funeral in a sundress, because ‘you’re not Korean’

British Identity: Popular Wisdom

Back in 2012 as a shell-shocked new arrival in China, I wrote a post in which I described London with pride as a ‘melting-pot of races, languages and cultures.’ This points to my British education which, far from the ‘pure bloodline’ rhetoric Korean children hear, instilled in us the idea of our nation as a happy soup of different racial and ethnic ingredients blended together by a shared British identity. British people will often cite this ‘melting pot’ as the reason why ‘Britishness’ cannot be defined by race or ethnicity. There are other aspects of British life, however, which make defining our identity in concrete terms a tricky prospect. Not least of these is social class: the call made last year by ex-Education Secretary and all-round twerp Michael Gove to include ‘British Values’ in the school curriculum prompted outrage precisely because we remain unsure as to what the term ‘British Values’ actually means. In one of my favourite articles of 2014, Owen Jones said here that this was because there are two histories of Britain: the history told by the ruling classes and that told by those who struggle against them. You could say, though, that there are many more than Jones’ two histories; that we are really a country of tribes, any number of which we may subscribe to at any one point. We may come under pressure to conform, but to what exactly, and to what extent, depends on a number of factors including race, ethnicity, social class, political beliefs, career, and membership of various subcultures. All these provide different influences to which we refer when constructing our identities. The fact that we ‘construct our identities’ at all shows how much we are at odds with the Korean model, in which your expected identity is already prescribed and your role is to fulfill it regardless of personal inclinations. Contrary to ideas of group harmony, our rule of thumb for smooth social interactions tends to be that as long as a person’s actions do not have a negative impact on us personally it is none of our business how they carry on.

Questions and confrontations

Far from home, confused and struggling to navigate the murky waters of Korean life, we are prone to setting up simplistic oppositions between the two sets of identities outlined above in order to make sense of ourselves and our surroundings. Add to this the frustration or bewilderment with Korea that makes us biased in favour of home, and it’s easy to end up with the idea that Korean culture and identity are fixed, unchanging and exclusionary whereas ours are diverse, fluid and inclusive. Although I could see exceptions to both sides, when I started to pick apart the received wisdom and my own uninterrogated views I realised that this was probably the party line to which I defaulted. As someone who liked to think of herself as open-minded with a good grasp of her own privilege this was a slightly painful realisation, but I’m happy to have made it. The results were these:

On the UK

The very term ‘melting pot’ that I was so quick to chuck around in my China post is itself the preserve of white privilege: if you are not white British, is the ‘British identity’ that melts us all together really any more than a colonising force of assimilation? This assimilation extends to our conceptions of beauty, which may seem initially to be more varied and permissive than Korea’s,  but which each subscribe to a Euro-centric and largely unattainable ideal. When it comes to notions of success, in our academic and professional lives we and our children are being pushed more and more towards an aggressively capitalist, individualistic ideal, the top ranks of which are almost exclusively white (and male, and upper-class – but more of that another time). The ‘diversity’ of which we are so proud is often used euphemistically in our own culture(‘Peckham is so…diverse!’) or to describe an ideal we are far from having achieved: as most recently evidenced by new draconian immigration laws and the rise of the Right in the UK, our society is far from the enlightened, equal and meritocratic ideal that our eyes sometimes see, especially if those eyes are homesick and Caucasian.

On Korea

Outside of a couple of novels and history books, the vast majority of reading about Korean culture and identity that I had been exposed to was written by or for foreigners sharing stories and advice about living in Korea. Most of the writers were white. My own blog fits this description, and whilst I hope it’s enjoyable what it won’t tell you is anything about Korean culture or identity from a Korean perspective. To mitigate this, in the next post I want to share some Korean perspectives on national identity, and to explore a little more about how challenging white privilege can change our perceptions of cultural difference.

GoEastMyChild.Tumblr.com
Wanderings and Ramblings of an ESL teacher currently based in a tiny mountain town near the North Korean border.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Now and Then: Beopjusa Temple

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-01-21 02:18
Now and Then: Beopjusa Temple

Beopjusa Temple in the early 20th century.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Beopjusa Temple was first established in 553 A.D. by the monk Uisin. The name of the temple means “The Place Where the Dharma Resides Temple,” in English. The reason that the temple was named Beopjusa Temple is that Uisin brought back a number of Indian sutras from his travels that he wanted to house at the temple.

During the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Beopjusa Temple housed as many as 3,000 monks. At one point in the 1100’s, over 30,000 monks gathered at Beopjusa Temple to pray for the dying national priest, Uicheon. Beopjusa Temple remained an important part of Buddhism throughout Korea during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910); however, the temple shrank in size as state support for Buddhism nearly disappeared in Confucian led ideology at this point in Korean history. It’s believed that King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, retired to a spot near Beopjusa Temple after tiring from all of his sons’ fighting. Like most other temples in Korea, Beopjusa Temple suffered from extensive damage at the hands of the invading Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-98). A majority of the buildings at the temple were restored in 1624, including the famed Palsang-jeon wooden pagoda.

The temple is beautifully located in Songnisan National Park in Boeun County, Chungcheongbuk-do. In the 1960s, the temple underwent extensive repairs and refurbishment. In 1988 the massive bronze statue of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) that stands at 33 metres in height replaced the twenty year old cement statue that resided at the temple. Most recently, Beopjusa Temple participates in the highly popular Temple Stay Program that’s conducted in English. In total, the temple houses three national treasures and twelve additional treasures. Of the three national treasures, the five-story wooden pagoda is National Treasure #55.

The Iljumun Gate at Beopjusa Temple.

The famous Palsang-jeon Hall at Beopjusa Temple.

A farmer to the side of the temple.

Beopjusa Temple during the 1960s.

Today, what the Iljumun Gate looks like.

The Beopjusa Temple courtyard.

With a closer look at the Palsang-jeon wooden pagoda.

The post Now and Then: Beopjusa Temple appeared first on Dale's Korean Temple Adventures.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Tom Robb about mReader

Worldbridges Megafeed - Tue, 2015-01-20 14:41
Hangout on Air (HoA)Learning2gether with Tom Robb about mReader

Sunday Jan 18, 2015

The Learning2gether archive for this event is at 

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/18/learning2gether-with-tom-robb-and-mreader/

 

How this worked at showtime Jan 18, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://youtu.be/SdL1GJF33Hg  
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/c29a184p4t2pp0kvpbufa784trk 
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was posted here at showtime
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

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Learning2gether with Tom Robb about mReader

Webheadsinaction.org - Tue, 2015-01-20 14:41
Hangout on Air (HoA)Learning2gether with Tom Robb about mReader

Sunday Jan 18, 2015

The Learning2gether archive for this event is at 

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/18/learning2gether-with-tom-robb-and-mreader/

 

How this worked at showtime Jan 18, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://youtu.be/SdL1GJF33Hg  
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/c29a184p4t2pp0kvpbufa784trk 
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was posted here at showtime
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Colouring in the Favelas of Busan

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-01-19 20:35
Colouring in the Favelas of Busan

The past six decades have absolutely transmogrified South Korea from poorest nation on Earth to one of great opulence and wealth. Busan has benefited mightily from the country’s change in fortunes, but like cities the world over, booming Busan has its fair share of poor neighbourhoods. Pushed out to the margins of the city, these hidden districts face a similar situation to the famous favelas(shantytowns) of Brazil. With rising costs of city living, it seems that Busan’s incoming tourist and business dollars are forever out of reach for these communities. But a few of these rustic areas are using colourful street art in hopes of attracting visitors.

Anchang Street

A Colorful Favela

Taeguk Village (태국마을) (also known as Gamcheon Cultural Village) is one such suburb on the breadline. In the early stages of the Korean War, Busan became the last bastion of hope and a beacon for those still loyal to the UN-backed government. Taeguk Village was hastily constructed as a temporary refugee camp for the thousands of displaced peoples holding out against the North. With the ceasefire effectively ending the war in1953,Busan gradually evolved into the dynamic megalopolis it is today, yet progress in the camp-like Taeguk Village remained slow.

Oi, you! If you wanna see what Taeguk Village actually looks like, then click here! All these photos are from Anchang Village

The pukatronic bus to Anchang Village

Monkeyboy was here

In 2009, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism designated Taeguk Village as host to its “Art Village Project”. Street art virtuosos commissioned by the project moved in and transformed the rustic village into something of a living art gallery. The theme stuck and the town has since added more works to its oeuvre, as well as a light sprinkling of restaurants and cafés.

Seeing how Busan surrounds Taeguk on all sides, the descriptive word “village”, at least in Western terms, is a bit of a misnomer. Wording aside, though, Taeguk certainly does give off the small-village vibe thanks to the relaxed pace of life, winding paths, congested houses and nonchalant cats. In contrast to the chrome skyscrapers back in the city, Taeguk Village is awash with bright colors, narrow pathways, curious statues, magnificent graffiti and interactive exhibitions in previously empty homes. To aid you in discovering all of the village’s artsy secrets, grab a trusty village map, which can be picked up at the visitor center near the bus stop or at any of the nearby cafés and shops. Stamping the back of your map at all seven miniature galleries scores you a nifty little postcard when presented to the observatory atop the hill. Or just follow the tropical fish… that’ll make sense when you get there!

In the words of its own tourist paraphernalia, Taeguk Village “has opted for preservation and rejuvenation, rather than redevelopment, using its resources to enrich the cultural content [it possesses].” “Its resources” are, namely, the beautiful view of the sea from atop the hill, the tranquil atmosphere within, the friendly faces of the locals and the feeling of having escaped the city despite being engulfed by it.

Paint by numbers 

Anchang Village (안창마을), another hillside suburb of Busan, has tried emulating the success of Taeguk. It too has allowed artists to come in and color-in its walls, but the village is very much off the beaten track and far less developed for tourists.

However, Anchang Village is way off the usual tourist trail, and is therefore much earlier in its development. Despite this, a growing number of day-trippers do venture to these parts.

Most of the town’s murals are clustered around the bus stop and to be honest, there aren’t that many to see. However, picking a random direction and getting lost in the vibrant, serpentine alleys is the best way to visit. A multitude of wires criss-cross above homes and most doorways are adorned with little pieces of handicraft. The Busan vista viewed from atop of the hillside is definitely something to behold.

Be Considerate

The popularity of Taeguk Village seems to have helped rejuvenate the town as the cafes, restaurants and tourist facilities have spurred some much-needed development. However, it remains to be seen whether Anchang Village has benefitted at all. Remember that both villages are filled with actual homes, so please respect the residents’ property and be mindful of what you photograph.

Directions

To Taeguk Village: From exit 8 at Toseong Station (orange Line 1), follow the street around the corner to the right. In front of the Busan Cancer Center, catch bus 2-2 to Gamcheon Elementary School.

To Anchang: Take the No. 1 mini bus from exit 5 of Bomil Station on the orange Line 1. Get off at the last stop.

A note from the Editor-in-Chimp: This post was originally written for 10 Magazine. You can check it out here on their website if you like

The post Colouring in the Favelas of Busan appeared first on Monkeyboy Goes.


http://monkeyboygoes.com

InstagramsFacebook Monkeyboy Goes: Monkeying around since 2010 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Looking Back on What Predictions for East Asia 2014 I got Wrong…and a little Right

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-01-19 17:47
Looking Back on What Predictions for East Asia 2014 I got Wrong…and a

I have always liked these end of the year prediction check-ups, and new year prediction-making exercises. It’s fun, but it also is an important check on irresponsibility in our punditry. Month after month we say this or that is important, or this or that will happen. But later when the current we thought was important turns out not to be, or the ‘revolutionary’ leader we thought would ‘change everything’ turns out to be a bust, we conveniently forget about that and say some other trend is actually what really matters.

This is intellectually pretty shoddy but understandable. No one likes to admit they are wrong. But identifying why causal mechanisms we thought important actually weren’t, is an important way for us to improve our thinking and explain ourselves to readers. The alternative is those neocons who got Iraq really, really wrong, but still come back on TV unchastened. Bleh.

So here is a run-down of the big things I got wrong in 2014 in Asia. In brief, I overestimated the importance of the Sewol in driving reform in Korea, and the depth of the freeze between North Korea and China; I underestimated the importance of the UN report on North Korean human rights, and China’s efforts to build parallel institutions in Asia particularly. This was originally posted at the Lowy Institute last week:

 

 

January should be called pundit accountability month. On websites such as this, we make all sorts of predictions and forecasts, or we identify structural trends or leadership changes as critical, and so on. The temptation to choose our ideologically preferred our independent variables, or otherwise retrospectively curve-fit, is strong. So occasionally we should look back at where we blew it and why.

So here are some areas of East Asian security (mostly) where I misread the 2014 trends:

1. Over-rating the Importance of the Sewol ferry sinking in South Korea

This was probably my biggest miscall. On April 16, 2014, the South Korean passenger ferry Sewol foundered off the southwest coast. Almost 300 people died, including many high school students who, horrifically, were told to wait in the ship as it sank. Some are still missing; divers perished in the rescue efforts; and the vice principal of the school from which the young victims came later committed suicide. It was a hugely emotional national catastrophe that rocked the country for months.

Inevitably the crisis turned political, as the corruption that so bedevils Korean industry and regulation, came to light. The ferry had been significantly overloaded and poorly staffed. The response was confused and slow. President Park Geun Hye was accused of indifference. The criticism reached such a crescendo that conservative defenders of the administration started accusing presidential critics of being North Korean sympathizers – a standard mccarthyite fall-back of the South Korean right when it is in major trouble.

At the time, I thought this would finally be the breakthrough needed to crack down on the crony corporatism that so mars the Korean economy. I argued both here and at Newsweek that this was an inflection moment. The victims’ parents and national commentators even began calling for Park to resign. And in three election cycles in 2014, the opposition ran on the catastrophe relentlessly.

Yet to no avail amazingly. The opposition was repeatedly trounced. The regulatory reforms announced by the Park administration are weak, with much organogram reshuffling, but no serious crackdown on the business and regulatory looking-the-other-way which caused the sinking. I must admit to still being baffled (and disappointed) by how quickly this seemed to fade away. My best explanation of the reform drive’s failure is that the country’s conglomerate (chaebol) elites are even more deeply tied to the Korean political class, especially conservatives, than we thought. Awful.

 

2. Underrating the Importance of the UN Human Rights Report on North Korea

Here is a topic I am happy to be incorrect about. At the time of the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) report, I argued here that it would not mean much, that we had seen it all before, we all knew already that North Korea was the worst place on earth, and so on. And indeed, for North Korea watchers, the report’s findings were anticipated. There has been a robust defector literature for more than a decade now that has given us a direct and terrifying inside look at North Korea (start here). Perhaps the biggest splash at the time was the COI’s open willingness to compare the North’s gulag system to the Nazi concentration camps.

Happily, my we’ve-heard-this-all-before dismissal was too cynical. In the UN, the report has galvanized an effort to refer Pyongyang, specifically Kim Jong Un, to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Wow. Who would have thought that possible just a year ago? What great progress!

I think my flaw in April was assuming that other countries accepted the information hitherto available. But much of that information came from US and South Korean sources – NGOs, defectors, the governments themselves. For many in the global South, these are apparently highly unreliable sources. The US, especially post-Iraq, is apparently so distrusted, that no one wants to hear yet more US carping about the axis of evil, and South Korea, as a US ally, is assumed to be trafficking in its propaganda. But for many Southern states and LDCs, the UN has unrivalled legitimacy. It is sympathetic to their concerns and treats them more equitably than traditional power politics would suggest. So when the UN told them North Korea was awful, they finally believed it. This is nice example of the legitimacy costs America suffers by ignoring global rules.

3. Underrating China’s Efforts at Building Parallel International Institutions

China’s effort to slowly counter US global hegemony branched into a new area in 2014 – countering US domination of international organizations with its own Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS Bank. The former appears to challenge the Asian Development Bank and the latter, the World Bank. The next logical step would be an IMF counter, perhaps in a revitalized Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI).

International relations theory actually strongly predicts this sort of behavior. Dominant states are expected to be uncomfortable ceding power and privilege to rising challengers, as the US Congress has indeed been unwilling to countenance IMF and World Bank reform to more properly include China. So new powers may then seek to build their systems.

My skepticism of Chinese efforts here was rooted in the clear failure of the USSR’s parallel structures in the past, and the continuing failure of international organizations in Asia, including CMI, today. Indeed, I was so dismissive that I did not even mention these efforts in my 2014 writing. But recall how badly served the east bloc was by Comecon, or how no Asian state bothered with the CMI when the Great Recession hit. They all scrambled for accords with the US Treasury.

Nevertheless, China seems to be genuinely pushing ahead with this. 2015 could be an important year here if China can get one of Asia’s big democracies (South Korea, Indonesia, Australia) to join the AIIB (but Japan never will). Or if China can build a real parallel to the IMF. I am very skeptical of that, but it is something to watch. The Chinese are quite good at the long game.

4. Who Thought the Sino-North Korean Fallout would get so Bad?

Here is another one I am happy to have been wrong about. But I do not think anyone else saw this coming either. The standard line is that China sees North Korea as a useful buffer against South Korea, Japan, and the US, while North Korea cannot survive without subsidization, so it must eventually placate Beijing. For myself, I still believe that is broadly correct, so I anticipate that North Korea will come around this year. I do not think a permanent Sino-North Korean breach is at hand.

Yet in 2014, South Korean President Park seems to have done a masterful job schmoozing Chinese President Xi Jinping, a gift that eluded Korea’s previous presidents. Park is sometimes accused of ‘sinophilia,’ but I find this a foolish charge. South Korea lives right next door to enormous China, and trying to get along with Beijing is smart politics. Similarly, China holds the key to North Korea because of its economic support, toleration for sanctions-running, and cover at international institutions, like its anticipated ICC veto (point 2 above). If the South is really serious about unification, then wooing China away from North Korea is a necessity. Let’s hope it holds through this year, but I am skeptical.

Bonus: What did I get right?

Not much interesting unfortunately. It is far less interesting to claim credit for prescience, but I broadly think I got the continuing freeze between Japan and South Korea correct, as well as Xi’s tough external nationalism.

The longer I live in Asia, the more deeply skeptical I become that a Japan-Korea rapprochement is possible without a major shift in Japanese conservative politics. This will not happen barring some unforeseen crisis, and Korea will not budge an inch, as Japan’s colonial misdeeds are now central to South Korea’s political identity formation. This is an easy prediction for the future too.

Near the end of his tenure, Wen Jiabao said several times that China need significant reform, but it was not hard to imagine that his successors would choose the easier route of status quo party-led developmentalism at home and tough nationalism abroad. And so they have…


Filed under: Asia, China, Korea (North), Korea (South), Predictions

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Tom Robb and mReader

Englishbridges - Sun, 2015-01-18 13:14

https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/sun-jan-18-12-noon-gmt-learning2gether-with-tom-robb-and-mreader-sdl1gjf33hg.mp3
Download mp3
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/sun-jan-18-12-noon-gmt-learning2gether-with-tom-robb-and-mreader-sdl1gjf33hg.mp3?

On Sun Jan 18 at 12 noon GMT LEARNING2GETHER met with Tom Robb, one of the creators of MReader (http://mreader.org), a free system for providing quizzes to graded readers and tracking student progress with them.

Where? Google Hangout on Air, https://plus.google.com/events/c29a184p4t2pp0kvpbufa784trk

livestreamed

MReader was created to allow the Extensive Reading approach to be implemented in any class with access to graded or youth readers. It frees the busy teacher from the necessity of keeping track of what students have read via time-consuming reports and other feedback mechanisms. Even for the teacher already “sold” on the ER approach and who is willing to take the time and effort to counsel students, adoption of MReader presents an additional means of motivation for students, who can confirm their understanding of the books they have read and slowly amass a collection of book covers on their personal page.

MReader has over 4400 quizzes as of this writing (January, 2015) and the number is growing. The goal of the project is to have quizzes available on all ‘graded readers’ as well as the most popular native-speaker ‘youth readers’.

In this session, Tom Robb discusses the software, its development, its “gamification” aspects and the community effort behind it.

Announcements

Participants at this session may also be interested in

Thu Jan 22 1800-1930 GMT Thomas Strasser – Making the Most of (extensive) Readers and the Latest Interactive Digital Technology
Invitation: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8905964/Breeze/Invitation_Strasser_Readers.pdf

 

Earlier this week Sun Jan 11 EVO 2015 Kickoff Webcast with Nina Liakos and Vance Stevens

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/11/evo-2015-kickoff-webcast-with-nina-liakos-and-vance-stevens/

Wed Jan 14 EVO Minecraft MOOC meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn and Fri Jan 16  EVOMC15 Minecraft  sandbox

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/14/evo-minecraft-mooc-meet-and-greet-with-jeff-kuhn/

Mon Jan 12 Marie-Hélène Fasquel on Experimenting with the flipped classroom

http://www.lpm.uni-sb.de/typo3/index.php?id=1258
Info: http://v.gd/MHFflipped

Juergen Wagner always follows up these events with a “post-paratory” announcement. He hopes that you “will not hesitate to enter your feedback into the following padlet: http://de.padlet.com/wagjuer/webinars (just state your full name and a short remark concerning last night’s EVENT!!!)”

He continues:

At times there were 71 people in the virtual meeting room from about 20 different countries

(Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia,Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slowakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, …)

More links from the chat:

Mon Jan 12 – Wesley Fryer video hangout – volunteer opportunities for 2015 K12 Online Conference

Wesley Fryer

Shared publicly Jan 7, 2015

The K12 Online Conference is an all-volunteer, noncommercial effort, which means we rely completely on the contributions of generous volunteers. If you’ve ever thought about getting more involved with K12 Online, now is the time!

On Mon., Jan. 12 at 8:00pm ET, we will be livestreaming a video hangout here to talk about volunteer opportunities for the 2015 K12 Online Conference. There are a wide variety of ways to contribute, from marketing to presenting to working on live events. Some of these things only take a few minutes, while others are more involved. However you might like to be involved, there is an opportunity for you!

If you can’t join us for this hangout but are interested, please fill out this short form and we will also post an archive of the session here.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yumhYKmYELflwHRFH4Vsa5_zZ7kgDpRgighnQbK93tI/viewform?usp=send_form

We greatly appreciate our community’s support and help, and look forward to a great 2015!

 

Mon Jan 12 MachinEVO 2015 Week1: Session1

Tue, January 13, 12:00 AM in UAE

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/EduNation/103/162/23

Hazel Workman, Dennis Newson, Fabrizio Bartoli + 6 others going

Learning2gether participants welcome  “… but what we hope for are participants willing to stay the course  …. go the distance … and win a certificate at the final curtain.”


Wed Jan 14 Ideas in Action unhangout

https://unhangout.media.mit.edu/event/ideasinaction
Ideas in Action: Virtual Conversations
hosted by TEDxBeaconStreet and Learning Over Education Initiative

 

Fri Jan 16 Curt Bonk MOOCs and TAMK live-streamed from Finland

Curtis J. Bonk delivered a presentation via videoconference at Tampere University of Applied Sciences,http://www.tamk.fi/.

Live-streamed  here: http://youtu.be/p8_XS7RekHE (but not the recording)

Slides are at

 

Fri Jan 16 Pedagogy of Machinima with Marisa Constantinedes

MachinEVO 2015 Week 1 webinar with Marisa Constantinedes

https://lancelot.adobeconnect.com/_a875817169/celtathens

Hazel Workman, Fabrizio Bartoli, Carol Rainbow + 2 others going


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn

Worldbridges Megafeed - Fri, 2015-01-16 03:59
Hangout on Air (HoA) on Wednesday Jan 14, 2015 1400 GMT

On Wed Jan 14 at 1400 GMT EVO Minecraft MOOC held a meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn. Also on hand were EVOMC15 co-moderators Mariana and Filip Smolcec and Vance and Bobbi Stevens. Jeff started us off by laying out the rationale for using games in the classroom, including statistics showing that the video gaming industry was five times as many billion dollars as the film industry, certainly not a medium to ignore. One game that has been doing quite will in that industry is Minecraft, and our discussion explored how it can be used in class and also explored a little of Minecraft itself thanks to a screen share from Bobbi’s computer.  Hope you enjoy the recording.

How this worked at showtime Jan 14, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://youtu.be/TQ2BBq-ywr4  
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/ca1koklkgg8369t20sjdojmsvco 
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was pasted here at the time of the event
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

The above window is the live chatwing. The one below is frozen in time for this session

 

 

Maha Abdelmoneim

 

  hinice to meet you all 2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   thank you .. I may not be able to join the hangout this time :) multitaskingyes I can hear you all great2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   no problem, glad you are here2 days agochatWING Tamas Lorincz   Thsi is exactly what my 6th graders want to be....2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   lol I've seen a tournament from WoW=World of Warcraft.I am listening while my WoW toon is waiting patientlyI've tweeted using this #evominecraftmoocare you using something else?2 days agochatWING Tamas Lorincz   I think #evomc15 is the official hashtag.2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   there's an all educator guild "Cognitive Dissonance"2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   tamas yuou are there, want to join the HoA?2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   ah ok thank you Tamas2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   click on this link to come to the HoA if you wanthttps://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYdU4qxxF5KdZF8HorSlhk6lvARd57eoo1Xx0a22Lzit8ghsgg?authuser=0&hl=en2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   which server do you use?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   he set up a minecraft server2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   I've just downloaded the minecraft recently for me and for my niece but haven't played much yetah ok :)2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   join us :-)we're all basic players except for Jeff2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   what's the name of the game again?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   I'll find out, did the stream stop or is it still going?2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   still going on for me2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   ok thanks, I'll try to get the name of the game2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   yes that's why I love Secondlife .. you have many environments and the native speakers too2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   gran turismo?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   yep2 days agochatWING turneran91   Google docs? Then Survey Monkey for fine tuning times2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   Thanks Anne, I might try that next time. Meanwhile I set up a Doodle to find a time Fridayhttp://doodle.com/b4ssyfezv48vc3c5.It looks like 1500 GMT Friday Jan 16 is good for 5 of us, at the Minecraft servernserver :-)20 hours ago

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

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Learning2gether with EVO Minecraft MOOC meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn

Webheadsinaction.org - Fri, 2015-01-16 03:59
Hangout on Air (HoA) on Wednesday Jan 14, 2015 1400 GMT

On Wed Jan 14 at 1400 GMT EVO Minecraft MOOC held a meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn. Also on hand were EVOMC15 co-moderators Mariana and Filip Smolcec and Vance and Bobbi Stevens. Jeff started us off by laying out the rationale for using games in the classroom, including statistics showing that the video gaming industry was five times as many billion dollars as the film industry, certainly not a medium to ignore. One game that has been doing quite will in that industry is Minecraft, and our discussion explored how it can be used in class and also explored a little of Minecraft itself thanks to a screen share from Bobbi’s computer.  Hope you enjoy the recording.

How this worked at showtime Jan 14, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://youtu.be/TQ2BBq-ywr4  
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/ca1koklkgg8369t20sjdojmsvco 
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link 
      Direct link to HoA was pasted here at the time of the event
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

The above window is the live chatwing. The one below is frozen in time for this session

 

 

Maha Abdelmoneim

 

  hinice to meet you all 2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   thank you .. I may not be able to join the hangout this time :) multitaskingyes I can hear you all great2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   no problem, glad you are here2 days agochatWING Tamas Lorincz   Thsi is exactly what my 6th graders want to be....2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   lol I've seen a tournament from WoW=World of Warcraft.I am listening while my WoW toon is waiting patientlyI've tweeted using this #evominecraftmoocare you using something else?2 days agochatWING Tamas Lorincz   I think #evomc15 is the official hashtag.2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   there's an all educator guild "Cognitive Dissonance"2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   tamas yuou are there, want to join the HoA?2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   ah ok thank you Tamas2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   click on this link to come to the HoA if you wanthttps://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYdU4qxxF5KdZF8HorSlhk6lvARd57eoo1Xx0a22Lzit8ghsgg?authuser=0&hl=en2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   which server do you use?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   he set up a minecraft server2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   I've just downloaded the minecraft recently for me and for my niece but haven't played much yetah ok :)2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   join us :-)we're all basic players except for Jeff2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   what's the name of the game again?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   I'll find out, did the stream stop or is it still going?2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   still going on for me2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   ok thanks, I'll try to get the name of the game2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   yes that's why I love Secondlife .. you have many environments and the native speakers too2 days agochatWING Maha Abdelmoneim   gran turismo?2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   yep2 days agochatWING turneran91   Google docs? Then Survey Monkey for fine tuning times2 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   Thanks Anne, I might try that next time. Meanwhile I set up a Doodle to find a time Fridayhttp://doodle.com/b4ssyfezv48vc3c5.It looks like 1500 GMT Friday Jan 16 is good for 5 of us, at the Minecraft servernserver :-)20 hours ago

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EVO Minecraft MOOC meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn

Englishbridges - Wed, 2015-01-14 03:28

Audio rendition of the YouTube recording
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/wed-jan-14-1400-gmt-evo-minecraft-mooc-meet-and-greet-with-jeff-kuhn-tq2bbq-ywr4.mp3
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https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/wed-jan-14-1400-gmt-evo-minecraft-mooc-meet-and-greet-with-jeff-kuhn-tq2bbq-ywr4.mp3?

On Wed Jan 14 at 1400 GMT EVO Minecraft MOOC held a meet and greet with Jeff Kuhn. Also on hand were EVOMC15 co-moderators Mariana and Filip Smolcec and Vance and Bobbi Stevens. Jeff started us off by laying out the rationale for using games in the classroom, including statistics showing that the video gaming industry was five times as many billion dollars as the film industry, certainly not a medium to ignore. One game that has been doing quite will in that industry is Minecraft, and our discussion explored how it can be used in class and also explored a little of Minecraft itself thanks to a screen share from Bobbi’s computer.  Hope you enjoy the recording.

The event was in hangout https://plus.google.com/events/ca1koklkgg8369t20sjdojmsvco

Live streamed

Archived also at: http://webheadsinaction.org/learning2gether-evo-minecraft-mooc-meet-and-greet-jeff-kuhn

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My Top 5 List for 2104: 5 Biggest Foreign Policy Events in Korea

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-01-12 17:36
My Top 5 List for 2104: 5 Biggest Foreign Policy Events in Korea

This is a follow-up to my previous post – a top 5 list of events for US power in Asia in 2014.

South Korea had a good year. President Park’s cozying up to Beijing is starting to pay off. China-North Korea relations are frosty, which is important progress. Seoul also got OPCON delayed indefinitely, which is great for Southern security, as well as its defense budget (but not so great for the US). And the UN report on North Korea human rights has gotten a lot of traction – way more than I thought – and looks increasingly likely to show-up China and Russia for what they really are out here – shameless, cold-blooded supporters of the worst regime on earth. The more that point is made in public and Moscow and Beijing suffer the embarrassment costs of that support, the better.

The full post comes after the jump; it was originally written for the Lowy Institute:

The end of the year is a nice time to reflect on big events and try to prioritize them. This is often seen as a fool’s errand. There are so many events, and weighing their causal significance, in real time particularly, seems impossible. Still, assigning causal weight is what we are supposed to do in social science; it is what makes us different from pundits who just assign causality to their favorite arguments. So even if our judgments are poor, we still have to try.

What that in mind, here are the top five foreign policy events for Korea (where I live and work) for 2014. The relevant benchmark is security – those events which impact the security of the two Koreas, specifically those which impact their competition and move the debate about North Korean collapse and/or unification. All in all, South Korea had a pretty good year, while North Korea struggled. Indeed, North Korea is now so isolated (points 1 and 5 below), that denuclearization is becoming ever more unlikely: to give up its best deterrence against a hostile region would be folly. Anyway, here’s that list:

1. Improving Xi-Park Relations, and the Mini-Freeze between Beijing and Pyongyang

There’s a lot nattering about the good relationship between South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Pro-American South Korean conservatives have accused her of being a sinophile and preferring Xi to Obama.

I must admit that I have never understood this criticism. I suppose very partisan Americans might see Park’s supposed ‘sinophilia’ as a threat to the alliance. But that is pretty myopic. The whole point of the alliance is to control, if not eventual dispose of, North Korea. And this is precisely what Park is trying to wrangle from Xi. China more than anyone now holds the key to North Korea. It pays its bills, allows massive sanctions-busting along the border, provides it political cover at the UN and elsewhere (point 5 below), and so on. North Korea has no other meaningful allies to carry its costs. So if Park can slowly pull Xi away from Pyongyang, that is a huge achievement. We should all be cheering for this and the distance it has already created between North Korea and China.

2. Kim Jong Un’s Disappearance

Ah, wasn’t the autumn fun? For six weeks you could indulge all your paranoid fantasies and conspiracy theories about North Korea, and by mid-October, Kim Jong-Un’s disappearance was so lengthy that saying nutball stuff like, he was overthrown in a coup and that his sister had taken over the country, was actually credible.

Too bad none of the fun was true. But we did learn some things few of us want to admit, the most important being that the regime can fly on autopilot for away. There may be a neo-patrimonial sun-king cult at the top, but there are also institutions below – however deformed, neofeudal, or mafiaosi. And they did a pretty good job holding the DPRK together during Kim Jong-Il’s sudden illness (fall 2008), after Kim Jong-Il’s sudden death (December 2011), and again this time. So don’t get too excited for regime collapse next time some high figure dies suddenly or is purged.

3. Decision to Permanently Delay OPCON Transfer

This probably the most under-reported of all my points in this list, given how dull and bureaucratic it is. I wrote on this last month for Lowy. OPCON is the ‘operational control’ of the South Korean military in wartime. OPCON is currently in the hands of a US four-star general, in order to insure unity of command during a war. (In peacetime, i.e., right now, OPCON belongs to the South Koreans naturally.)

Needless to say, this is controversial. Many South Koreans, especially on the left, see US OPCON as an infringement on South Korean sovereignty (it is) and a major provocation to North Korea (it isn’t). So under South Korea’s most recent liberal president last decade, an agreement was struck to return OPCON to the Seoul. But the Southern right strongly opposed this as (correctly) reducing the American sense of commitment to South Korean defense. After conservatives re-won the presidency, OPCON was repeatedly delayed until last month, the delay was effectively made permanent by pushing the issue to the 2020s. In other words, the US commitment here will indefinitely remain as it has been.

4. The Kono Statement Pseudo-Review

2014 was another bad year for rapprochement between Japan and Korea. The low point was probably Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to revisit Japan’s apology for the sexual enslavement of Korean women (the ‘comfort women’) during the Pacific War. This apology, known as the Kono Statement, was examined for politicization, and Abe indeed found what he wanted – that Seoul pressured Tokyo over the crafting of the statement. But then Abe decided not to alter the statement.

I must admit that I don’t understand this at all and said so for Lowy at the time. What is the point of running a ‘review’ – which everyone knew would be politicized and give Abe what he wanted – but then not changing the statement in response? Abe thus got the worst of both worlds: He convinced the South Koreans once again that the Japanese right is unrepentant about wartime atrocities, while simultaneously inflaming and the disappointing Japanese conservatives who want to dump the Kono Statement altogether. This outcome makes everything worse – Seoul and Tokyo are as far apart as ever, while Japanese conservatives’ revanchism has now spread into government. Yikes.

5. The UN Commission of Inquiry Report on North Korean Human Rights

Early this year, the UN told everybody what everybody already knew: that North Korean gulags are on par with the Nazi Holocaust. But this has turned out to be a pretty big deal, bigger I think than most of us thought when it was released. The COI report has acquired a credibility globally that no amount of reports from the US government or NGOs could, and now there is discussion of sending the North Korean leadership before the International Criminal Court. I think this report broke through, because many less developed states intrinsically distrust US human rights pronouncements as either self-serving, hypocritical (post-Abu Ghraib), or ‘human rights imperialism.’ But the UN is trusted in much of the global South, because it is far more open to their concerns. So a UN report on North Korea is turning out to have far more weight in moving global public opinion than anyone thought.

Happily, China may be forced into publicly voting to prevent a referral of North Korea to the ICC. That would be a huge victory, as it would starkly reveal to the world just how much China protects its hideous, orwellian client. And such embarrassing publicity is probably the best way to pull China from North Korea.

BONUS: ‘Events’ that weren’t:

6. The Curious Lack of Impact of the Sewol Tragedy

At the time, the sinking of the Sewol ferry got enormous play in the local and global media. Pundits across Korea talked of it re-setting politics for years and beginning the decline of the Park presidency. The opposition took up the banner of Sewol for the year’s elections – and lost three times on it. What happened to all the social anger of the time? It’s still not clear.

7. Japan’s Non-Remilitarization

If there were a list from within the Korean media or government, I have little doubt that it would include the re-militarization of Japan. This is perennial Korean concern, frequently wildly exaggerated, and under Abe, it has gained new life. But Japan actually woefully underspends on defense, a truth widely recognized outside the region.

Happy New Year, all.


Filed under: China, Korea (North), Korea (South), United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

EVO 2015 Kickoff Webcast with Nina Liakos and Vance Stevens

Englishbridges - Sun, 2015-01-11 12:46

https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/2015jan11evokickoff-64k.mp3
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https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/2015jan11evokickoff-64k.mp3?

On Sunday Jan 11 Learning2gether assisted with the EVO 2015 Kickoff Webcast with Nina Liakos and Vance Stevens

EVO 2015 kick off webcast from nliakos

In this annual event, EVO2015 Moderators talked about this year’s sessions as the EVO gets underway for its 15th year! See http://evosessions.pbworks.com

Where? Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate)

Recording: https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2015-01-11.0545.M.7AE801FFB697DA460D4BF25AA8C21B.vcr&sid=75 – http://bit.ly/1IeBWhS.

Schedule of presentations

  • General Introduction (EVO and sessions) Nina, Vance, Coordination Team
  • Creating eTextbooks
  • Dream Act: What Teachers Can Do, Lori Dodson
  • Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing,  Tara Arntsen
  • EVO Minecraft MOOC, Vance Stevens, Mariana Smolčec
  • Flipped Learning, Laine Marshall, Kevin Coleman, John Graney, Khalid Fethi
  • MachineEVO 2015, Carol Rainbow
  • ICT4ELT, Mariana Smolčec, Sanja Bozinovic, Jose Antonio Da Silva
  • International Writing Exchange, Ludmila Smirnova, Ellen Graber, Nellie Deutsch
  • Moodle for Teachers, Ludmila Smirnova, Nellie Deutsch
  • NNEST and Collaborative Teaching, Geeta Aneja
  • Teaching EFL to Young Learners, Nellie Deutsch
  • Teaching Pronunciation Differently, Piers Messum, Roslyn Young
  • Using Moodle as a Bridge to Blended Learning, Victoria Dieste, Fabiana Hernandez
  • Wrap-up, Nina & Vance

Announcements

 

Earlier this week Sun Jan 4 Learning2gether with Teresa Almeida d’Eca – Google, a world within the World

http://learning2gether.net/2015/01/04/learning2gether-with-teresa-almeida-deca-google-a-world-within-the-world/

Wed Sat 7 1900 GMT IATEFL TEASIG Webinar

The IATEFL Testing Evaluation and assessment Special Interest Group will be holding a webinar on 7 January 2015 at 5pm GMT / 6pm CET

For time where you are, check out the world clock here : http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html…

The webinar is open to anyone who is interested. It will be recorded and available on the IATEFL website for a limited time. After that it will be available only to IATEFL members.

You can access the webinar through the IATEFL websitewww.iatefl.org or directly here:

https://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/_a875541554/teasigwebinars/

Sun Jan 11 12 noon GMT Marjorie Rosenberg IATEFL YLTSIG Webinar: Teaching to Learners of all Styles

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2144602-ylt-webinars-teaching-to-learners-of-all-styles

Presented by: Marjorie Rosenberg


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Deez Nuts: On Privilege, Apologies, and Cho Hyun-ah

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:41
Deez Nuts: On Privilege, Apologies, and Cho Hyun-ah

by Chris Tharp

I have to admit to reveling in the ongoing drama of “Nutgate,” in which then Korean Airlines vice president for cabin service Cho Hyun-ah threw a weapons grade conniption when, on a flight from New York to Seoul, an attendant in first class had the audacity to serve her macadamia nuts in the packet instead of upon a pristine plate. Not content just to dress the offending stewardess down, she unleashed a torrent of abuse upon the whole staff and ordered the taxiing plane back to the gate, where she had the chief purser ejected for dereliction of duty. Almost as puzzling as Ms. Cho’s seemingly cruel and petty outburst is the fact that pilot went along with her demand, breaking aviation safety law in a pathetic attempt to save his own ass. He knew better than to defy HER will. After all, her father, Cho Yang-ho, is the chairman of Hanjin, the conglomerate that owns Korean Airlines. Hyun-ah was  backed up by serious, hard power. If she was so willing to bounce the purser over a nut discrepancy, what fate could await a pilot who disobeyed a direct order from Her Highness? Knowing his place on the strata of Korean social power, the pilot bowed down his head and turned that plane the fuck around.

This story quickly went viral and is still being covered worldwide. Part of it is the absurdity of the narrative: Such a brouhaha over nuts, really? The whole affair seemed so silly and random, but the bullying behavior of the central antagonist colored it with a much darker hue. It shone a light on the seeming untouchability of the 1%, that not only do the uber-rich have all the money, but they consider themselves above the law. This especially tapped into the zeitgeist here in South Korea, where people have been watching the families of the nation’s chaebol (conglomerates) act like modern day aristocrats for decades now. Enough was enough, and it didn’t take long before liberals and conservatives alike were calling for Cho Hyun-ah’s head on a pike.

There is more than just the will to punish bad behavior going on here. We love a good villainess and are very willing to cast Ms. Cho in that role. Throughout my lifetime the media has periodically turned its lens onto those out-of-touch, wealthy women that we love to hate, fire-breathing female figures who live in diamond palaces and run roughshod over the help. Remember Leona Helmsely, aka “The Queen of Mean”? Zsa Zsa Gabor’s infamous slapping of the traffic cop? Or the racist outbursts Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Shott? Cho Hyun-ah is just another notorious woman crowned with the time-honored title of Megabitch. The fact that she’s Asian only ratchets it up to another level. Now she is no longer just a Megabitch, but a fully-fledged Dragon Lady. I haven’t seen a real-life Dragon Lady elicit such levels of vitriol since the days of Imelda Marcos. I wonder how many shoes Cho Hyun-ah owns?

None of this should come as too much of a surprise. After all, Ms. Cho’s English name is ‘Heather.’ Heather Cho. Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s can testify that pretty much any girl name Heather was considered to steeped in venom. This notion was so widespread at the time that they ended up making a hit movie about it. I wonder how Ms. Cho came upon that name. Did she choose it herself? Or, more likely, was it assigned to her by an English teacher who knew what made her tick?

Teacher: So… Hyun-ah. What English name would you like?

Hyun-ah: Hello teacher… I want to be called ‘Sunny.’

Teacher: ‘Sunny?’ Hmmm… let’s see… Oh, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. That name’s already taken. We’re just going go ahead and call you ‘Heather,’ m’kay?

One thing I like about Korea is that if you’re a public figure and you really fuck up, you have crawl out in front of the whole nation and perform a giant mea culpa. There is no stonewalling, no subterfuge, no hiding behind layers of lawyers and publicists. You are forced to put one foot in front of the other and hike the walk of shame in front of a battalion of camera-wielding journalists, where, voice a-trembling, you repeatedly whisper ‘I’m sorry’ into a wall of microphones and then bow. I think this ritual of public contrition plays an essential role in a person’s rehabilitation while also serving the public’s need to stick the offending celebrity in the pillories and launch volley after volley of virtual tomatoes. Cho Hyun-ah did this just days after the whole incident went public, and something about it was immensely satisfying. There she was, in her stylish black jacket and grey scarf, strands of loose hair rakishly blowing over her seemingly makeup-free face, while she mumbled her apologies in a barely-audible sigh. The rest of us sat there smugly while she choked down spoonful after spoonful of steaming, fecal-flavored bibimbap for all the world to see. I was absolutely enraptured and never wanted it to end.

What’s even better was that her dad, Cho Yang-ho, apologized too. One of the richest men in the nation hauled himself in front of the cameras and confessed his heartfelt regret that he didn’t do a better job in raising her. I was both impressed and dumbfounded. Here we had a father taking responsibility for the behavior of his grown, 40-year old daughter, basically admitting to the fact that he had overindulged her growing up, recognizing that this may just have some bearing on her actions today.

Can you imagine if this happened back home? If the parents of our most awful citizens came forward and apologized on behalf of their spawn?

“On behalf of our family and the whole nation of Canada, I’d like to offer my most sincere apologies. It’s time I faced the fact that my son Justin is indeed a malignant, no-talent puddle of shit. We are very sorry for encouraging him to go into music, but even sorrier for having him in the first place.”

“We’d like to express regret for buying our daughter Paris a Caribbean island for her 8th birthday. We should have just gone with the pony.”

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have paved the way for Jr. to go into politics. It wasn’t prudent of me do to so, since it resulted in two illegal wars and a gutted economy for the benefit of his cronies. I’d like to apologize, but… screw it, let’s just keep blaming it all on the negro.”

The whole notion of parents apologizing for their adult kids is very Korean. Most Koreans take this idea of collective responsibility very seriously. North Korea takes it to the extreme, where several generations of one family will be thrown into the gulag over the supposed sins of just one member. But I’ve seen it here in South Korea, first hand. In 2007 a student massacred 32 people in a mass shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech in America. Early reports told us that the shooter was Asian, but for some time his exact ethnicity was unknown. Koreans were tight lipped on the story, presumably praying inside that the murderer was anything but Korean. Please Japanese. Please Japanese. When it turned out that he was indeed a Korean kid, for days I was subjected to deeply felt apologies from Korean friends, acquaintances, and students, with many of them directly apologizing on behalf of their entire nation.

“I am so sorry he was Korean. We are so ashamed.”

“It’s okay,” I’d say. “You don’t need to apologize. Really.

“But I am sorry.”

“What? Did you send him money to buy bullets?”

Cho Hyun-ah was detained on December 30th and is now holed up in a cold, South Korean jail. She has been indicted on five different charges and faces up to 15 years in prison for her nut meltdown. Her father stripped her of all her positions within Hanjin’s companies, and seems very willing to sacrifice her onto the pyre of public outrage. I wonder how long it is before they brand the word BITCH into her back with a hot iron and force her walk to walk naked through the freezing streets of Seoul. She’s getting her commupance and then some, but I have to admit that I actually feel sorry for her. The satisfaction that so many of us get by knowing that she is suffering is not an attractive human emotion. It’s ugly, because at times we’ve all been terrible people. Our willingness to spit in Ms. Cho’s disgraced face runs counter to Christ’s “Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone,” which you don’t have to be a Christian to recognize as one of his finest moments. That was also a situation involving a very unpopular woman. Hmmm… I sense a pattern here.

Spurned by the public, fired from her jobs, abandoned by her father, facing hard time… what’s a former heiress to do? Well she’ll have to serve whatever sentence is handed down, but when she comes out, I have a business idea I’d like to pitch her way: I think she should open an S & M dungeon. Just picture it: The whole thing is done up like the first class cabin of a jumbo jet. She is dressed in a skin-tight PVC catsuit, along with an Nazi SS cap and patch over one eye. She sits, legs crossed, in an airline seat and carries a bullwhip. The slave is lead in on a leash. He wears a chief purser’s uniform with the whole of the crotch cut out. A leather gimp mask covers his face. A ball gag occupies the cavity of his mouth. A butt plug in the shape of a miniature Boeing 747 is rammed deep into the recesses of his ass. In his trembling hands is a pack of macadamia nuts. At Madam Cho’s feet is a plate made of the purest white porcelain.

“It puts the nuts on the plate.”

*CRACK*

“It puts the nuts on the plate.”

*CRACK*

“PUT THE NUTS ON THE MOTHERFUCKING PLATE!!!”

This works for me. Maybe it will for her as well. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a shot at redemption?


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by Dr. Radut