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Fall Photography!

Sat, 2019-11-02 11:43
Fall Photography!

I love fall. I love the temperature. I love the fact that the sun rises and sets at a reasonable time. I love the changing of the leaves and the cool morning air. I also thankfully live in a country that also doesn’t know what a pumpkin spice latte is either!

With that being said, What’s the plan for this year? It is almost halloween and I have yet to head out and get those signature dead leaf shots. Well truth be told, peak season doesn’t hit my part of South Korea until this weekend. So I will be gearing up tomorrow for some adventures. Here is a basic idea of what I am going for this year.

The Standard Shots

One of the things that I learned while I was shooting sports was that you need to nail the standard or “safety shots” first before getting too wild with your creativity. That basically means that you should get those “typical shots” out of the way first before venturing into a style of shot that may or may not work.

These are typically shots that everyone knows or expects to see. Boring, yes but necessary. For me I use these shots to get warmed up. They get my head in the game a little bit. So start of with the snapshots of the falling leaves on the ground before moving on to the technically more difficult shots. At least you will leave with some shots that you can share on your card.


If you know my work then you know that I don’t shy away from colour. I love it and it is what attracts me to this time of the year. The colours seem to pop in fall regardless of the weather.

When I am shooting fall colours, I am looking for ways to boosts the contrast or show how enveloping they are. Meaning that this is a time of year when the trees are bright yellow and red and the ground is also covered with bright yellow and red leaves. I am looking to find ways to express that in my photography this year a little better than I have in years gone by.

Colour is a great way to show fall as it is a very recognizable colour scheme. If your view sucks then focus on those colours and get closer to your subject. Used patterns and light to emphasise the colours as well.

Creative Shots

Injecting a bit of creativity into your fall portfolio is almost needed these day. By now your social feeds are probably inundated with bright colour shots of waterfalls and forest paths. While these images are great, you may want to consider changing things up and possibly experimenting with some new ideas.

I love thinking about new ways to photograph something as timeless as autumn. Cinemagraphs are a great way to add a bit of movement into a still frame.

This is a fun idea as we all associate the falling of leaves as a vital part of the autumn experience. creating an image with an infinite loop of falling leaves is a great way for people to experience the fall beauty.

You can also hone in on the smaller details. I have a 50mm F1.4 that I don’t use all that often. However, it is great for details when shooting wide open to blur out the rest of the surrounding image.

Another idea is to add motion blur to your images. As the trees are blowing in the wind, you can set your aperture to F22 for a longer exposure and see what happens. This works best on a windy day where there is a lot of movement in the trees.

The bottomline here is that you can start with the typical shots and work your way into some truly creative stuff. You just have to step back and experiment. Remember, you are not a journalist covering the falling of the leaves for a major news outlet. You are a photographer with a flare for creativity.

The post Fall Photography! appeared first on The Sajin.


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Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 67) Horror Movie Hot Boys

Mon, 2019-10-28 10:25
Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 67) Horror Movie Hot Boys

The Horror Movie Hot Boys is a super exclusive group which I am involved in. The OG’s consist of John Meyerriecks, Mark Shelley and I. I wouldn’t not call us horror movie experts – and we’ve gotten together on this pod to figure out the ONLY movie you should be watching this Halloween. We do this by selecting 24 of our favorite horror movies, and then eliminating them, one by one, until only one recommendation remains. If you’re interested in hearing three middle-aged men nerd-out and argue about horror movies – than this is the episode for you! And please, let us know which ones we got wrong.  If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it, and please leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on. I’d really appreciate it!

 Nothing's Really Real Podcast:  Soundcloud    Stitcher    iTunesKoreabridge.net/NothingsReallyReal
 @NothingsReally     @nothings.really.real

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KongGukSu (콩국수) – Korean Cold Noodles with Soy Bean

Thu, 2019-10-10 18:11
KongGukSu (콩국수) – Korean Cold Noodles with Soy Bean KongGukSu (콩국수) is a Korean Cold Noodle dish served in soy bean broth. Here, the broth is made from blended tofu with coconut milk. It’s served cold with ice and topped with hard-boiled egg, tomato slices, cucumber slices and roasted sesame seeds.

KongGukSu (콩국수) is a cold noodle dish using a soybean broth. Traditionally, SoMyeon (소면) Korean wheat noodles are used. These are thin noodles that are easy to cook.

The traditional KongGukSu also requires soy beans. Typically, this means rinsing, boiling and blending whole soy beans in a long, involved process. Tofu is basically the same thing. It’s cheap and readily available, so we’re going to use it here.

This is also a great recipe for anyone wondering what to make with tofu. The resulting broth is rich and creamy, so you don’t have to worry about people not liking the unique texture of tofu, which can be hit-or-miss for some palates.

Video Recipe

Click on the video below to follow along or scroll past to view the ingredient list and directions.

Help support us. Scroll down for more content.

IngredientsKongGukSu (콩국수) – Ingredients – Broth, noodles and garnish
  • Noodles:
    • ‘SoMyeon’ Korean thin wheat noodles
  • Broth:
    • 1 block tofu (medium or firm)
    • 1~2 cups Milk – Soy, Almond or Coconut Milk
    • ½ teaspoon Salt
    • (Optional) 1~2 Tablespoons Peanut or Almond Butter
    • (Optional) – Crushed Almonds, Walnuts and/or Sesame Seeds
  • Garnish:
    • Hard-boiled egg
    • Tomato (Roma or Cherry)
    • Cucumber
    • Roasted Sesame Seeds
DirectionsNoodle Preparation
  1. For 1~2 servings, grab noodles in your hand and measure 1~2 cm / ¾-inch diameter in your hand.
  2. Bring a quart of water to boil and add noodles. Start timer and cook on low boil for 3~4 minutes.
  3. Stir occasionally to prevent noodles from sticking.
  4. In a colander, rinse noodles and set aside to drain for a few minutes.
Here we show SoMyeon noodles being boiled in water. Boil for 3~4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent noodles from sticking to the pot.Rinsing noodles in colander. Rinse thoroughly until they don’t feel slimy. Soy Bean Broth
  1. In a blender, combine tofu, salt and milk/water. Add optional nuts and/or nut butter.
  2. Blend and check consistency and flavor. Add milk/water if needed to make broth on the runny side.
    Add salt to taste
Ingredients for Soybean Broth – Add to blender and blend.Garnish
  1. Cucumber:
    • Cut a block of cucumber.
    • Slice into the side and roll the cucumber to cut into a thin sheet
    • Slice the sheet of cucumber into thin slices
Slicing cucumber into sheets by rolling with knifeServing

Be sure to view the video to make the recipe easier to follow. We hope it turns out tasty. Let us know how it turns out in the comments.

KSesame seeds sprinkled over served noodles and broth for garnish

If you want to learn how to make other Korean dishes visit our main page at Yorihey.com.

  1. Tomato – Slice tomatoes into thin slices
  2. Hardboiled egg – Slice in half lengthwise
    1. Place noodles in serving bowl,
    2. Pour soy bean broth over noodles,
    3. Place cucumber slices, tomato slices and a slice of hard-boiled egg over noodles.
    4. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over dish,
    5. Add a few ice cubes to broth and serve.


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2019 Korea TESOL International Conference

Mon, 2019-09-23 12:41

The Korea TESOL International conference is a 2-day conference for English teachers in Korea. Approximately 1,000 teachers from Korea and east Asia are expected to participate. The goal of the conference is to support KOTESOL's mission to "assist teachers in self-development and improve ELT in Korea."

More than 200 sessions, presented by experts scholars and educators in English language teaching, are scheduled over the two days. The conference is a great place to network, learn about new trends in ELT, and to brush up on old skills. 

For more information including registration fees, please see our website at koreatesol.org/IC2019 The preregistration deadline is September 30.



poster kotesol header homepage.png
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Does Trump Want to Withdraw from South Korea if He’s Re-Elected?

Sun, 2019-09-22 22:29
Does Trump Want to Withdraw from South Korea if He’s Re-Elected?



This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote this month for The National Interest.

I keep hearing this idea on the lecture and conference circuit in East Asia – that Trump wants to withdraw from South Korea and a second term would open that possibility.

The big problems for Trump, if he really wants to do this, are 1) US bureaucratic resistance, and 2) his own laziness and incompetence. That is, much of official Washington would oppose a SK retrenchment. Just as it did Jimmy Carter’s late 1970s effort to withdraw from South Korea.

But Trump is POTUS in a highly presidentialized system. He might be able to win the battle Carter lost, but Trump would have to really work at it – get on the phone, have face-to-face confrontations with the military, use the bully pulpit against the pundit network who would oppose this. But Trump is so lazy, and so uncomfortable with personal confrontation – this is why he fires people over Twitter – that I doubt he has the focus to push this.

Curiously though, Trump might find a sort-of ally in SK President Moon Jae-In. The SK left has long had an ambiguous relationship with USFK as ‘neo-imperialists’ bullying the ROKG. I doubt Moon’s leftist coalition would push back much if Trump tried to do this.

The full essay is after the jump:


It is now pretty widely accepted that the United States and South Korea are drifting apart on the central security issues of northeast Asia. Much of this is motivated by the unique leadership configuration of the two countries – an unconventional US president prone to see US allies as free-riders, coupled with a South Korean president deeply ambivalent about the US role in South Korea.

Their varying initiatives – sometimes coincidentally aligned, other times at cross-purposes – are pushing toward a reckoning. I keep hearing at conferences in East Asia, that the big break may occur if US President Donald Trump is re-elected. He may then feel free to go where he seems to wish to go: a US retrenchment from South Korea. And South Korean President Moon Jae-In, unable to much alliance enthusiasm among his own leftist electoral coalition, may offer little resistance. The US structure in South Korea may end more with a whimper than a bang.

The key to this scenario is Trump’s re-election. It is hard to imagine any of the Democratic contenders, should one become president, pushing for this. The Democratic party has no obvious animosity or policy problem with the US alliance with South Korea. Indeed, it is not clear that this is even an issue at all on the US left, unlike with Trump. Former President Barack Obama was supportive the alliance and put middling efforts into Korean issues such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. There is no reason to expect any of the Democratic contenders to wander far from the script, and they have not to date.

On the Republican side, it is Trump, of course, who has made the South Korean alliance a major issue. Were any other traditional Republican, like Mitt Romney or Mike Pence, the president, alliance antagonism with South Korea would likely not occupy much policy space. The traditional Reaganite GOP was supportive of US forward basing.

So Trump effectively stands alone in official Washington in his harsh criticisms of South Korea – such as calling Moon an ‘appeaser’ in 2017, demanding a revision of the Korea-US free trade deal, and repeatedly insisting that South Korea is ripping off the US on defense support. The notion that US allies generally – not just South Korea – are bilking the US is one of Trump’s deepest held beliefs. He comes back to this idea repeatedly.

Coupled with this is Trump’s much-touted ‘friendship’ with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un. It is highly unlikely that Kim thinks the same way beyond the shallowest opportunism. But ‘friendship’ with dictators, especially Kim, is also a theme Trump comes back to again and again. The consequence of that friendship would be, in full, the unnecessity of US troops in South Korea. If the North is an American friend, at peace with South Korea, and a normalized state participating in the world economy, the US need not remain in South Korea. If Trump pulls a normalization deal out of Kim on his nuclear weapons and missiles, perhaps in desperation for a foreign policy ‘win’ for the 2020 president race, that could give Trump the political cover to next suggest a US withdrawal.

On the South Korean side, the relatively rare occurrence of a leftist president – for only the third time in South Korean history – opens a similar policy door. South Korea’s conservatives are quite traditional in their foreign policy beliefs – cold warriors opposed to North Korea, pro-American, pro-alliance, pro-trilateral cooperation with Japan, and so on. This is why the US, before Trump, generally found it easier to work with South Korean presidents from the right.

The South Korean left though has long been at best ambivalent about the US role. Like leftist parties in Europe during the cold war, there is a long tradition on the Southern left of seeing the US as imperialist, of reading US local bases as a form of neo-colonial imposition, of perceiving the conspiratorial hand of the Central Intelligence Agency at work in local government, of understanding the US alliance as provoking North Korea as much as re-assuring South Korea against it.

South Korea’s leftist foreign policy intellectuals have long dallied with the notion of expelling the Americans to pursue deep détente with the North, perhaps in a two-systems-one-country federation. They have also staunchly opposed US efforts to encourage trilateral cooperation with Japan. When anti-American protests have broken out in the past, their core usually came from the left.

So if Trump moves to withdraw in a second term – because he thinks South Korea is ungrateful or ‘scamming’ the US – he may push against an open door. The South Korean left will read, rightly to mind, US rhetoric about scams, rip-offs, cheap-riding, and so on, as exactly the sort of American hegemonic bullying it has long warned about. If Moon can re-make relations with the North to be those between two brother Korean states, rather than a cold war stand-off, who needs the Americans and their obnoxious, grasping president anyway?

I still think the likelihood of this is under 50%. The bureaucratic resistance among national security elites in both countries would be intense. And if Trump loses, this whole debate will end immediately. But still, this the most serious debate about the US presence in South Korea since President Jimmy Carter abortively suggested withdrawal in the late 1970s.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University



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72 Hours in Tokyo with the Canon EOS R

Sun, 2019-09-22 13:54
72 Hours in Tokyo with the Canon EOS R

With the announcement that Canon’s pro level mirrorless would be coming out at some point in the next year around the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, I couldn’t wait any longer. I gave in and bought the EOS R. I resisted the urge to pick up the 5D mk IV and picked up a drone last year as I felt that I could squeeze a few more years out on my 5D mk III. With a rebate and all the discounts that come along with shopping on Korean duty-free sites, I managed to snag the camera for close to $800 off the original price.

The Context

I was worried that I had jumped the gun. I was concerned that when the new “Pro Level” body came out that I would be left with buyer’s remorse after picking up the “old body” too late in the game. However, I needed a new camera. One that could keep up with the projects that I have on the go and future work that would meet the ever-increasing demands of the market.

At any rate, I was in Tokyo for a short time, with a brand new camera and a very detailed shot list. I was primed and ready. So how did the camera stand up to my tried and true 5D mk III?

Pro vs Pro-sumer!!??

The big thing for me was (influenced by the internet) that I thought this camera was lacking features vital to “pro photographers” or something like that. It was something that kept me waiting for the so-called “pro model” to come out. Sure, come next year, I could be eating my words when Canon releases some 60 megapixel monster with lasers and sparkly buttons.

However, at this moment and for the work that I do, I don’t really need a 60 megapixel sports camera or one designed for astrophotography. I don’t shoot sports, so I don’t need the performance. I am also not making feature-length movies. So I don’t need the full frame 4k video either. I don’t have enough hair for a man-bun, so I don’t need the retro style either.

I am not concerned so much with the label or the reputation from youtube personalities. However, if you look, you will also find a lot of pros praising this camera too. It is just a matter of perspective. Even so, if some dude in skinny jeans says that it is good, it doesn’t really matter in the long run.

From me, I need a camera that can perform and that can last as long as my 5D mk III. That is all that I want and need at this moment in time. I don’t care what sony or fuji is putting out. I don’t give two turds how well your camera performs because you read a blog and put a handmade strap on your camera. I only care if this camera can produce the images that I want and need it to.

The Initial Thoughts

At first, I was overwhelmed at the customization. I could change anything that I wanted. There are buttons and sliders for everything. I felt a little like a kid in a candy store. There was just too much to choose from.

With that being said, I immediately loved the Canon Connect app. Now this is something that most of the recent Canon cameras have already but was missing from my 5D mk III. The tilt screen was also something that I liked from the first moment as I often struggled with seeing the screen with certain angles.

With that being said, I found that the electronic viewfinder or EVF took some getting used to and some customization. Particularly, turning off the preview. I was not a fan of having the last image pop up into the viewfinder as I was trying to get the next shot. Even for a couple of seconds, so I turned that function off.

The size and feel of the camera was great. It just fit like a glove. The smaller size also meant that it slid into my camera bag a little looser, so that was something that I had to change. Adjusting the dividers in my everyday backpack gave a little more room and that was great on this trip.

In The Field

Once again, I was in Tokyo for a very short time and had a very detailed shot list. This trip I went from Ueno to Kichijoji, Shibuya to Diver City and everywhere in between. I wanted to get the top places in Tokyo to finally check them off the list. For travel photography, the touristy places are in high demand. It sucks, but nobody wants your street photography if it isn’t in Shunjuku. A busy crosswalk is nothing if it is not at Shibuya.

Initially, I brought my 5D mk III as a backup in case something went wrong. That means that if my brain couldn’t figure out the features of the camera in time to catch blue hour. I needed to have that piece of mind, despite adding to the weight. However, it rarely left my bag unless it was needed for an ultrawide shot. I have yet to purchase the adaptor to fit my other lenses.

Much to my surprise, the camera worked flawlessly. The 24-105mm lens was outstanding and being able pinpoint exactly where I want to focus was a lot more efficient using the touchscreen. Even focussing in low light situations, the EOS R did not miss a beat.

After checking out a few videos in my hotel room (not THOSE videos lol) I was able to further customize the settings and dials to meet my needs. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t change the control ring to adjust the bracketing for HDR but maybe I just couldn’t figure out how at this moment in time.

The one thing that I noticed was that if you are using a tripod, you really have to turn off the stabilization. The first few shots came out shaky until I noticed that I still had the stabilization on. After shutting that off (as you should when using a tripod), the pics were razor sharp.

Final Thoughts

There was a lot of bad press about this camera. People griping about the lack of memory card slots and the cropped 4K video. It had me brainwashed too. I was concerned that this camera, despite the high price tag would not meet my standards.

The reality is that it far far exceeded my standards. Most of the videos on Youtube are really geared towards finding faults or leading you towards pro level cameras. In this case, I spent a considerable about of time with this camera and by the end, retired my 5D mk III.

This camera has a better version of the lens that I use most often and for $99 I can get an adapter to use all of my other lenses. That to me is a major strong point. However, it is just the fact that this camera just performs well. I feel that I have haven’t even tapped its full potential yet.

The bottomline here is that you need a camera that works for you. Whether you shoot Canon, Sony, Fuji, or Hasselblad it shouldn’t make a difference unless you are pushing the camera far beyond it’s design. Meaning that if you suddenly find yourself shooting pro football, this camera will not cut it.

On the other hand, if you find yourself in Tokyo and want to capture some memorable images, this camera is more than adequate. I am sure if you bought a decent camera within the last few years, it will be able to get some great images as well.

The post 72 Hours in Tokyo with the Canon EOS R appeared first on The Sajin.


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DATAFL - What sorts of English teachers do you think schools are looking for? Data from thousands of job ads (in Asia) reveals the facts

Wed, 2019-09-11 14:53
What sorts of English teachers do you think schools are looking for?

I wrote about this previously in an older blog post, but I decided to update it and make it a little more visually appealing by adding some graphs to the information.

I looked on various sites in Taiwan, Korea, China and Japan at the job advertisements for English teachers and the keywords they were using and came up with this.

You can download it here.


 ESLinsiderThings You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know

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Korea File Podcast: Gentrification and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Seoul

Thu, 2019-08-29 11:31
Gentrification and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Seoul

Download mp3 Traditional Korean homes have become a victim of recent waves of gentrification in Ikseon-dong and Bukchon. But as these old residential neighbourhoods become a haven for hipsters, the unique cultural footprint of an important aspect of Seoul’s history is being erased.

On episode 86 of The Korea File, Ji-hoon Suk, a University of Michigan Ph.D. student in Asian History and a keen observer of cultural heritage in the metropolis, joins host Andre Goulet to explore the rich historic legacy of some prominent hanok affected by development.

Plus: critiquing the city government's too-little-too-late policy on managing gentrification, debunking so-called "heritage garden" Seongnagwon, investigating the architectural secrets of Seoul's long-lost Cheongnyangni 588 red-light district and more.

This episode was produced in collaboration with the Royal Asiatic Society- Korea Branch (RASKB). Find out about upcoming lectures and tours at www.raskb.com

Music courtesy of Creative Commons.

This conversation was recorded on August 25th, 2019.  #gentrification, #korea, #raskb, #seoul, #southkorea

    The Korea File

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Bulgogi (불고기) – Korean Marinated Ribeye Beef

Wed, 2019-08-28 21:17
Bulgogi (불고기) – Korean Marinated Ribeye Beef Bulgogi (불고기) is made from thinly sliced ribeye beef and marinated in soy sauce and sugar. It’s a great main dish to share with family or friends.

Bulgogi (불고기) is made using thinly sliced ribeye beef. It is marinated using mainly soy sauce and sugar, combined with cabbage, carrots and onions, and cooked over a hot pan.

It’s a great meal with sweet and tender beef that everyone is sure to love. You can marinate the beef, add the vegetables and cook on a portable stove right on the table, Korean restaurant style.

For detailed recipe directions, view our video here:

Bulgogi-Korean Marinated Beef (불고기) – Chopped VegetablesIngredients
  • 1~2 lbs (1 kg) Bulgogi Meat – Sliced Ribeye Beef
  • 1 Whole Onion – sliced
  • 1~2 Cups Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Carrot – Diagonally cut and sliced into thin strips
  • Green Onion – Thinly chopped
  • 1 bunch of mushrooms – Enoki or other thinly sliced mushrooms
  • Cooking Oil
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • (Optional) – Fresh hot pepper – finely chopped for garnish
  • 6 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • (Optional) 1 Asian or Sweet Pear – Core and Blended – Can also use kiwi or pineapple. This helps tenderize the meat.

Help support us. Scroll down for more content.

Bulgogi-Korean Marinated Beef (불고기) – IngredientsDirectionsPreparation – Marinating the Beef

If you bought ready-to-cook bulgogi meat, it should already be thinly sliced. If not, cut your steaks into very thin slices, about 1 millimeter or 1/8-inch thick. You can also buy Bulgogi that is already marinated. In that case, skip to the next section.

  1. Combine the sugar, soy sauce, garlic and fish sauce into a bowl and stir. To dissolve the sugar better, place in the microwave and cook for about 20~30 seconds, then stir.
  2. (Optional) Core and blend a pear (or kiwi, pineapple). Add to the marinade sauce.
  3. Add the marinade sauce to the bulgogi meat. Place in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate for at least an hour.
Bulgogi-Korean Marinated Beef (불고기) – Cooking on skilletCooking
  1. Add the onions, carrots and green onions to the marinated bulgogi meat. Mix thoroughly. Set aside the mushrooms and cabbage.
  2. Heat a large wok or skillet to medium heat. Add some cooking oil.
  3. Add the bulgogi meat mix and stir-fry. Cook for about 1~2 minutes until the meat color becomes lighter.
  4. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry.
  5. Keep cooking and stirring until the cabbage is cooked. Liquid will form from the beef. Don’t try to reduce it as this will result in overcooking.
  6. Once cooked, transfer to a serving dish.
  7. Add sesame seeds and chopped hot pepper for garnish, if desired.

If you want to learn how to make other Korean dishes visit our main page at Yorihey.com.


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ReLEx SMILE: myths or truth?

Thu, 2019-08-22 08:50
ReLEx SMILE: myths or truth?

(sponsored post by BGN Eye Hospital)

ReLEx SMILE: myths or truth?

These days many people heard about ReLEx SMILE surgery, which is a type of laser vision correction used to correct myopia and astigmatism.

Though it is becoming more and more popular, still some people have wrong ideas and myths about the procedure. Here are some of those myths and the truth revealed.


SMILE laser eye surgery is still new and developing, so it is not safe

While it is true that SMILE is a relatively new procedure when compared to LASIK, that does not mean that it lacks safety or effectiveness. Multiple studies have examined SMILE refractive surgery and found it to be a safe and useful procedure for correcting nearsightedness and astigmatism.

Surgeons in the USA, Europe and Asia successfully use SMILE and receive high satisfaction from patients.


My prescription is too severe to be treated

For nearsightedness and astigmatism SMILE laser eye surgery is capable of treating the vast majority of cases as long as other eye health problems are not present. 

Basically SMILE surgery is possible until -8 to -9 diopters. The best way to discover if your case qualifies for SMILE refractive surgery is to visit clinic for pre-surgery examination and consultation.

BGN Eye Hospital Busan provides free Vision Correction surgery examination and consultation for all patients who would like to check whether they are the candidates for the procedure.

Surgery is painful, and if I blink something could go wrong

Many people have trouble controlling their blinking when faced with pain or discomfort which is natural! Luckily, the developers of SMILE laser eye surgery planned for this.  The procedure involves the use of anesthetic eye drops to numb the nerves of the eye, and a speculum and suction is employed to ensure that your eye stays in place throughout the procedure. 

Surgeons ensure that the conditions are safe before they begin the procedure, and the total duration of the treatment is only 7 to 10 minutes, with laser work of about 30 seconds. Patients who had the procedure have all reported that the surgery itself is painless.

Recovery from the treatment can involve some discomfort for several hours, but is quite manageable, and the eye should completely recover only a few days after the procedure. Other forms of LASIK eye surgery involve more nerve interaction and take longer to heal, so SMILE  actually offers improvements on the pain and recovery side.

SMILE surgery requires a long recovery

When compared to other surgeries, this is not the case. There is a day out for the surgery, of course, and patients may feel discomfort several hours after the procedure, so they are recommended to stay indoors. 

But in most cases patients can get back to normal life, work and studies already on the next day! And full vision stabilization comes within 2 weeks.

The results will not be permanent, and further surgeries will be necessary 

There is a possibility of the secondary vision decrease (2-5%) after any kind of laser vision correction. The probability of the secondary vision decrease depends not on the type of the surgery but on the patient`s prescription and individual corneal conditions.

If patient has enough corneal thickness for the secondary surgery, BGN Eye Hospital guarantees free secondary procedure in case of secondary vision decrease.

To find if you are a candidate for SMILE or other vision correction surgeries contact BGN Busan for free examination and consultation. 


010-7670-3995 (7/24) or kakao: eye1004bgnbusan.
You can also check their Facebook pages, to find some useful information



Don`t forget to check promotional events they have at the time of booking.

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Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 64) Ryan Estrada

Mon, 2019-08-19 11:47
Nothing's Really Real Podcast: (Ep 64) Ryan Estrada

Ryan Estrada is an artist, author, adventurer, return guest and friend of the show. He comes in to talk about a few of the big projects he’s got on the horizon. We talk about a recent viral trend he started, how he deals with rejection, and staying motivated while balancing multiple projects. We talk about cutting off hyena heads, setting oneself on fire, and bidets. We also talk about how Ryan recently found out a mass-murderer was following him on twitter. Of course, Ryan shares a Moment of Triumph and a Memory of Regret - and on top of all that - Ryan not only DRINKS HIS FIRST BEER EVER on this show, but he shotguns it proving once and for all that he is not a baby.Ryan Links
Ryanestrada.com/Twitter.com/ryanestradaInstagram.com/ryanestradadotcom If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it, and please leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on. I’d really appreciate it!

 Nothing's Really Real Podcast:  Soundcloud    Stitcher    iTunesKoreabridge.net/NothingsReallyReal
 @NothingsReally     @nothings.really.real

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Tips for Raising a Bilingual Kid (feat. Hyunwoo) | A Glass with Billy

Fri, 2019-08-16 14:00





Tips for Raising a Bilingual Kid (feat. Hyunwoo) | A Glass with Billy
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Can Koreans Pass a Korean Language Test? | 한국 사람들도 어려워하는 한국말 Top 10

Fri, 2019-08-09 14:00





Can Koreans Pass a Korean Language Test?
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Best Korean Actresses of All Time

Thu, 2019-08-08 00:00
Best Korean Actresses of All Time

Much like with actors in Korea, there are also a fair amount of actresses that are loved, adored, and respected by the viewing audience.

In some aspects, these Korean actresses may even be held in a higher regard than their male counterparts. Whether it’s a movie or a drama, there are always new actresses coming in to capture hearts.

However, there are some Korean actresses that will rise above all others, over and over again, and below we pay tribute to a few of them.

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes! Joon Ji Hyun

Recommended to watch in: My Love from the Star

Joon Ji Hyun was already Korea’s darling ever since she starred in the drama My Sassy Girl.

However, when she starred in the hit drama My Love from the Star, she immediately rose into international fame.

If she already wasn’t of such status, she is most definitely among one of Korea’s highest rated drama actresses now.

Park Shin Hye

Recommended to watch in: You’re Beautiful

With her youthful and beautiful look, Park Shin Hye has not only received fame through her acting chops but become memorable through her appearance as well.

She’s one of the best paid actresses in Korea, and it’s no surprise as she is constantly appearing in the most popular dramas, especially ones geared towards younger audiences.

In addition to her acting skills, she is also a talented singer.

Song Hye Kyo

Recommended to watch in: Descendants of the Sun

She’s one of the highest ranked celebrities among all genders in Korea, including non-acting celebrities as well.

Through her appearances in several well-received dramas and movies, she has risen to triple A status throughout Asia.

Her latest drama, Encounter, finished broadcasting in 2019.

Ha Ji Won

Recommended to watch in: Phone

As one of Korea’s most versatile actresses, it is no wonder that Ha Ji Won has become so popular and famous.

She has received several awards for her roles, both movies and dramas.

Like many other Korean actors and actresses, Ha Ji Won has also dabbled in music, having even written some of her own songs.

Shin Min Ah

Recommended to watch in: My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox

Another incredibly versatile actress, Shin Min Ah and her fresh look shine in both comedy and more serious work.

Although she started her career as a model, and is still a familiar face in several ad campaigns all around Korea, it is the last decade’s hit dramas such as My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox and Oh My Venus, that she is especially known for.

There is at least one movie starring her coming out this year.

Ku Hye Sun

Recommended to watch in: Boys Over Flowers

Much like Lee Minho, Ku Hye Sun also rose to both domestic and international fame through the hit drama Boys Over Flowers.

To keep up with the momentum, she has continued to star in dramas actively ever since.

On top of acting, Ku Hye Sun is also well-versed as a singer-songwriter, director, amongst other artistic endeavors.

Bae Suzy

Recommended to watch in: Dream High

Although Suzy originally rose to fame as an idol member of the girl group Miss A, she has made herself an even bigger name through her acting.

Having appeared in more than 10 television dramas to date, she has become one of Korea’s most sought after actresses.

Despite gaining momentum in acting, she has continued earnestly to work as a singer and an idol as well.

Gong Hyo Jin

Recommended to watch in: It’s Okay, That’s Love

Over the last 20 years, Gong Hyo Jin has appeared in more than 20 movies and in nearly as many TV dramas.

She is undoubtedly one of Korea’s best liked actresses, especially when it comes to stars of romantic comedy.

On top of a great career in film and TV, she has also taken her talent to theatre.

Yoon Eun Hye

Recommended to watch in: Lie To Me

Despite the fact that Yoon Eun Hye has spent the past few years laying low, she has long been one of Korea’s most popular actresses.

She made her debut as a member of the group Baby VOX, but has mainly worked as an actress since 2005 when her contract ended.

She shot to fame with the almost back to back popular dramas Princess Hours, Coffee Prince, and My Fair Lady, cementing her legacy among Korea’s best actresses early in her career.

Lee Young Ae

Recommended to watch in: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

While Lee Young Ae wasn't seen in a film or a drama for a long time since starring in the movie Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, she has continuously been regarded as one of Korea’s best paid and most popular actresses. Especially among the slightly older population.

She is so highly regarded that she even became the first Korean actress to ever be invited as a member of the jury for the International Berlin Film Festival.

Lee Young Ae finally returned to TV in 2017, and to the big screen a year later.

Choi Ji Woo

Recommended to watch in: Winter Sonata

Choi Ji Woo might be a slightly unfamiliar name to our younger readers, however she has a long and steady career behind her, starting in the mid-90s.

And she is most definitely not a stranger to those who watched dramas in the early 2000s, starring first in Winter Sonata, and then in Stairway To Heaven right after.

Throughout her career, she has won several acting awards.


While this list details some of the best Korean actresses of all time, it certainly leaves a lot of room for more to be discovered. Who are your favorites right now? Who do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto, Soompi.com, Mipijin, kimetc (et cetera) and Yoon Min-Hoo [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], tenasia10 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], KIYOUNG KIM from Seoul, South Korea [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

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LTW: Korea a Punching Bag?

Thu, 2019-08-01 13:12
LTW: Korea a Punching Bag? Bad week for South Korea. Russian A-50 AWACS plane broke into S.Korean airspace in East Sea (Sea of Japan) on July 23 during joint Russia-China military exercise, testing the tattered S Korea-U.S.-Japan triangle alliance after recent sentimental trade war between S.Korea and Japan. Total of 18 South Korean F-15 fighters had to scramble, firing 360 warning shots to force the Russian plane out. It was the first time Korean airspace was violated since the end of Korean War in 1953. When asked for apology, Russia snapped that it was Korean pilots who went crazy enough to fire shots. Angered by South Korea's recent deployment of F-35 stealth fighters, N.Korea's Kim Jong-un fired two short range ballistic missiles again on July 25, which Donald Trump said was O.K. Adding insult to injury, Italy's Juventus manager put Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench throughout the match against K-League All Star team on July 26, thumbing his nose at 65,000 packed spectators and millions glued to TV at the expectation the super star would play minimum 45 minutes.   S.Korean neighbors are poking fun at South Korea. China is still making economic retaliation for allowing THADD missiles in a U.S. base in S.Korea. Japan is slapping on S. Korea with export restriction on key materials used for semi conductors. Russia is making a dangerous entry to Korean territory. A cartoon in French newspaper Le Monde below describes the current situation very well with Japanese, Chinese and Russian anglers trying to catch a fish called Coree (Korea). The funny thing is this cartoon was published over 110 years ago around 1904. Japanese angler eventually caught the Coree in 1910, and put it on sashimi plate for dinner. History better not repeat. 
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Mandeoksa-ji Temple – 만덕사지 (Buk-gu, Busan)

Thu, 2019-08-01 01:11
Mandeoksa-ji Temple – 만덕사지 (Buk-gu, Busan) The view from the entry at Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site in Dongnae, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site is the most famous historic temple in the area. The temple grounds still house a smaller size temple, but it pales in comparison to the former temple that once took up residence on the same grounds. It is not clear when the temple was first constructed, however, there have been numerous excavations done on the site including in 1971, 1990, 1996, and 2001. It’s believed from the artifacts found at the temple site that the temple used to be called Gibisa Temple. Additionally, there were twelve pieces of grayish-blue earthen ware found at the site, too, that dates back to the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C – 935 A.D.). Also, the foundation stones to the main hall that were found at the temple site are four times larger than those at Beomeosa Temple. Adding to the importance of this temple, there were large Chiwei (roof tiles) similar in size and design to those found at Hwangnyongsa-ji Temple Site and Girimsa-ji Temple Site in Gyeongju. Based on this, it’s believed that the temple was a national Buddhist temple. Lastly, it’s believed that the temple was burned down to the ground sometime during the Imjin War (1592-98).

Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site, in Busan, is located on the southern slopes of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801m) and just south of the famed, and remote, Seokbulsa Temple. You approach Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site up a narrow road just north of the entry to Mandeok Tunnel. The temple also lies just west of the Sagi River and a collection of urban farms. There are some nice trails in and around the temple grounds.

The first thing to greet you, rather surprisingly, is a long, yellow building with a Korean flag stretched around one of its walls. Climbing the uneven set of stairs, you’ll pass through the Iljumun Gate at Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site. To your left, you’ll see a field of grass with a pair of tiny three tier pagodas in its centre. This field is then backed by a rectangular pond with a smaller sized statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal in its midst.

To your right is an entry to the yellow building that you first saw from outside the temple grounds. This is a contemporary, and almost appears to be, temporary main hall at Mandeoksa-ji temple Site. As you enter the main hall, you’ll first notice a black haired statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Next to this statue and painting on the far left wall is a painting and mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). On the main altar sit a triad of statues. In the centre rests Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And joining this statue on either side are Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). And on the far right side of the main hall is multi-armed and headed statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).

Past the main hall and the cul-de-sac that houses the temple’s kitchen and visitor’s centre, and past a tree and a few cairns that house a collection of smaller sized Buddhist statues, you’ll find a much larger statue dedicated to Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha). This statue is book-ended on both sides by two stone lanterns. And behind this statue sit thirty-three smaller statues dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal.

HOW TO GET THERE: There are two ways to get to Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site. In both cases, you’ll first need to get to Mandeok Subway Station, line 3, subway stop #310. From there, go out exit #2. Head towards the east just north of Mandeok tunnel. There are numerous signs along the way that guide you towards the temple site. In total, it’ll take about 15 minutes to walk. You can either walk or simply take a taxi. The taxi ride should last about three minutes and cost you 3,300 won.

OVERALL RATING: 3/10. While historically significant, there’s very little that still remains from this temple’s glorious past. With that said, the grounds are well taken care of and the artwork in and around the temple is beautiful, too.

One of the trails that leads up to Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site.A cedar tree with the front facade to the temple off in the distance.The yellow front facade that welcomes you to Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site.The Iljumun Gate at the temple.The pair of diminutive pagodas in the lower courtyard at the temple.The statue of Gwanseeum-bosal that stands in the centre of the temple pond.The upper courtyard at Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site.Some of the Buddhist statues that are placed under the shade of a temple tree.The main statue that stands in the upper courtyard at the temple site.A closer look at the Yaksayore-bul statue.To the rear sit these thirty-three statues of Gwanseeum-bosal.The entry to the temple facilities.Inside the main hall at Mandeoksa-ji Temple Site.The altar to the right of the main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.And then it was time to go.
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Traditional HoTteok (꿀호떡) – Korean Sweet Pancake

Tue, 2019-07-23 21:56
Traditional HoTteok (꿀호떡) – Korean Sweet Pancake HoTteok (꿀호떡) – Traditional Method Korean Sweet Pancakes

HoTteok (꿀호떡) is a popular street food in Korea that’s cheap and tasty. It’s filled with nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, wrapped in a dough ball and flattened on the pan.



  • Warm water (heat to 40~44ºC / 105~110ºF)
  • 2 teaspoons – Yeast
  • 2 cups – Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons – Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon – Salt
  • 1 Tablespoons – Oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts (can be peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds…)
HoTteok (꿀호떡) – Traditional Method Korean Sweet Pancakes

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DirectionsHoTteok Dough
  • In a cup, combine warm water and yeast. Stir lightly and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the yeast proofs, in a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar then mix.
  • Once the yeast is ready, add it to the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix.
  • Knead the dough, adding the oil as you knead. Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • Once dough is thoroughly kneaded, press down into bowl, cover the bowl and set aside. Let the dough rise to about twice its original size. Depending on the temperature, this should be about half an hour to one hour.
HoTteok Frying
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add a liberal amount of cooking oil.
  • Oil your hands lightly to prevent the dough from sticking to them.
  • Take a pinch of dough and form it in your hands. Make a ball and stretch, flatten into a disc shape.
  • Take the filling and add a spoonful to the center of the dough disc.
  • Grab the sides of the dough and close it into a ball, keeping the filling inside the dough.
  • Set the ball onto the frying pan and let it fry for about a minute. You can form more balls while these cook.
  • With a spatula and/or press, flip each ball over and press them into a flat pancake. Continue to cook another minute.
  • Flip again and press until both sides are golden-brown.
  • Move to a serving dish and allow them to cool at least a couple minutes.

The pancakes are ready to serve, but take caution as they will be quite hot straight from the pan and can cause burns. Let them cool down before taking a bite.

If you like, you can serve with more filling on top.

For a quicker method that doesn’t use dough, but sliced bread, try our HoDdeok (5분 꿀호떡) – Quick and Easy ‘Cheat’ Method.

If you want to learn how to make other Korean desserts, try our ganjeong – puffed rice snack or visit our main page at Yorihey.com.


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