Handover of U.S. command of South Korean troops still under debate
Sixty years after the end of the Korean War, the United States and South Korea still can’t agree on who should take charge if another war breaks out with the communist neighbor to the north.
For years, Washington has been trying to persuade the South Korean military to take operational control of its own forces in wartime, ending a six-decade-long arrangement under which U.S. commanders have retained that authority over South Korean troops. Although supportive in principle, a succession of governments in Seoul have repeatedly delayed the command transfer, reinforcing doubts about whether the South Korean military is capable of operating without U.S. leadership.
Pentagon chief, at Korean DMZ, says U.S. will not cut force in Korea
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured the Korean DMZ on Monday under the watchful eye of North Korean soldiers and said the Pentagon had no plans to reduce its 28,500-member force in the South despite budget constraints.
“This is probably the only place in the world where we have always a risk of confrontation,” Hagel said after visiting a blue, single-story building with a corrugated metal roof where talks are held with North Koreans in the truce village of Panmunjom.
As Hagel walked through the building, which spans the military demarcation line between North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers peered through the windows on the northern side filming his movements.
Truth Or Propaganda? Finding Real Stories In North Korea
North Korea remains one of the most closed places in the world. And that makes Tim Sullivan kind of a rarity: As the Asia correspondent for the Associated Press, he’s spent about six weeks in the country over the course of two trips.
In addition to his stories for AP, Sullivan also wrote an article entitled “The Real North Korea” that’s in the October issue of National Geographic.
It’s a different kind of reporting trip, Sullivan tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.
“A lot of my time is spent … gauging what is real, what is fake,” he says. “If something is fake, in what way is it fake? Do they really do this job and they’re simply acting for me? Or do they not do this at all, and it’s complete Potemkin?”
Former child prisoner almost died three times during horrific decade in North Korean gulag
National Post (Canada)
North Korea is estimated to have about 150,000 of its own citizens in a network of gulags across the country. Many are there for political reasons and to be “reeducated.” Prisoners are held in near-starvation conditions and torture, beatings and executions are common. On Friday, the National Post’s Tom Blackwell spoke to one of the few prisoners to have escaped as well as a former guard at a notorious camp.
In his frightening decade as an inmate of a huge North Korean prison camp, Kang Cheol-hwan could never be sure of exact numbers, but knew the statistics were chilling.
Of the 35,000 or more prisoners at Yoduk camp, about 10% died every year, succumbing to malnutrition, mistreatment, overwork or a combination of lethal factors, he estimates.
S. Korean minister calls Japan ‘immoral’ for covering up radiation leak
South Korea’s fisheries minister strongly blasted Japan Monday for apparently trying to downplay, if not cover up, radiation leaks at its nuclear power plant.
Yoon Jin-sook, South Korea’s minister of oceans and fisheries, stopped short of calling Japan a liar, saying the country is without conscience or morality.
The South Korean minister had said Japanese fishery products tested safe. The ministry, however, has placed an import ban on all fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear accident, in which a powerful earthquake led to a meltdown of a nuclear reactor in early 2011 and subsequent radiation leaks.
Tokyo Boycotts Google Korea Maps
The Japanese government has instructed regional government and state organizations not to use the Korean version of Google maps due to the labeling of Dokdo, to which Tokyo has flimsy territorial claim.
The Korean version of Google maps lists the Korean islets as “Dokdo” but not by the name the Japanese have for them.
According to the Tokyo Shimbun on Saturday, the central government in a notice to regional governments and national universities said Google maps contain names that are “not in line” with Tokyo’s official position. The Japanese version of Google maps labels Dokdo with the Japanese name of “Takeshima.”
North Jersey Korean health fair data help track risks
The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)
In the six years since Holy Name Medical Center launched the first Korean Health Festival, doctors have been able to track trends in the data collected from blood work and other screenings. And that has allowed them to better serve North Jersey’s Korean population.
Among other things, they have found that Korean immigrants struggle with depression, and that there are high incidences of diabetes and hypertension in the community, festival spokeswoman Eunice Kang said Saturday as she moved through the hospital’s Marian Hall during the sixth annual festival.
I Partied Hard With Far East Movement
8:24 p.m.: Prohgress downs a strawberry Sunkist and mentions that he doesn’t often smoke weed because it makes him paranoid. He enjoys cocaine and ecstasy, however.
8:25 p.m.: Over the summer, they traveled to the French island Corsica to do a live performance. After the show, they brought people back to party in their hotel room. Apparently, their night got so wild that someone took a shit in the bathtub and syringes were found in the other room.
8:27: The group has been touring and making music together for ten years. They originally performed straight hip-hop, but after a trip to Amsterdam, they got turned on to dance music and began combining the two genres. “We get to take everything we grew up on and mash it up with what we learned in the dance world. And we also learned how strong and long-lasting dance music is,” Nish says.
‘Nikita’ Writer, Eva Longoria Developing Conspiracy Drama for CW
The CW is staying in business with Nikita’s Albert Kim.
The co-EP/writer behind the network’s departing drama has set up a drama with the network and exec producer Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The untitled drama revolves around a woman imprisoned for a double murder she didn’t commit who earns her law degree while behind bars. After winning her freedom, she joins the high-powered law firm that she believes is at the center of the conspiracy that framed her.
Run-DMZ: Washington rappers plan North Korean visit
Post Media News via Canada.com
The only poet whom I have ever heard rhyme the words “onomatopoeia” and “diarrhea” is lying on a divan in the master bedroom of someone else’s house in a very nice neighbourhood of Washington, wearing camouflage trousers, shoulder-length dreadlocks, and a blue T-shirt that says “I ♥ Cats.”
He is a delightfully bright 19-year-old pipe-dreamer, back-flipper and potty-mouth named Anthony Bobb — stage-named “Pacman” — who, if a series of improbable events actually occur between now and mid-November, plans to film his next rap video inside a party bus in a one-party state.
Hence the recent burst of publicity here for an adventure that promoters are calling “Pacman and Peso Go to North Korea.”
Riding the Korean Wave
Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Although the South Korean economy struggled through 2012, and tensions with North Korea ran high earlier this year, the pulling power of Korean pop culture remains as strong as ever in drawing a record number of tourists to the country.
Building on a 3.6% year-on-year rise in international arrivals in the first half, the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) has set a full-year target of 12.5 million visitors, hoping to attract US$15.6 billion (about 16.5 trillion won) in revenue. Aggressive marketing campaigns, coupled with the appeal of K-Pop, films and TV, are expected to sustain healthy growth in the tourism market.
The history of the ‘Korean Wave’ can be traced back to about 15 years ago when the romantic comedy My Sassy Girl was released and became a blockbuster hit throughout East Asia,” said Yong-Ju Jeon, the CEO of IHQ, South Korea’s leading entertainment company.
‘If It Swings’: An Asian-American Jazzman’s Pioneering Career
Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar got his big break after Stan Kenton heard him playing in a college band and invited him to join his Orchestra in 1960.
“One of my biggest highlights in Stan’s band was being featured on a beautiful standard tune called ‘Stairway to the Stars,’” the 83-year-old Baltazar says. “He liked that tune, and he thought it would be my signature song. And throughout my career, four years with the band, I was featured on that and it was just great.”
Hyun-jin Ryu on his final start, season, getting ready for playoffs
True Blue LA
Hyun-jin Ryu ended his regular season with an abbreviated start on Sunday, gearing up for his first major league playoffs. Ryu allowed two runs in four innings in the Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the Rockies.
Sunday was the only time all season Ryu failed to last five innings, but that’s because his short start was planned, and he was at 76 pitches through four frames. His first season in MLB was an unqualified success.
“Overall I”m very satisfied with my first year. Most importantly I got away without having any injuries,” Ryu said after the game, through interpreter Martin Kim. “The pitch counts in games was beyond where I thought it was going to be, so I’m very happy with where my season ended.”
South Korean Scientists Use E. Coli to Make Gasoline
Wall Street Journal
Escherichia coli can cause serious food poisoning but Korean scientists have come up with a more helpful use for the sometimes-deadly bacteria: producing gasoline.
Using genetically modified E. coli to generate biofuel isn’t new. U.K. scientists said in April they have developed a process under which the bacterium turns biomass into an oil that is almost identical to conventional diesel–a development that followed similar research by U.S. biotechnology firm LS9 in 2010.
But the breakthrough this time is important because the reprogrammed E. coli can produce gasoline, a high-premium oil product that’s more expensive than diesel if the biofuel becomes commercially viable, according to Prof. Lee Sang-yup at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. His team’s study was published in the international science journal Nature on Monday.
Korean-American student from Tacoma wins statewide art contest
Northwest Asian Weekly (Seattle, Wash.)
Tacoma student Young-eon Kim won the top prize in the 2013 Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) Year of the Apple Art Contest. A student attending Tacoma’s Charles Wright Academy, she was awarded the grand prize in a surprise ceremony in the middle of art class with teacher Brian Hutcheson on Sept. 12.
The contest encourages art students in kindergarten through 12th grade to seek inspiration from Washington’s biggest crop. Young-Eon’s winning submission, “Apples under the Balcony at Sunset,” garnered a $750 cash prize and inclusion in the 2014 Dow AgroSciences wall calendar.
Obama bypasses N. Korea in U.N. speech
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama clearly showed his top priorities on the diplomatic front.
North Korea is not among them. In his 40-minute televised speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York, he made no mention of the communist nation armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
He didn’t even touch on Asia, despite his signature foreign policy of rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region. In contrast, Obama used the word “Iran” or “Iranian” 26 times and “Syria” or “Syrian” 18 times.
He called for a unified and responsible reaction to the Syrian dictatorship’s recent use of chemical weapons.
Doomsday scenario plan would divide North Korea
It sounds like a doomsday scenario drawn up by strategists at the height of the Cold War.
Chinese armies move south into the Korean peninsula and collide with American and South Korean forces moving north. The resulting clashes spark war between nuclear-armed superpowers.
A new report says such a confrontation is still a real danger in the event of a sudden collapse of the North Korean regime.
The report produced by the US research institute, the Rand Corporation, says that North Korea is a failing state that could fall apart at any moment.
Elderly Koreans distraught as reunion hopes crushed
The cancellation of a reunion for families separated by the Korean War has dealt a devastating blow to elderly Koreans denied a longed-for, and probably final, meeting with surviving relatives.
After a painstaking selection process, 96 South Koreans had been set to travel to the North’s Mount Kumgang resort this week for a face-to-face gathering with family members they haven’t seen for 60 years. It would have been the first mass reunion for three years, but with just days to go, Pyongyang postponed the event, blaming “hostility” from South Korea.
The news shattered the hopes of the chosen participants, whose average age was 83 and many of whom were already in poor health.
Despite Small Decline, South Korea Remains a Global Suicide Blackspot
The number of suicides in South Korea dropped in 2012 for the first time in six years, but the country continued to have the highest suicide rate of all OECD member countries.
More than 14,000 South Koreans took their own lives last year — only slightly less than half the number that died from heart disease, according to data released by the country’s government on Wednesday.
The suicide rate dropped by 11% from 2011 to 28.1 deaths for every 100,000 people, but that’s more than double the OECD average.
Korea’s Problem is Modernity
Ask A Korean!
I recently finished reading Daniel Tudor’s Korea: the Impossible Country. (My review of the book is available at Reading Korea.) My reaction was mostly positive: it was an excellent overview of contemporary Korea, providing a clear-eyed look at achievements and flaws of today’s Korean society. As I wrote in my review, the book is highly recommended.
This, however, does not mean that I agree with the book entirely. I felt that in his book, Tudor relied a bit too often on Confucianism as a crutch, to provide explanations about Korean society that are too just-so. Tudor correctly identifies the full slate of the issues that contemporary Korea has, including high suicide rate, low satisfaction with life, low birthrate, excessive emphasis on education, grueling jobs with very long hours, etc. Tudor also correctly identifies that ultimately, competition–which drove Korea achieving prosperity and freedom at a rate unprecedented in human history–is what causes these social ills in Korea.
Asian Americans are the Fastest Growing Minority in the U.S. and It’s Bad News for the GOP
The much ballyhooed analysis post-2012 election mainly focused on the influence of the Latino electorate, the GOP’s inability to appeal to minority voters, and President Obama’s historically poor showing amongst white voters. But not enough was written about an emerging force in U.S. politics: the Asian-American vote.
The Asian American electorate is expected to double by 2040. Armed with a historic high of 13 Asian American members of the 113th Congress and the designation of fastest growing immigrant and racial group in the U.S., Asian Americans are poised to make large waves again in American politics, perhaps even as soon as 2014.
Obama achieved historic levels of Asian American support in his re-election bid, garnering 73% support — the highest ever for a single candidate, as compared to 63% in 2008. Asian Americans continue to grow as an electorate, totaling 4.8% of the national population, 3% of the vote in the past election, and growing in size 128% between 1996 and 2008.
Irvine’s Asian population booms, boosting the local real estate market
Construction dust thinly veils one of Irvine’s newest neighborhoods, where real estate agent Marian Tsai is showing a Spanish-style model home.
Her Chinese-speaking clients are two sisters, both retirees who’ve been living in other states but want to relocate their families to this Orange County city.
“They want to live together and take care of each other,” Tsai said. And they want to buy now, because “they worry about that in the future, price will go up and up.”
Irvine is one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation, thanks, in no small part, to its appeal to Asian homebuyers attracted to the planned community’s wide boulevards, open space and whirl of new construction.
Feds investigate Asiana response to crash
The U.S. Department of Transportation is investigating whether Asiana Airlines failed to meet certain legal obligations to the families of passengers after one of its planes crashed at San Francisco International Airport in July.
Under U.S. law, the South Korean airline was required to provide a range of assistance to the families of the 291 passengers on board, such as a toll-free number to call for information and transportation.
Three people died and more than 100 injured when Asiana Flight 214 crashed on final approach on July 6 en route to San Francisco from Seoul.
Former American Idol Contestant Heejun Han to Co-Host Danny From LA
Danny from LA is getting a new co-host… former American Idol contestant Heejun Han!
Starting this season, Heejun Han will be joining Danny Im of 1TYM on Mnet’s flagship talk show, Danny from LA. Each week, Danny and Heejun will discuss the latest in pop culture, and will talk to special guests, including artists, actors and more.
The second season premiere of the Danny from LA was aired live from KCON 2013, a K-Pop convention held at the Los Angeles Memorial Arena on August 24-25. DFLA will begin airing weekly episodes each Thursday starting this Thursday, September 26, at 7:00 pm ET / 4:00 pm PT.
Bekah, Former K-Pop Star, Talks Realities of Korean Music Industry
The former member of girl group After School chats sleep deprivation, hard work and what makes it all “worth it.”
“I wasn’t on stage or doing fan engagements for two years,” says Rebekah Kim, backstage at K-pop convention KCON 2013. “It feels so good. It’s like a new energy again.”
Kim, known professionally as Bekah, had once felt the energy of K-pop adulation as an original member of one of South Korea’s top pop acts, After School. Since its 2009 debut, the girl group has showcased high-skill showgirl concepts (drum lines, tap dancing, pole dancing — “We loved being different,” Bekah says). But the troupe is also unique as the only K-pop act with a graduation/admission process, with membership ranging from five to nine girls since their 2009 debut. Singer/rapper Bekah was the second member to leave the group, exiting in 2011 after recording a goodbye “graduation” track, “Take Me to the Place,” and disappearing from the K-pop limelight.
Why Fried Chicken Is Battering South Korea’s Economy
Wall Street Journal
Fried chicken is an overdone culinary craze in South Korea. The WSJ’s Kurt Achin warns that consumers can’t keep up with the explosion of shops dedicated to the local version of the Southern delicacy, and that could mean the country is facing a fried chicken bubble.
For Founder of Korean Tech Startup, A Sudden Move to Silicon Valley
Wall Street Journal
A conference that brought 10 young Korean technology companies to Silicon Valley earlier this month drew interest from some of the U.S.’s best-known venture capitalists.
It also appears to have worked out well for the startups, so much so that one of them — Seoul-based video-making platform Shakr Media Co.– has decided to stay behind and put down roots.
A few days after the conference wrapped up, David Lee, a 32-year-old Korean-Canadian entrepreneur who founded Shakr in 2010, filed company registration papers in the U.S., making Mountain View, Calif. the company’s official second home.
“Seoul is a great place to run a start-up…but in terms of working with the world’s largest Internet companies, it’s necessary to be here,” Mr. Lee, 32, said in a phone conversation earlier this week from San Francisco.
Choo and Mets an ideal match?
There’s every reason to discuss Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo today and not just because he had the walk-off hit that beat the Mets last night.
The 31-year-old Choo will be a free agent this offseason and media reports are that he rates at the top of their list of players to pursue, given their available money to spend and their current outfield situation.
Mom and son Korean restaurant Bibim does it right
What you may not be expecting from the stylish, newly renovated Bibim, a Korean spot on Harvard Avenue in Allston that was formerly Color, is mom’s home cooking. This may account for the many young Koreans filling the tables here. One homey dish is budae ($13), also known as “army stew,” because it contains slices of Vienna sausage and Spam, two ingredients Koreans learned about from American GIs, along with Velveeta cheese (no kidding). Into the iron pot of spicy sauce go ramen noodles, scallions, enoki mushrooms, and more. My dining companion, well versed in Korean cuisine, says, “This is what you would eat if you lived in Korea.”
Nothing at Bibim has been Americanized and the heat hasn’t been toned down either. Kimchee pancakes ($8.50), are crisp on the outside and filled with spectacularly spicy fermented cabbage. A beautiful black bowl of jjolmyun ($9), cold, chewy noodles covered with a fiery chili sauce, come with clusters of shredded cucumbers, red cabbage, and a perfect golden-yolked egg, which you toss together.
Korean-American party designer talks of racism, success
Youngsong Martin says she is living the “American Dream,” but endured a turbulent process getting there.
The Korea-born Martin is the president of Wildflower Linen, a company famous for designing high-profile weddings, parties and other events. Her list of clients includes Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Elton John and Jennifer Lopez.
Martin said she is proud about her achievements because she had to overcome social obstacles like racism and discrimination, which continue to torment minorities in the United States.
“I was in despair when I arrived in the U.S. as a student because my English wasn’t as good as I thought. I got through school because I had friends to help me with my studies, but it was when I tried to find a job that I ran into a dead end,” said Martin, speaking at a monthly seminar organized by the World Futures Forum in Seoul, Tuesday.
N. Korea urges resumption of six-party talks ‘without preconditions’
North Korea’s chief nuclear envoy called for nations involved in the long-stalled talks on the North’s nuclear program to resume the multilateral process “without preconditions.”
“We are ready to enter the six-party talks without preconditions,” the North’s First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan told a forum organized by China’s foreign ministry in Beijing.
Kim said “preconditions” set by South Korea and the United States, however, “are in violation of the spirit of the Sept. 19 Joint Statement,” referring to a landmark agreement reached in 2005 at the six-party talks.
Under the 2005 agreement, North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear weapons program in return for a U.S. promise not to attack or invade it and to work toward normalized ties.
The one-day forum has been arranged by China to mark the 10th anniversary of the launching of the six-party talks. The off-and-on forum that involves the two Koreas, China, the U.S., Japan and Russia has been stalled since late 2008.
‘Asian Eye’ Surgery and Media Racism
News anchor and TV personality Julie Chen said last week that, earlier in her career, she underwent plastic surgery on her eyes to make them look “less Asian.” Chen’s story publicly reinforces a narrative of “fixing,” that Asian Americans—particularly females—have heard many times in relation to the physical traits that make them “different” than the U.S. norm.
Chen recounted last week on The Talk a conversation she had with a former employer about filling in for anchors who were away for vacation. Her boss was frank: She could never sit at the anchor desk because being Asian made her dissimilar from the Dayton, Ohio population the station served, dissimilar enough that she was no longer “relatable.” Then came the whammy that did Chen in:
“Because of your heritage, because of your Asian eyes, I’ve noticed that when you’re on camera—when you’re interviewing someone—you look disinterested and bored because your eyes are so heavy. They are so small.”
Chen’s co-hosts gasped as she recalled this. There were murmurs through the audience.
South Korea on the Move
Wall Street Journal
South Koreans are bracing this week for one of the year’s worst traffic jams.
The land ministry forecasts more than 35 million trips will be made for the local Thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok, with 83.7% of travelers in individual cars. (The ministry counts one person going one way as a trip, so going and then coming back home counts as two—but it’s still quite a tally for a country with a population of 51 million.)
The 332-kilometer (206-mile) journey on the country’s busiest route – from Seoul to Busan, the second-largest city – is taking 8½ hours Wednesday, according to highway operator Korea Expressway Corp., for an average speed of 39 kilometers (24 miles) an hour. A survey by the land ministry said 33.8% of the holiday travelers are expected to move (slowly) along this route, which crosses the country from northwest to southeast.
As of noon Wednesday, 1.13 million cars had hit the country’s highways, with the majority moving away from Seoul and its environs, according to Korea Expressway. It forecasts nearly 400,000 more vehicles will follow in the afternoon and Thursday. Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province are home to 22 million people, or roughly 43% of the country’s population, according to official data.
‘War without guns’: SKorea’s passionate protesters
AP via Salon.com
South Korea’s most tenacious protesters compare themselves to warriors, and their demonstrations to a life-or-death struggle against evil.
They are known around the world for their passion, persistence and flamboyance. Their demonstrations — spontaneous and meticulously planned, large and small — form a near-constant backdrop for the 10 million people living in Seoul, the capital.
Their causes are rooted in the country’s tumultuous history: a brutal Japanese colonization until 1945, the subsequent division of the Korean Peninsula, three years of vicious warfare and decades of military dictatorship that gave way to democracy as South Korea became one of Asia’s strongest economies.
Ellicott City Man Arrested in Baltimore Food Stamp Fraud Sweep
Patch.com (Ellicott City, Md.)
An Ellicott City man was among nine store owners who face federal food stamp and wire fraud charges related to a scheme to illegally redeem nearly $7 million food stamp benefits for cash.
The indictments were handed up by a federal grand jury in Baltimore last week but unsealed Tuesday.
Jung Kim, 51, of Ellicott City, was one of the nine charged. He owns C&C Market at 4752 Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore. The indictment alleges that between November 2010 through April 2013, Kim allegedly obtained more than $600,000 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
South Korea Embraces Craft Beer
Wall Street Journal
In a tangle of nondescript alleyways in central Seoul’s Noksapyeong district, a handful of Korean and foreign entrepreneurs are pioneering a new market for homegrown craft beers.
Hidden opposite a side exit to the U.S. Army’s giant Yongsan garrison is trend-setting brewpub Craftworks Brewing Co. Defying its shabby surroundings, Craftworks’ interior is upscale. The bar’s eight taps pour artisanal ales, wheat beers, lagers and porters — each branded with a Korean name.
Canadian Dan Vroon opened Craftworks with six fellow expats in 2010. The concept: Sell Korean-made North American-style craft beers.
Korean startups finally get all the limelight at beGLOBAL event in Silicon Valley
This past Friday, Korean startup blog beSUCCESS inaugurated its first beGLOBAL conference in Silicon Valley, bringing Korean startups together with globally-minded investors, incubators, and seasoned entrepreneurs.
For an overview of the event, I talked with John Nahm, a co-host of beGLOBAL and a founding partner at Strong Ventures. Nahm’s firm initially funded beSUCCESS and its series of startup conferences, starting with beLAUNCH in Seoul’s Gangnam district and Friday’s beGLOBAL conference in the US.
“Korean startups don’t have clout in Silicon Valley, so we wanted to create a high quality event with a top-notch group of startups and speakers,” Nahm said. “We’ve not yet arrived like the Israeli startups have in the Valley, since we don’t have a proven track record.”
A South Korean government agency, KOCCA, recently selected a group of startups to debut in the Valley (at last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference), but Nahm had some strong criticisms of the Korean government’s startup selection process.
New York Fashion Week Was Chock-Full of White Models. Again.
Now that New York Fashion Week is over, we’ve crunched the numbers. Of the 142 shows out of the 184 that showed at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2014*, there were 4637 looks. Of those close to 5,000 looks, around 80 percent were modeled by white women. (80 percent. That’s a number that, if you look at the charts, we’re growing familiar with.) Fewer than 1,000 looks were given to women who were not white, mostly black and asian women, with some non-white Latina women sneaking in there. Women of other ethnicities, like Middle Eastern women, were barely seen.
Chef David Chang on the Joy of Cooking With Science
In June 2010, after six years of running a restaurant in New York City, I decided that we needed to learn about the science of what we eat. At the time, I had no idea how a cell broke down or what an enzyme or an amino acid was. It was all stuff I’d slept through in high school! But these are the basic processes by which cooking happens. The more we understand about the science of food, I realized, the better we would be able to cook.
The Momofuku Culinary Lab started as a space where we could focus on creating and innovating. I didn’t want us to worry about working on projects in a restaurant; there are just too many distractions in service and running a kitchen to be able to focus on creating your dishes. It didn’t need to be high tech, but we needed an environment in a vacuum. In retrospect, what I thought was a luxury was an absolute necessity.
We began working with a microbiology team at Harvard that had been examining microbes in cheese. We started by asking simple questions about foods we were experimenting with. Is this edible? Is this dangerous? We had to learn chemistry, then biology. We built up a working scientific vocabulary. Now we’ve begun exploring the processes behind ingredients we use every day in our kitchens: soy sauce, MSG, other sources of umami flavors. We’ve launched experiments in fermentation, using various strains of bacteria to create strange and wonderful new tastes.
Girls’ Generation’s Seo-hyun Hitting the Books for Acting Debut
Seo-hyun of of K-pop band Girls’ Generation will make her initial foray into the world of acting when she appears as a college student in an upcoming SBS weekend drama that is scheduled to air at the end of this month.
She said she has dreamed of being an actress since she was a child and has taken acting lessons since she made her debut as a singer.
“This is my first work as an actress, so it’s very special for me,” she said.
“I’m so enthusiastic about it that it fully occupies my mind these days.”
Foreign Loanwords in Korean
The Korea Blog
Like any other language, Korean has collected a lot of loanwords over the centuries. It doesn’t take long after learning a bit of Korean to start noticing the high number of foreign words all around you. You’ve probably heard all sorts of English loanwords, so I was more interested to skip by and look at some of the Korean words from other languages.
The origins of these loanwords are arranged chronologically, and you’ll see the correlation between age of the loanword and the complexity of the term, starting with basic Chinese numbering and going all the way to an Italian word for a specific type of cultural event.
It’s not surprising the Korean language has many loanwords from Chinese, seeing as how the language essentially used Chinese characters for over a millennium. Around 60 percent of the Korean vocabulary has Chinese origins, although most of them came over to Korean long ago and may not necessarily be recognised as Chinese anymore, the same way an English speaker might forget that “cafe” is originally French and “philosophy” is ancient Greek for “love of wisdom.” Also, many so-called Chinese words may have been developed long ago by Koreans using Chinese characters, predating the actual Korean language (would they still be considered loanwords in that case?).
Kim Han-sol, the teenage nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, will start school next month at Paris Institute of Political Studies in France.
The 18-year-old’s family has been living in exile in Macau and China after his father, Kim Jong-nam, had a falling out with the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in May 2001. Jong-nam reportedly was excluded from the Kim family for advocating political reform in North Korea. He was also known for living a lavish lifestyle, which made headlines around the world in 2001 when he tried entering Japan with a fake passport to visit Disneyland.
Kim, who has never met his uncle and current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, graduated from the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia, in May this year before returning to Macau. He will begin his studies at the campus of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, also known as Sciences Po, in Le Havre in northwestern France. Continue Reading »
South Korean President Park Geun-hye marked the 68th anniversary of the country’s independence from Japanese occupation on Tuesday by demanding more responsibility from the Japanese government with its handling of wartime atrocities.
In a nationally televised speech, Park pointed to the recent strained relations between Korea and Japan as she asked the neighboring country for more “responsibility” and “sincerity” in dealing with sensitive issues such as “comfort women,” a term often used to describe Korean girls and women coerced into sex slaves during World War II.
“Japan needs to face these issues directly,” Park said. “There are those who suffered and were wounded from past history and I expect their pains to be healed with responsible and sincere measures.” Continue Reading »