A young girl was killed after a man intent on committing suicide struck her as he fell from the 11th floor of the apartment building she was walking out of with her parents, according to news reports.
The girl, 5, was killed on Wednesday in the port city of Busan, CNN reported.
The 38-year-old man who died at the scene had reportedly been receiving treatment for depression at a local hospital. The girl was taken to the hospital where she was later declared dead of a skull fracture. Her parents were not hurt. Continue Reading »
North Korea Calls Hawaii and U.S. Mainland Targets
New York Times
North Korea’s military said it put all its missile and artillery units on “the highest alert” on Tuesday, ordering them to be ready to hit South Korea, as well as the United States and its military installations in Hawaii and Guam.
The threat from the North’s Korean People’s Army Supreme Command came only hours after President Park Geun-hye of South Korea warned that the North Korean leadership could ensure its survival only when it abandons its nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, provocations and threats.
North Korea said on Tuesday that all of its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units “are assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zones in the Pacific as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity.”
North Korea Is Running Out of Threats
Wall Street Journal
When North Korea tosses out another threat of violence against one of its neighbors or the U.S., it’s become routine to describe it as an escalation of Pyongyang’s rhetoric.
That description captures the fact that North Korea makes a lot of threats without following through. But is there a point where it’s not even appropriate to call new threats an escalation?
South Korea Remembers Cheonan Sinking
Wall Street Journal
Memorial events are being held on Tuesday in South Korea to mark the 3rd anniversary of the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan.
In the night of March 26, 2010, the ship exploded into two parts and sank in the Yellow Sea, leaving 40 sailors dead and 6 missing, presumed dead. An international investigation found North Korea responsible for torpedoing the ship, something that Pyongyang still denies.
On Tuesday morning, President Park Geun-hye visited the National Cemetery in Daejeon and urged the North to end its provocative behavior.
Filial Pity: Is South Korea Doing Enough to Stop Elderly Suicides?
The Korea Suicide Prevention Center has a message for the people of South Korea: “Life is precious! We can protect it.” The slogan, displayed in pamphlets, placards and on its website, is meant to encourage people to seek help if they are feeling suicidal.
Kenneth Choi Joins NBC Pilot ‘Ironside’
In what would be his first series regular role, Kenneth Choi (Sons Of Anarchy, Glee, 24) has been cast in NBC’s drama pilot Ironside, a reboot of the 1967 series. Written by Mike Caleo and directed by Peter Horton, it centers on Robert T. Ironside (Blair Underwood), a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases.
Choi will play Captain Ed Rollins, Ironside’s supervisor. Despite their push/pull relationship Ed and Ironside have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for each other. Choi, repped by Mosaic, TalentWorks and attorney Derek Kroeger, was recently seen in Captain America 2 and next co-stars in Wolf Of Wall Street.
Stars in Court Over Michael Jackson Killer Drug
Three actresses who appeared in court on Monday on charges of abusing the anesthetic Propofol, which became famous for killing Michael Jackson.
Lawyers for Jang Mi-inae said prosecutors failed to recognize the need for people in her profession to undergo painful treatments in order to maintain their beauty. Jang denies the charges, claiming she was given Propofol to numb the pain associated with Carboxytherapy, which involves injections of carbon dioxide gas into the skin to kill fat cells and improve elasticity.
Her lawyer said the actress tried exercising to lose weight but that failed, so she sought medical help.
Reds expect new leading man Choo to star in Cincy
Not only is the 30-year-old Choo capable of getting on first base to set the table for Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and the rest of the order, he can just as easily make it a 1-0 game after one at-bat. He’s also more than capable of driving in runs if men in the bottom third of the order reach base.
“A lot of leadoff hitters run and steal bases. I’m not that type of player,” Choo said. “I have home run power and can do damage. I always think, wherever I hit, I will do the same thing. I’m not going to change. That’s what I’ve proved with my numbers. If I see a good first pitch, I will swing. If I take a walk or get hit by a pitch — there are a lot of options to get to first base.”
Choo batted .283 with 16 home runs, 67 RBIs and 21 steals in 155 games last season for Cleveland. He also struck out 150 times. But in 99 games as the leadoff hitter, he batted .310 with a .389 on-base percentage. Lifetime, regardless of his spot in the order, his OBP is .381.
Fans Get a Chance to See Kim Yu-na Up Close and Personal
About 400 fans got to see Korea’s figure skating queen up close and personal on Monday during an event at COEX in Samseong-dong, Gangnam, south of the Han River. Fresh off her victory at the World Championships, Kim Yu-na revealed some of her superstitions and quirky habits to an enthralled crowd.
“Many skaters think that it’s propitious to put the right skate on first, and so do I,” said Kim. She explained that when she puts the left one on first absentmindedly, she takes off both skates and starts over.
Far from home country, Koreans in Chile carry on traditions
Almost all of the tables are occupied this afternoon in Sukine, a small diner, and the air is filled with a confusion of languages. A party of British tourists near the window is enjoying a bowl of chili paste fried pork — the house favorite. At a smaller table nearby, a Korean woman and her two daughters have just given their order to a young Chilean waiter. A couple that just sat down is studying a large menu on the wall with images of over 20 specialties, from kimchi stew to rice cakes in spicy paste, while behind the register, an older Korean woman is nonchalantly flipping through the pages of a newspaper.
This restaurant in the Patronato neighborhood of Santiago, the capital of Chile, seems to be the point where the Korean community and mainstream Chilean society intersect. Trendy among Chilean youth and a source of comfort food for Korean residents, Sukine is a vibrant example of how Koreans here adhere to the traditions of their homeland while adapting to those of their adopted country. Except for the diced South American hot peppers, the food is authentic; hidden within the kitchen, though, is a Peruvian chef.
Kakao Talk Unveils Trial Version for PCs
Kakao Talk, the hugely popular free mobile messaging app, has expanded to personal computers with a trial version released Tuesday. Traditional instant messaging giants are on alert as their users might move to the new service.
“We received more than 210,000 applications for testing the trial service ahead of the official launch,” Kakao said on Monday. “We will allow 10,000 people to try the service for a couple of months and then officially release it around May.”
In Latest Insult, North Korea Targets South Korean Leader’s Dress
New York Times
North Korea issued a direct personal attack on the South’s new president for the first time since her inauguration two weeks ago, saying on Wednesday that her “venomous swish of skirt” was to blame for rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The insult directed at President Park Geun-hye, the first woman to hold the office, added a curious sartorial element to the verbal barrage North Korea has been mounting since the United States and the South began a joint military exercise on March 1, followed by a new round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
“This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant, with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies” the presidential Blue House, the North’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces said in a statement, referring to Ms. Park. She returned to the residence as president on Feb. 25, about 33 years after her father, the former President Park Chung-hee, was assassinated.
The Koreas: To a war footing
NORTH KOREAN invective has always been colourful. But the old threats to turn Seoul into a bulbada—“sea of fire”—suddenly look bland compared with the new rhetoric. Having peered out through binoculars at the South Korean border island of Baengnyeong on March 11th, the North’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, was quoted as telling his troops to “break the waists of the crazy enemies” and “cut their windpipes”, to show them “what real war is like”. Baengnyeong is home to almost 5,000 civilians, as well as South Korean military units, which makes the bluster more alarming. Mr Kim went so far as to point out priority targets, including radar posts and rocket sites, said KCNA, the North Korean news agency.
South Korea Struggles To Rein in Bullying, Student Suicides
Wall Street Journal
While Pyongyang has been lambasting Seoul over the past week or so, South Korea has been grappling with a different, yet equally persistent kind of bullying problem on its home turf: school violence and suicides.
On Monday, a 13- year-old boy killed himself by jumping from his apartment in the southern city of Kyungsan. His suicide came exactly a week after a 12-year-old girl in Busan jumped to her death on the first day of school, leaving a suicide note saying “I am sorry. I am worried that I will become the odd one out again.”
The boy, surnamed Choi, also left a suicide note. The handwritten note begins “I will now tell you why I will die. Dear policemen, I will share my story here of how I’ve been bullied so far.” He named five students who he said had been harassing him since 2011. He said he had endured years of physical and verbal violence, humiliation and extortion in and out of school.
Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What
Jessica Hong is a 29-year-old reservationist living in New Orleans. She is originally from Seattle and she heard about The Race Card Project via comedian W. Kamau Bell on Twitter. As a Korean-American, Hong is constantly asked about her heritage and those queries became the basis for her six words: “Ask who I am, not what.”
Police probe American TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana
Police said Wednesday that they have questioned an American female TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana, a crime punishable by up to one year in prison under South Korean law.
Bianca Mobley, who gained popularity in South Korea after starring in a TV show featuring foreign women living here, was suspected of smoking marijuana between October and late November last year, said an officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
‘Community’ scene-stealer to guest star on ‘Sullivan & Son’
TBS comedy Sullivan & Son is about to get Chang-ed!
EW has learned exclusively that Community fan-fave Ken Jeong is set to appear in a second-season episode of S&S, set to air in the summer.
He will play Jason, Steve’s (Steve Byrne) doctor brother-in-law whose workaholic ways are putting strain on his marriage to Steve’s sister, Susan (Vivan Bang). So Susan enlists Steve’s help in getting Jason to unwind, but the plan backfires when Jason begins to reject his old life entirely.
SXSW Music: Korean Pop With Its Own Special f(x)
New York Times
But along came f(x), a five-woman group from South Korea — four of them under 21 — that is a female “idol band” from the artificial world of K-pop. On the model of American boy bands like ‘N Sync, idol bands are assembled, trained, choreographed and supplied with material by their management companies.
F(x) is reportedly one of the more daring idol bands; one of the five’s costumes was a modified T-shirt from the horror-punk band the Misfits. The group has song titles like “Hot Summer,” “Danger” and “Electric Shock,” which were all part of the group’s brief set, sung (in Korean, with English refrains) to prerecorded tracks that closely followed American and European electropop.
CAAMFest 2013 Reviews: Lee Isaac Chung’s Abigail Harm
Lee Isaac Chung’s surreal fable Abigail Harm follows the eponymous character (Amanda Plummer of Pulp Fiction fame), a reader to the blind who is struggling to deal with her father’s declining health. Fascinated by the Korean folktale of the woodcutter and the nymph, Abigail is suddenly visited by a mysterious, injured man (veteran character actor Will Patton) in her New York City apartment. For her generosity in aiding him, he rewards her by showing her a location where she can find an otherworldly being (Tetsuo Kuramochi) to love her. The film has minimal dialogue, so those expecting a traditional narrative should be forewarned. However, viewers who want a more conceptual film-going experience will enjoy the abstract re-telling of the Korean folktale and its exploration of accepting and releasing love.
Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish Hosts Pop-up Dinners
Top Chef winner winner Kristen Kish of Stir will present a series of pop-up dinners this spring, starting on Monday, March 25 at The Butcher Shop (617-423-4800). The menus are comprised of her winning competition dishes such as cured scallop crudo; délice de Bourgogne tortellini en brood; and fennel pollen olive oil cake with Meyer lemon olive oil glaze and candied fennel, among other dishes. What’s more, Kish will talk about how she came up with the dishes in the heat of the moment during the competition.
‘The Queen’ is back: Kim returns to worlds
AP via Yahoo Sports
Kim Yu-na’s performances in Vancouver were so majestic it seemed unlikely anyone could ever come that close to perfection again.
“The Queen” sure wants to try.
The Olympic gold medalist returns to major competition for the first time in two years at this week’s World Figure Skating Championships, and she looked so sharp in practices Monday and Tuesday it was as if she had never been away.
S. Korean President Issues Warning to North
Voice of America
In a farewell speech to the nation six days before leaving office, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday warned Pyongyang its missiles and weapons are taking the North “closer and closer to a dead-end.”
Lee alerted his compatriots to hastily prepare for reunification of the Korean peninsula. The president asserted that “even though the North Korean regime is refusing to change, its citizens are quickly changing and nobody can block that.
However, there is no outside evidence of any citizen protests in isolated North Korea which human rights advocates describe as one of the world’s most repressive states.
North Korea threatens South with “final destruction”
North Korea threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, saying it could take further steps after a nuclear test last week.
“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting.
Jon’s comments drew quick criticism from other nations, including South Korea, France, Germany and Britain, whose ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was “completely inappropriate” and the discussion with North Korea was heading in the wrong direction.
Some Chinese Are Souring on Being North Korea’s Best Friend
New York Times
Beds shook and teacups clattered in this town bordering North Korea, less than 100 miles from the site where the North said it detonated a nuclear test that exploded midmorning in the midst of Chinese New Year festivities.
“I’m worried about radiation,” said a 26-year-old woman as she served customers in a bookstore here. “My family lives in the mountains close to the border. They felt the bed shake on the day of the test. I have no idea whether it is safe or not, though the government says it is.”
At home and abroad, China has long been regarded as North Korea’s best friend, but at home that sense of fraternity appears to be souring as ordinary people express anxiety about possible fallout from the test last Tuesday. The fact that North Korea detonated the device on a special Chinese holiday did not sit well, either.
North Korea uses cash couriers, false names to outwit sanctions
Kim Kwang-jin says that when he worked for North Korea’s state insurance company in Singapore in 2003, he stuffed $20 million into two suitcases one day and sent it to Pyongyang as a special gift for then leader Kim Jong-il.
He received a medal for that, Kim Kwang-jin said.
North Korea, sanctioned by the United States since the 1950s and later by the United Nations after its nuclear tests, has been shuffling money for decades from illicit drugs, arms and financial scams and is now more expert at hiding it to fund its weapons programs and its leaders’ opulent lifestyles.
As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Are Turning to Suicide
New York Times
Even with the explosive growth of suicides in South Korea, the case of the 78-year-old widow was shocking enough to merit attention in the recent presidential election and hand-wringing in the news media.
Rather than quietly taking her life at home as many South Koreans do, the woman staged her death as a final act of public protest against a society she said had abandoned her. She drank pesticide overnight in front of her city hall after officials stopped her welfare checks, saying they were no longer obligated to support her now that her son-in-law had found work.
“How can you do this to me?” read the suicide note that the police said they had found in a purse next to her body. “A law should serve the people, but it didn’t protect me.”
Korean Pastor Tackles Prejudice At Home
Korean-American pastor Peter Chin leads an African American church, and lives in a predominately black neighborhood. It hasn’t always been easy, but in this holiday rebroadcast, Chin tells host Michel Martin how he’s worked through diversity issues with his family, his congregation and himself.
Martial arts skill trumps gun in Newton road rage conflict
A road-rage rumble that erupted along a quiet Newton street Thursday afternoon pitted one driver carrying a sawed-off handgun against another armed with his championship martial-arts skills.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert prevailed.
He put the other driver in a chokehold, landed a couple of strikes to his head, and wrestled the gun away, all before the police arrived, according to court documents.
Reds look at Choo in CF to start spring training
AP via Yahoo Sports
Shin-Soo Choo has made 10 starts in center field over eight seasons in the majors. He’ll get a chance to win the job during his first spring training with the Cincinnati Reds.
If that doesn’t work out, the defending NL Central champions will have to do some rearranging.
The Reds traded incumbent center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland for Choo in the offseason, looking for a stronger bat at the top of the lineup. They haven’t had a consistent leadoff hitter for years.
Shin-Soo Choo draws crowd at Reds’ spring training
Shin-Soo Choo drew quite a crowd on the first day of camp.
Twenty-five members of the South Korean media, representing 12 organizations, were at the Reds’ spring training complex to cover him.
They followed his every move — from the batting cages for early work to outfield practice to batting practice on the field. Most of the contingent will spend five days in Goodyear. During the season, however, only one reporter follows Choo.
Conger aims to secure role as backup catcher
Hank Conger probably thought it would happen sooner.
But now, as he enters yet another Spring Training, he’s suddenly 25, heading into his last option year, coming off three straight seasons of being deemed primarily a Triple-A catcher and hoping to finally stick full-time in the Majors as a backup to Chris Iannetta.
“Everyone I’ve talked to, the biggest hurdle is Triple-A to the big leagues,” Conger said. “That’s definitely one thing I always remember. For me, [the last three years were] a big learning curve. But right now, I feel like I’m ready to try to overcome that next step.”
United and Chelsea set for summer bidding war over South Korean starlet Son
Daily Mail (U.K.)
South Korean star Son Heung-Min is set to become the subject of a bidding war between Manchester United and Chelsea this summer.
The 20-year-old has become one of the rising stars of the Bundesliga this season, following a succession of outstanding performances for Hamburg.
And Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez are both interested in bringing the £10m-rated attacker to the Premier League, according to the Sunday People.
FIFA Dashes Korean Teen’s Dreams of Playing for Barca Youth Team
Teenager Lee Seung-woo has been banned from playing for Barcelona’s youth team after FIFA deemed him underage.
The world governing body of football said on Monday that the 15-year-old violated the rule stating that players have to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for international transfers.
Linkin Park Design New Boots with Sebago
Linkin Park have teamed up with the shoe company Sebago for a smartly designed new boot, dubbed the Jungle X, which is on sale now.
Made of a mix of leather, canvas and a Vibram rubber outsole, the black boot was designed by the band and retails for $250. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Hurricane Sandy victims via Linkin Park’s charity, Music for Relief.
Samsung Reboots Smart TV
Wall Street Journal
Did the smart TV just get smarter? Samsung Electronics hopes so.
The world’s top manufacturer of television sets on Tuesday unveiled an upgrade to its “Smart TV” series, after recent models got less than stellar reviews.
The new F8000 series TVs have screens measuring 46, 55, 60, 65 and even 75 inches diagonally, and Samsung said their “Smart Interaction” functions have been improved to better interpret viewers’ verbal commands or hand gestures. Previous models could only read one-handed command gestures.
Clues to timing of NKorea nuclear test seen in US holidays, Kim family dates, South’s politics
AP via Washington Post
So when will it be?
North Korea vowed last month to carry out its third nuclear test but has said nothing about timing. As a result, the building suspense in Seoul has prompted many to look at the dates Pyongyang has chosen for past atomic tests, as well as rocket and missile launches.
Dates and numbers have great symbolic importance to North Korea’s government. So Pyongyang often schedules what Washington calls “provocative acts” around U.S. holidays and important South Korean political events, an effort to send none-too-subtle messages to its main enemies — Washington and Seoul. Pyongyang also uses the tests to give a nationalistic boost to its citizens, often favoring significant milestones of the state, party and ruling Kim family.
South Korean public opinion as Park Geun-hye takes office
The Peterson Institute for International Economics
The South Korean public regards “economic growth” as the top priority for the incoming Park Geun-hye government according to two recent polls. I recently received a short report from the TNS office in Seoul summarizing South Korean public opinion on a variety of issues, and comparing those views to those found five years ago as Lee Myung-bak came into office.
With regard to North-South relations, the delinkage of politics and humanitarian aid continues to have strong support in South Korea. According to a Dong-a Ilbo poll two-thirds of the public support a continuance of humanitarian aid “regardless of the political situation.”
In Propaganda Video, Only North Korea Sleeps Easy
New York Times
North Korea is not known for its subtlety, famous instead for its soaring patriotic rhetoric and threats to turn the capital of its rival, South Korea, into a “sea of fire.”
But even by those standards, the latest volley of North Korea propaganda is noteworthy. Posted recently on YouTube, a video by one of the North’s propaganda agencies shows an animated version of Manhattan in flames — part of a dream in which a young Korean man envisions a glorious future of rocket launchings and the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. The background music to the scenes of launchings and destruction: an instrumental version of “We Are the World.”
How much disparity is there among Asian Americans? Plenty
Southern California Public Radio
The details in a newly issued report on the disparities within California’s Asian American population are an eye-opening antidote to the “model minority” myth. They depict a diverse population that’s deeply divided along lines of social class, educational attainment, language and more.
Based on census and other federal data, the report from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center tracks Asians Americans in several regions including Southern California, home to the largest population of Asian Americans in the state.
A few basics: As it’s been reported lately, immigration from Asian countries to California now exceeds that from Latin America. Accordingly, the state’s general Asian and Pacific Islander population has been on the rise. Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian American population of California grew 34 percent, followed by its Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population at 29 percent. Both surpassed the growth of the Latino population.
Asian American Women Over 65 Are More Likely to Commit Suicide Than Anyone Else, Study Finds
While talking about suicide in the United States may bring to mind high-profile cases like the tragic and untimely death of Aaron Schwartz, it turns out that the demographic most likely to end their lives is not who you might expect. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published their findings from 2004 and 2007 that Asian American women ages 65 and older have the highest suicide rate than any other racial group at 6.5 per 100,000. Another finding from the CDC states that Asian Americans 18 years and older have the second highest percentage of individuals dealing with serious psychological disorder at 1.9%.
So what does all this mean?
Students push for Korean Studies
Yale Daily News (Yale Univ.)
A group of students has been working since September 2012 to raise awareness of the lack of a major in Korean studies at Yale — but students have undertaken similar efforts for at least the last decade.
The Council on East Asian Studies currently allows undergraduate EAS majors to concentrate in Chinese or Japanese studies but offers no concentration in Korean studies. Though former CEAS chair Mimi Yiengpruksawan told the News in 2002 that the council hoped to set up the Korean studies track by the fall of 2003, the council has struggled to establish the concentration for at least the past decade due to insufficient resources. A newly formed student group, called the Korean Studies Initiative at Yale, has gathered over 200 signatures on a petition released to students online Jan. 29 to urge the University to invest the teaching resources necessary for the program’s establishment.
Korean plastic surgeon shares his views on industry regulations
South China Morning Post
As the debate over how to regulate the beauty industry rages on in Hong Kong, a top plastic surgeon from South Korea was recently invited by Chinese University’s faculty of medicine to share his experiences on industry regulations with local doctors.
Dr Hong Joon-pio, director of the plastic surgery department at the ASAN Medical Centre in Seoul, says the cosmetic surgery industry is largely regulated by market forces in South Korea. “The way we achieve excellence is through competition and cutting-edge surgeries,” he says. “In Korea, plastic surgeons never want a monopoly. It’s never an issue. The plastic surgery market is so busy that they don’t have time for that [kind of] discussion.”
Westlake Village’s Danielle Kang better prepared for second season on LPGA Tour
Ventura County Star (Calif.)
Midway through her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, Danielle Kang had a heart-to-heart chat with her longtime swing coach Brady Riggs.
The Westlake Village resident had just missed back-to-back cuts.
“When I got on the LPGA Tour, I hyped it up in my mind so much that I was putting more pressure on myself than needed to be,” Kang said. “I was thinking too much and feeling like every shot needed to be perfect. When I was having success as an amateur golfer I just went out, got my yardage and hit my shot. So Brady told me to forget all the stuff I had been thinking about and just go back to hitting shots and having fun.”
Croatia outclass South Korea in London friendly
Reuters via Yahoo Sports
An inspired Croatia swept past South Korea 4-0 in a friendly played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage on Wednesday to help build confidence ahead of a politically-charged World Cup qualifier next month against Balkan arch-rivals Serbia.
Pyeongchang Special Olympics Signs off on a High Note
The 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics World Winter Games wrapped up on Tuesday after a week of inspiring competition that drew almost 200,000 spectators to venues in Pyeongchang and Gangneung from Jan. 29.
The Games featured 1,989 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 106 countries, who pushed themselves to the limit and communicated with the rest of the world through sport. Numerous celebrities also participated to support the athletes, including Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.
Sock Designer Finds Niche Market with Creative Idea
Hamstrung by the huge financial cost of setting up her own clothing brand, designer Hong Jung-mi came up with the novel idea of making fun and colorful socks and selling them in a vending machine on a busy shopping street. That soon made her name.
Hong worked at a woman’s clothing company for five years after majoring in fashion design but quit to build her own brand. After much deliberation, she chose to focus on making socks which required less of an investment. Her first move was to take a menial job running errands at a local sock-knitting factory to learn the ropes for six months.
Hong was keen to open a shop but again had to curtail her ambitions because of the expensive rent, which led her to consider launching an online store as well as a vending machine.
A foster dog’s journey from South Korea to Seattle
It’s a miracle that she’s here. Animal Rescue Korea posted a notice about her on the Web. They sent an email out to dog rescue groups in the U.S. about her plight. One responded, Mercer Island Eastside Orphans and Waifs (aka MEOW). Volunteers in Korea raised the money to put her on an a plane to Seattle, and the Mercer Island rescue picked her up on Monday night at Sea-Tac. (Here’s a Youtube video of Peach getting picked up at the airport by Kelly Starbuck, the Mercer Island rescue organizer. The video is set to Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America.”)
Eric’s Top 10 Seoul Cafe Recommendations
1.) Piano Cafe (피아노 카페)
The first place on the list that I would like to recommend is the Piano Cafe located in Hongdae, a refuge for coffee purists and music lovers. This is my favorite cafe since I ever started coming here. The piano cafe is housed on a hill in the western area of Hongdae and its elegant yet all-embracing interior is full of submissive of wood tones and bright, colorful contrasting details. This cafe brings a perfect fit for the neighborhood with it’s Hongdae-hipster vibe, but let’s not forget about the main intention of this cafe: the reason why this is my personal favorite cafe is because of, well… the piano. Visitors are welcomed to play the piano here in the cafe and show off their piano skills; but if there is no piano player, you will be left with the radio, playing quiet tunes of jazz music accustomed to the seasons of Korea. Behind all that, you get a full array of hand-dripped coffee at a reasonable price If you love the aura of a Mozart-esque atmosphere of a cafe, you will love this cafe as much as I do. If you ever do stop by this cafe, who knows, you might get the chance and see me playing the piano there.