korea

The Zombie Diet Plan

 

Move over cabbage soup diet, paleo-diet, juice detox, and yes, even you, fetus pill diet. The pursuit of slim has been stepped up a notch with these illegal human flesh diet pills confiscated in Jeju, South Korea, as reported by Medical Daily.

Jeju, Korea’s premiere orange juice and honeymoon destination, is also home to two entrepreneurial Chinese students who thought they could make some extra cash selling trend-hungry Koreans diet pills with human flesh.

Koreans have been going to great extremes in recent decades to be thinner, taller, whiter, and better. Korean beauty trends are being exported all over Asia and beyond – snail cream, anyone? – but apparently there are some people still willing to look to exports for quick beauty solutions, even dehydrated people meat.

 

 



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I don’t think this is what the internet is for…

KoreaBang shares a story about a Korean teenager who went nuts, did something horrible and then talked about it online.  He raped a girl, killed her, dismembered her, and posted pics for his friends.

The terrible things that are happening in the world are absolutely exhausting. We’ve got technology to share the things that we do, the news that we hear, and the feelings we have about it all, but where’s the technology to stop horrible things from happening? I’d prefer the kind that doesn’t make us all criminals and track our every move, but maybe that’s asking for too much…



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Korean Comfort women statue in Glendale?

Korean Comfort women statue in Glendale? It’s been approved amidst, angry letters from some Japanese. Glendale is home to 10,000 Koreans. (LA Times – Korean Statue)



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Korean Rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji’s first pitch

Gymnasts at it again and she still threw the ball better than a ton of pro athletes.



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Korean Comfort Women Photographed – A Sad Tale

Photos by Ahn Sehong capture “comfort women” in Korea. Most are poor, broke, and even embarrassed. The ones that photographer Ahn Sehong photographs are still living in China, the place they were sent and subsequently “left” after World War 2. It’s a sad tale that has no resolve. (NY Times – Korean Comfort Women)

“Comfort Women” will be on view at the Korea Press Center, 7 Broad Avenue, Palisades Park, N.J., through April 18.



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Uh-oh, Uniqlo…

I was surprised to read this story from The Korea Times, since it’s usually big Korean mass-market clothing companies doing the knocking off, but Uniqlo got busted for being copy cats.

Korean clothing company, Coevel caught Uniqlo in the act of copying their “Navajo” socks. It’s a pretty blatant rip-off, and while Navajo inspired designs aren’t particularly unique, the Uniqlo design looks like a direct pull from Coevel’s. The Southwest decor craze of the late 70s, and the pastel version of the late 80s, seems to be on the rise again. Even Shepard Fairey’s  Obey Clothing came out with a series of “Navajo” clothes and accessories.

Uniqlo issued a public apology on their Korean website, but there’s been no official statement about how the issue will be resolved, and the CEO of Coevel is readying her legal team. Too bad there aren’t any royalties for the Navajo Nation.

Here are the socks in question:

No mention of it on the You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice But We Did blog, but there are plenty of rip-offs to go around these days.



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The 1980s Future Is Now: K-Pop Holographic Concert Theatres Coming Soon

Although it’s challenging to say that anything at Coachella could be considered ground breaking (especially considering this year’s lineups of reunions vs. new discoveries) it seems that  Hologram Tupac may have led the way for the future of K-pop.

The Korea Times reports that SM Entertainment, home to some of today’s most popular idol groups, are seriously considering investing in holographic theatres that would offer “concerts” of their top acts. As their story points out, they had  to use a hologram Tupac at Coachella, because he’s DEAD.

According to The Korea Times, SM Entertainment  has been wanting to do this for a while, and after they pulled off a successful holographic  Girls Generation concert, their passion for 1980s futurism was re-ignited.

Just imagine how AWESOME it would be to be able to pay to go to a holographic concert, watch the whole thing through your Galaxy s3 screen (wriggling through the crowd of people in front of you with their giant phones blocking your view) while you record the show to post on your tumblr on the subway ride back home to your parents house.

The future is bright for groups like Girls Generation and steady hitter, BoA. At least they get to have boyfriends and be “themselves” in real life, unlike their J-pop counterparts, AKB48.  GR Familia, Anne Ishii wrote a brilliant piece about the weirdness of AKB48′s idol reality.

It’s like K-pop is Jem and the Holograms, and J-pop is the Misfits – seriously, like with the evil manager, and the orphanage, and the holograms, and the Misfits always having hard times but better outfits… Everything we thought was only a cartoon futuristic techno fantasy is our now.

 

 

 



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Reading, Writing and Waterboarding

There are Tiger Moms and Dragon Dads, and then there are just guys who shouldn’t be allowed to raise kids, like this guy, Mr. Yoo of Seoul, Korea. The Korea Times reports that he was waterboarding his kid for having bad penmanship, but it sounds like Dad tried to drown his 9 year old son, after beating him didn’t seem to get the message across.

Another Mr. Yoo approved of waterboarding back in 2001. John Yoo, of the Department of Justice during the Bush Administration, was one of the authors of the “Torture Memos” giving the green light for waterboarding and more at Guantanamo. Not all Asian Americans in government are awesome.

Big hugs to Korean kids who get half-drowned by bad dads, and to the detainees at Guantanamo. These guys are giving the Yoo Clan a bad name.

 



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Suggestion Box

Last month South Korea elected its first female president. Seems progressive enough, but Park Geun-hye is a fiercely conservative daughter of a dictatorial former president. It was a passionate race to the finish, and her two liberal opponents at one point were going to band together to take her down, but they couldn’t agree on who should step down.

Like Japan, the Korean people chose a conservative candidate to guide them through these recent troubled economic times, convinced they are the key to recovery. Unlike Japan, South Korean voters came out in droves on election day.

Now South Koreans are lining up outside Park’s “Center for Proposals for the People’s Happiness”. As she transitions into power, downsizing government, chopping budgets, and hiring and firing, she has established this center (open until February 8th) to hear what the people want. Citizens are lining up (and camping out) to get their submissions in. Five officials will review the suggestions as they come in, and present the cream of the crop to the transition committee. It’s promised that some of the ideas presented will be put into action.

Maybe someone will step up and request a South Korean Death Star, so the Republic can gain some street cred in the space race. That would make North Korea SO mad.

So far the suggestions have been echoes of the requests made during the election, and campaign promises made by Park to make life better for the poor, the elderly and small businesses. There have also been less lofty requests to do things like shake her hand. There was also a request to make sex offenders wear giant, identifying barcodes at all times. Maybe a QR code would be more useful, and just imagine the fabric pattern possibilities!

 



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Google in North Korea

Google is a household name around the globe – at least in households with regular internet access. It’s even a verb in foreign languages. Now, Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt is in North Korea to… well, no one really knows. Maybe he’s there to get the Google Maps car better access to the driveway of this “Covert Runway“.  He might be there to try the North Korean style nang-myun he’s heard so much about from his Bay Area foodie friends, but a few days into his visit and it’s still a mystery.

The “official” story is that he’s accompanying former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, on a humanitarian mission to negotiate the release of a Korean American hostage. CEOs are the new influential world leaders, so I suppose it’s possible, but somehow I think Schmidt lacks that Clinton charm that helped to free Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

Some believe that Schmidt is there to urge Kim Jong Un to ease restrictions on internet and data access. Others believe there’s a different agenda. North Korea is a new frontier when it comes to Google style information sharing. Schmidt will likely learn at least a tiny bit about the future of digital media in the new regime, and he may be looking for a foothold. Five years of Google in communist China didn’t pan out quite the way everyone had hoped though. How will North Korea handle the world’s largest search engine? Will Google+ and its Google Hangouts help re-unite the peninsula? All I know is that if any of the Kim boys want to add me to their circles, I’m SO adding them back.

 



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Let’s Drink Feces Wine!

Japanese girl band tricked into drinking a Korean wine, Tsongsul that contains feces. Would you drink the “wine” with them? We’ll bet you would. (Rocket 24 – Girl band drinks feces wine)



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Ryu Hyun-Jin Signs with The Dodgers

South Korean ace Ryu Hyun-Jin joins the Dodgers. Yes, he’s getting a chunk of money and can you already hear the “old” Gangnam Style song blasted when he’s warming up? K-Town just went further east. Welcome. Seoul Sausage bros – open one at the Stadium. (LA Times – Ryu-Hyun Jin)



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Psy Gangnam Style Business Breakdown

His financial rewards for Gangnam style is broken down. It’s not bad for a guy who most of the world didn’t previously know. The money is heavily from commercials and less by his music sales. “PSY and his camp will rake in at least $7.9 million this year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of publicly available information and industry estimates” (AP – Gangnam)



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Three Years as a Sex Slave

And they say it never happened. Read the sad story of Ok-sun Lee. (GrooveKorea – Ok-sun Lee)

“They changed my name to Domiko in Japanese. The other women were kidnapped from various parts of Korea and their names were changed to Japanese. ”



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Jenny Hyun, the Linsane: Part Deux

Linsanity may have died down, but one fan still remembers. Earlier this year we wrote about the song writer for K-Pop groups Girl’s Generation and Chocolat, Jenny Hyun. To bring you back up to speed, boxer Floyd Mayweather dismissed Lin’s achievements with what some perceived as racist. Ms. Hyun decided to up the ante with a racist diatribe against Mayweather of her own. Eventually, she dropped off the online stratosphere, claimingthat she was being admitted to a hospital for schizophrenia when the backlash proved too much.

Regardless of what happened, it looks like she’s back on the map. Her website, blog, twitter, and other social networking accounts are online. And from the looks of things, she hasn’t quite learned her lesson either.



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Korean Pitching Star Ryu Hyun-jin Maybe an LA Dodger

Perhaps the best pitcher in Korea, Ryu Hyun-jin might become an LA Dodger. Yes, he’s bring in the fans. This man can throw. To negotiate, the Dodgers paid over 25 million. The rewards after paying even more to sign the man will be great for the team, especially in LA. (MLB – Ryu Hyun-jin)



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South Korea’s Mr Toilet House Theme Park

A toilet theme park? Yes there is one. It’s mascot of course is a cute turd. Of course they take it serious. Watch the videos. (GLobal Post – Mr Toilet)

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Suneung: Test Time

Yesterday, over 600,000 Korean seniors strapped themselves in for day long testing. It’s over nine hours long and known as Suneung, the College Scholastic Ability Test. For these kids and their parents, this is one of the most important days of their entire lives. Some will get suitable scores their first time around. Others will take the test multiple times (it’s offered once a year), repeating the stress and expense of preparation over and over until their scores are high enough to get them into a “decent” national university.

The Korean educational system is an intense one. Everything builds up to Suneung, when the die are cast. Will your life be worth living? Is your future bright? Will you be doomed to live a life of blue collar mediocrity, or will you rise to corporate greatness? These are questions that are asked in Junior High, and prepared for in grade school with extra-curriculars and tutoring that make a kid’s work day about as long (sometimes longer) as that of their parents.

On Suneung, parents, younger students and empathetic citizens rally in support of the students taking the test. Juniors, second year students who are soon to face the same fate, line up outside the testing centers before dawn to get a good spot to yell rallying cheers, and offer snacks and juice to the students heading in for the test. Parents pray outside the testing centers. They pray in Christian churches and at Buddhist temples. In Jeju, the airport avoids takeoffs and landings during the listening portion of the test.

I’m not sure if today is any easier for the kids that tested yesterday. I want to believe they slept well last night, with the hurdle of Suneung completed, but it’s not over yet.  Their test results will be released in December. The admissions process continues for those with scores they can live with. For everyone else… it’ll be ok. Relax, and try to take it easy while you get ready for November 2013. Don’t do anything crazy, and don’t let your parents get you down. You can do it!

FIGHTING!

 

 



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Korean Elephant Speaks Korean?

It doesn’t quite seem like it, but this elephant can mimic sounds including five words. Why or how? He learned possibly because he was the only elephant for five years at the zoo, so his contacts were all human. (Belfasttelegraph – Korean Elephant)

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Korean Robot Gun Can Erase You from 2 Miles Away

If a gun like this can exist, we’re all doomed. Super Aegis 2 is a non human robot gun that can take someone out from nearly 2 miles away, even in the dark. Gyroscope and lasers can keep the gun steady even in the wind. (Gizmodo – Supergun)

 

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