Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ktown Cowboys : The Movie!

One of my all-time favorite web-series, Ktown Cowboys, is coming back. This time, as a film.... soon. The original Ktown Cowboys webseries featured a group of guys having an epic adventure in LA Koreatown. If you haven't seen it, check out this article HERE. Now they need some help raising money to market this upcoming film correctly. Check out their video :

More about the film below.

CSM introduces Jimjilbang (찜질방) + pictures

Jimjilbang takes MANY forms
Last week, CSM (Christian Science Monitor) featured a little article on Korean jimjilbang. Jimjilbang is basically Korean Sauna, in much more refined form. Besides the sauna component, many Jimjilbang is like a relaxing entertainment center. It doesn't go into much specifics, but it's still pretty cool that jimjilbang is featured on CSM.

Check out the article here : The latest craze in South Korea: the jimjilbang
More pictures of Jimjilbangs below.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why North Korea has the lowest suicide rate in the world

This is part of an article I was reading from Free North Korea Radio (www.fnkradio.com) today. It was a sad, surprising, and eye-opening article for me. It was titled "A (North Korean) defector's thought on suicide" (탈북자가 보는 북한식 자살 정의).

Life, an incarceration.
North Korea is known to be the country with the lowest suicide rate on earth. Why is this, for this nation with the worst world economy, human rights violations, and highest number of defectors in the world? It is because there is a mental pressure far stronger than suicide itself.

K-pop News : Daesung(Big Bang) runs over an injured man

Currently big news in K-pop :

Big Bang's member, Daesung(대성), ran over a man that was already injured from a car accident that happened shortly before. This happened early this morning, around 1:30AM. According to the witness (the taxi driver), he found the motorcyclist bleeding on the road and was about to call police, then Daesung's Audi came in and crashed.

According to police, he was not intoxicated at the time of the accident, but was going over the speed limit. Currently the main focus is whether it was Daesung's car crash that killed the motorcyclist, or whatever accident that happened before that was fatal. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

North Korea claims that they are the happiest nation in the world

1st: China, 2nd: DPRK, 3rd: Cuba, 152nd : South Korea, 203rd: USA
Now they have really gone out of materials to make up. This image surfaced on a Chinese website, and it's a screenshot of North Korea Central TV. They claim that China is the happiest country in the world (100/100), North Korea being the 2nd happiest (98/100), and so on.

South Korea is apparently the 152nd happiest in the world (18/100), and USA is the 203rd (no score).

This has got to be the most screwed up happiness scale. Do North Koreans actually buy this kind of crap?

Kpop : 위대한 탄생 (Star Audition : The Great Birth)

Star Audition : The Great Birth (스타오디션:위대한탄생) is a American Idol-isque music talent program in South Korea.

Participants from Korea, Japan, China, US, and Youtube(...) participated in preliminary auditions. After countless more auditions and competitions, the final winner was announced on the 27th of May. I could really go through the various drama and interesting plots that happened throughout the 7 month program... but honestly, I didn't watch this show. American-Idol-isque programs are just not my cup of tea. (Here's the link to Korean wikipedia entry about this show. And it's ridiculously long!)


Baek Chung Gang (백청강), a Chinese with Korean descent, won the competition. He will walk away with approx. 300,000 dollars in prize and various offers in music making, recording, etc. This was a very pleasant surprise for me. Kudos to you!

Below is the video of his final performance. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Welcome to the 80s, North Korea - North Korean laptops

The North Korean State TV reported about their brand-new all-North Korean laptop.


Oh man, this is really something. I never expected this cuz I thou...

Image sources : NorthKoreaTech
Wait, um. What the hell is this thing? It looks like one of those pseudo-computer looking things that you can buy from like, gas stations... oh wait.

CNNgo : 12 Expat tips for living in Korea?

All the expat folks are going berserk over this, so I'm going to go over this as well.

1. Learn to drink like a fish
Sure, as I have said and posted in this blog, drinking is a big part of living in Korea. But! Do not confuse drinking being a big part of Korean culture and all Koreans being raging alcoholics.

Drinking is a big part of Korean life, yes. But plenty of people don't drink or drink moderately. I have been in American college, and I was in a all-Caucasian (except me, obviously) fraternity. Don't make it sound like Koreans are the only people in the world that drink lots. Drinking culture in Korea is deep and sophisticated, added with all the Anju and over a long time of drinking.

Don't make it sound like all Korean folks drink like douchey frat kids, partying and screwing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

K-pop News : Dongha Chae commits suicide

Dongha Chae, a former member of SG Wannabe, was found dead in his home today. According to news reports, he hung himself... suicide.

Started out as a solo musician in 2002, he joined SG Wannabe in 2004. He went solo again in 2008, and became pretty famous in Japan too. I'm not entirely sure what his reputation is in the US.

I think he's an excellent musician, just not my cup of tea. Regardless, I give my condolence for the loss. During his last interview, he said that people only care about being number 1... on the chart, sale, and not care about humanity, quality of music, musicianship, etc. I suppose that might be what drove him to this.

Here's a popular song by Dongha Chae, Soon-a-bo (순애보)

CNN features Seoul as the greatest city in the world

CNNgo.com has featured Seoul on the front page with 50 awesome things about Korea. Check it out:


Note : This isn't really a serious list. A lot of them are borderline jokes, some almost embarrassing. But it's a fun article to read nevertheless... don't take it too seriously.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Korean food : Korean Steak Tartare - Yukhoe (육회)

Another food entry. This time, it's Yukhoe[yook-hwe], Korean steak tartare. Yukhoe directly translates to meat(yuk) sashimi(hoe). Yes, it's marinated raw steak meat. It's chewy, meaty... and... uh, I think Yukhoe is one of those things you just need to try it out first.

Source : Wikipedia
 And you might have guessed... it's great with Soju. I think it's a prerequisite for all Korean food. Yukhoe is actually another very popular Anju for Soju. More after.

North Korea to hand over access to the Pacific to China

As you may know already, Kim Jong Il, the head of North Korea, is in China currently. He is known to be in Beijing currently, meeting with Preisdent Hu Jintao. This has really been a hot issue in Korea for the past few days because this visit showed the diplomatic/economic desperation that North Korea is in.

Below is a news article about the economic/political compromise North Korea made with China during this visit.

Translation below.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Korean Drinking Food(Anju) - Chicken Gizzard edition (닭똥집)

If you've browsed the internet, you've probably seen something like this :
Sounds like a party.
Chicken asshole house, chicken asshouse, chicken shit house (Ktown cowboys?), the list goes on.

So what the hell is it? How the heck do you make a translation error to end up with 'asshole house'? Why, have I seen this more than once on the interwebz? Read more below.

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of the world was a little off! But it's still coming!

California Preacher Harold Camping says his prediction was off by 5 months - it'll come on October 21st, not May 21st. 10.21.11! Let's do this again! LOL


Also check out this rapture comic by The Oatmeal : How God is Managing the 2011 Rapture

P.S. Yay new template!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maria the Korean Bride - Maria Yoon, gets married for the 50th time

This morning, as I sipped my morning (instant) coffee, I saw this  :

A 'Korean Bride' at her 50th Wedding (Korean). The news article reads :

Maria Yoon (Middle)
'한국인 신부' 마리아 윤(39)이 22일 오후(한국 시간 23일 오전) 50번째 결혼식을 올린다. 사진은 지난해 9월 마리아 윤이 몬태나주에서 47번째 결혼식을 올리던 때의 모습. (Translation) 'Korean Bride' Maria Yoon(39) is getting married for the 50th time on the 22nd. Picture shows Maria Yoon during her 47th wedding in Montana.
And that's it. No explanation of what the hell this is about, nothing. The comments, not so surprisingly, followed : She must not be a human, she must be a dog. do a DNA testing... slutbag, etc etc. 

So I decided to look up and figure out what was going on. More after the jump.

World didn't end!

Darn, world didn't end as predicted... it's may 22nd and I'm still at work and blogging.

Some rather interesting things to read :
"no sh*t" : Rapture 2011 Rumors Prove False
facebook does it again : Post-rapture looting facebook event

Friday, May 20, 2011

End of the world... tomorrow?

According to Family Radio, world ends tomorrow - May 21st. Words of Warning: Time’s Up

See you after the rapture, cheers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Video : Korean Drama Parody 'Gochu'

This is also sorta old, but in case you've never seen it... cuz it's hilarious.

In case you don't know, Gochu... means penis. *cough*

North Korea : Kim Jong-il's heir visits China

Kim Jong-il's heir, Kim Jong-un, is making his visit to China. AFP's reporting seems a little behind the reports flooding in Korean news agencies right now.
This guy.
Kim Jong-un visited China via train, through Tumen and now Mudanjiang. It seems that he is not accompanied by his infamous father, Kim Jong-il. It is not known what his exact plans are, but some Korean media speculate that he is tracing back the 'revolution path' of his grandfather and founder of North Korea - Kim Il-sung.(source)

It seems like North Korea's 'supreme leader' is making a polite visit to his boss... China.

EDIT : Turns out that it is Kim Jong-il, not Kim Jong-un, visiting China. Kim Jong-il is the current supreme leader of North Korea... responsible for anything crazy that happens in North Korea. He was spotted in Mudanjiang.

P.S. For your entertainment... 6 Reasons North Korea is the funniest dictatorship ever

KJ Choi donates his PGA Championship money to tornado relief in the US

KJ Choi (Kyong-Joo Choi), a 41-year old South Korean golf champion, pledged that he will donate 200,000 dollars out of his 1.71 million dollar prize from winning the PGA Players Championships last week to tornado relief efforts in the southeast United States. What a man. This is a class act.

More on the news here : Class Act: K.J. Choi Donates $200,000 of His Winnings to Tornado Relief Fund

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello Wisconsin Governor, why not just say let's kill all gay folks?

I try to keep this blog mostly about Korea things, but this just pisses me off.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is so passionately conservative that he wants to bar gay people from visiting their partners in hospital.


What the hell. Since when did the government, the law, and constitutions exist for a certain group of people to exert their power over a small minority of people and make them suffer for what they are? Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with being conservative. Thinking something is wrong - this case, homosexuality - is fine. But this is just stepping over the line. Governor Scott Walker, be a fucking person.

Film to watch : Koreatown Cowboys

This is old, but in case you missed...

Ktown Cowboys, directed by Daniel Park and written by Danny Cho, is one hell of a funny short series about Ktown life. Mostly nightlife. This has almost everything you probably want to know about Ktown nightlife - drinking, eating, partying, clubbing, booking, and uh, apparently brawling.

I've met and heard Daniel Park and Danny Cho speak in a couple different ocassions, and they're very funny and smart people. Considering that this is done on a super low budget, it's very impressively well-done. More below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Human Rights Violation in North Korea - Disabled Children Must Die

There cannot be any children with disability in the city of Pyongyang. Even if one is born, it must be swiftly taken care of.

This is Kim Jong-il's policy. Because of this policy, North Korean government has been taking babies with disability and killing them by suffocation.

One North Korean source confirmed a story about a sailor who had to give up his grandson 8 years ago because of the policy.

He received a threat from the city when his newborn grandson turned out to be disabled : Give up your grandson, or you don't get to live in Pyongyang. We will give you a week to decide." He said, "I was afraid that if I didn't decide, I would be persecuted as a traitor who disobeyed Kim Jong-il, and then be excommunicated to a wasteland. I had no choice - I had to give up my grandson."

He was told that the government would take a good care of the child, but he later found out that his child was taken to a hospital and killed by suffocating him with a wet towel on his face. (more after jump)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Human Rights Violations in North Korea - Grandmother's defection story

A touching article from Free North Korea Radio. Below is the translation:

Source : www.Fnkradio.com

~ ~ ~

A while ago, a sports day for North Koreans took place in Hanywang University. It happens annually, and people look forward to it every year. This is the only holiday when North Koreans who left their homeland can gather together and share their feelings.

It was rather early in the morning, but there were a lot of people there already. As I was introducing myself and exchanging words with people, I saw an old lady who seemed too young and bright to be considered a defector.

Surprisingly, she had come to South Korea only a few years before. What was more surprising, was the reason she defected.

Korean sports - Jok-gu (Foot volleyball)

Jok-gu(족구) is similar to Europe football tennis and Malay's Sepak Takraw. It is basically a combination of soccer and volleyball.

And apparently Hiphop. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kpop - 박정현 (Lena Park) from 나는가수다

This is Lena Park, or Junghyun Park. She's actually an American-born Korean, graduated from Columbia University. She's currently a singer in Korea (since 1998, I think). This is a recent clip from 나는 가수다 (I'm a singer). It's like an evolved Korean version of American Idol. A number of top-notch Korean pop-stars compete against each other. Every week there's a new theme, and scores are decided by popular vote.

This song is a remake of 이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네 (I hope it'd be that way now) by 조용필 (Yong Pil Jo), a legendary old-school Korean singer. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Human Rights Violation in North Korea - Kotjebi

One of the atrocities you can witness in North Korea is the starving homeless children. They're known as Kotjebi(꽃제비).

Wikipedia definition :
The term literally means "fluttering swallows", given because of the kotjebi's constant search for food and shelter. The kotjebi are not officially recognized in North Korea, with any mention of the term being prohibited in state publications and documents.
The orphaned kotjebi first appeared en masse in the mid-1990s in the wake of the North Korean famine, which collapsed the food distribution system.
The kotjebi are constantly forced to seek food and thus gather in groups to beg and pickpocket. Most of the kotjebi eat only once a day. The diet of the kotjebi, along with the food they obtain from begging, consists mainly of grass soup, wild vegetable porridge, and grass roots.
A Kotjebi boy smoking.
A rather shocking article about the state of Kotjebi in North Korea below.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

AskMen picks Seoul as the 6th best city to visit for 2011

Check this out, AskMen.com has picked 'Top 29 Cities to visit 2010', and Seoul ranked the 6th. 6th!! Right behind London, New York, and Miami. Seoul beat Paris, Bangkok, and friggin' Las Vegas.

Check out this Link to get to the webpage. It has a neat video and some neat things written about the night culture, street buzz, etc.

But what the hell is up with the score of 6.5/10 for women? The dude must've picked the wrong club...

Drinking in Korea - Food (Anju)

One of the most important part of Korean drinking culture is the food. If you go out drinking Korean-style, you'll find that drinking and eating go hand-to-hand together. The food you eat while drinking, the Korean barfood, drinking food, etc. is called Anju (안주).


More after the jump.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Korean President Lee visiting Europe

Lee Myung Bak, the current president of Republic of Korea, is visiting Germany, France and Denmark to negotiate international trading, investment expansion, and green development. During his first stop in Germany, he held a meeting with the local Korean community.

Below is the highlights of his speech in English.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Drinking in Korea - Basic Manners

Ze way of boozin' it in Korea... Drinking is such a big part of the Korean culture, so do not underestimate the sophistication of drinking if you're drinking with a full Korean, especially if the other person is older than you.

It doesn't matter as much if you're not Korean, but a proper manner is always a nice thing to know and abide by.

Assuming that you're drinking some soju with a Korean/Koreans, and they're older than you...

(DISCLAIMER : This is like THE Formal rules to Korean drinking. If you're out with Korean college friends, close friends, etc, it really doesn't matter. I personally don't give a crap about these things unless I'm drinking with someone a lot older.)

Also, try not to get too sloshed.

Sex, Coffee, and blowing nose trigger STROKE?

Just an article that made me laugh this morning... how did I not die in college?

Sex and Coffee Trigger Stroke (BBC)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Korean Pop in Europe

Been trying to write an article about the drinking culture of Korea. But it's rather a sophisticated topic and I've been overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. Trying to interview some of my collegues, etc. It'll come, soon.

Interesting article on Chosun : Korean Pop in European countries.

"공연 연장" 시위까지… K팝(한국가요) 유럽열풍 왜?

Translation of some main points below :

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden killed

And the interwebs does its magic literally in the matter of minutes.

Edit: I've been rather sick for the past few days... I'll get back to writing tomorrow, I swear.