North Korea has been in the news a lot lately. Most of it is the usual blustering and saber-rattling, the sheer ridiculousness of which makes it difficult to take Kim Jong Un seriously as a leader. He's this portly 20-something guy with a goofy haircut who makes frequent, absurd-sounding threats towards South Korea and the Western world. Visits to North Korea are closely guarded by the state and portray an anachronistic slice of Stalinist paradise. As most of America (hopefully) knows, Dennis Rodman recently took a trip to the Hermit Kingdom and came away spouting about how great a guy Kim is.
But dig a little deeper, and your stomach will quickly start to turn.
Greetings, internet. First of all, thank you all for saying such nice things about me and my blog! I got a lot of positive feedback following my recent video post. You guys are great.
I really don't have anything exciting to report today, just wanted to sort of check in and apologize for not being particularly loquacious lately. I think I'm dealing with a touch of the winter blues. Don't worry, I'm not sad, I mostly just sleep a lot. It still gets dark really early and I have a hard time bringing myself to leave the house when it's dark out, even if it's only 6:30. I think it's a carry-over from my old life in Boston, when I would get home at midnight every night and be unable to leave the house again because, well, Boston at midnight.
I'm pretty out of touch with a lot of things happening in America, but I have been keeping up with my favorite TV shows.
That being said, my very favorite show comes back today (Well, tomorrow...damn you, 14 hour time difference).
October 16th: now on February 7th.
If you don't already, start watching Community. Now. Go. I'll wait.
Update: in case you were wondering, here's the full list of TV shows I've been keeping up with: The Office Parks and Recreation 30 Rock (moment of silence...) Smash Homeland (omg) New Girl (omg for a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REASON) The Mindy Project Grey's Anatomy
For months, I was dealing with a strange phenomenon. When I turned on my shower, I would have medium-hot water for approximately two minutes, at which point it would turn cold. You can imagine how unpleasant this was in an unheated bathroom in the dead of winter. My hygiene may have suffered slightly. I found myself showering at the gym a lot-- choosing the stares of old Korean women over the inhumane conditions of my own shower.
It wasn't until about 3 weeks ago that a friend of mine let me in on what is apparently an open secret in Korea: When showering, don't turn the water pressure on all the way. Only turn it about 80% on. I tried it, and was treated to a scalding (seriously: face-meltingly hot) shower that lasted (seemingly) forever. I was appalled. I still am. There is no logical reason for this to be happening.
I think I've solved the mystery of the other hot water problem. A lovely reader pointed out to me that I had neglected to account for the flow of water through pipes-- specifically the idea that pipes have a threshold for how much water can flow through them at any given moment (at least, for our purposes they do).
This is the missing piece to the puzzle! If I turn up my water pressure higher than the maximum rate at which hot water can flow through the pipe from my heater to the shower, the plumbing is going to add more cold water to the flow to make up the difference. This is assuming that the maximum flow of cold water is higher than the maximum flow of hot water, which is a pretty safe assumption since cold water is essentially an unlimited resource here.
Conclusion: If I drop the shower pressure to be at or below the maximum hot water pipe capacity, I can have as much hot water as I want.
**By the time I wrote this, in September, this blog post was already outdated as I visited Japan during my summer vacation in August. For some reason I never got round to posting it…until now. Behold! A post about my trip to Tokyo, five months late.**
If you’ve learned anything about me by reading this blog, chances are it’s that I am incredibly behind when posting about events in my life. If you’re still reading this blog you probably don’t care though, and for that I am glad. Here’s another belated post for your perusal….don’t expect anything groundbreaking, it’s pretty much just a day to day account of my summer holiday.