A Little Less of a Security Threat

Andy Jackson’s quip about Korean New Year’s Day (February 3) brings up an old joke I heard often at Camp Humphreys during both Korean New Year and Thanksgiving.

Forget civil defense drills, the true test of the South Korean government’s ability to handle a mass evacuation of its capital city is taking place this well in the form of the Lunar New Year’s Day.

Winter at the…Beach?


More Peace than War Over Water

http://bookmunch.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/the-dense-centre-of-some-virulent-new-microbe-heart-of-darkness-a-graphic-novel-illustrated-by-catherine-anyango-text-adapted-by-david-zane-mairowitz/Here’s another moment when I almost felt I had paid money for a Master’s degree for a reason. The topic of my final paper in the methodology course I completed a month ago turns up in a blog post. “Conflict and Cooperation over International Rivers: A Global Governance Proposal

Good Riddance, 2010!

I’m happy to see 2010 go.

2010 started on Geoje Island, in a smoke-saturated apartment building run by the shipbuilding company that also controlled the university where I worked. It ends in better quarters in Busan, but I still have to work for another employer I’d rather see broken and busted. What’s more, the cipher who should run interference between me and the Korean management is (profanity alert!) one of the most egregious and repulsive cocksucking assholes I’ve ever had the insult to know. If I don’t break every bone in his upper body with my right hand and stomp on his lower extremities with the dirtiest parts of my shoes on my last day, it’s only because actually doing it could hardly compare to the joy I get fantasizing about it every time he gets near.

Yes, I plan to return in 2011 with poisoned pen, new eyeglasses, and new electronic toys. I will podcast again. And, I will do all this AND take a vacation! That is, if I’m not in prison for murder.

My Nephew Is a Genius!

Pictures from Youth…Yeah, maybe not. Still, this rendering of my nephew Vincent’s vertical stretch from one school year to another might presage a future calculus genius. Perhaps his understanding of anatomy is a bit “abstract”, though.

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Fifteenth Annual PIFF Getting the Star Treatment

The Pusan International Film Festival just keeps getting flashier. Celebrity film-makers and performers will make 2010′s PIFF even more irresistible for the motion picture industry.

The Pusan International Film Festival said on its website Wednesday that the annual weeklong event in the southern South Korean city will open on Oct. 7 with Zhang’s “Under the Hawthorn Tree,” a love story set in China’s decade-long ultra-leftist Cultural Revolution that will premiere in the country next week.


The eight-day program will close with “Camellia,” a three-part film shot in the festival’s host city by directors from South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

Overall, the festival will feature 103 world premieres — 82 for feature productions and 21 for short films — including special sections on Czech and Kurdish cinema.

Hitch Still Has a Mighty Voice

I could do without his views on Iraq, but the rest of what Christopher Hitchens has to add to what he already has written and doneis gobsmacking fine.

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you think about how death happens?


CHARLIE ROSE: What it’s like?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes. In my book, I say that I want to be conscious for it.

CHARLIE ROSE: You want to be conscious?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes. That I — it’s an experience– it’s yet another experience, and I don’t want to miss anything that comes. The experience I’d like to see coming, have some remark, perhaps, to make about it. That’s very qualified when you think of how painful a cancer death can be. You might lose your ability to make an observation or really to be taking in the situation at all.

Taking One for the Country Gets High-Tech

Let me just sigh that I’m no longer U.S. government property, a.k.a. Army Soldier/Guinea Pig #### (Expendable)! One of the worst days of Basic Combat training for some recruits is processing, particularly getting vaccinations. I had no problems, but the guy behind me nearly sprayed vomit all over my backside, and another a few places ahead of me in line managed to hit the wall. Having to concentrate on an imaginary fixed to avoid staring at his vomited breakfast as I tried to concentrate on a fixed point on that wall while I got my own injections was mental torture. After that the spectacle of hobbled recruits rubbing sore buttocks was comic relief. But now, someone has decided to make all this seem like a walk in the park. The Army wants to get medieval on disease: Inject Troops With Gas-Propelled, Electro-Charged DNA.

The Most Dangerous Man in America (Video)

I had to remember how much I despised intelligence-gathering. I can’t decide if Dana Priest and William Arkin are fools, serviceable or otherwise. There are moral limits to human perfectibility, beyond which lies something that is incomprehensibly other than human.

I had another chance to watch the excellent documentary about Daniel Ellsberg, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

How an Interracial Couple in Busan Eats

Western Food with a Kimchi FlourishThe topic of food is a popular one for my students to ask me in class. Most, if not all, assume, I don’t eat Korean food, either because I only know about hamburgers and fries, or I can’t handle spicy food. Neither is true.

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