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From a parallel universe full of everything bad for you

ASIAN DRILLPOP! Lurid junk culture artifacts from Japan, Korea, Thailand and India. Mostly not safe for work. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Mar 19, 2009 - 30 comments

 

Daewoo to Buy Madagascar

Korea blog the Marmot's Hole reports on the crisis in Madagascar: Madagascar’s defense minister has resigned after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters Saturday (in late January), killing 28. More than 100 have been killed since anti-government protests began two weeks ago. And what may have been the impetus for the protests? The final straw for many was the mooted plan to lease one million acres in the south of the country to the Korean firm Daewoo for intensive farming. Malagasy people have deep ties with their land and this was seen by many as a betrayal by their president. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 15, 2009 - 18 comments

The Plot Sickens

South Korea has one of the world's highest suicide rates (previously). The phenomenon has been acute in the entertainment world. In the past two years, over ten Korean celebrities (mostly actors, actresses, and singers) have taken their own lives. Most of them were under 30. The latest death was that of 26 year-old actress Jang Ja-yeon, star of the popular comedy-drama "Boys Over Flowers." Initial reports stated that Jang's death was yet another in a tragic line of Korean celebrities succumbing to depression due to the pressures of stardom and (according to one foreign commenter) the inability to "admit that there is a lot of intense depression and mental illness in Korea." But there's also an emerging twist in Jang's death. Her suicide note has been found, and it turns out that her death wasn't due to relative intangibles of depression and mental illness. In fact, she was allegedly being beaten and raped by various higher-ups in the Korean entertainment business, and the names of the guilty are beginning to come out (one of whom has apparently fled to Japan).
posted by bardic on Mar 15, 2009 - 39 comments

Art is everywhere

Mingei is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement.
posted by tellurian on Jan 27, 2009 - 13 comments

eerie imaginings from the East

Asian Horror Movies.com. 100's of free, streaming video, full movies, which have English subtitles. Index of titles updated regularly. Japanese, Korean, Thai. Includes a wide variety of films from an eccentric fantasy like 100% Wool to a psychological thriller like Angel Dust. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 25, 2009 - 52 comments

Ghost Train

Abandoned Amusement Parks in Asia - 1, 2, 3
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2009 - 30 comments

...sorry...

Kim Jong Ill.
posted by Artw on Sep 9, 2008 - 86 comments

The North Korea of the Privileged

North Korea: A rare photographic insight into a very foreign country
posted by dawson on Sep 9, 2008 - 34 comments

Pink foam walls reveal national character.

Tunnels no Minasan no Okage Desu is a Japanese game show where contestants strike poses to fit through cutouts in pink foam walls. International reproductions of this game show reveal much about national character; reproductions exist in Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. [more inside]
posted by Alison on Aug 13, 2008 - 20 comments

P'ansori: Korea's National Cultural Intangible Treasure

Pansori (aka P'ansori) is a genre of Korean folk music produced by travelling musicians, a singer accompanied by a lone drummer. Rooted in seventeenth century folk tales, by the 1960's, Pansori was in danger of dying out completely, when the director Im Kwon-taek made the film Sopyonje. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott on Jul 3, 2008 - 6 comments

On Kimchi

These days, spice is integral to ideas of kimchi in both the West and Korea—it’s always a funny game trying to convince various restaurant ladies here that I can, in fact, eat kimchi without spewing two ribbons of fire from my nostrils, thereby singing the wallpaper and confirming their suspicions that we white folks are just a bunch of food pussies. “Maeun-kot” (“spicy shit!”), they say, making flamey-flamey motions with their hands; “Yes,” I say, “Maeun umshik-ul chal mogoyo” (“I can eat spicy food, no lie, please stop looking at me like I’m a recalcitrant goat who’s about to try to eat a roll of barbed wire”).
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 12, 2008 - 64 comments

There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

Russian car magazine "Autoreview" has posted photos of a 1978 Korean Air Lines (KAL) forced landing to accompany an article about the Land Rover Defender pickup that was used to haul equipment at that time. Apparently, Korean Air Lines is not amused (Korean) by this effort to dig up the past. More photos. Via the always awesome Marmot's Hole. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 5, 2008 - 13 comments

"So, you're saying you surrendered for a cigarette?"

They Chose China is a documentary about the 22 western POWs who chose to defect to China after the Korean War armistice.
posted by bunnytricks on May 18, 2008 - 13 comments

Buddy Rich, eat your heart out.

Attention drummers! Want to take all the attention away from the rest of the band... then just watch this masterclass. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 4, 2008 - 37 comments

Penn and Teller ripped off by Koreans

Today on Penn Jillette's video blog he mentions a hilarious crew of Koreans have ripped off an old Penn and Teller trick.
posted by byronimation on Feb 28, 2008 - 52 comments

Love, Korean Style.

Cheju Love Land (NSFW). A comment in a recent MeTa thread reminded me of this (ahem) expose. It's linked on stavros’ OutsideInKorea site [previously on MeFi].
posted by GrammarMoses on Feb 23, 2008 - 17 comments

Happy lunar new year!

Celebrate by wearing your best hanbok! Like Paris Hilton. Or Venus Williams. Or random Korean celebs. Don't forget to dress the dog! Koreans wear traditional dress, hanbok, during the holidays and for major events such as weddings or funerals. Designers continue to reinterpret it, while colorful variations on styles of centuries past make their way to films and TV. The movie is Untold Scandal, the TV drama is Hwang Jin Yi.
posted by needled on Feb 7, 2008 - 19 comments

First of the photojournalists

Japanese places and people photographed by Felice Beato, a pioneer 19th century photographer who documented the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and the Anglo-French military intervention in China before opening a studio in Yokohama in 1863. He also seems to have been the first photographer in Korea.Wikipedia NYPL archive First two links are units in MIT's Visualizing Cultures project.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 23, 2008 - 12 comments

Funny Money

Super funny money turning up on the world stage
Along with pranks going on in the gulf this week, some funny stuff going on with US Currency as well - Perhaps part of the explanation of the seemingly endless run on gold?
posted by specialk420 on Jan 13, 2008 - 52 comments

Somebody get me a 15-year old to explain these.

PISA results are in. Finland and Canada high five and make awkward polite bows and gestures towards The Far East. For education policy Programme for International Student Assessment is the research about how 15-year old students are being educated. Briefings for UK and US. Results escape easy answers, but you might test your theory against interactive data tool. [more inside]
posted by Free word order! on Dec 4, 2007 - 47 comments

Seoul Takers

Halloween Subway Where? Korea, of course!
posted by Kirth Gerson on Oct 26, 2007 - 20 comments

French Fry Coated Hot Dogs!

The French Fry Coated Hot Dog and other artisan hot dogs from Korea.
posted by empath on Oct 9, 2007 - 62 comments

Eeeeeeeeeee-heeeee~ jowah jowah jowah!

Epaksa. Or Dr. Lee (a.k.a "Sinbaram" Epaksa). Purveyor of "Techno Ponchak". It's a mixture of electronic music with "ponchak," a dismissive, onomatopoeic reference to a Korean musical style known as "teuroteu" (trot). [More inside.]
posted by kkokkodalk on Sep 5, 2007 - 11 comments

Korea: Then and Now

Seoul: Then and Now. Photos Part 2. Anyang: Then and Now.
posted by phoque on Aug 6, 2007 - 13 comments

YouTube: Korean Missionaries in Afghanistan

Formerly 23, now 22 Korean Christian missionaries have been taken hostage in Afghanistan. The group's leader and pastor was killed on his 42nd birthday. Hostages have been taken before in Afghanistan, but a video on YouTube, perhaps connected with the missionaries, has been creating a stir. Here.
posted by suedehead on Jul 26, 2007 - 73 comments

Everybody was taekwondo fighting

You got served!...by taekwondo black belts? The Korean Tigers is a taekwondo demonstration team that also try to have fun. But chereographing with pop stars and dancing? Considering that one of Korea's older traditional martial arts is taekyon, a martial art which reflects some aspects of traditional Korean dance and music, dancing doesn't seem so far-fetched for Korean martial arts.
posted by kkokkodalk on Jul 12, 2007 - 7 comments

The Objective Orbiting Eye in the Sky

Live, From Outer Space: rural fires [1, 2], The Haze in China [1 ,2, 3] and its movement, aerosols, and the brothers carbon monoxide [a photochemical smog agent] and carbon dioxide.
posted by trinarian on Apr 14, 2007 - 10 comments

Make Benefit Glorious Nation of North Korea

Feeling nostalgic for those old school Soviet shindigs? Westerners are welcome to North Korea's Arirang Mass Games. Tickets are on sale now. Will tourist dollars/euros be the undoing of North Korea?
posted by oneirodynia on Apr 12, 2007 - 24 comments

The real KFC: Korean Fried Chicken

A good write-up on a different kind of fried chicken. [via nytimes.com] Registration-free link here.
posted by paulinsanjuan on Feb 7, 2007 - 65 comments

The Cost of Monoculture

In Korea, you use Windows and IE, or you're out of luck. MeFi's own Gen Kanai writes about the Microsoft lock-in in South Korea. It is also a monoculture in other ways, of course, but in a country of 48 million where internet usage has risen from 9 million in 1999 to 35 million today, that leads the world in broadband penetration, some lessons for the rest of the world about the dangers of monopoly might be learned.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Feb 1, 2007 - 30 comments

A Year In Pyongyang

A Year in Pyongyang.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jan 20, 2007 - 24 comments

Korean War POWs who defected to China

At the end of the Korean War, James Veneris was an American POW awaiting repatriation. But when his time came, he—along with twenty other Americans and a Briton—declined to leave and chose to cast his lot with Mao and the Chinese Communist Party. Over time, almost all of these men became disillusioned with Marxism and eventually returned to their homelands. The Cold War that informed their decisions has become a chapter in the history books but the story of Western defectors to the Communist bloc is just now being written.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 4, 2007 - 9 comments

It contains DHA of high-nutrition !!

Take a cyber tour of the Nong Shim factory! Yay! Warning: Portions may require ActiveX control. Includes sound, especially music, voice, and a chime every few seconds. Discontinue use if you experience any of the following: overstimulation, understimulation, rage, anguish, nausea, seizure, uncontrollable craving for shrimp crackers, or an erection lasting more than four hours.
posted by thirteenkiller on Dec 11, 2006 - 11 comments

Pyongyang Rocks!

Pyongyang Rocks! If you are a band playing any kind of rock, including heavy metal, then you can participate in 'ROCK FOR PEACE' in North Korea. What a blast!
posted by Yakuman on Nov 8, 2006 - 30 comments

A chilling precident

Issac Asimov's first Law of Robotics has been broken.
posted by icosahedral on Nov 3, 2006 - 80 comments

China may back coup against Kim

Newsfilter: North Korea's response to a toothless UN resolution may be a second nuclear test. With military solutions pretty much off the table, it may be up to rival factions within the DPRK to topple the regime. NK coups have been discussed here before, and the end result may not be as pretty as one would hope, but maybe this time the Chinese have had enough.
posted by ernie on Oct 17, 2006 - 57 comments

All boom, no alpha

Air samples over North Korea show no radiation "It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives."
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2006 - 57 comments

Comfort Women

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations adopted a bipartisan resolution to ask the Japanese government to formally apologize for sexually enslaving up to 200,000 "comfort women" in Imperial brothels during its colonial occupation of Asia from 1932 through the end of World War II. Many were tortured and raped, and only about 30% survived WWII. Japan has stated repeatedly that even though the brothels were established by military policy, the imperial government was not directly involved in operating them. Taking responsibility would be an admission that they committed war crimes -- slavery and trafficking in women and children -- and could give victims a legal basis to sue for reparations.

H Res. 759 does not ask Japan to provide reparations, but it does push them to unambiguously acknowledge what happened and educate future generations, (full text) rather than continue the current practice of denying what really happened. Previously on MeFi.
posted by zarq on Sep 15, 2006 - 56 comments

Koizumi's last Yasukuni visit.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi defies opposition, makes annual controversial trip to Yasukuni Shrine. Naturally, China and Korea are not amused. Adding to the drama and sparking debate amongst the Japanese is a recently discovered private journal of former Emperor Hirohito that reveals Hirohito stopped visiting the shrine in the 1970's when he learned that 14 class A war criminals had been secretly interred. Those 14 Class A war criminals are the focus of the controversy, and many Japanese are discussing having the remains of those men removed from Yasukuni.
posted by zardoz on Aug 14, 2006 - 45 comments

Size Doesn't Matter... Size Doesn't Matter... Keep repeating...

I've long felt that the U.S. of A. "jumped the shark" as a country when we rejected the Metric System. The price of gasoline would still be under a dollar (per liter). Yet, we'd drive less because a short 20 mile trip would become a long 32 km trip. Then there's the most important measurement of all [maybe NSFW animated graph], providing us with the joy of 12.9(!) while we try to ignore that Japan is .1 ahead of us and France is .1 more than South Africa. (And is that Korean average North or South?)
posted by wendell on Aug 14, 2006 - 65 comments

OutsideIn Korea

OutsideIn Korea - brought to the world by our own stavrosthewonderchicken. He asked what you would like to see on the site here. Now sit back while he brings it to you. Or not. Probably not, now I think about it. In any case, the man writes like a demon on crack (except twice as interesting) and, whether or not you have the slightest interest in Korea, you will be entertained by the stories. If you follow his personal site, you know what to expect. If you have never read his writings before, strap in, you're in for a bumpy ride.
posted by dg on Aug 14, 2006 - 19 comments

North Korean Socialist Realism

Art Under Control in North Korea. A slide show from Jane Portal's book by the same name (Reaktion Books, May 2005). You can find an essay by Portal here.
posted by MarshallPoe on Jul 17, 2006 - 12 comments

Kim Jong-"Licensed to"-il; fireworks in the sky

Newsfilter: North Korea tests at least two smaller missiles, and one long-range which was unsuccessful, failing in flight. Bush says last week: "Should they launch a missile, that will cause various -- we would apply various pressures. ... I believe it is best that I do not discuss what specific pressures we were talking about."
posted by nitsuj on Jul 4, 2006 - 65 comments

Asian invasion?

Wal-Mart fails in South Korea. As a student of business and a resident of Asia, I am fascinated by the examples of "foreign" businesses who either succeed or fail in Asian markets. Recently, Vodafone failed in Japan but in a strange twist has signed a J-V with Softbank to keep their presence in Japan. eBay failed in Japan as did Memoirs of a Geisha. I'd love to have a discussion on the successes AND failures of non-Asian businesses in Asian markets and what, if any, lessons can be taken away for those of us who are in Asian markets or wish to enter Asian markets. (Yes, I realize that "Asia" is too broad of a region but I don't want to limit the discussion to just one nation.)
posted by gen on May 24, 2006 - 43 comments

The "Axe Murder Incident"

The "Axe Murder Incident" On Wednesday 18 August 1976 at 1040 hours in the morning, a United Nations Command (UNC) work force of five Korean Service Corps (KSC) personnel accompanied by and UNC security force...started to prune a large tree in the vicinity of UNC Check Point #3...Lieutenant Pak then shouted "MI KUN UL CHU KI GI CHA." Translated, it means, "Kill the U.S. Aggressors."; the UNC security force was attacked by a superior force of 30 KPA guards wielding pick handles, knives, clubs, and axes.
posted by Postroad on Mar 14, 2006 - 20 comments

Crazy breakdancers from Korea

Crazy breakdancers from Korea - one minute of annoying lead in followed by two and a half minutes of cool moves.
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 27, 2006 - 23 comments

The Forgotten War?

"The Korean Saving Private Ryan," or Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004). Reviews. Plot synopsis (spoilers). Box Office: Over 20% of South Korea saw this film.
posted by bardic on Feb 16, 2006 - 34 comments

Nam June Paik passed away

Nam June Paik passed away on Sunday. We'll read educated commentaries in the next few days, but what I most affectionately remember about him is how his work made me laugh happily during the 70s and 80s. A precursor of video art, he was the first to use plugged tv sets as building blocks in the most playful ways. His TV Buddha is arguably an unsurpassed classic (a motionless moving image, an outside observation of an inner meditation, even -why not?- a premonition of a blogger) (this last one is a joke: I told you Paik made me laugh). R.I.P.
posted by bru on Jan 30, 2006 - 34 comments

Foiled by a MACHINE

Korea to unveil Police Robots in 5 years. This project is being spearheaded by KAIST. Whom the team at engadget visited early last year. Some of KAIST's earlier robots, Ahra and Maru.
posted by sourbrew on Jan 18, 2006 - 27 comments

그림

Watercolor galleries from Korea (2,3,4,5).
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 9, 2005 - 6 comments

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