News Bits – 12/7/2012

By , December 7, 2012 8:50 am

A few interesting tidbits from around Korea:

  • South Korea says it’s going to stop killing whales for research. For years, the country has conducted whale hunts ostensibly for research, killing the whales so they could be studied, but then selling the meat to the many whale restaurants in Ulsan. While some might think that this is the end of killing whales, think again – the Korean fisherman still employ a method called “by catch” where by whales can still be harvested if they are “accidentally” caught in fishing nets.  My money is on no slowdown in whale harvests – there’s a lot of whale restaurant owners in Jangsaengpo and Samsandong  that will be mad as hell if they can’t get the main meat their shop is named for.
  • Sports and Politics don’t mix. That’s what the International Olympic committee must now decide. Park Jang Woo, who was denied his medal in the 2012 Olypmics for displaying a Dokdo flavored poster after Korea beat Japan in football is going to go on trial. Formerly denied the ceremony, now they will decide if he is denied the medal. FIFA has banned the player for two matches for his political display.
  • Korean nuclear authorities have uncovered still more faked quality and safety certified parts for nuclear reactors. This is the third batch of faked papers. This time, however, authorities say the parts or for ancillary devices not directly tied to nuclear processing.
  • Already dealing with a problem of Internet Addiction in Korea (see here and here), the country is now faced with yet another human psychological disorder – Digital Addiction. No longer just internet specific, this is about technology everywhere. Kids don’t take their teddy bears to bed any longer – they snuggle with their smart phone until they go to sleep and then fondle it some more the moment they wake. It’s an Obsessive-Compulsive disorder in which

    “I get nervous when the battery falls below 20 percent,” …. “I find it stressful to stay out of the wireless hotspot zone for too long.”…”Kids forgot to eat lunch, completely absorbed with smartphones and some stayed in the classroom during a PE class”.

    I predict more deaths from this – watching/playing with a phone when one should have been watching traffic, whether driving or walking.  I’ve seen a number of drivers with phone/pad on the wheel and several pedestrians nearly clipped by cars because they aren’t watching.

    And, in case you can’t get enough of your own digital devices, check this out:

  • Today, December 7, the iPhone5 arrives in South Korea.  If you haven’t already gotten one on reserve, you might be waiting. Folllowing closely behind, the iPad Mini will arrive next week.
  • If you missed it. Korea’s fourth attempt to launch a rocket last week fizzled out. Two failed launches and two failed attempted launches have left Korea as one of the few technologically advanced nations that can’t seem to get out of the atmosphere. The next launch attempt is scheduled for next year.
  • Corruption in South Korea rises. Although the Korean Herald, apparently ashamed of their country’s stature, have chosen to misrepresent the data by manipulating the headline. Apparently, the news site understands that most people won’t read the story and simply skim the headlines.. Their headline states that “S. Korea’s corruption index falls” but what that means is that the country fell from 43rd place to 45th place with Denmark and Finland and New Zealand being the least corrupt countries. Go Kiwis!

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