Well, here are some links for you to gobble down, and think about later:
- I’m a little dubious about the idea we’ll have enough energy to fuel anything as expansive as what is discussed in this video featuring a talk by Jesse Schell (a Carnegie Mellon University Professor), but I do imagine we will be going about receiving points for all kinds of daily activities, and in fact I’ve been thinking about shifting a couple of my courses to an XP-based grading system next semester. I think this notion is likely to work its way into my next major piece of writing, as well. (Via Kotaku)
- Also at Kotaku, for the expat in Korea who wonders what it might have been like if s/he had departed for Japan after a year, or two years, or had been there from the beginning, allow Tim Rogers to fill you in on the things you’d likely be complaining about if you’d done that. Plenty to rant about in Japan, though I still get the impression that, after a few years in Korea, this stuff would be easy to deal with — maybe because the stuff I do actually rant about here is stuff we never encounter during trips to Japan.
- An interesting paper by Jin-Kyu Park, a researcher and professor at Korea University and Kyunghee University, appropriately titled, “‘English fever’ in South Korea: its history and symptoms.” I think Park is missing a few points, like the ways in which English fever is an excuse for lazy parenting (which is all one can say it is when a kid gets home from hakwon at 8 or 9 pm and is told, “Go to your room and study,” as unfortunately too many kids are; or how the “goose family” setup often is just a cover for a socially-acceptable separation. (And a percentage of both moms and dads in such situations are notorious for enjoying a lively sex life during the separation from their spouses.) Yet I’ve found precious little discussion of those realities, but then, one isn’t supposed to talk about the elephant in the room. But people do seem to be willing to see the exodus of kids for educational purposes problematic, or as a crisis. Some interesting thoughts also in this thesis, though it is a bit earnest and lacks sensible cynicism in places.
- Need a pop filter for your microphone? Two (very similar) ways to make one for yourself, cheap, here and here. I need one of these for the next time I do recording for film, especially anything with narration. (The second link is from the first article, btw.)
- I also have been installing different bits of software/firmware lately. LibreOffice, which I couldn’t install on my Ubuntu setup until I read this guide, and I also installed the amazing Tomato router alt firmware onto the used Linksys WRT54GV.4 I picked up on Craigslist. (I had a V7, and it took some research but I discovered this was why I could not port forward, nor could I get it set up so both Miss Jiwaku and I could connect stably. All that is a bad memory now, and the Tomato firmware is operating amazingly well!)
- I’m reading two excellent books right now: Paul Park’s The Gospel of Corax, and Hal Clement’s Noise. Each is fascinating in its way, though for vastly different reasons, and I can easily imagine people who love one might hate the other. But the attention to the picky details of an alien culture and society (and, in the Clement, ecology) is what makes them both stand out. I’m trying to learn lessons here to apply to my own ongoing writing project, about which I’ll say more later, but I’ll just say that, though I’m less than a hundred pages into either book, I recommend both — though to different people, I imagine.
- If you’re looking for movies to enjoy, I finally saw The Perfect Host and it was a knockout. I was amused by Mean Girls, though maybe because I didn’t have very high expectations of it. And then there’s the Korean movie we saw the other week, My Way, which is about a Korean guy who ends up in the Japanese Imperial Army, and then the USSR’s army, and then the Germany army, during World War II. It was an interesting story, though it kind of undersold its own message by pulling punches on how horrific the War was… and by focusing on specific racisms of other cultures, while ignoring the evident ones among the Koreans. (I would be shocked if a group of soldiers, encountering a lone woman who had been spraying their group with sniper fire, didn’t rape and/or kill her on the spot, once they caught her on the battlefield.) Still, it was far from the colossal blunder I imagined, when I saw the poster for the film:
By the way, it was showing in Yongsan with English subtitles… as long as you didn’t mind seeing it either at noon, or midnight.
- Speaking of double-gobbles, these crabs could do that to your head. And yeah, they’re frigging REAL.
- Also, this video, whixch you must have seen by now if you use Facebook, is nonetheless worth posting here, if only to have on hand for any media-related course I might teach someday: