Random Linkage

  • I didn’t know until this week, but both Corey Haim and Gary Coleman died this year. Which means little to me, except that when I was searching for other things, these two cases came up in Google again and again.
  • Zenkimchi on the internationalization of Korean food, and how the guys claiming to spearhead it are going wrong… all a case of not knowing their market, and having things backwards. My rule about Korean restaurants isn’t quite the opposite of his title — the best Korean restaurants aren’t always the cheapest, though he’s right that the worst are usually the most expensive — but I find when it comes to Korean restaurants, the ones that look the least fancy usually have a much higher chance of serving decent food. (But, in the town where I discovered this, I also found that most of the local people seemed to be dazzled by how fancy a restaurant looked, as opposed to how good the food was. I was constantly taken to crappy restaurants with big plush couch-style seating and mood lighting. A friend of mine finally snapped and made his students go to the little tiny crappy-looking diner around the corner from our apartment building, which had 닭도리탕 that was to die for. To die for.)
  • Teen pregnancy and teen abortion fell faster in Canada than places like the US and Sweden between 1996-2006.
  • So there’s a book of essays out about Judy Blume. Not sure why I found it interesting — I think because of the response adults had to how her books helped them cope with being a young person.
  • “The Myth of the Teen Brain” (PDF) — an article by Robert Epstein that is full of interesting stuff, including the disturbing fact that teenagers (in the US) are subject to ten times as many behavioral restrictions as normal adults, and twice as many as actuive-duty Marines or prison inmates; the history of the myth that teens are just somehow kinda crazy; the surprising fact that Western-styled schooling and media seem to be linked with the rise of Western-styled delinquency in societies which, absent of those things, had no such thing as “troubled teens”; and some studies that show, actually, they’re just as competent as adults at lots and lots of things. (My theory is, if you took adults and forced them to go to a middle-/high-school like environment, they’d go crazy too.) And here’s a Q&A with Epstein, which touches on the forces that are preventing us from questioning our received notions of teenhood — for example, drug companies. After all: “More money is now being spent on psychoactive drugs for teens than on all other prescription medications combined, including antibiotics and acne medications.”
  • Not sure if I posted this before, but this fake South Korean Government website is pretty funny. Miss Jiwaku was a bit discomfited by it — understandably, given some of the stuff there — but I pointed out I’ve heard some of these exact Konglish phrases, like “chocolate man” (to describe black people) used in real life, by regular people (not, I’m trying to say, the Korean equivalent to Rush Limbaugh) and that some of the attitudes being lampooned are enshrined as far up as national laws (such as the idea of AIDS being a “foreign” disease — not anymore, folks!). By the way, the site design is also modeled on Korean web design: non-clickable JPG images featuring weirdly manic people. I have to say, regrettably, that the most recently-added page isn’t as good. (It feels like a personal rant, barely reworked for the site.) Skip “Make Money” and check out some of the other pages.

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