Link Buffet

I’ve got some stuff to do today, but I figured I’d clear out some of the links in my “To Blog” bookmark folder, so here’s some interesting stuff I’ve run across. Some are old links, but I found them all interesting.

  • Niebelungenlied: after reading this review, I want this book. I have a boxed DVD set of the operas sitting here, waiting for me to watch them. I’m thinking this winter, I will do it, but I’d like to read this translation as well. And while, yes, the Nazis misused Wagner, and Wagner was a gross individual, that doesn’t make the operas bad. As the linked article above suggests, the Niebelungenlied is “the grandmother of all medievalist fantasy and of superhero comics.” Along with Homeric poems, the Volusunga Saga, and the Greco-Roman and Viking mythologies form the basis of the Western concept of the superhero narrative… which is something my students have suggested lately is something of a foreign concept in East Asia even today.
  • While the title “What to do when body parts fall off” is a bit misleading — I expected an article on leprosy or zombies — this guide to what to do when you lose bits of your body — having a finger lopped off, or your eye pop out of its socket — is pretty good-to-know stuff.
  • If the fate of the Aral Sea is any metric for how we’re going to handle climate change (as the author ofthis article suggests) then we are pretty well screwed. I remember the story that got me into Clarion West dealt with the Aral Sea, in which a documentary filmmaker mentioned a projected (and widely distrusted) reclamation project about to begin. I thought the story had become future-voided when I read an older article about the “success story” of refilling the Aral Sea… but it’s only a small part that’s being refilled, for now. Maybe I should rework that story a bit after all…
  • An old but interesting article about the suicide rate in Korea, which notes how much higher the rate is for gays in Korea than straights. It’s also quite critical of the mental health care system, rightfully so. (Someone I know who almost worked in the field said what she saw seemed more like prison to her. Then again, there are many sorts of prisons out there… some people will sign themselves into willingly.
  • Everyone’s heard of J-date, right? Jewish people looking for Jewish people to date? Well, it seems to be a model than can be mapped onto other internet dating sites where people are looking for people with other shared commonalities, like, say, a shared illness or medical condition. Let’s hope it’s not incurable gonorrhea, though.
  • I can’t believe I liked this thing, back in the day. Not the ad, the food. Sigh. If we invent time machines, can we redo the 80s? Please? Then again, I suspect a lot of people feel that way about the 70s. And some people seem bent on reliving their fast food sins. For the record? I like the thick beef patties in a higher-quality homemade burger, myself.
  • It does my heart good to know that Canadian science-celebrity David Suzuki is still out there, fighting the good fight.
  • One thing my students have been saying a lot is that they would not want their own kids to go to the Korean school system as it is now. Little wonder, if things like this (a few years ago) can go unnoticed for however long. It’s an old report, because frankly reading the more recent ones is something I find too depressing and off-putting!
  • Is it just on my campus, or is this interesting article by Damien G. Walter on why Hollywood can’t seem to do SF right blocked all across Korea? Actually, I can’t seem to get The Guardian to load, period. WTF?
  • I don’t remember the 70s, so how viciously they sucked for a lot of people is a bit alien to me, though this book (which I’m now reading) drives the point home pretty well in the first chapter.
  • This is a great introduction to Belgian Beers for those who are interested. I wish I could say I’m an expert and don’t need it, but sadly Korea’s import tarriffs on beers and malt are so insane that I haven’t had a chance to try more than a few Belgian beers since developing an interest in them about a year ago.
  • Football, gold, and the DPRK: this article is just odd.

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