Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some pictures from around town

Left: Pronun: Sam Geop Sow. These are 1/2" thick slices of swine belly (think bacon) but unsalted and uncured...pure fabulousness. Jes and I are convinced eating lots of this stuff will sufficiently inoculate us from H1N1.

The meal is served with all kinds of side dishes to garnish your pork with. We compete with each other by seeing who can come up with the most original and tasty reminds me of ordering customized pizza slices on Noriega with M and G.

I think we'll order another pork belly booster tonight.

To wash down Sam Geop Sow is a Korean brand of beer, OB Blue. Drinking it always makes me a little nostalgic, dude.

Left: Seoul Subway Station Advertisement: Remember the story about Kentucky Fried Chicken changing its name to KFC because they weren't really using chickens? I've been spreading it around Korea and to all my adult classes. Just found out that it's an urban myth.

This ad exudes healthy, bright and clean...Are they selling burgers or laundry detergent?

Left: Korea has a very efficient health care system.

Left: This is one Jes' classes.
Yesterday morning I got phone call from Jes while she was teaching. She said her students wanted to say 'hi'. So they all got on the phone and we greeted each even told me that he was an alien. Way to go Jes!

Apparently they are fascinated by me and ask Jes a million and one questions about me every day.

Left: This subway is so calm, beautiful, sterile, homogeneous, efficient, and clean I'd let them perform a triple bypass on me in here; even the seats are heated!

Burningman announces some of this year's installations

Honestly, last year I was certain I would take a year off from Burningman. Don’t get me wrong; it was f-ing amazing last year as always. But my sense was that many people were going to take a year off…some favorite venues, Opulent and Pink Mammoth would also be taking a hiatus. I thought ‘09 would be a relatively quiet, perhaps more introspective year on the Playa and my liver wouldn’t hate me if I took a year off…

So with that moving to Korea and missing '09 wouldn’t be an issue.

BUT…DUDE! I just received Will Chase's update on the list of honorarium art installations for Burningman this year. Duuuuude!

Carbon flowers, with fire pistils, that expand and contract 30x; Chimera - a 30’ long something with vertebrae dripping and pulsing with flames; A flame thrower shooting gallery; Soma--sounds like 2 massive tesla balls pumping out all kinds of electricity and flames: ; Burninator grid--I have no idea what it is but it sounds sweet; An evoloutionay life-size zoetrope;
Oh My!

And of course there will be sailing with friends on the Playa.

Bro, this year looks like it will be all-time…and I’m not going.

…or maybe I will.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm up in the Woods

My friend from back home just turned me on to Bon Iver. I just heard his song 'Woods', which is more like a hymn and I felt compelled to post the verse. Listen to it if you get a chance.

"I'm up in the woods
I'm down on my mind
I'm building a still
To slow down the time"

-Bon Iver

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Google Maps

I've mapped out some favorite places I frequent in Seoul from our house on Google Maps. You can see it here.

I think the satellite images were taken during the winter because everything looks like a radiation cloud passed over the city--brown dingy and lifeless.
Right now cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the mountain by our apartment is covered in bright green canopy of leaves.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ant is a Mexi Can

I'm featured in Jes' blog! - The Mexican Ant.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Physics for Future Presidents

Several months back I read the book Physics for Future Presidents by Robert Mueller after hearing an interview of the author on KQED’s Forum. The book presents science topics related to current events in a very accessible manner. It gives the reader enough practical knowledge to grasp the big picture and science surrounding various issues.

It covers such topics as nuclear bombs, nuclear power, space exploration, biological warfare, global warming, the fossil fuel crisis, and alternative energy viability. Since reading the book I’ve become even more curious with the physics surrounding these topics and their treatment in popular media. As well I’ve wanted to introduce similar material to my own students and therefore wanted to become more conversant on the subject. After searching the web for more info about Mueller, I discovered he teaches a course at Berkeley that reviews the topics of the book in much more depth AND all of his Lectures are on the posted online…|2008-D-69453&semesterid=2008-D
SWEET! So I’ve been attending his Fall 08 Semester Lectures bi-weekly for the last couple weeks in Korea and am loving it. The course is taught through the College of Letters and Sciences so the material is much accessible than perhaps a similar course that would be taught through the physics department.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Borimae Park

While North Korea was debuting their much anticipated rocket over the skies of Japan this morning, Jes and I decided to go to a climbing wall at Borimae Park.

We met a few other friendly Americans there, one of whom knew enough Korean to help us rent a rope, a caribiner and a harness.

In my life I have only bouldered and never top-roped climbed, and while Jes has passed her belay test, she couldn't recall how to tie off a rope to a harness or thread a rope through the belay device. Fortunately, our American friends did know what they were doing and offered us a few quick lessons to get us up and running as well as taught us a few climbing techniques.

So we spent a few hours climbing, practicing our new skills. I practiced setting a top rope as well. I can tell there is no fear in the regular rock climbers on that wall, but it was very different for me. Once I was more than 4 meters above the ground I began to grab and hold on to every hold too tight; I stop using my legs to move up the wall; and then there I am 15m high, shaking from fear of heights, shaking from lactic acid build up, shaking from fear of the rope not being to withstand my kilonewtons. Well I fell several times and my compadres kept me safe. It was lots of fun.

Afterwards we stopped by the foot park. That's right! a park for therapy for your feet. You take off your shoes and walk over various surfaces, some painful, some soothing, and then some painful.

On our way home, we stopped in Itaewon to meet a friend and had some cocktails at a restaurant that has sandboxes which you sit in to eat and drink. I think Jes thought it might ameliorate my longing for an ocean. It was less like a beach a more like an ashtray.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

South Korea vs. North Korea Soccer Game

South Korea vs. North Korea.

It was North Korea vs. the South Korea at the World Cup Stadium--about an hour's subway ride from our apartment. Both sides played poorly. Our friend said South Korea usually plays better. During half-time Kim Yu-Na, world champ ice skater and Pride of Korea, walked out on the field. She said something in must have been good because all the Koreans cheered ; )

In the final 15 minutes of the game South Korea scored a lack luster goal and won the game. I hope North Korea doesn't retaliate with a nuke.