Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photographic Recursivity?

Looking at Jonathan Morse's cool photography site (which you should all visit forthwith, and if you do I'll save you some groaner of a joke about "thirdwith", or worse, "sandwhich") I saw a picture of some poor cowering punk being photographed by press photographers (with those truly intimidating big-flash units that they used in the day) that made me wonder.

Who has taken the most recursive photograph?

I include here three different "single-recursions" that I liked.

The first one on the left is the classic photo of the photographer at work. And it has to be work just to carry around the kit that dude has.

Really, check out the lens on that camera on his back! He's either a professional or he really has something he's compensating for.

The second is the equally classic reflection photo (which unfortunately just reminded me of the dude who used to put pictures on ebay in which his nude reflection was on the item for sale).That one is from NASA, and they were kind enough to take the time to enhance the reflection in the visor. What can't you do on a Hollywood soundstage?

The third is the party-favorite, taking a picture of the person taking a picture of you.

But it is not enough! All these photos (below) make me want to do is go to a car-show in Seoul and snap a picture of the guy who is always snapping a picture of the 50 guys who are snapping pictures of the car models (In fact, at these car shows, the cars go pretty much un-attended in favor of the models. Sensible, really).

Or, get even more meta (somehow) - line 10 people up and have the first two take pictures of each other, 3 takes pictures of the first two, 4 of those three, etc...


Because someone has to do the really dumb shit!

Guiness World Record folks, where are you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Verb, to Bee!

Why have I been such a bad blogger? Because I’ve been on Staycation here in Seoul. Been sleeping in late, studying Korean, and wandering about the City, with a strong emphasis on Namsan.

Sleeping in is, of course, an unalloyed good, which requires no explanation. It is odd, therefore, that I have the punched-looking eye-sockets of a boxer and a permananent case of the old pee-gon hayo.

Studying Korean, on the other hand, is supposed to keep my mind young, or flexible, or creative, or something, but its main take-home lesson so far has been that I am either too old, rigid, entrenched, or too stupid to learn a new language.

Wandering about has been more successful and, as I sit here waiting for some big-ass editing job to come over the mojo-wire, I am sorting some pictures from Mt. Namsan. I’ve been up it three times this week.

Yesterday I walked from my Korean lessons in Gwangwhamun, over the top, and then down into Itaewon-dong. On the way up I snapped a quick picture of a tour company that might want to change their name? I stopped at the top for a delicious bowl of bibimbap, which gave me the strength to continue.

On the way down I snapped the picture of what I know believe to be an actual cicada (or certainly some other kind of insect). If it’s eyes look weird, that is because it has obviously been the victim of some kind of hideous vampire-bugs who ate its brain out.

Yep, you’re looking through the empty eyeholes to the foliage beyond. Cool or gross, I can’t decide?

Monsoon season is allegedly winding down, but as it continues to rain, it continues to be green and insect-y. Today I spent some time snapping pics of honey-bees. These bees are working the Mugungwha blossoms that have just begun to appear and man do they go at it. The bees get completely coated in pollen, then head off.

After a couple snaps of that, I concentrated on getting, with mixed results, some snaps of bees landing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad Taste AND it Tastes Bad (no big deal, they'll eat anything!)

So.. this t-shirt is alarming enough. Apparently it is to refer to your child?

If so.. what kind of offspring of swine have "5XL" children?

And.. let's just go a bit farther...


shouldn't that just be a sheet and come with a washing rag on a stick?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just a Reminder

For those of you who don't do it.. Please go be bored senseless by my KorLit blog, so it looks good in the KTO contest I'm (supposedly) entered in.

Your reward will come in the next life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Several Kinds of Insects

Korean Lesson today. My third one in a long line and I think this teacher is mean enough to make me learn. She talks almost exclusively in Korean and when she thinks I am being a retard she slowly turns the left side of her head to me, taps her ear, and says, "listen!"

On the way home I was the subject of a slow motion mugging. I walked from Gwangwhamun to Noksapyeong, a sweaty and blurry walk in the current heat and humidity. At a stop light someone grabbed my left arm with reasonable strength and sort of stupid intent.

I wheeled around, and it's a sunburnt, totally wasted beggar who really, really, wants to keep hold of me and poke at me.

His brilliant plan is somewhat limited by the fact that his pants are unbuttoned and he has no belt.

So, after about 15 seconds of poking me, his pants slide to his ankles and he has to try to gather them up again.

Repeat as is (thoroughly) unnecessary.

I practiced some of my Korean (I may have pissed him off by accidentally calling him "grandmother", but then again he was drunk, and my Korean sucks, so it could have been a non-communication moment) and tossed him away once, where he banged into another white dude in a three-piece suit who hollered in agony that contact had been made.

The light changed, and I moved along.

I met other insects along the way.. the Cicada thing is just beginning (more about that later).. and I think this is what the critters, slightly out of focus, look like:

Wait til you hear the racket!

Monday, July 20, 2009

i R fAmuZZZ!

I can't tell if the photo makes it look like I'm looking, presciently, into the future, or have had a stroke and just not fallen yet.

In any case.. it's my second bite in the KT

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Reason Korea Has No Nobel Prizes for Literature

Its language is just TOO good! LOL. I have this off to the BKF to make sure the translation is correct.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Classically Fake Korean "Advertising"

Oh man.. Sookyoung De Hakyo has a reputable Korean Language Program.

But the placed article below in the The Seoul Times as allegedly written by an English speaker.

It's like... like.. they don't know how an English speaker writes, or that an English speaker wouldn't spot this as a fraud in about 3 seconds.

The first paragraph, alone, is a classic Korean version of English:

Learning the most scientific phonetic language in existence to attain the ability to communicate well in Korea does not have to be so difficult, because I aspired to express myself beyond speaking louder, slower, or continuing to mime out my expressions and requests.

I attended several Korean language programs. The type of program I desired needed to be convenient to attend, professionally taught, and provide good cultural insights of Korea and its people.

The LinguaExpress located at Sookmyung Women's University (SWU) in Seoul exceeded my expectations. Located in Yongsan-Gu, Sookmyung Women's University is accessible by public transportation. I currently attend the Regular Intensive Program beginning at ten in the morning and lasting until one in the afternoon, Monday through Friday.

Expats in Sookmyung Women's University's Korean class

I appreciate the class hours because they avoid the rush hours of cars entering the university and bypass the onslaught of noisy lunch hour crowds.

Entering the first floor lobby of the Social Education Building for the first time, I was impressed with the bright and comfortable space of LinguaExpress. The open lobby is flanked by large glass windows allowing the sun's rays to flow in.

Many table settings and sofas make this area an excellent location to relax. With a snack from the coffee corner, students exchange conversations, watch the large screen television, or practice their new language skills. Additionally, on each floor of LinguaExpress there are supplementary tables and chairs next to wide windows offering a good view of Seoul.

Expats with locals at Sookmyung Women's University

I appreciate the computer terminals located. I check my e-mails before and during my class breaks. On the second floor, the roomy and modern multimedia library has great individual workstations to practice language proficiency.

The library services are open daily at 7:30 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. Students utilize the audio and video materials quickly with assistance from courteous media library staff.

LinguaExpress's professional teaching staff instructs a wide variety of nationalities the Korean language by integrating listening, speaking and writing skills in relaxed and functional classrooms. Utilizing modern and updated textbooks, music, movies, and diverse dialogues to introduce a variety of everyday situations, so learning Korean is easier to understand and retain.

I appreciate my instructors approach to teaching, initially my poor vocabulary and limited ability to communicate made me shy to speak Korean. Under my teachers patient guidance, I am able to say more complex sentences. I respond more effectively to questions and engage in conversations.

Fun at Sookmyung Women's University's Korean class

My progressive ability to communicate in Korean is assisted by learning more about Korea's culture through the Special Program Workshops hosted by the LinguaExpress.

Various Korean language programs offer field trips to various sites within Korea, however, SWU's LinguaExpress promotes hands on workshops that are informative, occasionally messy, but always enjoyable.

The Kimchi 김치 Making Workshop gave all who participated a deeper appreciation of the time and effort it takes to prepare a complicated and delicious dish. Using a recipe handed down from generation to generation.

Students blend vegetables, pickled fish and spices to wrap Chinese Cabbage to produce Kimchi. Besides preparing Kimchi, my class group cooked Chap Chae 잡채, Pulgoki 불고기, Pachon 파전, Kamchachon 감자전, and Kimchichon 김치전.

The Korean Calligraphy Workshop promoted the skills of a Korean scholar. Students used brush strokes to create Korean texts with traditional ink and paper. Each stroke is praised for its own attributes. The ink for its color and the composition for its configuration's use of space and strength
of the message.

Expats learn ink painting at Sookmyung Women's University.

The Korean Paper Craft Workshop introduced an artist's skill to manipulate paper to create umbrellas, rain hats, or fans in a traditional manner. Because of our novice student status, we created paper boxes by pasting layers of paper on a prefabricated framework. Being slightly prejudice, my creation was the most artistic.

The quality of my studies and special workshops at SWU's LinguaExpress are excellent. The facilities used and the professionalism of the instructors make learning Korean enjoyable.

Everyone from the friendly housekeeping staff, to the cheerful and beautiful clerical staff with whom I chatted and practice my new skills, continue to encourage and ease my frustrations.

Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, once stated, "The only way the magic works is by hard work. But hard work can be fun." The LinguaExpress's Korean Language programs consisting of it's professional staff and special workshops makes the work of learning the Korean language easy and fun. It is magic!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

KNTO gets it right.

Both regular readers know how I felt about the "Sparkling" widget (NOTE: That post now features the new and improved widget!) when it first came out. But the KTO has revamped the thing, and now it presents Korea, and the idea of a trip to Korea, in a much better light.

Props to the KTO for listening to the original responses to this thing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

LOCATZ at me..

Sorting through my HD trying to figure out what I can delete in order to have more space for "horse on man" porno, I find this lovely draft of an email I might have or might not have sent.

With details of potential... "target?" .... "recipient?" .. blurred out, I give you the Methuselah Stick.

I am, in fact old. And I am reliably informed by a 52 year old that the next few years will be even worse as the slide down the razor blade of life continues. As the 52 year old is completely white-haired (a fate I will escape only insomuch as I continue to bald at an appalling rate), thoroughly round, and florid, I trust him.

Some simple mathematics might help.

The negative effects of age are asymptotic to extinction as you approach about 120 years of age, with some bad stuff before verticality. You will recall that an asymptote of a real-valued function y = f(x) is a curve which describes the behavior of f as either x or y tends to infinity. In this case, the negative effects are the value that reaches to infinity, as age clearly cannot do so. In fact, had I more time (and were I able to post pics in here) I’d describe the relationship as an oblique asymptote as that would better allow description of some of the cool things that happen in the first 21 years of life.

Alas Blogger, like loan-agents and women, denies me.

If we prefer to be more creative, we can look to literature.

Alexander Pope once noted, in Volume 27 of his 52 volume work, Denunciad: Short Musings on Brevity

The Methuselah stick, hits hard and quick
The Mortal man to chasten
The young and bold, are rendered old
As to their end they hasten

And then at age 56, as if to prove his own point, Pope shuffled off this mortal coil.

In science we can look to macroscopic entropy; in art to Goya’s Chronos; in philosophy to Ed Gein; and in music to the relief-map of Mars that is Keith Richard’s face. But they all say the same thing.

I’m old; nearly as old as dirt.

Fortunately, I suppose, I am not too far from a slight balm for all this. Thailand, with its cheap and excellent plastic surgeons, cheap and excellent Jack and Cokes, and cheap and excellent ladyboys, is merely a plane flight away. No solutions are permanent, but at my age, I’ll take what I can get!

Gotta scoot... I have a ticket-agent to engage..

Like, dude.. totally sweet

Is when you go to the bookstore to try to find another Korean Lit book and the swine are out of it.

As you head down the aisle to hit your fiancee in the head for dragging you to a bookstore on a Sunday ....

... you see a brand new work from an author you love, who you assumed was dead.

So you buy it.

And despite a suspiciously limp beginning, it's good!

That's like, dude.. totally sweet!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The day after the 3rd of July

means nothing in Korea.

so we headed out to art. There was a Renoir exhibit at the downtown museum and we headed to it.

Not before grabbing a Korean take on the donut. It looks western, but the dough (I think I've said this here before) is much more breadlike and if you wipe the granulated sugar off the outside it is unhealthy, but probably not lethal.

Here is Yvonne enjoying it.

Then it was to the museum.

The short version is that a little bit of Renoir goes a very long way. Pastelish visions of piano players, nudes, matrons, and couples, mostly suspended in a a middle-ish nowhere by Renoir's habit of painting indistinct backgrounds, grew thin very quickly.

Note - Yvonne is such a dwarf she could barely get up into the cutout

Fortunately there were two other exhibits. One was Dissonant Visions which was pretty cool. A fellow blogger was bold enough to ignore the "no photo" zone and a quick look here will show what it looked like.

The coolest thing by far were the monsters made out of tires. I wrote the artist's name down on a bit of paper, but proving once again that I am better looking than smart (and I'm ugly as hell), I have lost the bit of paper.

Which means I also don't have the name of the Korean artist who had a totally cool exhibit she had painted (by "had" I'm assuming she's dead, as she was born in 1924) in various places around the world. She had really picked up some of the local style in a very non-Korean way.

Certainly the two "surprise" exhibits were way more satisfying than the Renoir.

Still, all three exhibits were for what would add up to 7 bucks in the US.

In New York you wouldn't have got bad coffee and some key marks on your car for that kind of scratch.

After, we went to a Galbi-Tang joint. It was a little expensive, but holy cow ("cow!") did it include large ribs o beef. Then a walk through Namdaemun market, some bookshopping and the evening ended with a rooftop celebration of the 4th of July and a bit of of retroactive Canada Day.

Just another splendid day.

My suicide is postponed until next week. Earliest!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A slightly smarter scammer..

Bernie Madoff's wife would like me to help!


My name is Ruth Madoff, as you can aware that my husband has been sent to 150 years imprisonment, please I want you to assist me and claim this funds out of this bank now before it too late.

I know you can do it for me, this is not a matter that we need to discuss over and over at all, bellow is the account details and you can check this account online.

Bank Website:
Account username : Bmadoff
Account password : bernie

Customer Account Log out

Welcome Bmadoff!

Online Statement of Accounts
Account Number: EPF/UK/ONL/06524677
Account Holder: BERNARD L. MADOFF
Holder's Address: 2100 McKinney Ave, Suite 800, Dallas, TX,USA
Holders's Phone Number : 206-338-6347
SID Serial: 2435-5757-9898
Account Type: Transit Account
Account Balance: 59,700,000.00
Click here to view full account details Click here to make Funds Transfer

Please contact the account officer on this email urgently.