[GOING TO THE BLOGS]MEDIA WEIRDNESSKorea is rightly known as a trailblazer in electronic gadgetry, as one of the most wired nations in the world, and as a testing ground for the very latest in omnipotent cell phones. Which is partly why, one assumes, many K-bloggers and commenters are so bemused that such a large chunk of the local media continue to entertain some rather ― ahem ― unorthodox scientific theories.
Take “fan death,” the scourge that every summer results in the deaths of numerous Koreans foolhardy enough to leave their electric fans running in unventilated rooms. Apparently.
Once again translating the Korean media so you don’t have to, Robert at “The Marmot’s Hole” (http://www.rjkoehler.com), summarizes a little nugget from Newsis thus: “The electric fan has claimed yet another victim, this time in Gwangju. A 48-year-old man found his 40-year-old wife dead at their home when he returned home from work.
“Police are still trying to determine the cause of death, but noting how the fan was turned on at the scene, they believe she died after she fell asleep with the fan running in a closed room.”
Not to be outdone, Cat at “Buhkan Mountain Breakdown” (http://seoullife.net) unearths more gold from the Chosun Ilbo’s English edition on “the hidden dangers of the miniskirt in summer time.” Citing a gynecologist from the Catholic University of Korea’s Holy Family Hospital, the article asserts that if “your abdominal region and bottom are exposed, it cools blood passing through fat layers and the uterus and ovaries, giving rise to menstrual cramps and uterus myoma. And that, some doctors believe, can lead to infertility.”
“Uh, yeah,” snorts Cat. “Miniskirts on hot days cause infertility, good one ... and because they let you get too cold?! This must be the same medical school that teaches doctors all about the life-threatening dangers of the common household fan.”
WILL THEY? WON’T THEY?
Predictions of a North Korean nuclear test continue to gather steam, with no less a source than ABC News, citing a “senior State Department official,” now saying “there is new evidence that North Korea may be preparing an underground test of a nuclear bomb.”
“I, for one, am hoping they do it,” writes Joshua at “The Korea Liberator” (http://www. korealiberator.org/).
“We already believe North Korea has nukes. There’s no point in remaining in a state of escapist denial about it, and those who believe that North Korea’s intentions are really defensive deserve a dramatic refutation.”
But Joshua at “The Western Confucian” (http://orientem.blogspot.com/), just isn’t buying it. “Forgive me for being skeptical, but with these reports surfacing every once in a while, it’s hard not to be,” he harrumphs. “Reports of ‘suspicious vehicle movement’ together with ‘the view of the intelligence community that a test is a real possibility’ just don’t fill me with fear.”
Over at “The Asia Pages” (http://asiapages. wordpress.com/), Jody responds to news that following the enactment of a special law last December, the government is to attempt to confiscate some assets from the descendants of people deemed to have collaborated with the Japanese colonial administration.
“The witch hunt has begun in what is obviously an unfair, over-zealous and harmful move against the Korean citizens who will be affected by this. I cannot see what good will come of this, what the point of this law is, and why on earth the living should be forced to pay for what the dead did (and most likely did in order to survive or simply as a way of everyday life under the occupation).
“If this is to be seen as some sort of healing, it clearly will do just the opposite as it will only open up more wounds and cause further damage after the country has for the most part, moved on.”
by Niels Footman