Holiday News

My holiday with the exception of a few minor mishaps has gone well.
I will be travelling to Sydney next Tuesday, the 30th so I can catch the plane to Korea on the 31st.

I previously had book a flight arriving in Sydney at 7:20 am.
But that only leaves one hour to clear security, catch a bus to the international terminal and board the plane.
That is cutting it to fine. I missed the plane to Melbourne on my arrival in Australia. I don’t want to repeat the experience.

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Big News
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I will be working at a new school this year. Its name is Yaum Middle School.
It was only built last year, it is a co-ed middle school.

I will be teaching
10 first year classes
10 second year classes

The contents of my apartment will be moved to a new apartment near the school.
I was given a choice of staying in my old apartment but I declined, but not without a little soul searching and regret.
I have friends in Sung-un-dong, free internet from a friend in the same building, which I only installed days before I left !!!
Lastly but not least, I have a wonderful Haidong Gumdo instructor who’s dojang is only a few hundred metres away.
I don’t know if I will be able to continue training there. To do so I would have to ride 5 or 6 km and then do a 1 km hill climb to the dojang. In summer this is Ok, but what happens with bad weather, heavy rain and snow?

The alternative off course is to stay where I am now. But this means riding to school every weekday. Now since this is downhill this is not really a big problem. A fast ride to work, shower, change cloathes and I am ready for action.
The downside is riding back to Seongdong, the same problem as riding to the dojang, and off course bad weather.

Still I think of this as an opportunity:
– I will get to work with Middle School Studens which should be wonderful.
– I will make more friends at the new, bigger school
– I will get to know this part of Ulsan much better because it will be my training ground for bicycle rides
– It is very close to Ulsan Grand Park which is great for roller blading and mountain biking.
Actually the park is really cool, because it has nice trails in the hill behind the park, not too technical, but some of the make me nervous which should help me increase my skill level or break my neck 🙂

Downsides
– Have to make more effort to keep in contact with my old school and friends from Seoungdong
– Haidong Gumdo: need to make decision about where and when to train.

Written in Werribee Plaza at DoDo Internet store

Korean news

Teens on Holiday Face Chastity Watch

Concerned social organizations have announced a campaign to guard the chastity of teenagers at holiday resorts along Korea?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s East Coast. The conservative groups including Hwalbindan, the Korea Dokdo Green Movement and the Senior Citizens Association of Jumunjin, Gangwon Province have been prowling beaches and entertainment places since Aug. 6 with the slogan, “Lose your virginity in a moment’s carelessness and immoderate merrymaking, regret it for the rest of your life.”

At night, they plan to snatch girls seen drinking with strangers in the entertainment districts of downtown Sokcho and Gangneung from the teeth of disaster. The groups said they were spurred into drastic action by a survey of about 200 male and female high school students as well as girls in their teens and 20s in bars, karaoke clubs, saunas and Internet cafes near the beaches, 65 percent of whom said they lost their virginity at summer resorts or nearby entertainment districts.

With a catchy slogan like “”Lose your virginity in a moment’s carelessness and immoderate merrymaking, regret it for the rest of your life.” I am sure they will do well As to “plan(ing) to snatch girls seen drinking with strangers” doesn’t that imply kidnapping? And what about “protecting” young men? Or is it just women they are concerned about?

Too Much Japanese in Korean, Amateur Linguists Say

Visitors to the website of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs say there are too many words derived from the Japanese in daily Korean use. The ministry said users in an online campaign by the ministry (http://www.cyworld.nate.com/lovelovekorea) cited language as one of the legacies from colonial times that has to be overcome. The campaign, which started on July 4, marks the 60th anniversary of Korea?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s liberation from Japan.

Words visitors to the site want purged include ?¢‚Ǩ?ìippai?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning full, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìdasu?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, a Japanese pronunciation of the English word dozen, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìgisu?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning scar, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkara?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning empty or meaningless, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìsara?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning plate, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkachi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning a cigarette, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìdadegi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning seasoning sauce, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìeri?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning collar, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìyoji?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning toothpick, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìbumppai?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning division, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìshita?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning assistant, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìsashimi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning raw fish, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkuruma?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning handcart, and ?¢‚Ǩ?ìhako?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning box.

Among terms or words coined in Japan and introduced to Korea are ?¢‚Ǩ?ìyukgyo?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (overhead walkway), ?¢‚Ǩ?ìwonjogyoje?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (relationship between young girls and older men for money), ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkwarosa?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (death from overwork) and ?¢‚Ǩ?ìijime?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (bullying). The expression used to mean a favorite song, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìNo.18?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, originates from 18 kinds of script for kabuki.

Koreans Rush to Take TOEFL Before Format Change

The TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is so popular in Korea that the Korean-American Educational Commission, which administers it, has for the last month been offering the test in the evenings on top of the regular morning and afternoon sessions. The commission reports an explosion in interest for the test, a prerequisite for study in the U.S. among other things, with Korea perhaps the only country where it has been increased to three times daily.

One reason for the surge in applicants is that the TOEFL will from next year replace an antiquated multiple-choice grammar section that can be tackled by rote-learning with a speaking test, where all bets are off, with students hoping to secure a higher score while they still can. The exam can be sat at only three places in Korea — two in Seoul and one in Daegu. A maximum of about 700 people can sit the exam daily at all three places, or 450 on Saturday, and slots are booked till the end of October. There are occasional openings when someone cancels, but the long waiting list makes stand-by openings practically impossible.

The shortage of opportunities is causing some hardship. Kim, 17, is preparing for his college entrance exam in the second semester and has to take the test by the end of this month if he is to complete his college application by the middle of next month. He is concerned he may not get a seat. Shin, 23, who is preparing to study in the U.S. next fall, will have to give up on his plans if he fails to take the TOEFL exam this fall since the deadline is early November and he needs to submit a TOEFL score. “I’m thinking of going to Japan or Southeast Asia, where it’s said there are seats,” he says.

There are other reasons for taking the test before the format changes. One is that candidates can prepare for the test by asking those who have already sat it what questions came up and reconstruct sample answers. Many prepare for the TOEFL by memorizing reconstructed answers, and language schools prep their students using reconstructed sample questions, since the test authorities refuse to release past papers for preparation.

An official with the Korean-American Educational Commission admits that these test reconstructions can boost applicants?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ scores through memorization rather than actual English skills. But he says if the test format changes it could also change U.S. universities?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ tendency not to accept TOEFL scores of Asian students since they seldom reflect their actual skills.

Oz legal music downloads: Don’t hold your breath

A very interesting article from my favorite IT website, The Register

Oz legit downloads fail, and fail again
By Alex Malik (feedback at theregister.co.uk)
Published Monday 8th August 2005 09:59 GMT

Analysis Australian lawyer, academic researcher and music industry commentator Alex Malik presents a look at the Australian market for digital downloads. His research has found that while IFPI are spinning the success of authorised downloads, the reality shows that at least in Australia, there are substantial gaps in available repertoire and a heavily protected market controlled by the majors. Continue reading

The Internet in Korea & Japan

After living in South Korea for two years I am increasingly frustrated at the state of the Internet industry in Australia. The Australian scene is dominated by Telstra which is half owned by the government.
Ten years ago Telstra was 100% owned by the government. Now the government is in the process of trying to organize a third float of shares to sell its remaining 50% share.
Unfortunally telecommunication policies by the government don’t seem to be aimed at giving consumers more choice. A cynic would suggest the governments policy is to maximize Telstra’s share price so they can sell it for more money.
Continue reading

The Korean MP3 player market

The Korean market is very different to the rest of the world.
Koreans tend to buy Korean products. This is OK because there are a lot of good Korean products such as cars (Hyundai), ships (Hyundai), memory chips (Hyundai), consumer electronics (LG, Samsung) and MP3 players (iAudio, iRiver)
Just don’t compare the price you pay for the same product in Korea where I live to what you pay in the US. A lot of the time it is cheaper to buy in the US.

In terms of MP3 players and phones the Korean public love it when a product is small and has a ton of features, even if usabily sufferes in the process.
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Australian Defamation Law

A short summary of defamation law reform in Australia by Allens Arthur Robinson. What suprised me is that you can tell the truth about someone and still lose !

Focus: Defamation ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú March 2004
Uniform defamation law?

In brief: The Federal Government’s proposed uniform defamation law could have important ramifications for free speech and freedom of the press, according to Partners Belinda Thompson and Roy Williams and Lawyer Chris Bacon. Some of the more controversial proposals announced by Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock have been criticised by the media, defamation lawyers and Mr Ruddock’s State and Territory counterparts.
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