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Friday, 30 November 2012

South Korea's Attempted Rocket Launches

If you are not aware of it, today was to be the third attempt by South Korea to launch a rocket that would place a satellite into orbit.  The first two attempts were unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, as the news reported, just 17 minutes before launch, a problem was detected and the launch phase was stopped.

South Korea has been working with Russia to develop this space program.  As it is costly it is doubly unfortunate that the launch did not succeed.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Israel vs. Hamas

Issues in the Middle East are so complicated that I don't really try to stay in tune.  However, I found this article to be of interest with respect to this week's fighting between Israel and Hamas:

Short Films

Tap into this website and watch some good short films.  "The Black Hole" has been one of my favorites for a while, and I discovered "Pixels", which I showed to some students last Friday.  Such creativity . . . I wish I had more of that:)

Food Gathering

Some friends of mine hosted an American-style gathering.  It was a nice way to spend a Saturday, socializing and eating foods that most of us don't get to enjoy so often (partly because most people in Korea don't have ovens, but these friends happen to have two (2!)).

Ham, lamb, beans, broccoli, corn, potatoes, greens, and a lovely desert selection . . . it was most enjoyable, both the company and the food.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

About Free University Classes

I read an interesting article from The Guardian newspaper about the proliferation of free online university classes, via websites originating in the U.S., and including educational institutions such as Stanford and MIT.  I love the idea and wanted to share the article/information:

Autumn Means Soup Cooking Time

I really got into cooking soup last winter, but haven't done much for a long time just because it heats up the kitchen.  Now that the weather is cooler, however, I am getting back into the groove.  I made a big batch of soup yesterday--both beef vegetable and spicy vegetable.

Today I wanted to try cooking with some acorn squash, in addition to the usual assortment of vegetables.  There are so many fresh veggies in Korea that it's easy to make some healthy food.  Anyway, today I used chicken in one pot and salmon in the other.

I always have enough to share and to put a container or two into the freezer.

The white chunks that you see in the pots--cooling on the balcony--in the last photo are tofu.  I add it at the end to help cool down the soup.

I only used one of the acorn squash because it was hard to cut the rind off.  Next time I think I will steam it first before adding to the soup.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

More Leaves

A veritable carpet of yellow . . .

And here are the implements used to sweep up all of those fall colors . . .

Either traditional twigs and such, or more modern green neon plastic.  I prefer the traditional (to look at; I've never actually put either one to use).

Sunday, 4 November 2012


I made deviled eggs to share at work tomorrow:

Autumn Is Here!

Some pics from the area where I live in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea:

The Rest of the Trip

After lunch, and, by the way, this is what you could see out of the 2nd floor restaurant window:

We visited a Buddhist temple--more modern in style--

And some "islands" that are only really islands 1/2 the time, due to tidal variations.

Then the bus took us to a forest area that was hopping with visitors, eager to bond with Mother Nature (as were we).  It was a nice place to do some light hiking.

There were some cabins to rent in the forest area.

Nice boardwalks too.

Finally, we bused back to the train, took that and 2 subways, and called it a very nice day!:)

Surprise Lunch

After the mud flats

The bus took us to a restaurant for lunch.  One of our group really wanted to eat shrimp cooked on a bed of salt; I had eaten this once before (cooked in the restaurant's kitchen and served at the table) on the east coast in Korea, but I was very surprised (to put it mildly) when the waitress opened the plastic box that she had set next to the burner and out wriggled/jumped several very large, live shrimp.

The heat of the pan put the shrimp out of their misery soon enough (I realize I am inviting attention from the SPCA), and we made short work of them--they were obviously fresh . . . juicy and delicious.

We followed the shrimp um with some 갈국수, kalguksu, or knife-cut homemade noodles.

Then the experienced member showed us how to eat the heads of the shrimp, though I admit I was a bit queasy about it and only nibbled at the neck meat.

Day Trippin' Down South

A few fellow teachers and I took a day trip to the mid-west coast (Chungcheongnam-do, not too far from Boryeong)) of South Korea to see some sights.  It was a nice one-day (long) outing . . .

To get to the train, we took 2 subways

Then we got off the train at Hongseong station and boarded a bus.  The bus delivered us to the west sea

and to the mud flats that exist there, due to the large tidal variations (more to come).