Friday, October 29, 2010
I've been asking my hubby to please be kind enough to change my mobile phone to a smart phone and I always end up with the same answer "Yes, let's wait until it gets cheaper". Then, two weeks ago he finally said maybe it's time to change our mobile phones because little Zach (thanks to my little guy....kkkk) already wasted our phones to its limit (due to continuous banging and throwing) and both our phones also needs a change of batteries.
So, last night my hubby came home very excited because he said he had a surprise for me. Then, he took out the two pink smart phone protective covers from his bag and gave it to me. I said "What's this?". He replied, "It's for your future smart phone.". Then I said; "But WHERE'S THE PHONE?". He smiled and said; "AH! I got this for free from our company's DHL contact. I thought you would like it when you get your smart phone LATER ON". In short, he got the protective covers first before he actually gets me a smartphone....hahahahahaha.
Another funny thing is...... he even got different protective covers, one for Samsung Galaxy S and one for IPhone (Samsung Galaxy S is for SK Telecom...my current mobile carrier and IPhone is for KTF). Hubby said just in case I decide to get either the Samsung Galaxy S or the IPhone...I will already have a PINK protective cover.......how SWEET! But the problem is.....I'm secretly wishing for a Blackberry Bold 9700....hahahahahahaha.
Labels: Korean Products
Labels: Korean Products, Product Review
The end of summer means the sudden outbreak of cracked heels from extensive use of flip flops and shoes with no socks....or for others, summer or not cracked heels are a major problem that has to be dealt with.
In my case, I've used a previous product line of the The Face Shop for foot creams but they had to update their product line and I suddenly found myself searching endlessly for foot creams/lotions. Luckily, I found the Almond/Organic Marula Oil Hand and Foot Treatment Cream at 3,300 won only. Unlike other creams, it's non-sticky and it really soothes your cracked heels that you can even see results in less than a week (I must remind you it may vary from person to person). I really liked this product unfortunately my sister had to ask for it during my last visit to the Philippines....hahahahaha. Thanks to my sister, I had to find another product that can give my feet enough moisture and comfort...kkkkk. Anyway, a few months ago The Face Shop introduced the Sweety Mint Foot and Heel Cream. It's also very effective and the mint extract can even give the feeling of freshness for your badly damaged heels, aside from the fact that it's also very affordable(just like the previous product) at 5,500 won. I really liked this product but I still prefer the Almond/Organic Marula Oil Hand and Foot Treatment Cream because it's non-sticky.
Labels: Korean Products, Product Review
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I have tried two kinds of facial wash/foam from The Face Shop, one is from the HERB DAY Cleansing Foam series (which includes Peach, Lemon, Cherry, Mung Beans, and Aloe Vera) and the other one from the new SMART PEELING series (which includes Very Berry Scrub Foam, Oriental Herb, Black Sugar, Water in Pomegrante, and White Jewel).
Let's start with the Herb Day Cleansing Foam series, you can buy this facial foam for 3,300 won in Korea. I prefer PEACH just because it smells better than the other facial foams in this series. However, I do feel like that it's just a normal cleansing foam in the sense that it helps you wash your face from all the dirt and make-up left overs....in short it's just a little bit better than SOAP. Well, what do you expect from the price that you have to pay for this product.....I bought this on a tight budget anyway.
In the case of the Smart Peeling Very Berry Scrub Foam, aside from the sweet scent that makes you want to wash your face as often as possible you can also get the soft skin effect after doing so(makes you feel like you have that baby skin all over again...kkkkk...I don't know with others but that's how I felt after using this product). It serves not just as a facial foam but as a facial scrub as well. It gets rid of the dead skin cells and unlike other skin peeling products, it won't make your face look like you've been to a dermatologist for a peeling session (meaning your face won't look like it's peeling like a rotten banana...kkkkk). You can buy this product for 6,500 won in Korea.
If I were made to choose between these two products I'll go for the Smart Peeling Very Berry Scrub Foam......the feeling of having that soft baby skin all over again is so hard to resist....kkkk.
Labels: Korean Products, Product Review
Protestants' 'intrusion' in temples raises eyebrowsBy Bae Jifirstname.lastname@example.org
Was it a deliberate act of desecration or an expression of firm religious belief?
Whatever it was, a group of Protestants angered the country’s largest Buddhist order, Jogye, and its believers for holding a Christian ceremony inside one of its temples and uploading a video of it online as “footage of testimony.”
A Protestant reverend, taking responsibility for the group, swiftly offered an apology. But some outraged Buddhist monks perceived it as an attack on Buddhists.
The problematic video is on YouTube and other major websites under the title “Conquering Bongeun Temple.”
The video shows several students of a “Praise Academy” pledging their “mission” to get into the temple in southern Seoul, sing Christian hymns inside the sanctuary and speak out about their doctrine. The participants, whose faces were unidentifiable, said prayers out loud and criticized the temple facilities.
The clip showed one saying, “I was devastated to see the scenery of idolatry and idols. They are all useless and harmful.” Another said, “I proclaim that the place belongs to God. I believe that I was sent to reclaim God’s territory.”
The six-and-half minute clip, which was uploaded Sunday, sparked instant protests not only among Buddhists but also other netizens who thought the behavior was offensive, ignorant of other religions and most of all, self-righteous.
Attack on Buddhists?
Ven. Myeongjin, who heads the temple, denounced the “intruders.” “Some Christians are actually causing cracks and discrepancies in society,” he said while suggesting Protestant leaders hold an open discussion about the action.
An official of the temple said the people of Jogye order were astonished by the images and are investigating whether other attempts of this kind have been made.
“We thought it is not a matter of a single temple but an attack on Buddhists in general. We will discuss it with the order officials,” a temple spokesman said.
Rev. Choi Ji-ho, who leads AS37, the group that runs the academy, visited the leaders of the temple and the order with those who appeared in the video clip on Wednesday and apologized for their actions.
“They were given the task to sing on large roads, near Gangnam Metro Station. I don’t know why they chose the temple, but it was a terrible and offensive thing to do,” he said. “I didn’t know what they did and moreover, that they would make it so public by releasing video clips. It was ignorant and disrespectful.”
Ven. Myeongjin said he would accept the apology for the peace and harmony among religions.
Observers said the incident is just one example of outrageous actions performed by some Protestants these days under the name of their “mission.”
“After all, what the Bible preaches most is, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,’” an online critic said.
Another group of Protestants, this time in Daegu also allegedly visited the nearby Donghwa Temple and uploaded a video image of a similar kind Tuesday.
The clip also contains scenes of Protestants giving praise inside the temple. The group also claimed in their video that they are doing whatever they can to resist the government’s support for the Buddhist templestays program and the establishment of a Buddhist theme park.
However, those assumed to be the producers of the clip denied their involvement. “Yes, we are against the theme parks and others but we never organized such an event,” one of the group members told an online news provider.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Ten years ago on the 22nd of May, the patriarch of our family passed away. A tragic day that ended with an ocean of tears and a sense of loss that will never be replaced by anyone.
At that time, it had been less than a month after my college graduation, I had lots of free time to enjoy and to ponder on what to do next after college. While doing some thinking, I had to keep a promise made to my Aunt to bring my little cousin, Hannah, to church(for the entire summer vacation)every afternoon for some church activities for the children. On that particular day, while I was preparing to pick up my cousin(who lives a couple of blocks away from my house) I received a call from my Papa...he was asking me for my Mama's office number and he also asked about the name of medicine that my mother would usually take whenever she gets hypertension attacks. Since I was in a hurry, I answered his inquiries with a little irritation......something that I surely regretted up to now because that conversation was the last conversation I ever had with my father.
Going back to my story, I proceeded with my afternoon schedule as planned but what happened after that was something I never expected. After the church activities, I even bought some cinnamon rolls for my cousin and then decided it was time to go home. The moment I arrived at my aunt's house I found it strange that my aunt was sitting quietly at the dining table and had this very worried look on her face. She calmly said that I have to go home immediately because my father was not feeling well and that my two uncles and two cousins went to our house to check on him. Thinking it was like the usual hypertension attack(which runs in my family...it's been a normal thing for us to rush my mother to the emergency unit of a couple of hospitals whenever she gets the attack)that my mother would usually have......I knew I had time to spare to fix some of my father's things just in case he gets confined in the hospital. But to my surprise when I arrived in my house, I found my neighbors in front of our gate with the very same worried look (that my aunt had) plastered on their faces. When my neighbors saw me, they immediately rushed to me and told me what happened. They said my father had to be rushed to the hospital because of a possible heart attack or a stroke. Since my father was a VERY heavy man (we are a family born to be BIG), my uncles, brother and sister had to call our neighbors for help so that they can carry my father into the vehicle that will bring him to the hospital(My father couldn't fit into my uncle's Honda car so they had to stop a passing jeepney from the highway). I was still in my usual calm self when I went inside the house(the thought of my father might die that instant never crossed my mind). BUT, when I saw my cousin Andrew sitting on a chair crying endlessly, it was only then that I realized that it must be that SERIOUS. I rushed to pick up my father's things (again.....there was a voice inside me saying everything will be alright, my father might just end up JUST hospitalized the way my mother would usually end up upon rushing her to the hospital) and then told my cousin Andrew to hurry up(He was in a state of shock.....I couldn't make him stop crying or to even calm down...I later found out that my cousin Andrew, my little cousin Kim, together with my brother and sister all saw my father having some kind of heart attack/stroke.....and anyone who saw that happening.... young or old will surely be in a state of shock) because my family needs me in the hospital right away. We took the jeepney and off we went to the hospital, I found my tears falling for some unknown reason that I later found out was a mixed emotion of FEAR and WORRY.
The sight at the emergency unit of the hospital made me worry even more. I found my father's closest friends quietly gathered in one area, then I saw my little cousin Kim(My father loved to play with him and he always bought that famous Cornetto ice cream for little Kim...However, after my father died, my cousin never ate that ice cream again...I guess the ice cream reminded him of my father) sitting like a lost puppy near the doorway of the emergency room. Lastly, I found my brother somewhere in between the chaos with a very SHOCKED face accompanied with tears on his face. When I entered the emergency room I found my mother hysterically crying with my sister crying quietly beside her. After that, my eyes found my father lying on the hospital bed..... unconscious, naked(my father's weight and built made it difficult for the doctors to insert the IV or intravenous needle, so they had to remove all his clothes and placed the IV on his genitalia), with lots of tubes stuck on his body. I was speechless...I felt like time stopped at that moment. A few minutes after that, the doctors rushed to my father side, it was CHAOS...it was something that you would normally see in a movie or a drama....the doctors were busy attending to my father....he was having another attack. My mother was shouting "Don't leave me, don't leave me!".....but for some strange reason I found myself moving closer to my father's side ( I didn't know what made me do that and I never understood why I did it as well)....and with tears streaming down from my cheeks I talked to my father....."Papa, it's okay.....I'm here...I'm already here.......I will take care of Mama, Doanne, and Chiccoboy.....Don't worry about them." A few minutes passed, then I heard the monitor beeped....the doctor went on top of my father to stick a needle directly to my father's heart(I don't know the exact medical term). On-duty doctors and nurses were taking turns on reviving him....but they failed to do so. The time of death was proclaimed, my Mama lost the love of her life, my brother, sister, and I lost a father.
It was a time of mourning and grief but I had no time for both (When my best friends came to my father's wake, I refused to see them or to even get a comforting hug from them because I knew if I let that happen I will lose my strong front and I'll end up too weak for my family to lean on). I had to act fast, there were a lot of things to prepare for my father's funeral. My brother, together with my two uncles, accompanied the ambulance that will bring my father's body to the funeral parlor. My sister together with my cousins had to go to the church to make the necessary reservations for the wake and funeral. I was left to look after my mother crying in her sleep while being treated for hypertension, the doctors had to confine her in the hospital.
All the commotion, gave me no time to CRY...I felt like my chest was going to burst from all the grief that I was trying to control inside. When my mother finally stopped crying in her sleep, I went to the fire exit and sat on the stairs.....after a moment of silence, I also did my piece of hysterical crying. It was the only time I could cry because after that night I had to act STRONG and RELIABLE in front of my mother, sister, and brother. I made a promise to my father and I intended to keep that promise no matter what( I wonder how I can keep that promise now, if I'm here stuck in Korea and away from my family.....the guilt that comes with that thought is way too much for me to endure).
After an hour or so of wailing alone in the fire exit, I went back to my mother's room. I tried my best to keep my tears from falling but I failed(I knew my mother can't see me like this.... I have to be strong for her) so I pretended to sleep instead. Just in case my mother wakes up, she won't see me this way. While I was silently crying, I felt a very cold hand touch my face(I know it sounds strange but it's TRUE). Thinking that I may have fallen asleep and currently inside the dream world, I sat down and checked if I was awake(and I was wide awake), after that I felt a very cold wind blew on my face. That moment made me realize one thing, it was my father's way of saying goodbye and he was giving me assurance that he might not be with us physically but his spirit will always be there with us. It was only then that I allowed myself to calm down and breathe.
From that day on, lives were changed..... it could have been for the better or for the worse but one thing will never change.....our love for our Papa. If he was here today, it could have been his 60th birthday and we could have celebrated that special day with him......Happy Birthday Papa! We love you!
Friday, October 22, 2010
After my regular acupuncture session, little Zach and I walked along the Happy Street(행복로...haeng-bok-ro) of Uijeongbu. While Zach was busy entertaining people around us with his cute antics(like dancing, waving goodbyes, smiling to anyone who looks at him, and blowing flying kisses), a little girl approached him. Since little Zach likes baby girls he also approached the girl and touched the little girl's face (little Zach's way of saying you're pretty or 예뻐 ye-ppo in korean). My handsome little boy even gave the cute girl a warm hug...kkkkk( it's normal or it's better to say AUTOMATIC for my little Zach to approach baby girls, then he touches their faces to say "you're pretty", after that he gives them a hug, and THEN..... as what my husband will usually say, one thing little Zach should NEVER do if the baby girls' fathers are around......little Zach will give the cute girls a kiss....hahahahahaha....I swear we NEVER taught him to do such things....kkkkk). Anyway, my little Zach enjoyed playing with the little girl but when it was time for the girl to go home, she cried because she wanted to stay. Funny thing is....when the mom took the little girl away, my little Zach ran after her and even tried to stop the little girl's mom from bringing his new playmate home....hahahahaha. That was how my little Zach spent his autumn afternoon....kkkkkk.
Labels: Baby Chronicles
Labels: Baby Chronicles, Korea
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Labels: INFO, Scholarship
Monday, October 18, 2010
Birth between Korean male and foreign female
In case of a birth in marital relations, the baby's name entered in the father’s family register by the father or responsible person on birth reporting.
In case of a birth outside of marital relations :
1) If the father reports a birth, the baby’s name is entered in the father’s family register.
2) If the mother reports a birth, the baby’s name is reserved in a special birth report file, and will be entered in father’s family register after the confirmation of the baby’s paternity.
Birth between Korean female and foreign male
In case of a birth in marital relations, the baby receives Korean nationality simultaneously with its birth.
The baby’s name is entered in the mother’s family register by report of the mother or responsible person . (The baby can have either father’s surname or mother’s surname)
In case of a birth outside of marital relations, the baby still receives Korean nationality simultaneously with its birth. The baby’s name can be entered in the mother’s family register. If it is impossible to enter the baby’s name in mother’s family register, a new family will be established . If the father makes an reasonable objection against entering the baby’s name in the mother’s family register, the baby is naturalized in the father’s country and deprived of its Korean nationality.
Place to report birth
Birth reports can be made at the local city office [gu, eup, myun] of baby’s permanent domicile at the office of reporter’s present address or at the office of the baby’s birth place.
If the city of the baby’s resident registration is in the same location as the office mentioned above, the birth report can be made at the local district office.
A certificate of birth should be included with the birth reporting documents. The certificate should be prepared by the doctor, midwife or person who oversaw the baby’s birth. In case of a birth outside of a medical institution , a certificate is still required and should be prepared made by a person who is aware of the baby’s birth.
A certificate of a birth from a doctor or midwife should follow the regulations relative to medical law or the form sanctioned by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. A certificate from another person (as mentioned above) should follow Special Form Number 2. In such case, a copy of a document certifying that a seal is registered or a copy of a certificate of residence should be attached.
Labels: INFO, Korea
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This picture was taken last summer and ever since that day whenever we take a bus my little Zach would insist on sitting by himself (I usually carry him or I let him sit on my lap). Looking at this picture made me realize that my little Zach is really growing up SO FAST.
Labels: Baby Chronicles
Labels: Baby Chronicles
After my eye check-up I found my stomach roaring like a lion.....I forgot to eat lunch because I was in a hurry to go to Seoul for my eye check-up. The nearest store that I could find was McDonald's so I had no choice but to feast on a Big Mac meal...hahahahah. Since little Zach already ate his lunch and even drank his milk on the way to the hospital, I never thought he could finish 6 pieces of chicken nuggets at McDonald's. To my surprise he munched on the nuggets like there's no tomorrow....kkkkk.
Labels: Baby Chronicles
In the Korean movie, "My Scary Girl" (2006), one of the characters says: (Said in anger) "The blood type theory was once a part of the Germans' theory that white people were superior to other races. One Japanese scholar, who went to Germany to study, brought the blood type theory back to his country. Later on, the German people discarded the theory, but it became really popular in Asia. The only people who believe the blood type theory now are the Koreans and the Japanese!" (excerpt from Korea Tourism Authority website)
Japanese blood type personality chart Type A Best traits Earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible Worst traits Fastidious, overearnest, stubborn, tense, conservative Type B Best traits Wild, active, doer, creative, passionate, strong Worst traits Selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving, unpredictable Type AB Best traits Cool, controlled, rational, sociable Worst traits Critical, indecisive, forgetful, irresponsible Type O Best traits Agreeable, sociable, optimistic Worst traits Vain, rude, jealous, arrogant
Korea (just like Japan) is a nation that can be considered a blood type fanatic. If you're a foreigner in Korea and found your self in a strange situation wherein a Korean will suddenly ask you for your blood type......How would you feel?I've been asked a hundred times but no one ever guessed it right. For a nation obsessed with predicting your personality and compatibility with others(sometimes your future job is also at stake because some employers also ask for your blood type) by your BLOOD TYPE.....this "Blood Type Theory" can be proven wrong in my case.
I've always been perceived as a TYPE A in Korea because the traits that I show are more inclined of a blood type A person. But, in reality I'm a TYPE B.....a complete opposite of my supposed blood type as perceived by Koreans. My husband is also TYPE B and he radiates the classic personality of a blood type B person.....little Zach is also TYPE B (of course! my family can even be called BBB...kkkk) but I wonder which personality will he exhibit more...will he be more like me(a fake blood type A...hahahahaha) or will he be more like his papa(the classic blood type B)?Well, I'm not going to dwell on this. I just hope little Zach will grow up to be a good person. Anyway, it will be nice if you can also check out the article about blood types in Korea below.
By Park Si-sooStaff Reporter
Can blood type determine character?
Medical experts assert the widespread belief here that blood type lends insight into character is scientifically ``groundless,'' but it seems to have become an important factor to consider by unmarried women in deciding whom they will date in the future. (click here to read more about the article)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I've just finished reading The Last Empress by Anchee Min (a follow-up novel after Empress Orchid by Anchee Min) and I got really attached to the main character...Empress Tzu Hsi. The novel showed the human side of Empress Tzu Hsi, a side that history failed to show. She was portrayed as the powerful villain of Qing dynasty in our historical books but in recent years historians found out that she was more of a scapegoat for China's endless problems. Although I liked both novels, Empress Orchid and The Last Empress, I found Empress Orchid more interesting because the story was concentrated more on Empress Tzu Hsi's rise to power. On the other hand, The Last Empress discussed more of China's history and the conflicts that had to be dealt with by the Empress and Qing dynasty. I had a great time reading these novels, I do hope you can find time to check out these books. Have a nice day...time to start reading my next book....The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry(Steve Berry is one of my favorite authors....I've read most of his novels and I always end up saying WOW!).
Labels: Book Collection
Monday, October 11, 2010
Jane has a bachelor’s degree in customs and administrations. Jasmine is a university graduate with a degree in chemical engineering. Jessica studied environmental sciences and Lovely is a computer science major.
These four women sound like they have profiles fit for white collar jobs, but instead they are part of a much lower-wage segment of Korea’s economy. They maintain the balance at home, they mind children and decide what’s for dinner: they are housekeepers.
Jessica, who declined to give her real name, has been in Korea for four years as a housekeeper. Despite graduating with a challeneging degree, working in the Philippines didn’t provide a good income.
“I actually practiced my profession in the Philippines for a year, but the pay is not really lucrative, and the cost of living just keeps increasing,” said the 28-year-old wife with one child.
The monthly salary of the women interviewed ranged from one million won ($896) to 1.6 million won.
“Here, my salary is four times of what I would have gotten in the Philippines,” said Jessica.
Lovely, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was an office worker in Makati before coming here.
“I quit my job (in the Philippines) because the salary was very low compared to abroad. It was around 500,000 won a month,” said the 40-year-old, Manila native.
Most foreign housekeepers in Korea are considered illegal, according to an immigrations official. As a result, these women are risking a lot, not least of all deportation. But because they want to support their families, it is a risk they are willing to take.
Lovely is one of many Filipina migrants who came to Korea in search of higher wages. Most start off working in factories.
But lately Filipinas have increasingly been seeking jobs as housekeepers, for a number of reasons.
“In a factory, you have to work a very long time with people constantly observing you, while working for an American or Korean family is nicer and more convenient,” said Lovely.
“I don’t prefer housekeeping to working in a factory, but it is safer and the salary is higher,” said 28-year-old Jane who also declined to give her real name.
“They (households) treat you as a member of their family,” said Jasmine, who has also worked in Taiwan and the Philippines.
With demand for nannies high, supply is not far behind.
“There are quite a few that are getting Filipina nannies to help their children learn English,” said Angela, a Korean mother of two, who declined to give her real name.
“It has been around for quite a long time. The first time I heard of a Filipina nanny being used was in Gangnam eight years ago,” she said.
“Work is not hard to find in Korea,” said Jasmine, which was the consensus among other Filipina interviewees.
“There are a lot of jobs out there,” said Jessica. “I usually spend one or two months going through interviews to find a well-suited job,” she said.
“It is easy to acquire a Filipina nanny. I just post online, and I usually get five to six calls a day,” said Karin, a Korean mother of three, who declined to give her real name.
Korean mothers seem to prefer Filipina housekeepers for a number of different reasons.
“I’m currently looking for a Filipina nanny for my kids, because I can’t afford to send them abroad,” said Angela.
“It is becoming popular with Filipinas because the money is good,” said Jasmine, which was also the consensus among the Filipinas interviewed.
Most Koreans, it seems, hire Filipina nannies to teach their children English and help out with the housework.
But it doesn’t always mean less work for some.
“It is actually inconvenient to hire a Filipina, because I cannot ask them to do things as easily as I would a Korean, or Chinese-Korean nanny,” Angela said.
“They usually can’t cook Korean food, so I have to constantly teach them, and it’s a huge blow when a nanny leaves before her contract is over.”
“So because of the kids, I’m actually sacrificing a lot,” she said.
For others, the reason for a foreign nanny was for a sense of privacy.
“It is actually easier and more convenient to hire foreign workers, because they don’t understand Korean,” said Karin.
“That is a big benefit for me because they don’t try to listen to personal business,” she said.
Karin also said that hiring a Korean nanny makes her feel like she just added another member to her family, rather than an employee.
On any given day, there are numerous postings online by both prospective employers and employees, suggesting that the trend is here to stay.
By Robert Lee (email@example.com)
Labels: Korea, Philippines
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Labels: Korea, Philippines
Friday, October 8, 2010
By Katherine Visconti, Princeton-in-Asia Fellow
Posted at 10/08/2010 2:24 PM | Updated as of 10/08/2010 3:02 PM
Nobel Prize winner Richard Heck on 'coupling' in life and science
MANILA - Tandang Sora, a mix of squatter settlements and middle-class villages in the heart of Quezon City, is not the most likely place to find a Nobel laureate. But Richard Heck, one of the 3 scientists to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry this year, lives there in a modest one-story home with a broken dirt road in front.
When asked why here, he pointed to his 59 year-old wife, Socorro or "Soci." “Well, she’s the main reason,” he says.
The 79-year old chemist easily shoots off the elements he has used most in his life--palladium and mercury. He says, “The two go hand in hand.”
Yet, when confronted with questions about the basics of his life, he shouts out for "Soci" to come fill in the details.
The prize winning research
Dr. Heck and the Japanese chemists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki are being awarded the Nobel for their research in palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling, an improved method for bonding carbon atoms.
“This chemical tool has vastly improved the possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals, for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created by nature itself,” according to a press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which selects Nobel Prize awardees. The Academy called it, “Great art in a test tube.”
Regina So, chair and associate professor of the chemistry department at Ateneo de Manila University, explains that the method of joining carbon atoms together drastically reduces the number of steps it takes to synthesize complex molecules.
On of the advantages of using the Heck reaction, named after the scientist, So says, “This reaction also provides economic and environmental benefits like reduced use of materials and waste.”
Large-scale preparations of natural products and biologically active compounds can be done industrially at limited cost.
Millions have felt the effect of Heck’s research. The chemical methods developed by the 3 men are used to produce the conductive polymers (or plastics) used on computer screens, and to synthesize a multitude of drugs.
Regina So cites their use in: Taxol (a potential anti-cancer drug), steroids, strychnine (a stimulant, laxative and treatment for other stomach ailments), Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory drug), Prosulforon (an herbicide), Singulair (an asthma drug), Eletriptan and Naratriptan (treatments for migraines).
Prayers for Nobel Prize
Dr. Heck says, “Well, I’m certainly happy I was able to do something of use. Many people work for years and don’t find anything that’s useful.”
He calmly accepted news of the award saying, “That’s the ultimate award I think. But I must say I didn’t dream about it, but I’m happy to have it.”
For a decade, they had heard whispers from colleagues that he should get the Nobel prize, but each year, Heck moved further into retirement.
Socorro says her husband didn’t directly say it, but she felt the Nobel was something he wanted.
For the past 2 years, she prayed that her husband would achieve the milestone before he died. Every Wednesday, she visited Baclaran Church, and every Friday, Quiapo Church, the two Manila churches most famous for granting wishes.
A normal man, a normal love
Socorro and Richard Heck say they live a simple life, and they mean it. They live off of Heck’s monthly pension, which their nephew estimates at 100,000 pesos. They gave up a car and the walk-in closets of the first home they retired to in Florida to live with their nephew in Tandang Sora.
Neither of Heck’s parents went to college. In fact, they were dancers before Richard Heck was born. Heck even says he wasn’t an extraordinary student, but he did always get great grades in chemistry.
Socorro Heck’s nephew, Michael Nardo, 35, says, “He’s very simple and humble, he’s the same as when I met him.” For Nardo, the Heck’s marriage is normal but special.
Heck says they met when he was on one of the seasonal vacations from his professorship at the University of Delaware. He asked Socorro to color in the story from there.
The two met serendipitously through a taxi driver Heck used and who happened to know Socorro’s aunt.
'Most kissing done for years'
The first time they met was on a date at her grandmother’s cantina in Singian Hospital. Only, Heck was set up with Socorro’s cousin, and Socorro was the date’s chaperone. Halfway through the meal, Heck asked to change seats to be closer to his future wife. After one month of dating, they got married.
Heck couldn’t say how he proposed. When asked about his wife, he says she does normal housewife things. But modesty is the mark of this man because he also described his Nobel Prize winning research as "unending."
Heck says there was no eureka moment, but the initial reactions were promising.
The picture of Richard and Socorro sharing a kiss during an interview at their house spread through the news. Heck did seem to enjoy the kiss. But after it, he smiled and mumbled, “This is the most kissing we’ve done for years. I’m out of practice.”
A much more telling moment was when Socorro came to sit beside Heck and said, “You’ve been hot,” and wiped his face before the cameras began shooting.
Labels: ETC......, Philippines
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Former whiz kid feels happy with ordinary life despite media expectations
CHEONGJU, North Chungcheong Province ― What will people think of 16-month-old wonder child Jonathon Rader, able to play various musical instruments, if he decides not to pursue a career as a musician?
The answer seems to be “a failure,” when hearing the story from Kim Ung-yong, a 48-year-old record holder for the world’s highest intelligence quotient, in an interview with The Korea Herald.
“I was famous for having a 210 IQ and being able to solve intricate math equations at the age of four,” Kim said, adding, “Apparently, the media belittled the fact that I chose to work in a business planning department at Chungbuk Development Corporation.”
Kim says the media denounced him as a “failed Genius” but he has no idea why his life, which he considers a success, had to be called a failure.
“People expected me to become a high-ranking official in the government or a big company, but I don’t think just because I chose not to become the expected it gives anyone a right to call anyone’s life a failure,” he said.
Kim says his life is a great success.
The holder of the world’s highest IQ of 210 in the Guinness book of records says he is at the zenith of happiness in life. (Hwang Jurie/The Korea Herald)
When Kim decided to leave NASA, entered a university located outside of Seoul and became an ordinary company worker, the media took him to task. Kim says he is still bitter with the memory. “I’m trying to tell people that I am happy the way I am. But why do people have to call my happiness a failure?” he said.
Invited by NASA at the age of 8, Kim worked there for 10 years but calls the time spent there his lonely years. “At that time, I led my life like a machine ― I woke up, solved the daily assigned equation, ate, slept, and so forth. I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I was lonely and had no friends,” he said. But for young Kim a longing to be with his mother was the decisive factor in his decision to return to Korea.
As expected, the media covered his return. “I was sick and tired of being the center of attention, again. I felt like a monkey in a zoo,” he said, adding, “At that time, there were no twitters nor instant messaging, so that gave newspapers more power, I guess ― the word went around so fast ― some people even started calling me schizophrenic for being cooped up in a room. I wanted to avoid any kind of attention toward me.”
Meanwhile, he wanted to get a job in Korea but to even do that he was told that he needed elementary, middle, and high school diplomas. “Since I had no official diploma ― I had to start all over from scratch,” Kim explained.
Nevertheless, that was no obstacle for Kim. Soon, he took certificate exams and earned his elementary and middle school diplomas within a year and then a high school diploma in the following year. “After that, I wanted to attend a university, rather than get a job right away. I wanted to attend school with friends my age, and outside of Seoul, where I thought I would receive less attention,” he said.
Kim Ung-yong, then aged seven, solves a differential equation in a Japan Fuji TV show in 1969. (Courtesy of Kim Ung-yong)
Kim says he’s led a happy life ever since. “At school, I lived my freshmen year as an elementary school kid, my sophomore year as a middle schooler, my junior year as a high school student, and spent my senior year like a normal college kid,” Kim said. “I consider my life a success ― there aren’t many people who do what they really want to do, but I do. That is what you call success, what else do you call a happy life?” he said.
Despite numerous attempts to avoid the media in the past, Kim was hounded by them again when a story arose of a boy entering college at the age of 9 ― the reports mentioned Kim as a “failing model.”
“The stories pointed me out as if I set a bad example for the little boy and reported that the kid should not grow up like me,” Kim said, expressing regret at the media reports.
Kim claims that people invest too much meaning in IQ. “Some think people with high a IQ can be omnipotent, but that’s not true. Look at me, I don’t have musical talent, nor am I excelling in sports,” he said.
Just like the world records for athletes, having a high IQ is just another element of human talent. “If there is a long spectrum of categories with many different talents, I would only be a part of the spectrum. I’m just good in concentrating on one thing, and there are many others who have different talents,” he explained.
Kim says high IQ does not necessarily mean imperishable memory. “I could speak four languages ― French, German, Japanese and English ― but I can’t speak fluently now, I could brush up and speak a bit, but honestly it became rusty,” he said.
“Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that,” Kim said.
By Hwang Jurie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Labels: ETC......, Interesting LINKS, Korea
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I heard about "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" from another blogger, Eden. I found it interesting but it took me ages before I could actually acquire the book in Korea. The book is quite difficult to find in Korean bookstores and I had to buy my copy from an online bookstore. I had to wait 10 days before I could get my hands on that precious book. But the long wait was worth it....the book gave me something interesting to do during Chuseok. When most wives were actually stressing out on Chuseok activities I had my time-out.....time to read while little Zach took his naps...kkkk.
Snowflower and the Secret Fan (written by Lisa See) discussed the life of most Chinese women in 19th century China. The book mentioned different aspects of Chinese culture like "laotong" or old same (a relationship between two women from different villages that lasts their entire lifetime), "nushu" (women's secret writing), and foot binding (a practice wherein the feet of young girls are bounded to look more appealing to Chinese men). There are lots of interesting quotes in this book but I chose two that struck me the most because it also affects Korean society in one way or the other.
"When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son." - In Chinese learning this saying is more popularly called Three Obediences.
"Sons are the foundation of a woman's self. They give a woman her identity, as well as her dignity, protection, and economic value. They create the link between her husband and his ancestors. This is the one accomplishment a man cannot achieve without the aid of his wife. Only she can guarantee the perpetuation of the family line, which, in turn, is the ultimate duty of every son. This is the supreme way he completes his filial duty, while sons are a woman's crowning glory." - Though there has been a noticeable change in the preference for sons in Korea, younger Korean couples actually prefer daughters over sons, but the influence of the Confucian patriarchal society is still very evident in Korea.The movie version of the book already started filming and it will be quite an interesting thing if it can actually surpass or even equal the success that Memoirs of a Geisha had with it's movie version. It will be also interesting to note that a Korean actress, in the person of Jeon Ji-hyun (My Sassy Girl), will be one of the lead characters in the movie. Now it's time to finish my next book...kkk.....The Last Empress.
Labels: Book Collection
Labels: Baby Chronicles, Korea
Friday, October 1, 2010
Labels: Korean Drama