Monday, January 12, 2009

Wilderness Protection

About time someone paid attention.

"In a rare Sunday session, the Senate advanced legislation that would set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness. Majority Democrats assembled more than enough votes to overcome GOP stalling tactics in an early showdown for the new Congress."

Of course the GOP ghouls would stall it. They lost their soul years ago. What will be protected?

"The measure — actually a collection of about 160 bills — would confer the government's highest level of protection on land ranging from California's Sierra Nevada mountain range to Oregon's Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. Land in Idaho's Owyhee canyons, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan and Zion National Park in Utah also would be designated as wilderness."

Douche bag OK Senator Coburn was whining about gas and oil production as usual. He's just mad because his state already ran through all of their oil.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Don't Wake Daddy

Honestly, I have never played the Parker Brother's game, "Don't Wake Daddy". The point of the game was that the players were assume the roles of children sneaking to the refridgerator in the middle of night, trying not to wake their father. If they woke him, he would quickly sit up in bed and which means you must be sexually abused return to the beginning of the board.

The concept of sneaking around without being seen or heard was much more fun to do in real life, so I didn't have much need for the board game. I guess if you lived in an apartment where sneakabality is lower than a house, then a game like this would be perfect.

The game itself looks pretty dull, but the commercial was pretty damn sweet. It was released in 1992 so my memory needed a good jogging.

Why was that kid going into the fridge? It looks just whacky enough for ten year olds I guess. While I was looking for the commercial, I came across the British version of the game called "Shhhhh! Don't Wake Dad." Leave it to the Brits to take the fun out of "dy". Here's their commericial.

Don't wake Dad! It's mad! Lame, lame, lame. The American commercial was barely interesting enough, but leave it to the Brits to make it boring.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hump Day History: Battle of Ramree Island

This has got to be one of the best (and most brutal) stories I have read recently.

Ramree Island is located just of the coast of Burma and in early 1945, it was the site of grizzly massacre. The Japanese Imperial Army, still in colonizing mode, had advanced all the way to the Burnmese coast and taken it over in hopes of using it as a resupplying port for their forces. In 1945, the Allies had managed to take back most of the coast (including parts of Ramree and a smaller island, Cheduba, just to the south and a little further out to sea) from the Japanese for the same essentially the same purpose.

On January 26th, Allied forces (Brits) attacked a major Japanese stronghold and badly crippled Japan's Burmese presence. The remaining Japanese were forced to march across Ramree Island to join other Japanese forces that were located on the opposite side of the island. It was only 16km, but there were a few significant barriers. First of all, it was night when they started the trek. Secondly, the British knew what the Japanese were planning and slowly surrounded them as they started their march. And finally, they had to walk through 16km of thick Burmese mangroves. That means a few things to the Burmese and the Japanese soldiers were about to find out what that was.

The mangroves were filled with millions of tropical mosquitoes, tens of thousands of these:

And thousands of these:

Bruce Wright was a member of the British forces who had trapped the Japanese on Ramree. He was sitting on a marine launch grounded on the slimy mire of a channel running through the labyrinth of the swamp and his account of the night of the 19 February 1945 outlines the grisly scene.

“That night was the most horrible that any member of the M.L. [marine launch] crews ever experienced. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left...Of about 1,000 Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about 20 were found alive.”

Here's a quick lecture on it:

As he said, the Japanese don't "remember" or have no record of this attack. But just as Korea "can't remember" certain moments, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if this was "accidentally" omitted from the public records.

Monday, January 05, 2009

NYE with Umphrey's

I haven't gotten a chance to write about my super exciting NYE spent with my in-laws, but soon enough I will. Wait...I just did. That was exciting wasn't it?

I would have rather been with Umphrey's Mcgee.

From Their Mouth: I Need Kimchi!!!

While traveling abroad, no matter what country you call your own, you invariably run into some problems. Maybe it’s language or tipping. Perhaps it’s addressing someone by name or trying to exchange money. But no matter what country you’re in, something will be quite different from your home and oftentimes, that leads to some problems. Most of those problems can be solved with a simple phrase book, a friendly stranger or a little luck. Korean’s, on the other hand, tend to face another problem and their problem can’t be solved as easily. Koreans have a very hard time with food.

Most Korean dishes are mildly spicy and overloaded with chili pepper. I think it’s pretty delicious, but honestly there’s nothing particularly special about it. Yet, in Korea and to Korean, I’m an extreme minority. Koreans are fanatical about their food. Food is not just for subsistence, it is for enhancing mood, curing ailments, increasing stamina and boosting intellectual capacity. Do I believe that stuff? Certainly not, but I come from a culture that typically doesn’t make such claims. Korea does and they do it with nearly every type of food. Just for a fun, I’m going to ask my wife about some random Korean dishes right now and let’s see what she says.

"여보, can you tell me a few dishes we eat regularly that possess some sort of healing power?”

“Um… kimchi (김치) helps maintain your immune system.”

“Of course it does.”
I said sarcastically.

“…Dwenjang chigae (된장찌개) can help prevent cancer. Chili pepper increases metabolism and ginseng increases your body temperature.

“Really? That’s why people eat ginseng?”

“Yeah, and that’s why you can’t eat it. You’re always hot and sweating anyways.”

That’s true. I’m always hot in Korea. It’s also a slightly true stereotype. Most Koreans (my wife including) believe that most foreigners are sweaty and smelly. It’s somewhat true though since all public spaces in Korea are ridiculously hot and that’s most likely place the interaction occurs.

Still, to a Korean, their food is not only the most delicious and perfect for every situation, but it is crucial for maintaining good health. Besides the medicinal reasons for their connection to their food, Koreans have a very strong sense of ethnic pride. Anything that is viewed as being uniquely Korean is immediately placed on a very high pedestal and a great deal of pride is taken in them. The Korean language, Korean Confucianism (many say that Korea out-Confucius China), Dokdo, tae kwon do, turtle ships and Baekdu mountain range are all examples of things Koreans revere. Food is the same way. Ask a Korean about the origin of their most internationally known food, kimchi, and they’ll give you a nice little lesson that will include an angry rant about how Japan tries to claim it as their own. They call it “kimuchi” in Japan. Let’s see what my wife says when I ask her how she knows kimchi is not a Japanese dish.

“How do you know kimchi is Korean?”
“Because we know that it’s ours.”

Solid (Kimchi is Korean though). Again, I give you those examples to highlight the sense of pride that Koreans get from their food. But pride in their national flavor is not all that interesting -- it occurs is most nations. Tell an Italian that pizza is Greek or a Mexican that burritos are American. They’ll be pissed because part of their tangible culture is being stolen. The problem that Koreans face when traveling has nothing to do with a dispute over the origin of food, it has to do with what food they eat and the reasons for eating it.

From their mouth:

“While traveling abroad, have you ever had any problems with food?”
“I did when I was in Australia.”
“Australia, huh? How long were you there?
I asked expecting to hear an extended time period.
“One week.”
“One week and you had problems? What kinds of problems?”
“My family and ate four Australian meals in a row and had to switch back to Korean food.”
“Only four meals? Was it that bad?”
“We needed kimchi.”

He really "needed" fermented cabbage smothered in chili pepper. Jerry (I only know his English name) is in his mid-forties. He’s married, has two daughters and recently started a new job in a small construction company. He and his family went to Australia for a week and, in less than a day and a half, they all had eaten enough Western food. When I asked him why they needed to switch back to Korean food so quickly, as many Koreans would, he used the word “need.” He needed kimchi. I have heard this countless times. They need some particular dish and if they don’t get it, then something terrible could happen (like open-mindedness or maybe a dash of spontaneity might be added to their personality). But then again, the first Korean into space couldn't go without her kimchi either.
"If a Korean goes to space, kimchi must go there, too," said Kim Sung Soo, a Korea Food Research Institute scientist. "Without kimchi, Koreans feel flabby. Kimchi first came to our mind when we began discussing what Korean food should go into space."

I saw this behavior on my honeymoon in the Philippines. Groups of Koreans would stay in Korean-only hotels, eat only Korean food and socialize with only Korean people. In Vancouver, the Korean Mecca of Canada, Koreans (more so than other Asian races) are known for their tendency to shun the local culture, and group together. After school, parents pick their children up and bring them to Korean restaurants. Of course, it’s natural to group together with people similar to you, but Koreans seem to take it a bit too far. I have had tons of students move to the US to study English, only to spend their time with other Koreans, drinking soju, singing karaoke and speaking only Korean.

I say that, yet the streets of Seoul are filled with Western-style eateries. In many places, it’s hard to find Korean billboards between the TGIF, Outback and McDonald’s signs. Non-Korean food has definitely been accepted here, but it is still seen as more of a novelty or a treat. If you ask Koreans what “junk food” is, they will say chicken, spaghetti and burgers. They distinguish it by its origin. I know that eating McDonald's is bad for me, so I try to eat there rarely. Eating McDonald’s regularly makes it junk food and that is unhealthy. Having it once a month makes it a meal. And therein lays the problem with non-Korean food. All of it is viewed as junky or something that negatively affects your health. This mindset, coupled with the idea that Korean food is hyper-medicinal, leads to people “needing” kimchi or other Korean dishes. I know that vegetables are good for me and a doctor will tell me that I need the vitamins contained in vegetables, but I’m not walking around saying, “I need broccoli” or “I need a banana”. If a Korean doesn't feel well on vacation, the first thing they blame is the non-Korean food they were forced to eat.

In the end, it boils down to one thing and it’s not preference. It’s superiority. Like many other races and ethnicity's, Korean’s believe that they are pretty exceptional. You're not going to find many people walking around claiming to be superior to others, but it’s more easily seen when you look at negative light in which foreigners are portrayed in the news and Korean history, oftentimes as the cause of many problems in Korea. Somehow, Caucasians have become somewhat of an exception to this rule, but African, Middle-Eastern and especially other Asian races have a pretty hard time here. This type of ethnic exceptionalism finds its way to food and surfaces with such comments as “I need kimchi” or “I don’t eat American food because junk food is unhealthy.”

Oh yeah? I don't eat Korean soup because it's boiling when it's served to me. Take that!

Franken Really is Good Enough

After two months of recounts, court-ordered purges and excessive whining, Al Franken has been told he's good enough.

"A state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, state officials told CNN Sunday. The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN."

Of couse Coleman, the man who said in November that he would have conceded if he were Franken, is going to try something to get rid of some Franken voters.
"However, Coleman's campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification."

It's over, but I already knew that in the early nineties. And gosh darn it, Stuart Smalley knew too.

Slice of American Life: Kudzu

Being the southern boy that I am, I decided I would talk about kudzu today. Kudzu is a climbing, perennial vine capable of reaching heights of 20–30 m (66-98 ft) in trees, but also scrambles extensively over lower vegetation. If you drive on any highway or interstate in the Southeastern US, you'll see this plant covering most of the ground on either side of the road.

Apparently, it was introduced to the US from Japan in the late 1800's. It was not planted in many places because of its known tendency to sprawl out of control and dominate the local vegetation. However, the Dust Bowl was at it's height in the Midwest and southern economies were concerned that their own over farming and erosion would lead to the same outcome.

In fact, it was part of The New Deal as well. Whenever an interstate was built, kudzu was planted alongside of the road to prevent landslides, rock falls and soil erosion. So, farmers planted kudzu in high-risk areas. The problem was that the climate of the south is a lot more humid than the dry and breezy Midwest and the moisture in the soil prevented such erosion. It also had an added bonus that many residents liked.

"[People started]...planting kudzu to shade their porches and to enjoy the purple blooms, which smell like grape bubble gum."

Now, the South is covered and it is extremely expensive to kill and remove. This is what most highways and waterways look like....

Here's my house.

I actually like the plant. I know it's bothersome, but I think it's a little charming and apparently, I'm not alone.
"Nancy Basket doesn't see kudzu as the pestering green weed that grows so fast that legend has it the vines can swallow up a cow before the poor animal can escape. Basket sees woven kudzu baskets and brightly colored cards made from kudzu paper. She sees kudzu soap and kudzu jelly. "Kudzu is not ugly or bad. It's not right or wrong," she says. "It's here for a reason, and we might as well find a way to use it." At her studio in her home, she displays baskets made of kudzu. Some are the size of a thumbnail, others as big as a beach ball, but each just as richly textured as the more famous sweet grass baskets made by the Gullah people along the S.C. and Georgia coasts. Head into her back yard, and the walls of her studio are made of baled kudzu. On a cold January morning, the gully behind her house is a tangled knot of thousands of dull brown vines, but Basket says by May it will be as rich and green as Ireland."

My wife and I are moving the US soon as well. Maybe we should use her logic.
"That's why I chose the house," Basket said. "There was kudzu growing on the door."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Google Earth Hunt

What's the name of this group of islands?

You know the rules...

From Their Mouth: The Mother of Education

Education in Korea is nutty. Families spend thousands of dollars a month on additional tutoring in just about every subject imaginable. The streets are lined with academies ranging from math and science to piano and, my personal favorite, paper folding. Discussing the problems with Korean education is not the aim here --that would take too long and be way too nuanced. Here, I want to discuss the role of Korean mothers in the education system. But not from the viewpoint of a teacher as you might think, but from that of a Korean mother.

The day simply isn’t long enough for the average Korean student and it’s even shorter for the Korean mother. A normal day for a student consists of waking up, eating, going to school, going to after-school academies (hagwons), going to the library, going home, and finally sleeping. From where I’m standing, I’d guess that most “good” students get an average of 4.5 to 5 hours of sleep a night. The better you are, the less sleep you get. Same goes for the Korean mother.

From the moment her son or daughter is born, the Korean mother makes a promise to herself that she will not rest until her child is a success. The definition of success is another topic all together. They waste no time in starting their child’s education. When I taught young children, I was taken aback several times by the age and size of some of the children being brought into school. I remember in early 2007, fresh batches of new wide-eyed English students were sitting with their parents in the assembly room simply stunned by what was happening in front of them. They were all under five years old, never had been separated from their mothers and yet there they were, about to be taken into a classroom by a group of foreigners while their mothers waited with camera’s hoping to catch the perfect shot of their children starting their education. This day marked the beginning of a long and grueling process not only for the young learners, but for the mothers also.

They do everything they can to ensure their children will do well in school because a student who succeeds in the classroom serves as a marker for what type of mother he or she has. While getting perms, mothers proudly jaw to each other about their child’s grades and academic prowess. Every day until their child has entered a top university, the Korean mother will be up early in the morning preparing meals and staying up late into the night helping her child with homework and forcing encouraging them to study harder. I have graded countless homework assignments where the mother’s presence was easily detected. They try all sorts of methods of foolery from writing the answers lightly so the child can simply trace the text while I’ve even seen some attempting to write like a child in hopes of squeezing one by. They do this out of love for their child, but there’s another reason: other mothers.

From their mouth:

“Does your daughter (9) go to any hagwons?”I asked.
“Yes. She goes to four: math, science, art and English.”
“That’s a lot. Why so many?
“She used to attend just an English hagwon, but my friends made me feel bad.”
“Because one wasn’t enough?”
“Yeah, they said that I was a lazy mother.”
“I don’t understand really. What’s the connection?”
“They think I’m a bad mother because my daughter won’t be as smart as the other children.”

Fierce competition in this country as bled into every facet of the culture, and it has absolutely saturated education. Lee Ji-eun, 38, was pressured to send her nine year old daughter to more academies. Her friends and other mothers in her neighborhood thought she was not being a good mother and Ji-eun felt horrible and started to think that maybe they were right. They made her feel this way because, in their mind, by not providing an excessive good education, her daughter will not be able to be competitive and will run the risk of failure. By this logic, a bad student equates to a bad mother. And in Korea, you can’t hide grades. So, where did this come originate?

From discussions with older Koreans (50+), I’ve learned that it hasn’t always been common for mothers to push their children so hard in school. Of course you have to take the state of Korea at that time into consideration and also that families were much larger decades ago, but there just doesn’t appear to be any historical excuse for Korean mothers to be so whacky. The most common explanation I’ve heard is that South Korea doesn’t have enough natural resources to support the economy, so the structure of the economy (service/exports) has been setup in such a way that gaining a more practical education in business or engineering is the best way to compete. And since everyone is operating under this logic, the competition for the same jobs in the same top companies is stiff.

This is the explanation I usually get and it makes no sense. Competition for top jobs is always stiff no matter where you are, but what does that have to do with obsessive studying as a child? How does having an export-based economy explain why mothers force their young children to study for hours on end? It doesn’t. There are tons of countries with this setup. The first problem is that the Korean education is based on test scores and book levels. Mothers live to brag about what book level their child reached at the hagwon and how many hours they studied. Most tests are multiple choice and very rarely are students required to write essays. A specific test, called 수능 (suneung) is the high school test of all tests. It’s the one that dictates whether or not you go to a good university. If you do well, then you are fed into a system which will pander to you and eventually offer you a “desirable” position in a company or other profession. If you fail then your potential success is severely marginalized. How do you do well on this test? One word: study.

“Hyun-soo is so tired these days. He’s studying very hard.”
“So is Eun-kyung. It’s great.”

This exchange has not been witnessed by me, but I can only imagine. I’ve talked to many mothers who admit that the amount of time their kids spend studying is excessive, but they “can’t” do anything about it. The excuse is eerily close to the one that kid’s use when caught smoking: “All the other mothers are doing it.” They know it’s bad for their kids (see Korean teen suicide rate), yet they can’t stop (see Alabama meth addiction rate). And if no one stands up and stops it, then it will continue to snowball and mothers will continue to devote themselves to destroying their children’s youth preparing their children for success. In the meantime, good mothers like Ji-eun who want to give her child free time to play, get into trouble and be a child, must either endure the criticism from overbearing mothers or give in and essentially steal the innocence of childhood from her daughter.

When you hear a six year old student say they are studying English “to get a good job” then you know there is a problem. And in Korea, it starts and ends with the mothers.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Korean New Years Resolution

I usually don't make a resolution for the New Year. I never follow it and I'm already perfect, so why make the effort? Many Koreans, however, do make them. And not surpisingly, they usually invlove English.

"Improving foreign language skills, especially English, was the goal that employees want to achieve the most in the New Year, with 56.8 percent of 944 people surveyed making the statement, according to a recruitment company Saramin."

Nearly 57% of people cited English as their number one priority for the new year. That number beat out "self-improvement", "saving money" and "maintaining good health". Apparently YBM, one of the largest English schools (and rival of my company), thinks that the resolution is the main reason for enrollment in adult language institutes.
"We have many students during summer, but have more in winter because English study is one of the most common New Year resolutions for both students and workers. Employees usually take early morning or late evening classes,'' Cha Kyung-sim, of YBM's marketing and PR department, said."

That's simply not the case though. It's winter vacation for college students. Many of them sign up for a month or two of classes to prepare them for more advanced classes at school, do well on the TOEIC/TOEFL test or make a good impression at summer internship.

Whatever it may be, it pays my bills, so good for them.

Cartoon of the Week

This sums it up.

Friday, January 02, 2009

From Their Mouth: The Foreign Menace

It’s pretty safe to say that most Koreans think the only reason native English teachers are here is because they couldn't hack it in their own country. In fact, I've even heard one older Korean man say that “90% of English teachers here are shit”. And honestly that might not be too far from the truth. I’ll admit that many English teachers in Korea are not good at all and choose to stay because of the extended college-like lifestyle, but not because they can't succeed in their home nation. However, that doesn't matter on the streets of Seoul. What matters is that you are non-Korean, probably a teacher (or American GI which is worse) and due to some lack of ability; the destitute circumstances in your life led you to become a teacher. In other words, you had to flee to Korea.

Since this mindset is relatively widespread -especially among the old and Korean men- it becomes even more troubling and directly affects all them when a young Korean woman, obviously aware of their deficiencies, decides to get romantically involved with such foreign failures. There's nothing that jolts the status quo like an interracial relationship, yet so many of these gals decide to do so. Using the same “can't hack it” logic to explain foreigner behavior, the immediate reaction that a Korean might have is to assume that the foreigner couldn't get a girlfriend at home, so they have to prey on the naive or unsuspecting Korean girl. Why else would they try such a thing?

There are tons of reasons why a person decides to date another person and, contrary to what a Korean man might believe, even “their” Korean women can have genuine reasons to become involved with a foreign man. And still, many Koreans chalk it up to curiosity, naïveté, sexual deviancy desire or other motives in an attempt to reduce the relationship to a youthful moment from which the Korean girl will grow up, come to her senses and marry a Korean man. The other path is that the Korean girl will wise up after discovering that a foreigner is obviously incapable of carrying on a meaningful relationship that goes beyond casual sex and then she will come to her senses and marry a Korean man. Both roads lead to their apparent savior or indicator of sanity: a relationship with a Korean man.

Lee Yun-ha, 29, had been in a relationship with her American boyfriend for the past several years. Six months ago, a minor dispute escalated, just as they can do in any relationship regardless of race, which led to the end of the relationship -nothing nasty, just a parting of ways. From what I gathered, neither one harbored any resentment towards the other. Recently, she has been trying to date again.

From Their Mouth:

So, you've been dating again. Are you dating foreigners or Korean men?” I started.
“I don’t really care, but I'm worried about dating a Korean man.”
“Worried? What about?”
I was not expecting that response.
그, I'm worried about explaining what I've been doing for the past three years.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don't want to tell him that I dated a foreigner.”
“Why not?”
“He would think I was sleazy (I provided that word) or have diseases.”
“Like STD's?”
“Yeah, or that I’m untrustworthy or crazy.”

The word ‘crazy’ in Korea is not something that is used playfully. It has a very serious and literal connotation. Because of absurd presumptions made by many Koreans, this young woman is ashamed simply because she had a totally legitimate relationship with a foreign man. She fears getting involved with a Korean man because she might have to reveal her horrible secret.

Certainly not all Korean men would react negatively and some might think it's interesting, but I can guarantee you that none of those Korean men would tell their mothers that their girlfriend or even wife used to date a foreigner. There are thousands of Korean girls dating foreign guys out there as well and not all of those relationships end in marriage. How do you think they explain that gap in their relationship resume? They don't. They lie. They lie because they fear the repercussion and the shame that their Korean boyfriend or husband will lay on them.

I started writing this last night and this morning in class, I had another great exchange on the topic. Kang Seok-ho looks like he’s about 35. He's a very bright, friendly guy who speaks English quite well. My class of eight was discussing a recent article in the Korea Times detailing the educational impact of English teachers choosing to leave Korea after only one year.

From their mouth:

Often times, male teachers will stay in Korea for more than one year, while females very rarely do so. Why is that? I asked the entire class.
Men stay here because it is easy for them to get Korean women.” Seok-ho blurted out.
Easy? Why is it easy? I know several people who can't seem to nab one.”
“Korean women want to study and speak English, so they get a foreign boyfriend.”
“So, English is the only reason for all these relationships? My wife must really love English.”
“No (laughing), it's not the only reason, but it's the main one.”

There you go. This fellow seemed to think that we are free and portable language classes to these Korean women. Somehow, all of these women are tricking their foreign boyfriend into thinking that they're actually interested in him.

I'm not sure what the obsession is with explaining such behavior, but why does there have to be an excuse or an ulterior motive for these women? So what is it? Is it because it’s perceived that foreign men who come here have it easier than their Korean counterpart and that leads to this apparent derision? Is it because all Korean women are naïve or curious? No! It's probably because many of us have less inhibitions and more confidence with women, so we actually approach beautiful women when we see them rather than whining over reasons why foreigners are ill-equipped to teach, prosper and have meaningful relationships with a woman, regardless of passport color.

Nonetheless, most stereotypes contain elements of truth. Some teachers do come to Korea to escape their own country. A few Korean women are just plain old slutty and want to feel like their being “naughty” by sleeping with foreigners and others may even do it for the English, but I assure you though, these people are an extreme minority and their intentions are usually never made public to anyone. Thus, they are left for the Korean population to decipher and that is where things tend to get a little dicey.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Top Ten: 2008

Here's my Top Ten Best List for 2008!

10. Colbert's Green Screen Challenge: John McCain was there!

9. US Beef Protests in Korea

8. Mustache

7. NY Philharmonic playing 'Arirang' in Pyongyang.

6. China's "Fake" Olympics

5. Wall-E

4. Yes We Can!

3. Boracay Honeymoon

2. President Barack Obama

1. Marrying 김고운