Author Archives

  • Notes on America…

    Some of my more American acquaintances have been noting that the U.S. government is not really representative of its people. This got me to thinking about ways to tweak U.S. governance, both to make it more representative, but also to… Read More ›

  • A note on July 4

    I still have faith in our American experiment. To a desperate eye, yes, it could look grim. The U.S. is among the world’s richest nations, but American infants are three times more likely to die than in 19 similar OECD… Read More ›

  • Saturday is Dec. 7

    This Saturday is Dec. 7. Seventy-eight years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941, Japan showed the world what it could do. Here are seven key takeaways from the U.S.-Japan Pacific War (1941-1945) and from the grand rise & fall of Japan… Read More ›

  • Ipdong, the beginning of winter

    Ipdong (입동, 立冬), or the “Onset of Winter,” falls on Friday, Nov. 8, this year. It marks the beginning of the ninth of 24 solar terms throughout the year. Ipdong generally falls on Nov. 7 or 8 on the Gregorian… Read More ›

  • Additions to the List of RKHB™

    You guys have now collectively suggested an additional 43 books to add to the list of Required Korean History Books™.

  • Required Korean History Books™

    ~A 22-book self-directed learning course in English that will ensure a proper understanding of Korea and Northeast Asia. To be read in order, as listed below in rough chronological order.~ “Let only he speak who has a proper understanding of… Read More ›

  • 24 Alternatives to Boracay

    –sorted by Philippine region in ascending population— (i.e., the places with the fewest people, and, therefore, most likely the poorest infrastructure and the hardest to get to, are at the top of this list) Caraga Region (pop. 2.6 million) –Siargao… Read More ›

  • On the Death of Lou Reed (1942-2013)

    Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 Funny, just this past weekend I watched two documentaries with Lou Reed in them, only to wake up Monday morning to find that he has gone to that great Elysian field where all musicians jam. I… Read More ›

  • Kim Seungok (김승옥): two short story book reviews

    Like a hyacinth that bursts into bloom and then fades, Kim Seungok (b. 1941) wrote more than 10 short stories, essays, screenplays and novellas between the ages of 21 and 25, between 1962 and 1966. His stories burst to fame at the time from the pages of Seoul’s newspapers and literary magazines, and most of his works are still read today. Kim led a wave of early and mid-1960s authors who were fed up with the prior dictator’s arrogance and nervous about the new dictator’s tightening grip. He wrote about rapid urbanization and the realities of living in these rapidly growing new cities. He wrote about how the human fits in between the city and the countryside, the modern and the past.

  • Daeseo: Big Heat (대서, 大暑)

    The day of Daeseo, what is traditionally the hottest day of summer — literally the “Big Heat of Summer” (대서, 大暑) — falls on Tuesday, July 23, this year. It marks the beginning of the 12th of 24 solar terms throughout… Read More ›