Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Good- Zeitgeist the Movie

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you've had your fill of candy, costumes, and corny Halloween emails by now, I know I have, so instead of just putting up your everyday run-of-the-mill Halloween posting I've decided to scare you in a completely different way. I recently came across a scary movie on the internet. No, it's not Saw 4 or anything like that. You can take all the cliched scary movie images out of your head right now. This movie isn't scary like the way "The Shining" is scary (in the traditional sense of causing fear), it isn't scary the way the movie "Splinter" is scary either (possibly the worst acted, worst directed, ill conceived screenplays ever put together made it frighteningly bad), nope, this movie is scary because it makes you think. The film I'm talking about is called Zeitgeist.

Being in Korea I have no idea of this films popularity, but I hadn't heard of it, so I wanted to share it with you. It is a documentary about religion, 9/11, and the US economy. It is also a conspiracy theory movie. I have never been a big fan of conspiracy theories, or the people who preach the concreteness of them, but when done well, they can make great films. The website says it was made to inspire people to start looking at the world from a more critical perspective and to understand that very often things are not what the population at large think they are. I am not saying that I agree with everything in this film, but I am saying that I'm happy I heard it what it had to say. And the more I hear about it, the more I like it.

The website also says it was made as a non-profit film. I love the idea that someone wanted to get their point of view out there so much, that they would do it for no monetary gain. So you can download it, watch it on it's website, YouTube, Google video, or right here, and it's all legal.

This is a full length film though, and at 1 hour and 56 minutes long, I suggest you watch it on the largest format possible, without interruption. I can not imagine you will be disappointed. I stayed up till 4 in the morning watching it the first time. My coworker, Rachel, stayed two hours late after work to watch it, and I thought nothing short of magical chocolate geyser going off in the school gym could have done that. Another person I told to watch it said he emailed the link to all of his friends proclaiming "if you don't like this film, I'll send you $10", and I don't think there has ever been any precedence of a hippy saying he'll pay out money without gripe for anything before. So what I'm saying is I thought it was good, and the people I've shown it to have thought so to. SO CHECK IT OUT!

P.S. - Zeitgeist is defined in the dictionary as the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time. The first think I did after hearing the name was look it up, so I thought I'd save you the effort.

Friday, October 19, 2007

No Soup For YOU!

Recently my blogging privileges at school were suspended. The iron fist has apparently dropped. I don't know what the deal is. No one said anything to me, Rachel or Sueem (the only teachers I know with blogs), but maybe there is a huge underground of Shinjin teachers blogging and they're trying to crack down. Maybe since we all have an over abundance of free time at school we spend too much time blogging? Maybe we blog about our bad students, or our shortcomings as teachers? Or maybe, and more likely, it's just a coincidence. Either way, I hope to get into the habit of blogging at home, and giving you some insight into what I'm up to.
I'm totally into this Picasa slide show thing though too. Do you like it as much as I do, or is it something I should get rid of? Check out my recent trip to Sky Park around World Cup Stadium. I think they are some of my prettier pictures that I've taken in Korea. Should I keep the slide show theme going in future blogs?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Big Week For Korea

This week was a pretty big week in Korea. Wednesday was a national holiday that everyone described to me as "Korea's Birthday" but the calender called it a slightly more professional title, "Foundation Day". Either way we got a day off and that's always welcome. I used it to go out, like any good holiday. A few teachers got together for dinner and sojo, and then I met up with some friends in Itaewon.
Another big event strategically placed around this holiday was the North and South Korean Summit. It's only the second time these two countries have gotten together to talk peace. Strangely enough, the Korean War was never "officially" ended and so these two neighboring countries are technically still at war with each other. Even though many families are split between the countries dividing line, and desperately want to see each other, there is no legal way to do it.
The South Korean President,Rob Moo Hyun, made a symbolic gesture by walking into North Korea before being driven to the meeting location in Pyongyang. Every Korean I've talked to on this subject hopes for a unified Korean country in the future. Even though they recognize that taking on the burden of the north's poverty would have a hugely negative effect on the short term economy. Some South Koreans viewed this meeting as a publicity stunt to gain votes for the ruling political party in the upcoming December election, and while that may be true, some good seems to have come out of it.

I think it's pretty interesting how two countries can be so close, yet so different. Here is a satellite picture of the two countries at night. As you can see, the lights appear to be off in the north, except for Kim Jung Il's palace, and the really bright area, yup that's Seoul, where I'm living.
On another note I've added a world clock to the bottom of the page that I think is awesome, if it was smaller I would most definitely have it at the top of the page. And I've also realized that Picasa has the feature of embedding photo album sideshows into blogs. I'm sure I've been able to do this for a while but I hadn't realized it, but I think it's awesome. You can click and see my captions too, all while staying on this page. I will be taking advantage of it from now on. You can see what I'm talking about in my last post. I'm also happy to see the results of my last Poll. The combination of red and purple Skittles are two of the best tasting things you can put in your mouth at the same time.