One of my favorite things to do here has been to visit Buddhist temples and Buddhas. If you have been visiting this blog with any frequency you have probably figured that out. No shortage of them here, luckily. Shake a stick and there is a temple worth visiting and a Buddha worth admiring.
I have some Buddha images that haven't yet appeared on Nunal I have been meaning to post, so here is a surfeit of big Buddhas in Seoul. If I really get a chance I will post some photos of myriad little Buddhas.
Well, maybe just one photo of little Buddhas. This is from Samseongsa (there are two sets of these flanking the main Buddha image:
Now on to the big Buddhas
This one is actually in our neighborhood, just north of where we live on a parallel street, at the base of a mountain that is really one of the foothills of Bukhansan. As I have developed a more complete understanding of the bus system (which is entirely in Korean, unlike the subway, so a bit mysterious), I have a new appreciation …
How many octopus heads is it safe to eat on a daily basis?
The government says two is the maximum, because of heavy cadmium levels found in local and imported octopuses. But that has infuriated restaurateurs and fishermen in South Jeolla, who say the government’s warning has cost them a bundle in lost sales.
The octopus head war began in September, when the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it discovered heavy concentration of cadmium in octopus heads sold in Seoul.
According to the city government, of three Korean and six Chinese octopuses purchased at local fish markets, supermarkets and department stores, up to 29.3 milligrams of cadmium per kilogram was found in the heads, 14 times higher than the permitted level of 2.0 milligrams. Cadmium is a carcinogen that also poisons the liver and kidneys.
The government advised consumers to completely remove any internal organs, ink and intestinal matter b…
The latest Fulbright Forum was interesting since it focused on American complicity in the hideous 1980 Gwangju Massacre, in which Korean armed foeces killed a huge (unknown) number of pro-democracy protesters in the southern city. I know of the massacre but the detail was all new to me, it was quite interesting (as all of these forums have been, incidentally).
The argument of the talk (a version of which is here) was that the U.S. supported if not actually facilitated the massacre in order to bring about the "neoliberal" transformation of Korea.
I don't doubt that economic motivations were and are the core of U.S. policy to maintaining order and systemic stability, and that the 1980 actions reflected these interests. But though I have a limited knowledge of the history of Korean economic development, I am fairly certain that the "neoliberal" transformation of South Korea did not occur that early (especially given the ongoing state-directed economic development…