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Sparking Ideas...

It's been a long time since my last post! In fact, it sort of feels like a lifetime, so much has happened. Since June, DK has...Collapse )

And perhaps I'll tell you more about that some day. Today, I wanted to share a few things from around the web that delighted me, inspired me, and made me think deeply.

-Lifehacker: A compendium of all the little things you could do to make your life just a little easier. I think this is how we found out how to clean your house with just baking soda + vinegar, pretty much. Lifehacker also helped me find...

-Paging Dr. NerdLove: If you're like me and came late to the dating scene or are just super confused about boys/girls/both, this is not a bad place to get yourself started and psyched. He's got tons of great ideas (from where to get dates to where to go on dates) and stories of other people's trials and tribulations that you won't feel so alone in the horror show of your own love life. Dr. NerdLove (not a real doctor) also led me to http://www.succeedsocially.com/ which is another site full of great ideas for socially awkward people trying to learn to be less socially awkward.

-Barking Up the Wrong Tree: A lot of the fun tips and advice on this site are compatible with The Landmark Forum and backed up with science. Try: the power of stories and the illusion of progress in motivating you. Ladies, wear red and makeup, especially eye makeup.

-The Thought Catalog: I like their articles on people going through their 20s as it gives my life perspective. Try, 25 Things I've Learned in my 20s.

-Hope from Nope: After getting rejected by an investor, this Texas businessman decides to deal with the disappointment by going a 100 days looking for rejection. It's harder than it sounds.

And it's unbelievably awe-inspiring.


5 Kpop songs of the moment

I started listening to Kpop because I needed a constant stream of verbal Korean and I like the sticky quality of music. You end up with random bits of lyrics trapped in your mind. Here’s a sampling of what’s currently on rotation for me:

"Tarantallegra" by Junsu/Xia: My friend’s a big fan of JYJ and I’ve tried listening to them but I can’t get into any of their music. Tarantallegra is the title track of Junsu’s solo album (the second J in JYJ) and it is simply mesmerizing. If your video’s going to be banned anyway, this is the way to go: with an unnerving number that makes people question themselves while still making them want to dance. A welcome change from the sugar-coated standards of Kpop.

More music under the cut...Collapse )

Legend of Korra: 1, 2, 3

I lied. This wasn't the post I wanted to make after THE HUNGER GAMES, this is. But then the first post just got super long and I had to cut out my thoughts on the first two episodes. So here they are:

EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. I was watching some the old episodes and the quality difference is stark. They've stepped up for Korra.

Episodes 1 & 2: Welcome to Republic City, Leaf in the WindCollapse )

Episode 3: The RevelationCollapse )

I can't shake the idea that Korra needs female friends her own age. Jinora and Iki are fabulous, but I feel like we need Asami... like, yesterday.


ATLA: The Promise & Decolonization

I've been meaning to write this post since I got back from The Hunger Games and The Legend of Korra helped me detox from all the ~feelings~ I got from the film. It's been about a month and here it is!

ATLA: The Promise, with extra thoughts on the end of wars, decolonization, and historyCollapse )


Shut Up! Flower Boy Band

I was unbelievably obsessed with Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Every week, I would actually look forward to Mondays, and for the rest of the week, I would watch the raws, then read the recaps, watch the fansubs, then watch the legal official subs. And on top of that, I would gush like crazy about it with my friends. We even got into a (play) fight over who got which boy. (I am not proud... but somehow it rankles me more than I came out on the losing end. LOL.)

And when that ended, as all good things must do, I began to look forward to the next in the Oh! Boy project. Yes, Oh! Boy is predicated on gathering a harem group of boys to "make girls' hearts flutter" but they're backed up by some of the most solid story lines and characterizations I've seen in Korean dramas.

I really enjoyed FBRS: it was a straight-forward romcom with enough self-knowledge and sauciness (real makeout scenes instead of dead fish syndrome! Thank God!) to set it apart from the others. And I couldn't wait for the return of that winning combination in Shut Up! Flower Boy Band.


Instead, I got these punks.

Angst, music, minimal-to-no spoilers, etc.Collapse )

Review of The Hunger Games

So many thoughts! It took me ages to expand this and get everything I wanted. Might go back to put in more on race.

When I first heard they were making a HUNGER GAMES’ film, my thought process went something like this:

1. It was inevitable for the third largest thing in YA to get a film, after the success of HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT,
2. But I don’t know if this is really going to work: THE HUNGER GAMES was quite critical of violence-as entertainment" and movies make their living off of "violence-as-entertainment." It’s almost like this is one of those books that shouldn’t be filmed at all.
3. Then again, film is a powerful medium. Surely it can depict violence as sick and senseless as much as it can violence as glorious and cool?

I was optimistic that the film would be good. I even bought tickets to an opening night showing, which is something I never do.

Ultimately, I felt disappointed though it took me awhile to figure out why. I hadn’t realized that I had such fixed ideas of what the film should’ve been like until I saw that Gary Ross’ version wasn’t it.

Cut for movie and book spoilersCollapse )

THE HUNGER GAMES film should’ve been as unsettling as its source material. It should’ve made the viewer question themselves, human nature and society. But it didn’t, and that’s a shame.

Gary Ross’ interpretation of THE HUNGER GAMES made for a decent film. My hat’s off to him, it really is, but the film clearly wasn’t for me. I was absolutely defeated by my own expectations and I accept that.

It’s unlikely that I’ll be seeing the sequels. I might catch them on DVD just to see where they’re taking their interpretation; I might even appreciate Ross’ vision more if I went back to see it. But I have to admit to feeling like watching the movie retroactively ruined the book for me.

A few more quibbles...Collapse )

Korean immersion

Reading blogs like Fluent in 3 Months (FiTM) and All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) convinced me that despite being stuck in the US for another two (or more) years, that wouldn't stop me from language learning if I really wanted to. They have tons of excellent advice about how to psyche yourself into learning a language and staying motivated, as well as different hurdles one might meet (like, how language learning is very difficult! But again, not impossible.)

I learned how to read Korean in about two hours. This might, at first, sound amazing but the Korean alphabet is pleasantly intuitive and really that simple to learn. It makes me wish China had adopted it, but I also get why they couldn't (tones).

I've finished the entire Beginner's Course of Pimsleur Korean and I must say that in the end I wasn't pleased with it. I came to agree with FiTM that they use too much English and treat every language learner like a married businessman. (So for some reason, I know how to ask people how many kids they have and to find my husband...)

Another FiTM tip was to learn from people and not to delay speaking it as soon as possible, even if your knowledge of the language is close to nil. Which is how I ended up signing up for Conversation Exchange after all. I am currently drowning in language partner invites, there's nothing I can do for most of them.

But I did end up meeting with two exchange partners in my area and both meetings went very well. Before my meetings, I was so nervous that I actually stopped studying. They're English is much better than my Korean (they're here, aren't they?) but that actually became great motivation for learning more. Because they're expending so much effort helping me with my baby steps, I want to meet them half way. More meetings are in the future.

To amp up my studies, I took tips from AJATT about creating a Korean immersion environment for myself here. According to AJATT, it's not so much the macro-environment but the micro-environment that matters: hence the tons of people who go abroad, live in a country like South Korea for years, and leave not speaking much Korean at all. They have the macro-environment but not the micro-environment covered.

Which is how I've ended up listening to tons of Korean radio, attempting to blindly navigate a Facebook written in Korean, watching dramas without subtitles (for now... I'm going to use the subtitles to better mine them), reading Korean picture books, etc. And can I just say that it hurts my brain. @_@ It's a lot of work but I'm so excited!



Originally posted by cantarina1 at post
Originally posted by electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr

This entry was also posted at http://cantarina.dreamwidth.org/131889.html. (comments: comment count unavailable)

Free Time

I might be procrastinating again. I'm formatting someone's report for money and I find myself not working on it because what if it comes out bad? ^^ I'm meeting a Korean conversation partner for the first time on MLK Day, but I barely know how to speak Korean. She has much better English. And what if we can't find things in common to talk about? I've done language exchanges before and they always faltered out after the first one or two meetings for whatever reason.

At the beginning of the year, I pondered whether I should commit to a New Year's Resolution. I did draw up a list of things I wanted to do when not working.

The ListCollapse )

Translating a Chinese picture book

A day after I say I enjoy speaking Chinese, I get to relive exactly how difficult it is. My library has a sizable Chinese language section so I grabbed a few picture books to read. Yes, picture books are my level. Actually, it's slightly above my level as translating these picture books has me reaching for the online dictionary for every other character. @_@

I'm working on 我的一天 ("A Day in My Life") which is about an emergency worker and is trying to teach the reader how to tell time on a clock. So now I know how to say firetruck and how the hands on the clock are referred to as 针 (metal) needles which, for some reason, I find absolutely adorable. They also used 丁零零 ("dinglingling") as the onomatopoeia for the alarm clock! XD

My heritage speaker friend is helping me out, even going so far as bravely listening to me try to read her the text. I work on trying to set up a rhythm and hitting the tones properly at the right time. It's tough, but I'm strangely having a lot of fun. And it's the fun I'm concentrating on ever since I got this idea into my head to self-study two languages. Can't let myself get caught up in the idea that this is bad and impossible. XD