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Cheating Cancels ACT Exam Across South Korea

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Due to suspected cheating, last summer the ACT exam was cancelled for all test-takers in South Korea & Hong Kong in what became the first cancellation of the exam to ever affect an entire country, a decision that prevented some 5,500 students from taking the exam at 56 different test centers.

To find out how important the ACT is for South Korean students, & how those who were scheduled to take the test were affected by its cancellation, Korea FM reporter Chance Dorland spoke with Peter Chi, the managing director of test prep company IvyConnection.

Find more details about the 2016 cancelation via the New York Times.

This episode is brought to you by Podcast Assist & its $30 per hour flat rate podcasting voice overs, editing, mastering, transcriptions & even hosting (select a topic, they’ll create & host the podcast). Visit for more information. 

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Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

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The post Cheating Cancels ACT Exam Across South Korea appeared first on Korea FM.

Learn Hangul (Part 14) - Final Sound Change Rules and Irregulars

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Here's the fourteenth and final episode of the "Learn Hangul" series - a series designed to help you learn the Korean alphabet from the very beginning to the end.

This video series covers all of the basics. We've learned all of the basic vowels and consonants, all 6 syllable blocks, double consonants, strong consonants, diphthongs, the names of the letters, as well as all major and common sound change rules.

Today's episode will cover the final few sound change rules.

Thanks for watching this series, and I'm looking forward to new and different series related to learning Korean in the future~!

The post Learn Hangul (Part 14) - Final Sound Change Rules and Irregulars appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Tutorial: How to make your eyes look bigger and more expressive

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A Messy World

So, one of my friend had requested me to make a tutorial about making eyes look bigger with makeup. So, I filmed a tutorial yesterday and here’s the link:


Though I mentioned almost everything there but let’s take a look again at the tricks and tips on how to make your eyes look bigger & more expressive with makeup:

  • The golden rule: When you want your eyes to be focused always use a light color lipstick.
  • Eyeshadow basic: Dark color on crease area and bright color over lids. And by bright I mean something really shiny.
  • When drawing eyeliner, never joint lower and upper lash lines in both the corner of your eyes.Rather leave a gap, and spread them outward. That way, you don’t create an boundary of your eye but create an illusion.
  • Always use a white eye pencil or nude color on water line of your eyes. That makes the white portion of our eyes more extended and thus makes your eyes look bigger.
  • Put some white color on inner corner of your eyes, if you want them to pop! 
  • Never wear mascara without curling your lashes when you want your eyes to be expressive. Because it opens up your eyes! 

So, that’s all about the tricks and tips. And let’s take a look, what happens when you follow them:


As you can see, quite a difference!

I didn’t add any details about my base makeup in the tutorial so I’m adding it here, for your convenience:


  1. Missha m radiance foundation , Max Factor ageless elixir & L A Color liquid makeup
  2. Ben Nye banana powder
  3. It’s skin babyface petit pact
  4. Catrice sun glow matt bronzer
  5. Tony moly cheektone powder (blusher)
  6. Tony moly luminous  goddess aura  crystal light highlighter (Bronzing Glam)
  7. Tony moly cheektone duo highlighter

Eyes: (Though they were mentioned on the tutorial )

  1. Etude House my little nut (My red little nut) palette
  2. Missha Super  super black brush pen eyeliner
  3. Missha 4d mascara
  4. Tony moly cheektone duo highlighter
  5. Tony moly for styling lashes no 11


  1. Jordana lip liner (L13 Pink)
  2. La-femme matte lipstick (no 321)

And here’s a picture of final look:


By the way, never forget to use a combination of toner+ moisturizer+ sunscreen before beginning your makeup!

So, that’s all about today! Bye!!

Munira Chowdhury, 16/01/17


I love Seoul, I love HBC (Haebangcheon), and I love the Naciri...

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I love Seoul, I love HBC (Haebangcheon), and I love the Naciri brothers’ Casablanca Moroccan Sandwiches (6,000₩). I’ve been coming here for years and this post is long overdue. I used to always get the Naomi (half chicken/half shrimp sandwich), but now they also have shakshuka and a platter (deconstructed sandwich). 

Sandwiches are served with French bread from a Syrian bakery in Itaewon. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The sandwich comes with lettuce, tomato, olives, dill pickles, and mayonnaise. But two things make the chicken sandwich very special:

1. Makooda, a traditional Moroccan street food, which are fried mashed potatoes. 

2. Lemons are preserved using sous-vide, a French technique that cooks vacuum-sealed food slowly in a bath of temperature-controlled water. Chicken breasts are marinated overnight in the preserved lemons, olive oil, garlic, and a Moroccan spice blend called ras el hanout

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 - 22:00

Address: Yongsan-gu, Yongsan-dong 2ga 44-7 Seoul

Directions: Walk straight from Noksapyeong Subway Station Exit 2 and take a left at the kimchi pots. Casablanca will be on your left, a few doors up from Phillies.

Phone: +82 2 797 8367


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


Visiting the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (리움 삼성미술관) was a...

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Visiting the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art (리움 삼성미술관) was a pleasant surprise. It’s an easy walk from the Itaewon subway station and 14,000₩ for a day pass - 50% off if you have a school ID. Use the digital guide; it’s easy and has lots of interesting information.

It’s worth seeing both the permanent and special exhibition. When I went, the special exhibition was Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s solo exhibition “The Parliament of Possibilities.” It blew me away. I just loved it. Each area was different and fun.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:30 - 18:00
* Ticket Booth : Open until 30 minutes prior to closing

Address: 60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 이태원로55길 60-16 (한남동)

Directions: Hangangjin Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 1, walk straight for 100m towards Itaewon. Make a right turn at the first intersection and alley, walk up the hill for about 5 minutes.

Closed: New Year’s Day and Chuseok holidays + every Monday 

A brief return to the aviary

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I'd have to check my notes: it was either in 1999 or 2000 when I wrote this. I copied it from one of my small portable notebooks into my more durable hardcover notebook of selected fair poems, (Opposed to those that are either crass, garbly, indescernable or unfinished).

It was while I was in the monastery knowing I'd be going back. Either that or just after I got back. I was inspired by Br.Rene with whom I'd discuss the upkeep of the aviary. First time I'd seen an aviary. I was also inspired by Kathleen Norris' rare volume of poetry entitled How I came to drink my Grandmother's piano and her style of using science 
to explain that theres stuff more science can seek to explain.......

We the birds of the aviary

Friction occurs
as objects move through time
and space,
though our desire
is to stay at rest.

As there is time, there is motion
as there is motion, pain
Ah the ache of the spiritual growth
that comes with our decay!

Oh but that we were among
"the million spiritual creatures / that walk the earth unseen
singing their great creator" !  -- Milton

Though not to embrace our material states to the full
would be a sin of ingratitude
to others than our God
who stand by so near
as to peer over our shoulders
and dream of lips, tongues
and taste
while we eat our daily bread.

Our gift
Our glory
is that with our clunky clay feet
trodding upon the base of this valley of tears
amidst the midsts of our follies and infirmities
we may
with our dirty hands raised to the clear blue sky
with all the wisdom of the birds in the aviary
that know
one day
they will all fly free.

The below is the later Latin version (it took awhile, but I translated it into Latin a few months after the monastery). I have recently made a few changes and the below is the latest version. As with myself in life I find I am in need of constant revision much like that of my poems.

Some in the now less garbly kNOW may get the idea that I'm using 'life' in a broad sense like those of whom in the kitchen of life use spray colouring for their cakes (of the chrome variety). It is my opinion that God I believe sometimes runs his dishes through the dishwasher twice or well, more than once to get them all proper shiny in good rightful time.

Ad similis prima nivis (Like the first snow
caderemus (we fall
subungulam bisculam (under the hooves

Ad similis nonsapientia arborus   (like the unwise tree
in hortum deus,  (in God's garden
saepe ad similis avii in aviarim, (sometimes like the birds in the aviary
omnis gentes caderamus (all peoples fall
saepe (sometimes

O Deo Sanctus
O Deo Misericordius
Rex Tremendae Majistasis

Principae Pacem

Nunc cumque carmena et hoc angelis panem, (now with this song and bread of angels
consurgeramus de profundis (we rise from the depths
ad cantaramus:             (to sing

Cum avii in aviarium    (with the birds in the aviary
quod cognitant haberant (who have the knowledge / who know
unum dies avolarabimus, omnis liberum (one day we will all fly , all free

Cum avii in aviarium  (with the birds in the aviary
avolarabimus omnis liberum...    (we will all fly-free
--Matthew Thivierge fin 7:29 Sun Jan 27/2000

P.S. I learned Latin in an uncompleted half-credit course at LU before attending the monastery.
The monks at Blue Cloud did not use Latin at all, to my knowledge except Br.Chris who was into music in a big way.

Here's two videos that I find bring back my fond memories of working in the monastery library and archives with Fr.Odilo. Both put me wonderfully beyond the mere winter frame of mind and into a broader more positive winter solsitcy spirit. All the best this year for we all seem to be finding ourselves in restructure city these days. Like in a library when Weedin' a collection and reshelving the sections to fine tune things a bit. Speaking of tunes here's Lindsey Stirling's Song of the Caged Bird and a few tunes from Thomas Tallis.

About the Author

Matthew William Thivierge has abandoned his PhD studies in Shakespeare and is now currently almost half-way through becoming a tea-master (Japanese,Korean & Chinese tea ceremony). He is a part time Ninjologist with some Jagaek studies (Korean 'ninja') and on occasion views the carrying on of pirates from his balcony mounted telescope.

About Tea Busan  *   Mr.T's Chanoyu てさん 茶の湯   *  East Sea Scrolls  *  East Orient Steampunk Society

November 22, 2016I went up to Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul to...

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November 22, 2016

I went up to Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul to see Sigur Rós with some friends. The concert was great! I still find Korean concerts kind of bizarre, as they’re completely different from the United States’. What makes them different? Well, first of all, tickets are twice the price at 110,000₩ ($95 USD). No opening act. Also, no encore. Takes some of the magic out of the concert-going experience.

I’ve listened to the music of Sigur Rós off-and-on over the years but I’ve never been a hardcore fan like a handful of my friends are. Maybe it’s because I didn’t listen to them at the right time in my life, or… not enough drugs. You know what I’m saying. Still, it was interesting to see them perform live. 

Seohaksa Temple – 서학사 (Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

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The view from Seohaksa Temple in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Seohaksa Temple is located on the eastern side of Mt. Muhaksan (761.4 m) in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do. And the view out towards the Masan harbor, especially in the early morning, is stunning.

Up a steep incline, and a paved road, you’ll find Seohaksa Temple on a 250 metre plateau on the mountain range. The first thing to greet you to the right of the temple grounds are the monks’ dorms and temple facilities. It’s past this cluster of buildings that you’ll finally enter the main temple courtyard at Seohaksa Temple.

Standing in the middle of the temple courtyard are a pair of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) statues. The one to the left is a taller more refined image of the Bodhisattva, while the one to the right is a little less polished. And both statues are backed by a wall of mountain rocks.

To the right of the main hall is an all brick shrine hall. I haven’t seen too many of these around Korea. Housed inside this hall is a contemplative statue of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha).

To the left of the courtyard statues is the temple’s main hall. Surrounding the exterior walls to the main hall that looks out towards Masan harbor are a pair of mural sets. On the bottom are the ten Ox-Herding murals. And on top of these murals are eight standard paintings of the Palsang-do set. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll see a triad of statues resting on the main hall. In the centre sits Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). And he’s joined to the right by Gwanseeum-bosal and to the left by Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). All three statues have a fiery golden nimbus surrounding their heads. To the right of the main altar is the guardian mural and a rather plain Chilseong (The Seven Stars) mural. And to the left are two older murals. The first is dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King); but it’s the older, more curmudgeonly image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) that you’ll need to keep an eye out for.

To the rear of the main hall, and up a very steep set of stairs, you’ll find the extremely compact Sanshin-gak. Housed inside this hall is a rather plain looking image of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). But it’s from this shaman shrine hall that you get the best views of the valley and harbor down below.

Rather strangely, and to the right of the actual temple grounds, is another Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. You’ll need to exit the temple grounds and climb your way up a set of uneven stairs that run alongside the main temple grounds, to get to this shaman shrine hall. It’s strange because this Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall is on the other side of the walls for Seohaksa Temple. I’m not sure if this is a Samseong-gak for Mt. Muhaksan or whether a monk is making a statement at Seohaksa Temple; but either way, it’s a first for me. Housed inside the Samseong-gak are two rather plain images of Sanshin and Dokseong, but it’s the older image of Chilseong that’ll catch your eye.

And it’s just above this Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall, and up another set of uneven stairs, that you’ll find one last shrine hall at Seohaksa Temple. This time, it’s a compact Yongwang-dang dedicated to the Dragon King. This time, there’s a stone image and a painting dedicated to Yongwang.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Masan Intercity Bus Terminal, there are several buses that go to where Seohaksa Temple is located. One of these buses is Bus #707. After eight stops, or sixteen minutes, you’ll need to get off at the “Seowongok Ipgu” stop. From the stop, walk about twenty to twenty-five minutes to Seohaksa Temple. There are several signs that lead you in the direction of the temple so just follow them along the way. But be prepared for a bit of a hike at the end.

OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10. It’s the views at Seohaksa Temple that gives it such a high rating. The views are pretty special. Adding to the temple’s natural beauty is all the shaman iconography spread throughout the temple grounds, as well as the main hall’s statues that rest on the altar. While a bit of a climb to get to, this temple is worth the effort.

The sign out in front of the temple bathroom leading you towards the temple grounds at Seohaksa Temple.

The monks’ dorms and temple facilities.

The shrine hall that houses Mireuk-bul.

A look inside at the Future Buddha.

The pair of statues of Gwanseeum-bosal in the temple courtyard with the Sanshin-gak perched above them.

A look at the main hall at Seohaksa Temple.

One of the Palsang-do murals.

As well as one of the Ox-Herding murals.

The guardian mural housed inside the main hall.

Joined by this Chilseong mural to the right of the main altar.

The beautiful view even from inside the main hall at Seohaksa Temple.

The main altar statues with their decorative fiery nimbus’ surrounding each of their heads.

The Yongwang mural to the left of the main altar.

Joined by this angry looking Dokseong mural.

The Sanshin-gak to the rear of the main hall.

The plastic covered painting dedicated to Sanshin.

The amazing view from the Sanshin-gak at Seohaksa Temple.

The sun peaking in under the roof of the main hall.

The temple’s slender pagoda and the wall that separates the temple grounds from the outlying Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall.

The aforementioned Samseong-gak.

Which houses this older image of Chilseong.

As well as this rather plain image of Sanshin.

To the rear of the Samseong-gak is a Yongwang-dang that houses both images of the Dragon King.

2017 Preview, part 2: Korean Security

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Image result for north korea mobile icbm

This is a local re-post of an essay earlier this month for The National Interest. It is also intended as a sequel to my last post, drilling down from East Asia generally to Korea specifically.

There are three big challenges for South Korean security this year:

1. Will China insist on South Korean removing American missile defense? And how far will they go to insure that? (It’s looking pretty far.) Is China prepared to alienate one of the few countries around that is genuinely ambivalent about China’s rise (where most others are nervous)?

2. Does President Trump care about Korean security? If his inaugural address is anything to go by, then no, he doesn’t.

3. Will South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s successor – almost certainly from the left – accommodate (read: appease/sell) out to North Korea and China?

The full essay follows the jump:

As 2017 breaks, South Korea faces a potentially turbulent year. Confronting orwellian North Korea, South Korea is uniquely dependent on an American security guarantee, and erratic, poorly-informed Donald Trump is about to take over the US-side management of that alliance. Simultaneously, the current South Korean president has been partially impeached. She may well be out of office in the next few months, sparking a new election shortly afterward. The current president is a conservative, which will likely empower the left in the next election and therefore, a significant foreign policy shift on North Korea. Finally, North Korea has just suggested it may test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which Trump has threatened to prevent.

Is Trump Vested in Korean Security?

Not since President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s has a US major party candidate called into question the US commitment to South Korea as Trump has. During the campaign, he repeatedly suggested that South Korea, among other allies, should pay more for the US defense guarantee. He hinted that it (and Japan) should consider building nuclear weapons instead of relying on the United States. And he suggested off-the-cuff that he might meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

This obviously flies in the face of decades of US policy. The US has generally treated North Korea since its inception as an errant part of a Seoul-led unified Korea, rather than as a genuinely independent state. (This is why North Korean media so incessantly invokes the North’s sovereignty – the leading state in the system rejects that.) That North Korea morphed into the world’s most servile personality cult only alienated the US further. President George W. Bush placed it on the Axis of Evil, and the US has led the sanctions charge as its nuclearization has proceeded.

In this context, the US has traditionally opposed Southern nuclearization as a signal to the North and China of benign US intentions. And the US has withheld high-level meetings with the Kim elite as prize for major Northern concessions. That Trump so blithely seemed to throw all this out on the campaign trail with off-the-cuff remarks and tweets shocked the South Korean establishment which broadly wanted and expected Hillary Clinton to win. It is no surprise that the first phone call to Trump after his victory came from the South Korean president looking for assurances.

Will the South Korean Left Reverse Course on North Korea?

If the policy confusion that Trump may unleash were not enough, the next leader of South Korea may very well be a dove dramatically altering the hawkish approach of the last decade to North Korea. Current President Park Geun Hye has been impeached by the South Korean legislature, the National Assembly. That vote must now be confirmed (or thrown out) by the nation’s high court, the Constitutional Court. Those deliberations are ongoing, but there is a general sense here that the Court will uphold the conviction. The National Assembly vote was very disproportionate – 236 to 54 – in favor of impeachment, and weekly rallies since October have sent millions of Koreans into the streets demanding Park’s ouster.

A confirmatory verdict would force a new election within sixty days. Park is a conservative, and the scandal around her has badly tarnished the right-wing party, which is breaking up over the impeachment fight. Much as the US Democrats won a ‘wave election’ after Watergate, the South Korean left is expected to do the same here. Even if Park hangs on, the next scheduled election is in December, which the left would also likely take.

Importantly, all the likely candidates of the left are broadly committed to the ‘Sunshine Policy’ of engagement and accommodation with North Korea. All are also much more skeptical of the United States and Japan. (The South Korean left often argues that the US has worsened North Korea by confronting it, while Japan, the erstwhile colonialist of Korea, should be antagonized over its behavior in the occupation.)

This would be a major u-turn. Since 2008, South Korea’s presidents have been conservatives and North Korea hawks. Since 2010, when North Korea’s worst provocations in years killed 50 South Koreans, there has been a broad consensus in the South Korean and US defense establishments to get tough with Pyongyang. This has been the context for regularly-thickening UN sanctions, the closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the installation of the US missile defense (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, THAAD), and intelligence sharing with Japan about North Korea (General Security of Military Information Agreement). The liberal candidates have threatened to roll-back all these changes.

Has Trump Laid Down a Red Line regarding a North Korean ICBM?

The background to these shifts in Seoul and Washington is the spiraling North Korean nuclear program. After five nuclear tests, it is now clear that Pyongyang can build a basic fission weapon, and its constant missile tests aim to give it a reliable delivery vehicle. After Kim Jong Un’s offhand ICBM comment in his New Year’s address, Trump set up a possible showdown by seemingly laying down a redline against it.

If this were not complicated enough, the interaction of these threads could be downright combustible. I find it difficult, for example, to picture cordial relations between a mildly anti-American South Korean president from the left and the flamboyant nationalist Trump. A falling out could widen alliance differences to levels not seen since the second Bush administration. Or perhaps North Korea follows through on its launch threat, and the Trump administration shoots down the rocket (as The Wall Street Journal is already suggesting). Might Trump, sensitive to allied free-riding, demand that South Korea pay for that effort, and missile defense generally? (South Korea is not currently scheduled to pay for the THAAD deployment in its country.) It is easy to foresee a prickly South Korean nationalist from the left rejecting that.

All in all, Trump, a leftish South Korean president, and North Korean missiles stirred together should make the peninsula’s year a helluva tangle.

Filed under: China, Korea (North), Korea (South), North Korea & the Left, The National Interest, Trump

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University


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