Saturday, October 28, 2006
"Today's World Is in Need of a New Evangelization"VATICAN CITY, OCT. 27, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today when receiving in audience the participants of the meeting of the Christian World Communions.
* * *
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 1:7). With these words, the Apostle Paul greeted the early Christian community of Rome, and with this same prayer I welcome you here today, in the city where Peter and Paul ministered and shed their blood for Christ.
For decades the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions has provided a forum for fruitful contacts between the various ecclesial communities. This has enabled their representatives to build that reciprocal trust needed to engage seriously in bringing the richness of different Christian traditions to serve the common call to discipleship. I am glad to meet all of you here today, and to encourage you in your work. Every step toward Christian unity serves to proclaim the Gospel, and is made possible by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who prayed that his disciples might be one, "so that the world may believe" (Jn 17:21).
It is clear to us all that today's world is in need of a new evangelization, a fresh accounting on the part of Christians for the hope that is in them (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). Yet those who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord are tragically divided and cannot always give a consistent common witness. Herein lies an enormous responsibility for us all.
In this light, I am glad to see that the theme of your meeting -- Visions of Christian Unity -- focuses on a basic ecumenical issue. The theological dialogues in which many Christian World Communions have been engaged are characterized by a commitment to move beyond the things that divide, toward the unity in Christ which we seek. However daunting the journey, we must not lose sight of the final goal: full visible communion in Christ and in the Church. We may feel discouraged when progress is slow, but there is too much at stake to turn back. On the contrary, there are good reasons to forge ahead, as my predecessor Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Encyclical Letter "Ut Unum Sint" on the Catholic Church's ecumenical commitment, where he speaks of brotherhood rediscovered and greater solidarity in the service of humanity (41ff.).
The Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions continues to grapple with important questions of its identity and its specific role in the ecumenical movement. Let us pray that such reflection will bring fresh insight regarding the perennial ecumenical question of "reception" (cf. ibid., 80f.) and that it will help to strengthen the common witness so necessary today.
The Apostle assures us that "the Spirit helps us in our weakness" (Rom 8:26). Though there are many obstacles still to be overcome, we firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is ever present and will guide us along the right path. Let us continue our journey with patience and determination as we offer all our efforts to God, "through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever" (Rom 16:27).
© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[Original text: English]
While it may bring some "good" publicity to Catholic Christianity to make high-profile converts (or reverts, as the case may be), still, at what price is such publicity gained? Do we neglect to address deficiencies (culpabale or otherwise) in their understanding and practice, just to be "welcoming" and not to alienate them? But who would be responsible for that alienation? After all, are they not alienating themselves from God through their own actions? While they may not be guilty of sin, can we really let them off so easily? Or should we not, if we really love them as we ought, tell them the truth?
Where's Dr. Laura when you need her to set people straight.
The Lady Downstairs said Sex and the City initiated the trend among certain white couples/women to adopt Asian babies. I don't know if that is true, but I don't need more reasons to hate that show.
I couldn't find the story online, but here are some related stories on MSNBC: 1, 2
By Terrence Moore:
Wimps and Barbarians
The director of Narc; some have complained that this movie is too late to cash in on the popularity of QT and Ritchie. It definitely looks over the top, and the violence... at least this can be said about Guy Ritchie's movies, they don't indulge in portraying violence like Tarantino's. Perhaps it's due to the British sensitivity to violence...
Friday, October 27, 2006
I won't dignify her with the name that properly belongs to the Blessed Mother of God. She should be addressed as Louise Veronica Ciccone (Ritchie?), or if someone wants to be particularly nasty, Maputtana. But I'll go with the former for now, if I can remember the name...
St. Veronica, pray for us!
You insist on calling him an orphan, even though is father is very much alive, but temporarily, at least, unable to raise his son, owing to the tragically, all too familiar circumstances of his life. The death of his wife has left him a bereft and impoverished widower with no other choice but to relinquish custody of his son until he is able to get back on his feet. For considerably less than what you paid for David, you could have given him at least that opportunity. If you had maybe read something more relevant to the topic of global poverty than 'Cookie' magazine's top ten list of lucky celebrity orphans, you might have discovered that the wealth you endlessly accumulate, and the system that makes it possible for you to lavish such largesse upon your latest self-improvement project at the expense of people like Yohane Banda, is responsible in large part for Mr Banda's inability to feed a child on his non-existent earnings as a farmer. Not surprisingly, you have chosen to overlook that particular aspect of your new child's life and legacy, wilfully ignoring the bigger picture here in order to clutch a small black child at your breast in a homage to your own brand name.
The alternative Italian dictionary.
Ame (San Francisco)
Bong Su (San Francisco)
Cut (Los Angeles, one of Wolfgang Puck's)
Jun Noon (Palo Alto)
Om (Cambridge, MA)
Redd (Napa Valley)
I don't think I'll ever be able to afford these places... I still haven't gone to Blue Ginger. (There's a Blue Ginger in San Diego, but from the website... you can guess what sort of clientele it's aiming for... I don't believe it's associated in any way with Ming Tsai.) I wonder if Korean Temple Cuisine is still in business...
This month's issue includes a special on Scarlett Johansson. (yuck)
Plus, Terra Restaurant - St. Helena - Napa Valley
(owned by Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, who also own Ame)
Women risk passing infertility to children if they delay motherhood
by JENNY HOPE Last updated at 22:00pm on 24th October 2006
Women who delay having children could be condemning their daughters to the heartbreak of infertility, warn researchers.
A new study suggests older mothers may bequeath a devastating legacy by passing on biological flaws that will make it more difficult for their own daughters to get pregnant.
Dramatic findings from a US study of almost 80 women undergoing fertility treatment shows those who failed to conceive had older mothers than those who succeeded.
These mothers had a shorter 'window of fertility' between giving birth to their daughters and hitting the menopause.
For the first time, researchers have calculated the 'age' of eggs at the time of conception and linked it with the fertility potential of the daughters that were born subsequently.
The findings indicate that older eggs may carry inbuilt defects that only become apparent when female children attempt to get pregnant.
Dr Peter Nagy, a leading fertility specialist at Reproductive Biology Associates, a fertility clinic in Atlanta, said postponing childbirth had implications for women that could cascade down the generations.
He said "For every year that a woman delays childbirth, it becomes more difficult for her daughters.
"Women will be asking whether their decision not only affects their own chances of getting pregnant but the chances for their daughters.
"Today we see a lot of women delaying motherhood and there could be consequences in 20 or 30 years' time, we could see more fertility problems in the future."
He said it was well known that older women had trouble getting pregnant because they had "aged eggs" but it had never been shown before that this might lead to subtle defects in the fertility potential of girls born as a result, making it harder for them to conceive.
Dr Nagy acknowledged the study dealt only with women already strugging with fertility problems. But he said: "We need data on the general population to confirm this, but we think we're going to get it."
Dr Nagy presented his data at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans.
The latest study comes amid growing concern among doctors in Britain over the 'epidemic of pregnancy' in women in their 30s, when the risks of childbirth to mother and baby increase and rising infertility rates.
Around half of births today are to mothers aged 30-plus. Twenty years ago the proportion was just 27 per cent. The average age of all new mothers, married and single, is 29.4, the highest level since the Second World War.
Last year some of the country's leading obstetricians and fertility specialists warned that women who put off having children until their 30s were 'defying nature' and risk never becoming mothers.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, consultant obstetrician Dr Susan Bewley warned that fertility problems increase with age.
"Women want to 'have it all', but biology is unchanged" she said. "If women want room to manoevre, they are unwise to wait until their 30s."
Lord Robert Winston has also warned that women are sacrificing maternal happiness for career success. He said it was a "social problem" that could be remedied by measures encouraging young women to take time out from their careers.
In the new study, Dr Nagy and colleagues set out to discover whether increasing maternal age might affect the ability of daughters born to have children of their own.
Almost 80 women seeking fertility treatment, who were all under 35 years, were asked three questions.
They had to give the age of their mothers and fathers when they were born, and the age at which their mother went through the menopause. The patients' husbands were asked similar questions.
The information was analysed according to whether the patients - who all had standardised treatment - had managed to become pregnant.
The average maternal age of mothers of women in the group which succeeded in getting pregnant was 25 years, compared with 28 years in women who did not get pregnant.
The average age of fathers of women who got pregnant was 28 years, compared with nearly 32 years in the group which was not pregnant.
The average time span between the age at which the mothers gave birth to their daughters and their menopause was almost 25 years for women who got pregnant using fertility treatment.
But it fell to less than 20 years among women who did not get pregnant - showing their mothers had a much shorter 'window' of fertility before their menopause.
As a result the eggs that led eventually to their daughters being born would have been five years older on average.
Although the age of the mothers when they got pregnant does not appear particularly advanced, the statistical analysis of the figures produces a significant difference between the two groups of women having fertility treatment.
Dr Nagy said the key to a woman's reproductive ability was the age of her eggs - she is born with a finite supply and they become increasingly less able to be fertilised as she gets older.
He said "A 25-year-old woman has a 90 per cent chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby whereas a 40-year-old woman's chances in the same circumstances fall to 10 per cent, simply because her ovaries and eggs are ageing."
He said the possible reason for fertility problems being handed down to daughters was subtle defects in 'aged' eggs that affects embryonic cell development but remains latent until they get pregnant themselves.
Then the development of their own eggs works less effectively, making them more likely to be infertile, he said.
Via Boundless blog.
I wonder if the cause of sterility is ever revealed in The Children of Men. (website) Probably not...
wiki on the original novel upon which the movie is based (Amazon)
Man Who Came Before Hallyu Talks About Sustaining Hallyu
The Western Confucian's thoughts on Kim Duk-soo and samulnori. I don't know if I have heard samulnori before; I have seen some drum performances on TV, the Olympic Games in Seoul for example, but I don't know if that is traditional music or samulnori. How does it compare to taiko drumming?
But, at least his clothes look nice here:
In today's PC environment, it would be difficult to make informed critiques of music that go beyond questions of taste--one is liable of being accused of being racist or ethnocentric... there is a place for martial music, but sensual music that is strongly associated with fertility rituals?
One could argue for that sort of music having a place in the bedroom of a husband and wife (even though it would be rather artificial, since I don't think two people could both play the music and be free to have their passions stimulated), but as a social practice of a community? Even if it is given legitimacy, I'm still "in favor" of more reason coming into play, not less, though the emotions certainly have a role to play, but under the guidance of reason...
Anyways, I have not heard a full taiko performance--I wonder if it could keep my attention...
Stuff on Taiko:
San Francisco Taiko Dojo
San Jose Taiko
Rolling Thunder - The Total Taiko Resource - Home
Special Branch and the armed police are featured in Spooks.
CO19. Special Branch. (Metropolitan Police Service -- wiki)
military photos thread
City of London Police
UK Police Force
wiki list of police forces in the UK
Plus, something from Hong Kong:
Thursday, October 26, 2006
26 October, 2006
“Green Wall” to stop Gobi desert in Mongolia
The government plans to build a 3km long barrier to block desertification and pollution caused by sandstorms.
Ulan Bator (AsiaNews) – A 3km long “wall” made of pines, willows, junipers, thorn bushes and other trees, to cross the desert along the border with China. This is a planned project by Mongolia that, according to the Wall Street Journal, should cost at least 150 million dollars and be completed within 30 years or so.
The “Green Wall” project evokes memories of the Great Wall built by the Chinese to keep the Mongols out. This wall, however, is intended to stop the growing desertification affecting Mongolia. With the “Green Wall”, Ulan Bator aims to “protect itself and the whole world from an extremely serious problem: the sand of Gobi desert, gathered by storms of central Asia and transported towards the east”, with consequences alerted in China and Korea. Traces of the desert sand have been found in Kansas too.
For neighbouring countries, however, the clouds of sand of Gobi desert mean respiratory illnesses and darkened skies, sometimes to the extent that airports must be shut down.
What the desertification problem means for Mongolia is 140,000km of unusable territory, 683 streams that have dried up in recent years and a 10% reduction in cliffs compared to 1940.
Thus, the “Green Wall” has become an urgent need for Mongolians: already 360,000 trees have been planted in the past two years.
26 October, 2006 CHINA China debates how to water arid north
A proposal to dig tunnels to divert water from Tibetan basins to the Yellow River has raised discussions and criticism. So far, the government has backed a canal system to take water from the Yangtze but this will take a long time to complete.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A project to divert water from the Tibetan highlands to the parched northern regions of China is “unnecessary, not feasible and unscientific”, according to Wang Shucheng, China’s Water Resources Minister.
Speaking at the University of Hong Kong on 24 October, Wang said normal projects would suffice to resolve water shortages in the north without undertaking the Great Western Route Water Transfer Project.
The proposal, submitted by expert Guo Kai, suggests diverting a total of 200 billion cubic meters of water per year from Tibetan basins of the Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra), Lancang (Salween) and Nu (Mekong) rivers into the Yellow River and from there to the arid north. It has been mooted as an alternative to the so-called South-North Water Transfer Project to take water from the Yangtze and the Three Gorges Dam.
Wang, a hydraulic engineer, recalled that during the floods season, the Yellow River carried up to 58 billion cubic meters of water and with a further 200 billion cubic meters, it could sweep dams and embankments. Meanwhile, the high costs of drawing water from the Yellow River could well dissuade provinces which are not so close at hand. The cost of diverting water from central and eastern water flows for the South-North Project would be of around 10 yuan per cubic meter, continued Wang, and to take water from the Yalong, Dadu e Jinsha rivers would cost around 20 yuan per cubic meter, but it would cost even more to get it from Yarlung Zangbo. Another problem would be excavating channels under the highest mountain range in the world.
So far Beijing has backed the South-North Water Transfer Project to bring 50 billion cubic meters of water per year from the Yangtze along three canals towards the west and centre of the country. However Wang warned this project would take 50 years to realize and for now, resources available should be used.
26 October, 2006
INDIA – TIBET – CHINA
Tibetan refugees who survived shooting by Chinese police tell their story
Now that they are safe in India, the refugees speak about travelling at night in the snow to avoid the police and escape to Nepal. More than 120,000 Tibetans are in exile so as not to lose their culture and religion and escape the poverty in which they are held.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The 41 Tibetan refugees who had a close call with Chinese border police are telling their story. On September 30 they were shot at as they tried to make their way across the Nangpa La Pass at 5,800 m. near Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal. Kelsang Namtso, a 17-year-old Tibetan nun, did not make it; she was killed. A 23-year-old man, who died in hospital from gunshot wounds, is the second official victim, according to human rights activists.
The incident, which sparked an international outcry, was caught on videotape by Western tourists. But for human rights activists, such incidents are frequent and border police regularly fire at would-be escapees.
Every year an estimated 2,500 to 4,000 Tibetans try to reach India every year via Nepal, paying smugglers because obtaining the necessary travel permits and a passport are almost impossible.
In India they can maintain their culture and see their spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, whose residence, along with that of Tibet's government-in-exile, is in Dharamsala.
“Our aim only was to get the blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” said Tenzin Wangmo, a 24-year-old nun. “We were planning to go back afterwards but now it won't be possible after the trouble in the pass. If we go back to Tibet, the Chinese will definitely arrest us.”
Namtso, the nun killed by Chinese patrolmen, also wanted to see the Dalai Lama, said Dolma Palkyi, her 16-year-old friend, also a nun and from the same small farming village of 40 homes. The two friends had been planning the journey for the past four years and paid smugglers some 5,000 yuan, a small fortune in poverty-stricken Tibet.
The two nuns set off from Lhasa on a lorry. After two days on the road they hid on a mountain side to wait for the night. Altogether they were 77, including the two smugglers, and for the next 17 days they walked mostly at night and slept during the day, braving high winds and chest-deep snow.
“For the last three days we had no food,” said Thupten Tsering, 36, a monk who fled because he refused to denounce the Dalai Lama and swear their allegiance to China.
When they reached the Nangpa La Pass early in the morning of September 30, they had been walking a few hours when they began to hear shooting. They said they never saw the Chinese patrolmen, but only heard the sounds of their guns with bullets making a zinging sound as they passed by her ears.
When the shooting started they dropped all their supplies—sleeping mats and what little extra clothing they had carried on their backs—and ran towards the peak and over the top.
When Namtso was struck she fell on the snow. She cried out that she had been hit and asked for help, but the nuns around her were weak with cold, fatigue and hunger.
That night, without food and blankets, they huddled together for warmth. The next day they walked until they encountered a small group of nomads with three tents who agreed to sell them provisions. From there they eventually made it to the Tibetan reception centre in Kathmandu where they received free food, lodging and transport.
The group had to wait for paperwork to be processed by the UN's refugee agency and the Indian Embassy before travelling to India. According to Tibet's government-in-exile, there are 120,120 Tibetan refugees living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
At least half of those making the perilous journey from Tibet are children, sent by parents who want their children to grow up with a strong Tibetan identity, and who often cannot afford school fees at home.
Among the group of 41 Tibetans arriving in India who had accompanied the slain nun, the youngest was a seven-year-old girl, who came without her parents.
Most Tibetan refugees prefer to make the journey in winter, when the chances of being caught by Chinese border patrols are greatly diminished. The International Campaign for Tibet, a Washington-based advocacy group, estimates that 80 per cent of refugees attempt to cross between October and April, when the mountain glaciers are frozen over.
According to human rights groups, it is impossible to know how many refugees die along the way each year, but they say a significant number fall into crevasses, die of hunger or are caught by the police and disappear.
Namtso’s plight is known only because some Western tourists happen to see the police shoot at the refugees “like dogs”, as one tourist put it.
The incident sparked an international outcry when the official mainland news agency Xinhua claimed that border police fired after the refugees attacked them.
The US and the European Union condemned the shooting. But so far it is Canada that has delivered the harshest rebuke, when on October 18 Canada's Foreign Minister Peter MacKay said that “Canada strongly condemns this act of violence against unarmed civilians as an egregious violation of human rights”.
Mr Norgay of the Tibetan Centre wondered whether this would lead to different governments pressuring China to improve its human rights record. “I fear it might be another event come and gone. Public memory is very short.” (PB)
Who can stop the courts?
Kisaeng Revisited in Modern Dramas, Musicals and Films
By Chung Ah-young
Actress Ha Ji-won stars in the television drama “Hwang Jin-i.”``Kisaeng,’’ Korean female entertainers, often called ``haeohwa,’’ a flower that listens and talks, are a growing motif in Korean entertainment.
Kisaeng, renowned for sensual feminimity and intelligence, were versatile entertainers similar to the Japanese ``geisha.’’
First appearing during the Koryo Kingdom (918-1392), kisaeng played an important role in traditional culture, especially during the Choson Kingdom (1392-1910).
In the 17th century, kisaeng legally belonged to the government and were obligated to perform various functions in the royal court. At the same time, they spread throughout the country.
Kisaeng were highly trained and excelled in the fine arts, poetry and prose. They were regarded as exceptional artists with special privileges yet, at the same time, courtesans with an inferior social status.
A renowned tale about a patriotic kisaeng named Nongae in the late 16th century suggests kisaeng were associated with the elites of the male-oriented society.
While entertaining Japanese generals at the Choksongnu Pavilion that overlooks the Nam River in South Kyongsang Province, Nongae led Japanese general Keyamura Rokusuke to a cliff, embraced him and cast herself into the river, killing them both.
Because of the depth and variety of their role in society, kisaeng as all-around entertaniers _ musicians, dancers, poets, artists and lovers _ are now emerging as television, screen and stage heroines, in part because of their dramatic appearance. They are featured in many stories and cartoons.
The recent boom in kisaeng-themed entertainment was triggered by the drama ``Hwang Jin-i,’’ starring Ha Ji-won and airing on KBS. It drew attention to the 16th century kisaeng, the ``flower that understands words.’’
The drama is a top TV show, attracting 17 percent of viewers on average at the time it airs.
The heroine Hwang was born to a father from ``yangban,’’ or the noble class, and a mother from the lower class.
Renowned for her beauty, wit and artistic brilliance, she captivated many scholars and officials in her day.
Following the successful debut of ``Hwang,’’ other genres are vying to produce the kisaeng-themed stories in various ways.
Kisaeng will be featured on the stage, too. Actor Huh Joon-ho is planning to produce both a muscial and a drama titled ``Haeohwa.’’
The musical, costing about 3.5 billion won, will be a large-scale production of a Korean original. It is designed to compete with an increasing number of mega-sized foreign musicals.
The story will portray the life of four Choson women who enter a kisaeng school, or ``yegiwon,’’ and develop into stellar kisaeng.
The musical, now auditioning for major roles, will open in the fall of next year. The drama with the same title is to be aired next year, starring actress Kim Hee-sun and singer-turned-actress Park Ji-yoon.
Also next year, actress Song Hye-gyo and actor Yoo Ji-tae will star in the film version of ``Hwang Jin-i.’’
The famous cartoon ``Kisaeng Iyagi,’’ meaning a story about kisaeng, by Kim Dong-hwa will be transformed into a drama and a musical next year. A-com International, a production firm, will produce the musical.
``Kisaeng Iyagi’’ will shed light on the life of kisaeng in Songdo, the name of Kaesong, which is now in North Korea, during the Koryo Kingdom.
According to musical production companies, kisaeng fit well with current pop culture and the entertainment industry appreciates the arististic talents of the kisaeng.
The kisaeng theme is also in line with the recent trend in epic historical dramas.``Kisaeng is an attractive theme especially appropriate for musicals, as kisaeng sing and dance with love and passion, which are necessary for musicals. It is also the best genre to express Korean traditional beauty,’’ said an A-com official who wished to remain anonymous.
``Also, the kisaeng theme appeals to foreigners as, for example, `The Last Empress,’ the Korean musical, did because of its traditonal beauty,’’ he said.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
No, not really. Not like Andrew Cusack or the Western Confucian. But I do have a fondness for European history and its heritage.
Charles of Austria bio
Saving the Best for Last: Blessed Karl I of Austria by Father Ignacio Barreiro (original)
Emperor Charles I: World War I peace campaigner by James Bogle
The Beatification of Europe’s Catholic Heart: Emperor Charles of Austria
Blessed Charles of Austria (appears to be dead--so is the unofficial beatification page, it had a lot of photos of him and his family...)
Otto von Habsburg (wiki) "Monarchy versus Republic"
you can find some interviews of him here
Dr. Peter Chojnowski has a blog, but it hasn't been updated for a while. See his "Corporation Christendom: The True School of Salamanca"
(published in Angelus)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
In-depth introduction to the issue and its complexities. Prepared for the Atlantic Council, 23 October 2006 (735 KB PDF)
Brief overview of the major issues. To be presented at "Energy Sustainability in the Global Enterprise" at the University of Wisconsin, November 30 - December 1, 2006 (189 KB PDF)
Review by Sean Kilcarr
The book's website.
I've seen some ads for the Wonder Washing, like the following:
Electricity Free Clothes Washing
but not much else... if I can find Mr. Brende's e-mail address I'll have to ask him where he got his.
Some engineering project:
The Intermediate Washing Machine
Gisaeng Becomes Cultural Icon of 2006
The gisaeng, women who entertained guests at any feast or den of worldly pleasures with their songs, dances and other accomplishments, are emerging as the pop culture icon of 2006. It began as just a flicker at the end of last year, but now the stories of the gisaeng are turning up everywhere -- in movies, musicals, plays and comic books, just to name a few -- in a genre-spanning blaze. Every producer under the sun is trying to come up with their own spin on the gisaeng business.
At front and center of the hysteria is Hwang Jin-I, who is recognized as the queen of female entertainers during the Chosun era.
She was not just out there pouring drinks and selling her body, but was the epitome of the gisaeng ideal: competent in verse, calligraphy and painting. What’s more, she was an illegitimate child which kept her from reaching the top echelons of the strict social hierarchy of the era, and her fight against the classification has made her into a symbol of resistance. The passion that lies deep under the charm only known to the gisaeng and their defiant humanity must be part of the reason for the revival of interest.
A poster for the TV drama ‘Hwang Jin-I.’
In the KBS 2TV history drama “Hwang Jin-I,” the gisaeng is on the airwaves. Another film is slated for early next year starring Song Hye-gyo and Yoo Ji-tae. On for one month starting Nov. 25 at the Universal Art Center, a similarly-themed musical will be presented.
Actor Heo Joon-ho is simultaneously producing the Haeohwa story, also about a gisaeng, as a TV drama and a musical. The three characters that make up the name Haeohwa -- “understanding,” “language” and “flower” -- sum up the gisaeng. The work follows the lives of four young women who enter a school for gisaeng called Yegiwon. Auditions for the show started on Monday, and Kim Hee-seon and Park Ji-yoon have already been cast.
The cover of the hit comic book ‘Story of a Gisaeng’ by Kim Dong-hwa.
The hit comic book “Story of a Gisaeng” by Kim Dong-hwa has been picked up by A-Com International and Showtic Communications and is in the process of being transformed into a TV drama and movie.
Experts agree that the entertainers are a novel topic and have a competitive edge.
“There is love and passion, with dancing and singing naturally woven in -- it’s just a charming subject matter,” Showtic Communications CEO Kim Jong-heon says. “This is the cutting edge of the history drama boom that takes another look at history.” He added foreigners will also be able to really enjoy these programs, “so it may become the new blue chip of the Korean Wave.”
Now that I think about it, I wonder if the Gisaeng craze has anything to do with the Geisha craze (sparked by Memoirs of a Geisha?)...
also starring Cate Blanchette and Tobey Maguire
I'm not sure what to make of the use of B&W in this--it certainly doesn't have the feel of a movie made in the 40s and 50s... (I haven't seen Good Night and Good Luck yet.)
Monday, October 23, 2006
An understanding of the development of agriculture that is consonant with the Traditional understanding of the Fall--
Ishmael's interpretation of Genesis 2.4
Ishmael points out that the story was written by the Semites, and later adapted to work within Hebrew and Christian belief structures. Ishmael proposes that Abel and his extinction metaphorically represents the nomadic Semites and their losing conflict with agriculturalists. As they were driven further into the Arabian peninsula, the Semites became isolated from other herding cultures and, according to Ishmael, illustrated their plight through oral history, which was later adopted into the Hebrew book of Genesis.
Ishmael denies that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was forbidden of humans simply to test human's self-control. Instead, Ishmael proposes that the Tree represents the choice to bear the burden of responsibility of deciding which species may live and which should die. This is a necessary decision agricultural peoples must make when deciding which organisms to cultivate, which to displace, and which to kill in protection of the first.
Ishmael explains that the Fall of Adam represents the Semitic belief that once mankind usurps this responsibility--historically decided through natural ecology (i.e. food chains) -- that mankind will perish. He cites as fulfillment of this prophecy contemporary environmental crises such as endangered or extinct species, global warming, and modern mental illnesses.
It seems to me that in Eden, the domino of Adam and Eve over all of nature, such that they could survive easily from the fruits of the earth, without having to labor, and this would be the way of life passed on to their children had they not disobeyed God. However, once they disobeyed God, they were "expelled from Eden" (or Eden disappeared was destroyed), and Creation was no longer obedient to them, just as they had disobeyed God. Hence, they could no survive, multiply, and prosper by simply gathering their food. The application of human labor to produce food was a consequence of Adam's sin, and not the sin itself, and though not strictly necessary, since there have been hunter-gathering cultures since then, it seems to me that some sort of agriculture is necessary for the growth and cultural development of human communities.
The Ishmael Community
Hues From Late Choson Kingdom in Bloom
By Seo Dong-shin
Part of “Blossoming Red and While Plum Trees,” painted by Yu Suk on a decorative folding screen in 1868.
Attention to the culture and art scenes of the late Choson Kingdom (1312-1910) period is long overdue. The political and social turmoil of Korea’s last dynasty has largely overshadowed other aspects of the period.
But now, the pendulum may be swinging back. Following an exhibition of exclusive photos from 1880 to 1940 at the Museum of Photography that opened last month, an exhibition kicked off last week at the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. It is an attempt to shed light on paintings from the late Choson period.
For the exhibition ``Paintings of Late Joseon (Choson) Dynasty,’’ the museum assembled some 80 paintings of 27 outstanding painters who were active from 1850 to 1910.
Considering that great art often feeds on energy created by confusion and radical changes in a society, the artistic achievement during the period should be worth a look.
Part of a calligraphy, which is named after a tea room that belongs to Kim Jeong-hui's friend is representative of Kim Jeong-hui's style. It is estimated to be from 19th century.
Not only was a dynasty that had lasted over 100 years declining, but also new technologies and culture from the West were also flowing through. Art was not the monopoly of the rich and the aristocracy anymore; painters from ``chungin,’’ or middle class were becoming active.
``There is a tint of decadence that can be so easily found during the last years of an era,’’ said Cho Ji-yoon, a researcher at Leeum, of the paintings at the exhibition. ``There is also much energy coming from confusion.’’
Take, for example, ``Blossoming Red and White Plum Trees,’’ which is placed on the gateway to the exhibition. Painted by Yu Suk in 1868, national treasure No. 1199 perfectly signals a ``transition in aesthetics,’’ from the literati painting style that stressed philosophy and simplicity to one that focuses on the decorative function of a painting with diverse colors.
Master painters featured in the exhibition include Jang Seung-up, a self-taught genius whose life was made into a 2002 film ``Chiwason’’ by renowned director Im Kwon-taek. His eight paintings on display testify to the versatility of his talent, their subjects ranging from eagles and pheasants to landscapes and figures taken from traditional Chinese stories.
But the painter who had the most profound influence on the painters of the time was undoubtedly Kim Jeong-hui (1786-1856), an excellent scholar, artist and calligrapher who used the penname Chusa.
Kim, whose artistic world stands in the limelight this year, marking the 150th anniversary of his death, dominated the scene with a discerning eye as well as a deep understanding of poetry, painting and calligraphy. Kim’s evaluations of the paintings of the disciples, eight of which are on display, show his authority and standard for ``good painting’’ at that time.
The diversity at the exhibition and the gaiety of some of the paintings make it worth a visit at the Leeum. It is the first time the museum has held an exhibition of old paintings; it focuses on collecting a wide range of contemporary art.
The museum also offers various lectures, symposiums and concerts on the sidelines. A special concert ``Mozart, Shostakovich and Piazzola’’ will be held this Thursday.
The exhibition runs through Jan. 2.
The museum is located near Hangangjin station on subway line 6. Admission costs 5,000 won for adults and 3,000 won for children. For more information, visit www.leeum.org or (02) 2014-6901.
Published on 18 Oct 2006 by Energy Preparedness / Energy Bulletin. Archived on 18 Oct 2006.
Oakland aims to be oil independent by 2020
by Nancy Nadel (staff)On Tuesday, October 17, 2006, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Nancy Nadel, making Oakland the first city in the U.S. to aim for oil independence by 2020.
Inspired by Sweden, which earlier this year released a landmark national action plan that articulates programs and policy measures that are expected to reduce oil consumption in Sweden by as much as 40-50% by 2020, the City of Oakland hopes to provide a similar model for cities in the U.S. - which is facing an absence of state and federal leadership on sustainable energy policy.
Reporting within six months of formation, an Oakland task force composed of local, regional, and national experts will develop a robust oil independence plan, consolidating measures from around the world that can be used locally to reduce oil consumption citywide. This action plan will recommend bold initiatives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, establish Oakland as a national leader in the green economy and green jobs creation, and seek to secure Oakland's energy needs.
Councilmember Nadel notes, "Oakland can be at the cutting edge of sustainable thinking if we create a plan that not only improves the environment but also spurs new green jobs and business opportunities."
Policy makers note that cities are not only becoming the dominant global institutions of our society but increasingly the models and laboratories for change in the US, driving policy in other municipalities as well as at the state level. Examples from the Bay Area include Oakland's hydrogen fueling station, Berkeley's innovative commercial and residential efficiency programs, construction and demolition ordinances, biodiesel initiatives and San Francisco's tidal power project.
Increasingly cities are coming together to influence state and national policy as seen in the local-level initiatives that have been spearheaded through, for example, San Francisco's Urban Environmental Accords that has 100 Mayors from around the world signed on, and the city of Seattle's U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. As of today, Mayors in 319 cities that represent 51.4 million people have signed the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement and committed their communities to meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals of the Kyoto Protocol (7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012). Councilmember Nadel's initiative is another important landmark that could become a local turning point in a global issue.
Sustainability organizations such as SustainLane.com have ranked Oakland in the top 6 most sustainable cities in the U.S.
Oakland Resolution text [PDF]
That's nice, but how is this feasible? To be 100% oil independent is to be 100% economically self-sufficient.
Founders Enter Agreement With Moscow PatriarchateMOSCOW, OCT. 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- In agreement with the Russian Orthodox Church, the Neocatechumenal Way will teach its methods of evangelization to Orthodox priests.
Kiko Argüello and Father Mario Pezzi, initiators and leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way, told ZENIT of the plan. They met Thursday with Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, president of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate's Foreign Relations Department.
The agreement reached will be implemented in two stages, Argüello explained: Initially, the Russian Orthodox priests will be taught the Way's principles of evangelization, and then they will be trained.
"We do not intend to engage in proselytism," clarified Father Pezzi. "Metropolitan Kirill and the Orthodox delegation that accompanied him received us very cordially and were aware that we had informed Cardinal Walter Kasper about our visit." Cardinal Kasper is the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The initiative to take the methods and principles of evangelization of the Neocatechumenal Way to the Russian Orthodox Church arose within the Way itself and took several years to develop.
Kiko Argüello said: "During our meeting with Metropolitan Kirill we explained to him that the Way hopes that the people's faith will grow, so that a change will take place in them and they will be able to love. We have come to Russia to show our love.
"In Europe, people are abandoning Christ and society is increasingly penetrated by individualism where what is important is the satisfaction of the 'ego,' the delight of our 'I.' Few people come to church, that is why God is preparing a new evangelization. And the Russian Orthodox Church knows that there must be a different way of catechizing."
During a meeting the leaders had in Moscow's Cathedral on Friday night, Argüello, Father Pezzi and Way co-founder Carmen Hernández thanked some 250 members of the Neocatechumenal communities of Russia and Estonia, who met on the occasion of their visit, for the formation they have given and the support of the groups.
Uh... I wonder if the Russian Orthodox know about the Neocatechumenal liturgies. I doubt that the "methods of evangelization" will include recommendations about the liturgy, but who knows. Where can one find out more about these methods of evangelization? While communal life can be a witness to Christ, it cannot be divorced from the local Church, and authentic community is grounded in charity and the practice of the other virtues, it cannot be reduced to a manual of directions aimed at increasing membership (which taken to an extreme can include psychological maniuplation, which can lead to accusations that a group is really a dangerous cult). Not that I am saying the Neocatechumenal Way is a cult; still others have written about the group and its practices:
Sandro Magister, Liturgy: Benedict XVI Brings the Neocatechumenals Back to the Right Way
Bad History, Bad Guide. The Strange Liturgy of the Neocatechumenals
From Christian Order:
FATHER ENRICO ZOFFOLI, The Neocatechumenal Way
D.J. REDFERN, The Liturgy of the Neo-Catechumenal Way
MICHAEL McGRADE, THE LAST TROJAN HORSE?
Films and Faith Series
- “Diary of a Country Priest” (1951), Oct. 27, 7 p.m. – directed by Robert Bresson, in French with English subtitles
- “The Ninth Day” (2005), Oct. 27, 10 p.m. – directed by Volker Schlondorff, in German with English subtitles
- “The Flowers of
St.Francis” (1950), Oct. 28, 3 p.m. – directed by Roberto Rossellini, in Italian with English subtitles
- “Therese” (1986), Oct. 28, 10 p.m., and Oct. 29, 7 p.m. – directed by Alain Cavalier, in French with English subtitles
- “Into Great Silence” (2005), Oct. 29, 3 p.m. – directed by Philip Groening
Anyways, KK you're lucky you might have a chance to see The Grand Silence (or "Into Great Silence" as it is translated here). Then again, maybe you'll be too busy studying.
Plus, TLF fansite for The Monastery. (Thanks again to Amy Welborn.)
Listen to some of their chanting here.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
John Mark Butterworth reviews Flicka:
The worst thing is that they took a boy's story and turned it into a chick flicka. The fashion now is female empowerment always and ever, as girls are taught to be tough, insolent, courageous, and aggressive. Boys get to taught to be weak, goofy. sneaky, vulgar and dumb.and
Flicka is a strained, over wrought and over elaborate tale where none of the conflicts are real, and the relationship between her and the horse is false. We never find any reason why the horse should accept Katy as a friend. She doesn't do anything to earn it, and then the story devolves into the great contest of a wild horse race that will solve everything!
And possibly the worst offense:
Wyoming, set as a back drop in many scenes, is wasted. The scenes are far too brief and there is generally nothing in the scene to glory in it as much as we would want to.
It would be nice to have a movie about the Vendée uprising.
The Prelate of Opus Dei to be interviewed on EWTN.
The current leader, Bishop Javier Echevarría will appear on the Spanish-language show “Nuestra Fe en Vivo” (Live: Our Faith)...
The interview will air on October 23 at 6 pm Eastern Standard Time in the United States (12 midnight in
) and will be repeated throughout the week. Spain
The term bobo was coined by David Brooks, who wrote Bobos in Paradise. In so far as the book was published a while ago, the topic of bobo isn't current, but if its observations of American life are accurate (and I'm not saying that they are), then it's a topic worth revisiting, especially for those who like to collect data and frame strategies based on second-hand data... still, regardless of what one thinks of second-hand data, it must be admitted that suburbs, as an embodiment of the American Way of Life, does represent certain kinds of obstacles to evangelization within American society.
From an interview:
David Brook's attitude towards the BoBos?
GWEN IFILL: So, David, I have to start by asking you the most obvious question of all: What the heck is a bobo?
DAVID BROOKS: A bobo is a bourgeois bohemian. These are the people who are thriving in the information age. They're the people, you go into their homes and they've got these renovated kitchens that are the size of aircraft hangars, with plumbing. You know, you see the big sub- zero refrigerators and you open the door and you think, they could stick an in-law suite in the side. So these are the people who are really making a lot of money, and I spent the last few years going across upscale America looking at the people who are really thriving in the information age. And one of the things, the chief characteristic I noticed, was that they've smashed the old categories.
It used to be easy to tell a bourgeois from a bohemian. And the bourgeois were the straight-laced suburban types, went to church, worked in corporations. And the bohemians were the arty free spirits, the rebels. But if you look at upscale culture, at the upper middle classes, the people in Silicon Valley, you find they've smashed all the categories together. Some people seem half yuppie-bourgeois and half hippie- bohemian. And so if you take bourgeois and bohemian and you smash them together, you get the ugly phrase "bobo."
GWEN IFILL: I would never call you "yuppie-bourgeois," but I have to ask the question: Are you a bobo?
DAVID BROOKS: Yeah, I consider myself a bobo with bad grades. If I had studied harder, I could have got into Harvard, and really made all the money and had the really big kitchen.
And towards suburbia?
GWEN IFILL: But bobos are by definition people who are compromisers, they're looking for middle ground. They shop at Pottery Barn so they can get things that look safe, and they shop at REI, where they can act like if they're having an adventure vacation, but in the end, they're people who are trying to find a way to conform. But that doesn't skew with things as fundamental as, say, religious faith does.
DAVID BROOKS: Right, no. I have chapters about consumption and business, where I'm mostly positive. But then I have chapters about the effect on our intellectual life, our religious life and our political life, and there, there are real problems. Religious life, for example. I ran across a rabbi in Montana who describes his faith as "flexidoxy," which is a great phrase for bobo morality, because it starts with the bohemian urge to be flexible, freedom, be autonomous. But then it says, "well, I don't want too much autonomy, I want ritual, I want order in my life, I want roots." And so there's also orthodoxy mixed in. And so he's trying to... many bobos are trying to build a foundation of obligation, build a structure of obligation, on a foundation of choice. And they sort of mush things together. Politically, also-- you get Bill Clinton, who's an ultimate bobo, mixing the left and the right, anti-ideological turning. They're all into such an ideological mush, and it's an unsatisfying style of politics.
GWEN IFILL: Is there any evidence of class resentment springing up to this new class of educated, moneyed elite?
DAVID BROOKS: Yeah, I thought there would be when I wrote the proposal for this book. The final chapter was going to be "The Revolt Against the Bobo- ouisie" or something. Because on the one hand, they're getting richer than most of the country. On the other hand, they've got elevated sensibilities. You walk into a restoration hardware. If you don't have the cultural references to get all the jokes and the puns, you know, it's no sensibility, no service. But when I traveled around the country, I found, actually, relatively little social resentment. Instead, I found every attitude that the bobos were adopting, went down the society and were adopted by other groups.
For example, I was driving through Montana, really in the middle of nowhere, pulled off into a truck stop, and there was a cappuccino stand there. But not only was there a cappuccino stand, it was six feet off the ground so the truckers didn't have to get out of their cabs. They could just reach their arm out, and get their espressos, and I found that again and again and again -- not only in consumption, but in attitudes about religion and about politics, this sort of mushy reconciliation between the two different ethoses the bobos make, lots of people are making.
PEOPLE MOVE TO Sprinkler Cities for the same reasons people came to America or headed out West. They want to leave behind the dirt and toxins of their former existence--the crowding and inconvenience, the precedents, and the oldness of what suddenly seems to them a settled and unpromising world. They want to move to some place that seems fresh and new and filled with possibility.See also his book On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense.
Sprinkler City immigrants are not leaving cities to head out to suburbia. They are leaving older suburbs--which have come to seem as crowded, expensive, and stratified as cities--and heading for newer suburbs, for the suburbia of suburbia.
One of the problems we have in thinking about the suburbs is that when it comes to suburbia the American imagination is motionless. Many people still have in their heads the stereotype of suburban life that the critics of suburbia established in the 1950s. They see suburbia as a sterile, dull, Ozzie and Harriet retreat from the creative dynamism of city life, and the people who live in the suburbs as either hopelessly shallow or quietly and neurotically desperate. (There is no group in America more conformist than the people who rail against suburbanites for being conformist--they always make the same critiques, decade after decade.)
The truth, of course, is that suburbia is not a retreat from gritty American life, it is American life. Already, suburbanites make up about half of the country's population (while city people make up 28 percent and rural folk make up the rest), and America gets more suburban every year.
Other articles by David Brooks:
Op-eds in the NY Times
On the Playing Fields of Suburbia
Take a Ride to Exurbia
The Triumph of Hope over Self-Interest
The Brawl in the Sprawl
Interview with Joseph S. Lucas; with Dick Staub on the spiritual life of bobos;
In reaction to David Brooks:
David Potz, Why Liberals are Turning on Their Favorite Conservative
JHK, Clueless in Suburbia
Consider This: The Bobo Future
Reviews of Bobos in Paradise:
Reviews of On Paradise Drive:
Michael Kinsley (another)
Nicholas von Hoffman