Er, that’s what it’s called, right? At any rate, I’ve now got a Twitter feed going as @Korea_Beat. It’s still pretty barebones at the moment, but I’ll be Tweeting the stories posted here as well as quick summaries of other, untranslated articles and anything else I happen to find interesting. And my solemn promise to you — no pictures of what I have for lunch. So start following me!
An English teacher in Miryang, Michael Milne, is apparently extremely ill and expected to die soon unless he receives a liver transplant. His family are attempting to raise the money for his transplant, which is complicated by the fact that O-negative is rare in Korea. If you are able to donate funds or blood, have a look at the Facebook page they have set up.
Two events are fast approaching – the new year, and the new design of Asian Correspondent, which will come with many of the enhanced comments features that a lot of you have been wanting. The new design should launch sometime this afternoon Korean time. This is an open thread for requests of what stories to cover in 2011 and for feedback on the new design.
Update: There appears to be a lot of trouble with comments. Everything should be sorted out in the next few days; in the meantime please send in any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Simning, a well-known figure in the Gwangju expat community, has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs transfusions of B- blood. This is a very rare blood type in Korea, so appeals are being made to the expat community. If you know you have B- blood you can really make a difference here. If you do not know your blood type you can get tested easily. Plenty of information about Michael’s case and how to help is below; there is also more information at Brian’s blog.
A few days ago Michael Simning – an expat in Gwangju – visited the hospital because he wasn’t feeling very well.
He discovered that he has leukemia, was admitted into the hospital immediately (where he will stay for at least a month), and has started to undergo chemotherapy treatments.
As part of his treatment Michael needs to receive several blood transfusions.
Michael’s blood type is B-, which is very rare, and so he, his family, and his friends are trying to find people in Korea who can donate blood to him immediately as well as periodically throughout the next couple of weeks. (O- blood won’t work in this case.)
If your blood type is B-, and you are able and willing to donate, please consider contacting Tim Whitman at 011.9600.6378 or email@example.com. Tim will pass your name and phone number along to Michael and his family.
You can also help by passing this message along to friends of yours here in Korea too.
Many people – unfortunately – don’t know their blood type. You can find out yours – and at the same time find out if you can help Michael – by visiting a hospital in your area.
The procedure is relatively painless and should only take a few minutes.
In case you’re worried about communicating with the staff, you can print out and show them the following information, which explains to them why you’re there and why you need this information:
친구가 백혈병에 걸려서 도움이 필요합니다.
제 친구는 Rh-B 형 입니다.
제 혈액형 검사받고 하고 싶습니다. Rh-/Rh+ 인지까지 정확히 검사 받고싶습니다.
Once you find out your blood type, and if it is B-, you can do the same as those who already know theirs: contact Tim Whitman at 011.9600.6378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime Michael’s immune system is very weak so he isn’t able to receive any visitors. He is able to communicate using the internet and telephone, however, and many friends have been wishing him well using Facebook.
And as a side note from me, a friend: Mike’s sickness and rehabilitation may cause a lot of financial strain to him and his wife and daughter, so if you are in Gwangju, please consider supporting him in a very direct manner by shopping at the Underground Grocers and by eating at the First Alleyway, both of which will remain open in his absence.
Underground Grocers is open on Wednesday from 11 to 7, on Thursday and Friday from 1 to 7, and on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 7; the First Alleway is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 to 10ish and on Sunday from 11 to 5 for an all day breakfast.
Something went wrong with my attempt to install East Asian IMEs on my laptop, and now I can’t view any Korean fonts at home. So this will slow down my updates for a couple days.
10 Magazine is running a reader poll to see who they think is running the best Korea blog. So if there happens to be a particular blog that you like a lot, vote for it!
I’ve been feeling things are a little slow around here — not a lot of stories catching my eye lately. So use this thread to tell me what I should be putting in this space!
Here’s wishing all of my readers a very merry Christmas.
Every newspaper of course has its Christmas pieces, and the Joongang Ilbo published a look at the life of Lee Gyeong-pil, born on Christmas Day 1950. His parents had fled North Korea and boarded a refugee ship on December 23rd; the boat initially had 14,000 passengers, a number that grew to 14,005 as children were born aboard ship. Mr. Lee was the last of those children and the American operators of the shop nicknamed him “Kimchi-5”. He became one of up to 3,000 children on the boat, where refugees were packed in so tightly there was little room to move. Quite a way to enter the world.
Taewoo Danny Kim over at TechnoKimchi is running the Streaming Seoul 2009 campaign, a government-run contest for anyone to create a video about Seoul which could be used to promote the city to the world. Clips should be one to three minutes in length, and will be uploaded to sites such as YouTube. The top prize is a cool W10 million ($8,650), second place gets W2 million ($1,730), and everyone who enters at all gets W10,000.
Here’s how Danny describes the campaign:
The process of restoring all 13,000-odd comments from the old blog should now be complete. Obviously, send me an e-mail if anything seems to be missing and I will look at it.
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