Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hub of Fraud

While Korea failed to make the top 50 financial hubs, one area it does excel in is bogus research papers. KAIST has recently suspended its 'star' Kim Tae-Kook for falsifying research data on two papers published in leading international journals (including Science, again, which already got a black eye from the Hwang Woo-suk scandal a few years back).

Kim's 2006 paper suggested ideas for increasing the human lifespan by ``reprogramming'' cells ― the research earned him much publicity. South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun invited him to the Blue House and KAIST President Suh Nam-pyo praised him as one of the most likely Korean candidates to win the Nobel Prize.

There were already complaints that Koreans were having a harder time publishing in international journals after the Hwang scandal. This won't help matters much.

Two major scandals from Korea in the space of a few years. Coincidence? Or just a peak at the systematic corruption that seems to be behind every institution in this country?

Choi Hong-man--Man of dignity

Choi Hong-man's rap debut at the 2006 K1 Championship. Here's a few clips of Choi gettin his freak on.

Nothing awkward about that at all.

Hey, a man's got to pay his bills.

Getting love from Mighty Mo. The giggling of the girl who taped this was amusing.

Choi returning the love to Mo (the second of two such low blows in the fight).

Original Post (November 7, 2007)

Korean K1 fighter Choi "Techno-Goliath" Hong-man is making his debut as a rapper with model-turned-singer Kang Soo-hee.

Feast on the Hong-man's new flavah!

Can't wait to see their first music video. Should be good sport to see a guy on the dance floor grind on a girl whose height only comes up to his crotch. Other than some Michael Jackson home videos*, this should be a first.

I watched Choi's recent K1 match and his patented 'in your nuts face' fighting style against Mighty Mo. I'm not sure what was more painful to see: Mighty Mo getting kicked square in his nut suck or Choi's struggling against an opponent roughly half his size. Maybe this rap thing is not such a bad career move for Choi after all.

What gives the Goony Goliath the courage and motivation to 'challenge'** this respectable music genre? Really, it's not like ANYBODY can try to be a rapper, right? Let's run through the 'So you want to be a celebrity rapper?' checklist:
  • Modicum of fame? Check
  • Functioning speech organs? Check.
  • Inability to maintain success in some area requiring actual talent? Check.
  • The drive to do anything, regardless of how potentially humiliating, to stay in the spotlight? Check.

Considering the state of Korean music these days, his chances of making it big in the music scene actually aren't so bad.

Keep on keepin' it real, big guy.

*I'm just joking about this, of course. The record is clear that Michael Jackson likes little boys, not girls.
**For some reason, I find this Konglish use of 'challenge' really annoying.