Tag Archives | South Korea

South Korean Scientists Clone Beagle That Glows Fluorescent Green

Could Tegon, the glowing dog, be the key to finding cures for many human diseases? Via Reutuers:
South Korean scientists said on Wednesday they have created a glowing dog using a cloning technique that could help find cures for human diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, Yonhap news agency reported. A research team from Seoul National University (SNU) said the genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon and born in 2009, has been found to glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if given a doxycycline antibiotic, the report said.
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What Happens When A City Tears Down Its Highway?

2030625405_dd165e29fcFive years ago, Seoul, South Korea demolished the Cheonggyecheon Freeway, an elevated highway running through downtown, in a move critics called “crazy”. The results have been nothing short of beautiful. Is there a lesson for other cities? Via Grist:

What he and his colleagues accomplished — tearing down a busy, elevated freeway, re-daylighting the river that had been buried beneath it, and creating a spectacular downtown green space, all in under two and a half years — is nothing short of amazing, not because it actually worked (there was plenty of evidence from other cities to suggest that it could), but because they were able to get public support for it. It’s the stuff urban planners dream about — not to mention a timeline for a major freeway project that would make Seattle drool.

By the early 20th century, as Seoul was burgeoning into the megacity of 10 million it is today, the river was bordered by a slum and used as a dumping ground, resulting in an eyesore of polluted water.

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South Korean Man Crucifies Himself on Easter

CrucifixionVia UPI:
A South Korean man with a religious obsession crucified himself around Easter, police said. The body of the 58-year-old taxi driver was discovered Sunday in an abandoned quarry in Mungyeong in North Gyeongsang province, The Korea Herald reported. He was nailed to a wooden cross. Police said the man went to great lengths to simulate Jesus' crucifixion. He was wearing only underpants and a headdress resembling a crown of thorrns, had a wound on his right side and had drilled holes in his palms. Investigators said he had apparently been living in a tent near the quarry. They found plans for self-crucifixion and a whip there. A pastor in Mugyeong said the man once came to him to talk about religion. He described him as having extreme views.
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Meet DONA: The Panhandling Robot (Video)

Cyriaque Lamar writes on io9:
The notion of a panhandling robot may sound like pure fiction, but roboticists in South Korea have worked together with MIT Media Lab to create with DONA, a motion-sensing bot built to solicit street donations. DONA's makers are donating the robot's earnings to fund education in the Ivory Coast, so you won't feel suckered dropping some won in its collection cup.
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Millions Of Dollars Found Buried In South Korean Garlic Field

A garlic storage in Changgilri, Uiseong County, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. Photo: Robert (CC)

Whoever says money doesn’t grow on trees was right. In South Korea it grows in garlic fields. BBC reports:

South Korean police have dug up a stash of 11bn won ($10m, £6.2m), most of it buried in a garlic field, reports say.

The money is believed to be the proceeds of an illegal internet gambling operation, for which one of two brothers is already in jail.

Their brother-in-law helped out by burying the cash, and then helped himself to some of it, police said.

When he then accused a landscaper of stealing a chunk of cash, police moved in and unearthed it, they said.

Television footage has shown police pulling out two dozen containers, each brimming with cash.

According to the police version of the story, the brother-in-law, a 52-year-old man identified only as Mr Lee, bought the garlic field in south-western Gimje.

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Outrage Over South Korea’s Mass Live Burial Of Pigs

Factory farming practices are always bloody and cruel, but this seems to go above and beyond. Following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, since December South Korea has killed 20% of its domestic livestock -- 3 million animals have been exterminated, mostly pigs, who are being buried alive by the thousands in gigantic pits. The practice is traumatizing workers (who hear the pigs' screams in their sleep) and provoking outrage around the world. Video footage is difficult to sit through:
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Korean Artist Imagines a Tomorrow of Sentient Machines

Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two predicted this was the year when humanity would make contact with an alien intelligence. But if you’ve seen the work of U-Ram Choe, you know the shocking truth: They’re already here.

The brainchild of the South Korean sculptor, “New Urban Species” is an art show disguised as a natural history exhibit from the future, and it’s one of the most engaging displays on tour this year.

U-Ram Choe builds art that comes from a not-to-distant-tomorrow, where organic life and mechanized objects have become one. His kinetic sculptures are not only creepy-fun marvels, they also create a compelling dialog about machine consciousness and the coming Singularity.

In his book Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, brain researcher Valentino Braitenberg demonstrates how human beings invest the increasingly complex behaviors of mechanical devices with a range of values and abilities including aggression, creative thinking, personality and free will, and how we project ourselves into these moving forms.… Read the rest

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Beepers to Protect Children From Sexual Predators

South Korea has taken steps toward keeping their children safe from sexual predators.  Each child was given a beeper with a GPS device installed. After atrocious attacks on minors, the government has decided to equip children with these beepers in order to warn police of any danger. The beepers will also activate surveillance cameras. An interesting use of technology as police protection, but how do you remind your child to remember his/her rape beeper every morning? The Himalayan Times reports:

Some 1,200 elementary school children in Anyang City, south of Seoul, will receive the beepers in a test run from October.

Authorities will then consider adopting the system nationwide, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security said.

Each child will be able to use their matchbox-sized beeper, fitted with GPS (global positioning device) technology, to activate any nearby cameras and alert parents and police via mobile phone.

The government has strengthened monitoring of elementary schools after several crimes against children.

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Robot Border Patrol at DMZ

croppedkoreanrobot_1

Photo: Samsung Techwin, SGR-1 gun bot

South Korea has begun using robots to survey and, if necessary, fire at intruders crossing the DMZ line from the North. It is operated by soldiers who verify intruders through audio visual equipment. It is designed to “detect threats,” but with the reliance on human operation, there is just as much room for error as a solider standing guard. From the Telegraph:

The 400 million won (£220,000) unit was installed last month at a guard post in the central section of the Demilitarised Zone which bisects the peninsula, Yonhap news agency said.

South Korea is also developing highly sophisticated combat robots armed with weapons and sensors that could complement human soldiers on battlefields.

The robot uses heat and motion detectors to sense possible threats, and alerts command centres, Yonhap said.

If the command centre operator cannot identify possible intruders through the robot’s audio or video communications system, the operator can order it to fire its gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

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Two Strikes For South Korea’s Space Launch

KARI_sealSouth Korea’s second space launch attempt proved unsuccessful when a rocket exploded just after lift-off. World Politics Review interviewed the Center of New American Security Fellow, Abe Denmark, about some of the progress and problems South Korea’s space program has had:

WPR: What is the current state of South Korea’s space program?

Abe Denmark: To date, the ROK’s satellite development program has been rather successful. Its National Space Program, most recently updated in 2005, calls for an ambitious program including the development of 13 satellites by 2010 and the ability to lift a 1.5 ton satellite into low-earth orbit (LEO) by 2015. South Korea’s first indigenously produced satellite, KOMPSAT-1, was launched in 1999 aboard a Russian-produced rocket. Since then, Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) has launched several advanced communications, imaging, and weather satellites.

In contrast to its satellite program, the ROK’s rocket program has been to date a disappointment. South Korea is largely dependent on foreign — often Russian — launching platforms.

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