Tag Archives: South Korea

For the first time, Korean Buddhism available to Western world

Never before has the buddhism of Korea been available to the West, until now. Scholars across America have united to translate a 13-volume anthology covering 1,700 years – and the entire guide is available online, free with a creative commons license.

View all thirteen volumes here (scroll to bottom).

More about this work, from the Preface:

Buddhism has a 1,700 year history in Korea and the tradition continues to thrive still today on the peninsula. The thirteen volumes of this anthology collect the panoply of Korean Buddhist writing from the Three Kingdoms period (ca. 57 C.E.-668) through the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). These writings include commentaries on scriptures as well as philosophical and disciplinary texts by the most influential scholiasts of the tradition.

 

Read the press release - UCLA scholars bring Korean Buddhist works to English-speaking world

 

Continue reading

Average annual hours worked per country

“Over the last century, you’ve seen a reduction from very long working hours – nearly 3,000 a year at the beginning of the 1900s – to the turn of the 21st Century when most developing countries were under 1,800 hours,” says Messenger. “And indeed some of the most productive countries were even lower than that.”

***

A look at the average annual hours worked per person in selected countries puts South Korea top with a whopping 2,193 hours, followed by Chile on 2,068.

British workers clock up 1,647 hours and Germans 1,408 – putting them at the bottom of the table, above only the Netherlands.

**The United States is at 1,695.

Greek workers have had a bad press recently but, as we reported in February, they work longer hours than any other Europeans. Their average of 2,017 hours a year puts them third in the international ranking, based on figures compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

***

“…the US is the only developed country that has no legal or contractual or collective requirement to provide any minimum amount of annual leave,” he says.

The UK, in contrast, is subject to the European working time directive, which requires at least four weeks of paid annual leave for every employee.

 

via BBC – Who works the longest hours?

 

Here is a screenshot of all 34 OECD countries. Click to the BBC to see the interactive version that shows each country’s hours worked.

Continue reading

In 2012, broadband will be in 678 million homes

We are truly in the age of the internet, or rather the Dawn of the Internet Age, as the number of internet connected homes approaches a billion.

The stats on broadband and wi-fi in homes:

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, 25 percent of all “households” worldwide now have Wi-Fi networks set up. In terms of adoption, South Korea tops the list of the 17 countries the firm researched, at 80.3 percent — followed by the UK, Germany, France, and Japan. The US comes in at 61 percent, while India is at the bottom with only 2.5 percent.

The firm predicts that by 2016 worldwide household adoption of Wi-Fi will reach 42 percent.

More from the report:

By the end of 2012, 678 million households worldwide will be connected to the internet via broadband — a 8.5% increase from 2011. Of these 678 million broadband households, 492 million households (73% of broadband households) will use a wireless router to create to WLAN, or Wi-Fi home network. Asia Pacific will have the highest number of Wi-Fi households in 2012, representing nearly 38% of global Wi-Fi households.

via The Verge

An innovative virtual store for an online retailer

The number 2 grocery chain in South Korea, Home Plus, is looking to improve sales through innovation. They have created a virtual store offering “500 items including food, electronics, office supplies and toiletries.”

The store is at an underground subway station in Seolleung, located in the south of Seoul, South Korea, a city of 10 million people. It takes up seven pillars in the stations and six walls. On it are life size pictures of items in a real store.

Next to each item is a small barcode, actually a QR code. Shoppers use their smartphone and a downloadable app to scan and make purchases.

The order is then sent to the store closest to the shoppers home and a delivery truck completes the order. Dropping off a box of groceries at your front door.

it’s very similar to shopping on Amazon or using Peapod, but represents one of the first successful physical stores for an online service.

Taken from Amusing Planet, where they also have a video introducing the concept.

 

Thx to Stacie Dauffenbach

The Reunification of Korea – a brief history

1910 – Japan forcibly “annexes” Korea and ravages the country. Often banning the language, forcing Japanese names, labor camps, and, during World War II, a sex-slave trade.

1945 – World War II ends and Korea is split into two governing zones, the North by the Soviet Union and the South by the U.S. A problem results with much of Korea being pro-communist. As a result no unification is set in motion.

1948 – The U.S. has made South Korea strongly anti-communist while North Korea has become strongly communist.

1950 – A war breaks out to see if one can conquer the other. The North invades the South but is stopped when the U.S. intervenes. Only to find China and the Soviet Union intervening when the South invades the North. All sides are weary of fighting from World War II and agree to a peace that changes nothing, after three years of war and 450,000 Koreans are dead.

1972 – North and South Korean representatives meet and agree to forge a peaceful reunification. The agreement is disbanded the following year after achieving no results.

1990 – Another agreement is attempted but collapses over the issue of North Korea’s nuclear facilities.

1991 – The Soviet Union collapses and the new Russia cuts off foreign aid to North Korea. China steps in with foreign aid but eventually reduces the amount and North Korea experiences a decade of economic trouble. Many millions die of starvation and the economy is thought to have shrunk by half.

1994 – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visits North Korea and encourages both sites to rekindle talks. A meeting is scheduled, then later abandoned as Supreme Leader Kim Il-Sung dies and Kim Jong-Il takes over.

1998 – The South Korean government creates the Sunshine Policy which proposes support and cooperation instead of sanction and threats. It also encourages the people of South Korea to show unity with their northern neighbors and takes active steps to avoid anti-communist propaganda.

2000 – Both sides sign another agreement for a peaceful unification. A strong part of the talks involve economic cooperation and aid sent to North Korea. At the time, the South Korean population is double that of the North and the economy is about 15 times larger.

2002 – Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the U.S. labels North Korea part of an “Axis of Evil,” and the North cuts off any cooperation with the South for many months.

2006 – North Korea detonates a nuclear bomb underground as a test and test fires several of their larger missiles.

2007 – The United Nations hosts a series of talks between the North and South to further the agreement of 2000. It is held in Beijing and China plays a heavy role.

2008 – The Sunshine Policy loses favor as a new political party is elected with harsher views of North Korea.

2009 – North Korea detonates another nuclear bomb underground as a test.

2010 – A South Korean ship is sunk by a torpedo, blame is placed on North Korea. Later in the year, North Korea fires 170 artillery shells on a South Korean island as a protest against South Korean military exercises.

2011 – Kim Jong-Il dies and his son Kim Jong-Un takes over power.