Bruggenloop Rotterdam

Ran the ‘Bruggenloop’ in Rotterdam together with my dad and Gijs. The fifteen kilometers went smooth and I finished five minutes faster compared to last year. Apperantly there aren’t a lot of vibram shoes yet as people like this photographer insisted of taking a photo of only my shoes. There was one real barefoot runner, kind of risky because there was glass on the court. Anyway, Gijs thought it was funny how my shoes got attention and snapped a picture of the scene, right in front of stadium ‘de kuip’ in Rotterdam:

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Map of air pollution in Asia

pollutioninasia

The map above shows the climate around Asia in a real time map.

See the map for yourself at: http://aqicn.org/map/

It reminds of the NASA imagery from 2010 with a similar view.. Not only air quality needs to be considered, Isabel Hilton talked about the soil problems China is facing with on Sinica podcast last week (18 minutes into the show).

Pictures from Shanghai

Last week, friends from China have been posting some sad pictures of the foggy/smoggy city. Business insider gave four possible reasons for the recent peak. One factor might be the upcoming christmas season. Ofcourse car usage increased but the problem isn’t one of China’s, it’s due to China being the factory of the world, it might be a problem for the world.

Hope these problems will get less, I’ve been tracking PM2.5 levels in China ever since 2010. Initially through the numbers put out by the US embassy. They seemed to go down at the time, but perhaps only due to the Shanghai Expo at the time.

Shanghai picture from Weixing

Shanghai Picture from Weixing


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Shanghai Picture from Weixing

Sunday morning run with Suna

Ran a 15 km round from Culemborg to Everdingen, with Suna following on her new bike. A great start of the Sunday. Even though it’s generally quite dark this time of year, today it was bright and very nice outside.

i’ve left dailymile for runkeeper. my account is here.

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Hendrick Hamel

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Almost every Korean has heard about Hamel, have you heard about him? He was the first westerner to write about Korea, back in 17th Century.

In 1653, he arrived at Jeju island (link follows to my holiday at jeju) along with his crewmates. He was a bookkeeper for the Dutch East India Company. They were actually on their way to Japan. The men were captured by the Koreans and were forbidden to leave the country. After 13 years they managed to escape to Japan and bring back his writings to the Netherlands.

Every history book in Korea mentions his name. The first public recognition of Hamel in the Netherlands occurred early in the 20th century, when a local street was named after him. They also made a statue for him. As we passed by Gorinchem yesterday, a visit to his statue and a picture were obligatory.

His journal is published as a book under his name.

Korean class

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Spent my Saturday learning Korean, I haven’t done anything else since 2011. As you all know my goal is to have conversations with my mother in law.

Recently I have been starting to watch some Korean television as classes have become a routine. Make some homework at home and practice speaking with your fellow students in class does seem to help little by little. When that Korean song ‘Gangnam style’ was popular I noticed a lot of new students trying to pickup the language, although that effect seem to have worn off. Recently the teachers allowed me to pass to advanced class, I’m trying to keep up by studying during my Sundays. Last Saturday we were only with three people.

Promising [startup documentary in Dutch]

edialdekkerI was a bit surprised to see Edial Dekker’s face on the homepage of uitzendinggemist.nl (VOD of Dutch public tv) tonight. I met him a few years ago and remembered his move to Berlin with his brother. They started a company called gidsy.com where one can pitch and sell activities to groups of people. About a year later,they raised 1.5 million dollars and started expanding. A lot happened since then. So frankly, he deserves to be on the homepage of uitzendinggemist.nl. A success story? Follow the episodes from this humble documentary about these enthusiastic founders at uitzendinggemist.nl. Below a trailer of episode 2.

[Mac] Export all your iPhoto events to folders

I’m using a mac for over a decade and thus moved my photos into iPhoto almost automatically. But, I never really that program. It’s slow. Last week I decided that I wanted to get out. That was easier than I thought:

Download phoshare here.

And just run the program. You can select the folder to export to. According to the developer, Phoshare preserves both the original and modified image, and I was able to export using a *year*-*month*-*day*-*title* -format, which I really like! I’ve counted the photo’s inside the library and inside the folder, just for verification. I’m now iPhoto free!

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Korean style accuracy

signI took the picture above while walking around the Daejeon subway system. To me, this is typical Korean style accuracy. I mean, what would the harm be if they just wrote ’30 meters’?

2 days and one night in Geojedo

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It was my first time camping in Korea. I saw some super de luxe tents and learned that Koreans take their camping very seriously. Could camping have been popularized by some camping-themed TV program in Korea? Besides camping I also visited the Oedo island by boat.

Camping in Geojedo

Together with friends of my parents in law, we stayed at the fabulous beach side autocamping in Geojedo, a 400 km drive from Seoul.

it was fun putting up our camp, with tents food and a common area to sit. But it took some time and was a lot of work. When everything was done we proudly sat down and ate our lunch a bit tired but very happy. After lunch I took a walk around the camaping and was surprised how Koreans camp.

So what’s different? Well, I saw a tent with a TV projector – guess no singalongs there. And many hats. For some reason, the hats featured flashlights. Because? I guess they wanted to check up on their barbeques in the dark. Anyway, the guests didn’t go camping because it was cheap. They bought professional gears and we’re fully packed, even if it was for just one night.

Quite different to the ‘as long as there is fire, singalongs and some shuteye’ camping experiences in France and Sweden. Which, also has it’s charm.

There is a populair tv programme in Korea called ’2 days 1 night’ (1박 2일) and it made camping hugely populair in Korea. In the past year, another television show called ‘dad where are you going’ 아빠! 어디가? (Check out this segment of them camping @ youtube) also features a new lifestyle: children camping with dads and preparing food together. You can see this replicated at the autocamping.

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We made a big hike over the pebblestone beach. Later we climbed the hill and got an amazing view over the cliffs. In the evening we prepared a big barbeque with the three families. There was samyuksal, beers and boardgames. And Korean tales ofcourse.

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Camping in Oedo

A recommendation. We almost missed it. Actually, we packed up after a nice holiday and started to drive back. Suddenly we noticed a tour operator which featured ferries to the ‘Oedo islands’. My mother in law immediately recalled that they were beautiful and we just had to visit them, so we did. We bought some tickets for about 20 dollars each and waited for our ferry to arrive. Actually, during this waiting time, we enjoyed some beers on the dock while watching the boats, very relaxing!

The ferry first takes you to a ‘cracked island’ which is split in half. It’s quite a sight. Our tour operator boat even went inside the crack, which was a bit scary. He then took off to the Oedo island (외도).

We were told we had about 1,5 hours to explore, which seemed like an awful lot to me. Until I turned a corner and saw the majestic garden. Palm trees, nice seatings, roman pilars and beautiful views on the distant island scenery. I cracked open a drink and enjoyed the view for a while. Then we took a walk through the garden and enjoyed the scene’s and flowers.

Before we knew it, we had to get back to the boat and to the land to go back. Certainly a great night and two days!

Raised in Pyongyang [Video]

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.07.05 AMThe New York Times International published the fascinating story of Ms. Macías, a daughter of the president of Equatorial Guinea who was sent and lived in Pyongyang for 16 years. It was mentioned she wrote a book but right now it’s only available in Korean. Howerver, Arirang TV published an English subtitled interview of this facinating life on Youtube. She reveals how she was raised with American antisemitism and felt bad for the South Korean puppets: