Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Times 50 Best Inventions of 2010

The Paris Motor Show, one of the world’s four major auto shows, was held from October 2 to 17, 2010 at the Paris Expo. If the Geneva Motor Show in March introduces newly launched cars of the year, then the Paris Motor Show in the autumn showcases models that are to be launched the year after.

The theme of the Paris Motors Show 2010 was “eco-friendly.” Eco-friendly has now become such a preval!ent trend worldwide, especially with the EU’s reinforcement of regulations regarding carbon emissions control

Eco-friendly vehicle invented by KAIST

The Online Electric Vehicle (dubbed OLEV) manufactured by the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST) was included in the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 published by The Times, along with Apple’s iPad, Google’s Driverless Car, Sony’s Alpha A55 Camera and others. Also included was the English-Teaching Robot invented by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

In the OLEV are embedded electric power strips that provide electromagnetic power to the vehicle, wirelessly, charging an onboard battery and powering the bus’s electric motor.

The Times introduced the OLEV as an advanced green growth technology that could speed up the commercialization of electric cars and also as the world’s one and only online electric vehicle.

The system’s creators at the KAIST say, “The technology not only eliminates pollution, but also alleviates the problems usually associated with hybrid vehicles such as heavy batteries, lengthy charging and limited range.”

Korean technology opens up a new horizon

The OLEV has been on a test operation since last March at the Seoul Amusement Park. It was also presented during the G20 Seoul Summit in November in front of COEX, garnering outstanding reviews. Furthermore, the vehicle is scheduled to be featured next month in the TV program “Into the Future” of Discovery channel.

The OLEV received mixed reviews in the early stage of its development. Although it is an innovative technology that was meant to pursue both green growth and economic profit, some voiced the car’s low practicality as the cost of planting electric power strips under the pavements would be quite steep. Nonetheless, its inclusion in The Times list is without a doubt a distinct acknowledgement of its potential.

The English-Teaching Robot

The other Korean item that made in the Times list is the English-Teaching Robot nick-named “Mero,” developed by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

The robots can move in any direction and can follow human facial expression!s. They are not only effective teachers, but the students also enjoy interacting with their new, fun, and cool school “staff.”

While the robots are used primarily in support roles for real human teachers, the Time Magazine called them a “job terminator,” saying they could potentially replace the native speakers currently employed in Korean schools.

Although there remain issues of economic feasibility as well as ethics, both inventions indicate excellent capacity of Korean universities as future leaders of world science and technology.


Foreign Journalists Visit Jeju Olle Road

Twenty Seoul-based foreign journalists on last November 19 and 20 visited the Jeju Olle Road as part of their Jeju Press Tour program sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Traditional Jeju Culture and Haenyeo (sea women)

The twenty foreign journalists, though still somewhat fatigued from the intense reporting they had for the G20 Seoul Summit, participated in the Jeju tour with great zeal and curiosity, especially for the much talked about Olle Road and Jeju haenyeo.

On the first day of their tour, Jeju greeted the journalists with an unusually clear, azure sky and a picture-perfect coast line.

At the center of attention in the tour was, of course, the haenyeo – Jeju’s sea women. A journalist for Tokyo Newspaper expressed his special interest for Jeju haenyeo, saying although Japan also has something like sea women he had never seen the Jeju haenyeo. As four, five haenyeo dove into the sea and began their “sea-picking” routine, the group of visitors all flocked to the water in excitement to take photos.

The group of foreign journalists all flocked to the water in excitement to take photos
Haenyeo dive into 20m deep into the ocean and collect sea products, holding their breath for as long as two minutes. Holding breath is hard enough; but doing that in the middle of cold sea water, swimming AND collecting things? What an amazing feat!

As one of the haenyeo, a 76-year-old sea veteran, pulled out of the water and showed a “domchi” which is a very rare catch, a big applause erupted among the journalists. The elderly haenyeo has been sea-picking since the age of 15.

But sadly, what used to amount to 15,000 Jeju haenyeo has now plummeted to a mere 5,600. And most of them are in their sixties and seventies. Those in their thirties are just a handful now, less than a dozen.

As one of the haenyeo, a 76-year-old sea veteran, pulled out of the water and showed a 'domchi'

Perfect Harmony of the Sea and the Cliffs

The foreign journalists were once again amazed and awed by the beauty of Seongsan Ilchulbong, a peak that rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago.

Seongsan Ilchulbong is located on the eastern end of Jeju Island and there is a huge crater at its top. With the 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, it looks like a gigantic crown. While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a grassy hill, forming a truly distinctive ambience.

The journalists concluded their first day with a visit to Chyeonjiyeon Waterfall, and their second day was finally the much anticipated Olle Road.

The Olle walking path opened its first route in 2007 and is now furnished with 22 routes of 357km. In the local Jeju dialect, “Olle” was originally used to refer to the narrow path between the street and one’s doorstep. The hiking trail was founded by Myung-Sook Suh who was inspired upon hearing from a certain English tourist that he had healed his hurt soul walking the Jeju roads.

The route the journalists trod that day was Route 10 which is a course a little more taxing than a leisurely walk. You will be able to enjoy a scenic view of cliffs and the ocean. This particular route was declared as “Jeju Olle-Switzerland Friendship Road” last April upon establishing an MOU with the Swiss tourism administration. After the good amount of exercise followed, of course, a sumptuous meal composed of just-caught Jeju sea food and makgeolli.

At the end of the delightful tour, the journalists expressed their wish for having more nature-oriented tourist spots like the Jeju Olle Road. Although they may be somewhat less convenient than those equipped with first-rate technology and amenities, sometimes what we want these days are places that are preserved as they originally were – somewhere we can rest and heal our jaded souls.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jeju Island:The wonder of nature (Part-1)

Travelling is the best way of learning and knowing anything, it presents the traveler practical experience as well as refreshment to them. We have visited so many places in our country for these purposes. From our university we have got a great opportunity to visit the Jeju island the world famous tourist places all over the world because of its beauty gifted by the nature and for other reasons.
Beginning of the journey:
We all gathered together in front of the graduation office before 5:30 am on 24th June. We were around 40 travelers. We started at 6 am to cheonju International Airport. At 7:30 am we reached the Airport and completed all the formalities before entering the plane. At 8:30am the plane flew to Jeju international Airport. After 45 minutes we reached the Jeju International Airport. At the airport our tourist Guide was waiting for us. She took us in the bus and we went to a restaurant at first.

Finishing the breakfast our bus started again. We were surprised to see the natural scenery of this island. Within few minutes we reached a sea shore. We got down from the bus and visited that place for around 1 hour. We enjoyed the sea standing by the sea.  From there we went to Jeju National Museum. After visiting the museum we went to visit the International Peace Centre. We were surprised to see the various Statues of various world famous and honorable persons most of whom have sacrificed their valuable time to establish the peace for the world. There are also some statues of the most honorable persons of the Korea and other person who have done something for the development of this Nation.

We ate very delicious food at our lunch after leaving the IPC. Finishing lunch we went to sea beach. Here we were surprised to see an ancient Ship Hamel. This is the name of a brave sailor who had landed Jeju Island before going to India. He had loved this island and stayed here for thirteen years. During that time, this Dutch sailor wrote many things about this island and published his writing after going back his country. The most cryptic thing is the architectural construction of his ship. That has also made me surprise that the organization of Korea has preserved this in such a way that there is no damage of this ship still present. From this ship we have come to know the life style of the sailors who were in this ship during that time. Though the ship is very cryptic to us the natural site of the sea was not bearing less importance. Nature has given a lot to this island. So this Island is the gift of nature and has bloomed as a famous natural place all over the world.

We have forgotten to mention one place before going to jeju National museum. We can’t remember the name of the place but it has its own specialty. We know that anything can move from upper level to lower level without exerting any force. But here it is totally opposite. Here the vesicles move from lower level to higher level without exerting any force. Yet the scientists of physics have not got any explanation of this reason.

What ever it is, at 7PM we went to our hotel. There we took our dinner and finishing dinner we went to room for taking rest. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

First event for WSK 4th batch

The boy is the champion blogger of WSK-3 and the girl is the member of WSK-4
The date was marked on the calender just after getting invitation from the organizer. Even though it is really tough to manage time for me like a PhD research student in a week days but I was trying to manage all to attend on the 1st event.

After 2 weeks the date came, I just slept earlier than usual to catch the earliest bus for Seoul from Chungju city bus terminal. The morning was really cold as like as winter morning but  windy like a rainy season. I drove to Chungju bus terminal from my home which took less than 10 minutes. But the problem has raised due to closed the gate of LOTTE mart, where I planned to park my car. I just stayed there 5 minutes to get any response from any one to open the gate. But unfortunately nothing happened from any one. I just moved to search any place beside rood to park my car. By the mean time one bus has left from the terminal..... Fortunately, I got a place beside a branch road where I found some car parked. I just ran away to get the bus just after parking over there.

I get a bus for Dong Seoul (East Seoul) which took one hour and 50 minutes to arrive there. I ride the sub way from gangbeon to reach our venue. But, unfortunately I arrived there lately just after speech from organizer. I became charmed just after entering into the hall. What a moment was that!!! It just like a globe where the people gathered from whole over the world. I am one of them. I must cordially thanks to the people who assist just like a bossom friends to get the food and beverage and guide to know the exciting and historical information during tour around the museum.

Just before entering into the museum hall, I met with Mr. Mostafa who is a f Bangladesh Civil Service officer, came to Korea for his one year training. He is just a nice man who belongs great capability to make other enjoyable at any moments by his jolly mind.

A lot of snaps were captured from the museum, those are the national treasure of Korea.

National Treasure of Korea
National Treasure of Korea

Frankly speaking I got a great offer and opportunity to meet such kind of nice people and scope to make some friends. 

She is an Indonesian, nice guy to pass time
I had a seat with the guys who were from Indonesia. They informed me about their couture and believes and life in Korea. 

The kids were looking so happy due to having picture with the famous guys!!
The time has overred very fast and rapidly. We did not get much time to capture some more snaps. I hoped to pass some more moments over there but.........

The time will come to us to meet again soon. We will make a bond with each other to bind the world in a one circle. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NUFFIC director-general visits the KCUE

The Director-General of NUFFIC (Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education), Mr. Sander van den Eijnden, visited the KCUE on Tuesday, October 5th. 
NUFFIC is a private, non-profit corporation and is based in the Hague in the Netherlands. It coordinates academic cooperation programs, promotes the international mobility of students and academic staff through scholarship and grant programs, and attracts students from other countries who are looking to study abroad. 
Mr. Eijnden was keen to learn South Korea’s current education policies on university admission, university accreditation, and internalization while discussing Dutch higher education issues. The Director-General said that this visit was a good opportunity to understand the roles and functions of the KCUE and hoped to promote cooperation between NUFFIC and the KCUE.