The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'south korea'
A South Korean man calling himself Profesor Kim is facing fraud charges after selling devices that he claimed transformed tapwater into "holy water", having "digitally captured" what it is that makes holy water from Lourdes holy. The devices, of course, did not work.
As absurd as the idea of holy water is (that an almighty deity has specifically blessed a location—a French town or an Indian river or similar—with magical healing properties), the idea of knockoff holy water takes it one step further. Surely in the sort of universe which features omniscient and omnipotent (not to mention judgmental) deities bestowing boons, actually pirating these boons and passing them onto the unworthy would be impossible, or at least ill-advised. But Kim cherry-picks the most convenient bits of two types of universes—the rational, technological one we live in and the mystical, demon-haunted one in which our fates are controlled by ineffable forces and holy water could be considered to work—and mashes them together like P.T. Barnum's mermaid, hoping that his marks don't notice the seams before parting with their cash.
The Grauniad has a photographic piece on the first railway crossing between North and South Korea in 57 years:
The last time a train attempted to cross was on New Year's Eve in 1950, when the line was used by thousands of refugees fleeing an advance by Chinese and North Korean troops. Their journey came to an abrupt halt when US soldiers riddled the steam water tank with bullet holes. The tracks were destroyed to slow the progress of the communist forces.
Today's test run is seen as a step towards closer economic ties between rich, open South Korea and the poor, isolated North. It is hoped that the lines will eventually link to the Trans-Siberian railway and allow connections spanning more than 5,000 miles from London to Seoul.