Last winter, when Chung Soo-young saw a man rushing out of the women's restroom at a chain coffee shop in downtown Seoul, the first thing she did was to scan all stalls in search of a hidden camera. Like many other South Korean women, Chung, 26, constantly worries that she could be secretly filmed in private moments. Her fear spiked, she says, when she saw the intruder and "realized I can actually be a victim."
In South Korea, microcameras installed in public bathrooms for surreptitious filming are an everyday concern. Police data show that the number of "illegal filming" crimes sharply increased from 1,353 in 2011 to 6,470 in 2017.
The fear of digital peeping Toms has led women to stuff tiny balls of toilet paper into holes they find in public bathroom stalls or cover the holes with tape. Six months after her bathroom incident, Chung decided to act and put together her own "emergency kit" to thwart molka, or hidden cameras.
She started a crowdfunding project for the kit, and the response was greater than she had expected. More than 600 people bought the kit, which costs about $12 (14,000 Korean won) and includes a tube of silicone sealant to fill up holes, an ice pick to break tiny camera lenses and stickers to patch up holes.
Thinking of her kits as a "stopgap," Chung also started building an archive of illicitly recorded videos and pictures she found online to demonstrate how serious the problem is. In September, during a search, she stumbled on a video of herself from that December day.
Once filmed, molka videos are quickly shared online. With the right search words in Korean, it is not difficult to find pictures and videos of women in bathrooms and changing rooms on file-sharing platforms and social networks such as Tumblr and Twitter. Thumbnails of such videos, tagged with an estimated age of the filmed women or the filming location, are posted with a messenger ID. Anyone can contact the seller, who is often the one who shot the film, and get gigabytes of voyeuristic videos for pennies.
South Korean Women Fight Back Against Spy Cams In Public Bathrooms
French and Japanese laws prohibit the media from publishing images of suspects in handcuffs as it implies guilt and undermines the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Although not legally compelled, South Korean media companies similarly pixelate or blur handcuffs on suspects out of respect for the presumption of innocence. This is in contrast to the United States where the “perp walk” has historically been used to bolster public support for prosecutors.
My home country, Myanmar (Burma) is in a serious situation.
On the first of February 2021. the military seized power. They had detained government officials, including our State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and our president, U Win Myint.
Every form of connection, both wifi and mobile data, all was cut off this morning. We did not know what was happening for the whole of the morning, until 5 in my house when the internet was back on.
They had cut all news channel, we do not know what really is happening inside our country other than their power seizure, and we do not know what is happening in the world right now. Every news channel except the military owned are now cut.
There are now curfews to stay at home after 8pm in Yangon, whether the same law apply to other cities are unknown.
There is not much we can do as citizens other than hope that our little voices reach the world. The best we can hope for is.
I am in the dark and cannot shed much light on the situation. You might have heard and know better by now. The 8888 uprising is one that had happened in the past, we hope this is not another one. Some think that the worst may result in our country disappearing off the face of the Earth, but I can only hope for the best.
The internet and electricity may be cut off again at 12 in the night, Myanmar Time, but some said this is a rumour. I do not know yet.
Spreading awareness on this situation is extremely important to us, we are no strangers to being left in the dark corner for a long time.
Speaking from my heart, I hope that we can stand as a union of humanity, rather than divided by any borders or nationalities. The military oppression will not only affect our country, our children, our lives to the biggest extent, it can tear the centuries our country had survived into nothingness. In the 88 uprising, countless bodies had been buried alive, the streets had been covered with blood, and tears drown the country. We can only hope this is not 88 again.
To every bystander, to help us, spreading awareness is important. It’s extremely important to research as well and get to the bottom ( and avoid circular reporting), and I will try to explain as much as possible if there is time.
There was another announcement that all travel to outside the country will be shut down till April 30.
Edit (March 19, 2021): The military still holds power. We are not free yet. There are increasing violence and brutality erupting around the country. Yet we are being silenced.
Accounts you can follow to keep up-to-date:
Tumblr : @aletteroflovetome (Feel free to send me an inbox or message me, I will try to answer any questions about the current situation), @soft-noble-light @myanmarupdates , @georgiaeden8585 , @castaliasworld, @surprisebitch , @smolonigiri
Hashtags to follow : #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #JusticeForMyanmar #Myanmar #RejectMyanmarMilitaryCoup #AgainstMyanmarMilitaryCoup
Link to donate to CDMers :
CDM (Civil-Disobedience Movement) is a movement where government workers do not go to work, to stand up against the military junta, and stop all their procedures. Many government workers are participating in this, however, they have to do this at their own financial, and sometimes, personal risk. Currently, everyone who participates in CDM receives no pay, and as of now, they have to move out of government provided housing(or get shot if they don't work). Most are virtually incomeless, but the public is supporting them. It would be a great help to continue the support.
I beg for a couple minutes of your time to read this.
This isn’t a massive topic in international news (yet), but Hong Kong may be passing an amended extradition law that would allow the Chinese government to come to Hong Kong to arrest people or even confiscate their property, through Extradition Requests. The reason why this is terrible for HK is because HK and China currently use “one country, two systems”. It means that while technically the two are in the same country, there are 2 different (legal) systems used. HK has freedom of speech, China does not. HK also has a much higher rule of law ranking than China.
If this law is passed, mainland Chinese authorities will be able to arrest people in HK on trumped-up charges. They’ve already taken our people because they didn’t like the things some of them did. For example, a bookstore owner in HK was kidnapped by the Chinese authorities because he sold books that were banned in mainland China. Imagine how much worse this situation would be if arresting people in HK became legal for Chinese authorities?
This is a threat to the HK system and freedom of speech in HK. 30 years ago on June 4, there was a protest in Beijing, China. Most of the attendees were students, who were fighting for democracy, freedom of speech and greater accountability from the higher-ups in the government. Several hundred to over thousands of participants were killed by the Chinese military with assault rifles and tanks. This is now called the Tiananmen Massacre. It is now censored in mainland China, and just the mention of the Tiananmen Massacre can lead to the person getting arrested or even killed. It’s been entirely erased from their history, and most young people do not know that it happened. There aren’t any more protests in mainland China because this is what happens if they do; they have been silenced by their government. HK is the only city on Chinese soil with the ability to talk about this tragic event, and we hold a vigil every year on June 4 to speak out against the Chinese government and how they refuse to acknowledge this event. If this law were passed, HK would be silenced as well, and the Tiananmen Massacre would be entirely wiped from history within China.
The reason why this needs greater international attention is that it isn’t just a matter of HK lives. There are hundreds of thousands of expats living in HK, with a great number of international businesses and tourists within the city. If any one of them says or does something that the Chinese government doesn’t like, the government could make up trumped-up charges to pin on them then take them to mainland China, where who knows what would happen to them. Everyone in HK’s life and safety is threatened. HK, as we know and love, would die.
If you’re still reading this, I sincerely thank you. On June 9, there will be rallies going on around the world in the cities mentioned in the below pic. I urge you to participate if this is something you sympathize with if possible. The best way to help would be to generate international attention. Stand with HK, and help us keep our people safe.
IN THE CUT CELEBRATE’S PARASITE’S HISTORIC ACADEMY AWARD BEST PICTURE WIN
DISCLAIMER: We are choosing to exclude Bong Joon-Ho’s work as this will be a separate article chronicling the works of the gonzo South Korean genius. In the Cut wishes to celebrate different director, for new film lovers who want to expand on their knowledge of film, beyond Parasite.
On February 9, 2019, Bong Joon-Ho made history at the Academy Awards. His movie, Parasite, was the first recipient of the Best International Feature Film, as the Academy’s decision was to retire the moniker Best Foreign Film because it devalues the inclusivity of the language of films, as well as the word “foreign” is both globally antiquated and shallowly fixated on specific regional movements. The controversy grows with the reality that the award’s representation was becoming globally outdated amongst filmmakers. The notion that the Academy would rationalize that a foreign film wasn’t an accurate representation of a so-call “regular” film is downright culturally insensitive and racially motivated.
Parasite broke the barriers last night, as it won Best Picture (alongside Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay). To watch, not only, a person of color succeed, but an entire country like South Korea, who stands divided by the oppression that its neighboring oligarchal country, North Korea faces, is the first step to breaking down barricades. It is a moment in history, where we are standing on the right side of it.
Bong-Joon Ho’s undisputed universally beloved masterpiece brought down the house. It was the first time in a while where we saw the best film actually win Best Picture. Before Moonlight’s historic win, we can’t recollect which film could hold that distinction. Unfortunately for Moonlight, it was marred by the controversial error of PricewaterhouseCoopers (the accounting firm behind the Oscars).
As we all know now, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty presented Best Picture to La La Land. Everything was beautiful and dandy when Jimmy Kimmel (the host of the evening) worriedly rushed to the podium. Horrified and pale-faced, Kimmel announced to the confused audience that there was an egregious error that needed to be ramified. La La Land was not the Best Picture winner. Instead, Moonlight took the prize home.
Moonlight, the more deserving movie of 2016, now has that dent when accounting for history. For better or worse, it’s apart of its history.
With Parasite, history will be much kinder to the prolific film, because the uproarious nature of its win felt like we were witnessing Kobe Bryant hit the epoch-making 81 points from the January 22, 2006 basketball game against the Toronto Raptors.
Soon, In the Cut will meticulously chronicle on 92 Best Picture winners and rank. We understand that it is brutal because some of them were erroneous and downright fallacious, in our humble opinion. Still, it’s critical to our widening of film cinema to look back at those films and investigate why they were chosen.
But it is safe to say that Parasite is in my Top 5 of all time Best Picture wins. We’re not sure where the landing sticks, but it’s clearly among the highest wins in that category’s history. We can say that with pride in our hearts. We, or I (as in Jennifer, in this case, always believed that if we ever had a director that would break that barrier, it would have been Wong Kar-wai.
If we have any cultivated following, we’re not sure if we do, but if we have returning readers to our site, you’d know how much we love the works of Wong Kar-wai. Hell, he’s number one on this very list right now, but Bong Joon-ho was always a clearcut direct competition against Kar-wai. If Kar-wai is the David Lynch of Hong Kong, then Joon-ho is the Spike Lee of South Korea. And for that, it gives us the pride to watch this profoundly humble artist ascend on this global platform, breaking that barrier for all international films to be seen and watched like any American or British film is in the mainstream.
Films are meant to be universal. The anthropological and linguistic divide amongst nations and ethnicities is what is hurting our industry, alongside race and misogyny. Is Parasite’s a quick win in the hurdle? No, absolutely not, but it’s the right baby-step in the right direction. No film should ever be denoted as a “foreign” film and “regular” film again. With Parasite, we now hope to see movies like Cold War, La Strada, Rashomon, 8 1/2, Ash Is the Purest White, Amour, and others win the big prize.
Like Woody from Toy Story 2 once exclaimed, “Ride like the wind, Bullseye!”
IN THE CUT’S TOP 10 GREATEST ASIAN CINEMA FILMS OF ALL TIME
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2001); directed by Wong Kar-wai
THE HANDMAIDEN (2016); directed by Park Chan-wook
DREAMS (1990); directed by Akira Kurosawa
PERFECT BLUE (1985); directed by Satoshi Kon
ICHI THE KILLER (2001); directed by Takashi Miike
RAISE THE RED LANTERN (1991); directed by Zhang Yimou
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1993); directed by Isao Takahata
AKIRA (1988); directed by Katsuhiro Otomo
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (2004); directed by Hayao Miyazaki
LONG DAY JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (2018); directed by Bi Gan
IN THE CUT’S TOP 10 GREATEST ASIAN FILMS’ CORRESPONDING COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
The International Space Station Through the Eyes of Little Earth!
Currently, six humans are living and working on the International Space Station, which orbits 250 miles above our planet at 17,500mph. Accompanying their mission is a zero-g indicator, informally known as “Little Earth”.
Greetings fellow Earthlings! Curious about my first week on the International Space Station? What does a normal day look like when you’re living and working hundreds of miles above Earth? Take a look at some photos from my first week, when I was still learning the ropes from my new roommates!
Talk about a warm welcome! I arrived on March 3, 2019 when the SpaceX Crew Dragon docked to the Space Station for the first time. This historic mission marked the first time a commercially built American spacecraft intended for human spaceflight docked to the orbital lab. Though un-crewed, Dragon was carrying two very important passengers – my space travel companion Ripley and myself, Astronaut Little Earth. During my three-day introduction to the station, two Expedition 59 astronauts, Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques, taught me what it takes to be a Space Station crew member!
First thing’s first – the VIEW. After the traditional hatch opening welcome ceremony, I was off to the Cupola Observational Module. Designed for the observation of operations outside the station, this module’s six side windows also provide spectacular views of our Mother Earth! My roommate Anne McClain introduced me to the beautiful vantage point of space. Clearly, I was a little star-struck.
Space Suit Sizing
Next, it was time to get to work – lending a hand with Anne McClain’s space suit sizing. Did you know you actually grow in zero gravity? Astronaut McClain has grown two inches on her current mission in space. Crew members must account for this change in growth to know if different components need to be switched out of their individual spacesuit for a better fit. When pressurized and filled with oxygen, the spacesuits become stiff objects around the astronauts inside, making it critical they fit comfortably. These spacesuits are essentially mini spacecraft that provide protection and a means of survival for the astronauts as they venture outside the space station and into the harsh environment of space.
One Café Latte, please! I was thrilled to find out that even in space, the morning begins with a pick me up. Due to microgravity, liquids tend to get sticky and cling to the wall of cups, making these plastic pouches and straws necessary for consumption. Astronauts in 2015 got an upgrade to their morning cup of joe thanks to SpaceX, Lavazza and the Italian Space Agency. Named the ISSpresso, a microgravity coffee maker has brought authentic Italian espresso with zero-G coffee cups onto the International Space Station.
Emergency Mask Donning
Fueled up and ready for the day, my next agenda item was emergency preparedness practice. There is no 9-1-1 in space, and three events that could pose a dangerous threat to the Space Station include a fire, a depressurization event or an ammonia breakout. Here, Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques and I practiced emergency mask donning in the unlikely event of an ammonia leak into the station’s atmosphere.
From astronaut to astro-plumber, I traded my mask for goggles with Astronaut Anne McClain during a briefing on plumbing routine maintenance. Because the International Space Station never returns to Earth, the crew is trained to regularly inspect, replace and clean parts inside the station.
Talk about staying healthy! After a busy day, Astronaut McClain and I continued to hit the ground running, literally. Crew members are required to work out daily for about two hours to help keep their heart, bones and muscles strong in zero gravity. The harness McClain is wearing is very much like a backpacking harness, designed to evenly distribute weight across her upper body and is attached to a system of bungees and cords. Depending on the tension in these attachments, a specific load of pressure is applied to her body onto the machine.
Strength Training in Zero-G
Watch out, deadlift going on. Running isn’t the only gym exercise they have onboard; strength training is also incorporated into the daily exercise regime.
Robotics Operations: Canadarm2
You can look, just don’t touch they told me. Whoops. This was a definite highlight, my Canadarm 2 briefing. That black nob by my hand is the translational hand controller. It operates the up and down function of the 57.7-foot-long robotic arm. The Canadarm2 lends a literal helping hand with many station functions, using a “hand” known as a Latching End Effector to perform tasks such as in orbit maintenance, moving supplies and performing “cosmic catches”.
Crew Group Dinner
Whew, you work up a big appetite working on the Space Station. Ending the day, I was introduced to a crew favorite, group dinner! Astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world come together on the orbital lab and bring with them a variety of cultures and ... food! Though each country is responsible for feeding its own members, when on board the astronauts can share as they please. A new friend of mine, Paxi from the European Space Agency, welcomed my visit and we split a delicious space-shrimp cocktail.
And that’s a wrap to a busy first week aboard the International Space Station! Learn more about what it means to live and work aboard the International Space Station, and click here to see if you have what it takes to become a NASA Astronaut. Until next time!
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
Signs You Might Be Ready to Apply to be a NASA Astronaut
Have you heard the news? Astronaut applications are opening soon (March 2), and there’s never been a better time to apply then now. Here are a few signs that might mean you’re ready to take to the stars:
1. You Don’t Mind Having Roommates
When you’re an astronaut, you have to work and live with your crew mates for extended periods of time. It’s important to the mission and your safety that everyone can collaborate and work together.
2. You LOVE Space
If the Milky Way, planets and space travel doesn’t excite you then this might not be the perfect job for you. But if you love galaxies, space station research and deep space exploration, then maybe you should take a look at our application.
3. Adventure Doesn’t Scare You
Being an astronaut means that you get to take part in adventures that most people will never experience. Imagine: sitting on the launch pad in the Orion spacecraft, atop a rocket that’s getting ready to launch. You’ll travel farther into space than any other humans have been and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space lunar orbits, leading the way for future missions to Mars.
4. You Want to be on the Cutting Edge of Science
Not only do astronauts get to travel to space, but they also get to conduct really cool research in microgravity. Did you know that right now they’re monitoring veggie growth on the International Space Station? This research could help with our future deep space exploration and could teach us a few things about growing plants on Earth. Learn more about all the awesome research on the space station HERE.
5. You’re Not Afraid of Heights
One of the coolest things about being an astronaut, is that you get to go to SPACE! At the very least, you’ll travel to the International Space Station, which is 250 miles above Earth. Or, you could be one of the first astronauts to travel to a distant asteroid or even Mars!
6. You Like Meeting New People
Space is a place where people from all around the world come together to push the boundaries of human exploration. Whether you’re living on the space station with an international crew, or embarking on Artemis missions to the Moon – you’re sure to make new friendships wherever you go.
7. Pizza is Life
Meal time is family time aboard the space station, and what better way to bond than pizza night! Getting to know your crew mates AND channelling your inner chef is always a win win.
8. World Traveling is on Your Bucket List
The International Space Station orbits Earth 16 times a day, so get ready to rack up those frequent flyer miles! A favorite past time of many astronauts is Earth watching from the station’s cupola observatory. Get lost in the Pacific Ocean’s blue hue, gaze at the Himalayas or photograph your favorite cities all from a bird’s eye view. Get assigned to an Artemis Moon mission? Even better! Have fun expanding your travels to the solar system.
9. You’ve Dreamed of Flying
Perk about the job? Your childhood dreams to fly finally come true. Whether you’re floating around the International Space Station or getting adjusted to our new spaceship, Gateway, your inner superhero will be beaming.
10. You Like Helping Others
Astronauts don’t just push the boundaries of human exploration, they also help pave the way for scientific breakthroughs back at home. Thanks to the microgravity environment of space, discoveries not possible on Earth are able to be unlocked. Investigations into Parkinson’s Disease, cancer and more have been conducted on the orbital lab.
Interested in applying to become an astronaut? You’re in luck, applications are open from March 2- 31! Learn about some common myths about becoming an astronaut HERE.
Get more info on applying to be one of our astronauts HERE.
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