Kpop Scandals: Growing Pains of a Growing Industry

From left to right: Seungri, G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P. and Daesung of Big Bang
https://www.keyt.com

Kpop is a musical genre that began in South Korea and has rapidly spread across the world with critical acclaim. In Jan Laurens Hartong’s novel, Musical Terms Worldwide: A Companion for the Musical Explorer, she describes Kpop as being,

a musical style that began in the 1960’s with the blending of Western pop music and Japanese Enka-style music. Today, it is one of the most famous musical genres in the world and incorporates musical styles from every culture.

Maybe you even have a favorite Kpop star. I am personally a huge fan of BTS and Twice, Kpop groups that have been performing for just under a decade. Regardless of if you have heard of Kpop or not, odds are that due to its incredible popularity across the globe, you will soon know all about it, and maybe even have a favorite group of your own.

Seungri

Unfortunately, though Kpop fans (including myself) might not want to admit it, there have been a growing number of scandals in the world of Kpop. The largest and most concerning scandal concerns a Kpop star named Seungri from the internationally famous band, Big Bang. The scandal took place in February of 2018, and involved sexual allegations at a private club.

People have reacted to these scandals in numerous different ways. These reactions range from individuals such as fans in Korea to fellow Korean celebrities. Many have turned away from celebrities such as Seungri and have even started publicly hating on him. Some Korean celebrities have even spoken up and publicly announced their disrespect and disappointment. Many rookies in the Kpop industry have even been heard to avoid Seungri and be careful to not get involved with him too much.

The specific timeline of the Seungri scandal has been broken down as follows:

  • A man named Mr. Kim (keeping this vague to protect identity) was assaulted at a club where Seungri works.
  • The club where Seungri worked denied the claim and actually put the fault on Mr. Kim.
  • Seungri and the club fired the man who allegedly assault Mr. Kim.
  • Texts and chatroom conversations were released showing that Seungri and other individuals may have been involved with other assault scandals and cover ups at the same club.
  • According to police reports, “Seungri reportedly directed the employee to find prostitutes…The Seoul Police Department launched an investigation into the prostitution claims.” Less than 2 months after the investigation began, “Seungri was booked on charges of supplying prostitutes, and he became a suspect in the case. Three to four more members of the chat were booked.”
  • Although the investigation is still ongoing, it does appear that Seungri will likely be serving some type of jail sentence, but this is still unknown.

Sadly, Seungri is only the beginning, as numerous other scandals have been brought to light in the Kpop world. These scandals involve big names, such as Jung Joon Young, Choi Jong Hoon, Roy Kim, Eddy Kim, Yong Jun Hyung, and Lee Jong Hyun.

BTS at the 32nd Golden Disk Awards
뉴스인스 (NewsInStar)

An interesting point to note is that many of these scandals center around specific Kpop labels. This could be due to different label policies or a general affinity by some labels toward more risky celebrities. Many entertainment managers train their trainees differently and some of their celebrities in their entertainment  have more scandals than other entertainment industries. For example, YG trains his trainees and his idols strictly, but he gives them too much freedom, so they act recklessly, which leads them to many scandals. This specific company has the group Big Bang in it, the band which started the whole Burning Sun scandal involving Seungri.

Although these scandals give a bad name to Kpop, fortunately, the vast majority of Kpop stars are scandal-free and do a great deal of good for their community.

(www.korea.net) Jeon Han

This also has to do with each Kpop label and how they train and educate their stars. For example, as seen on the Korean survival show, Stray Kids, JYP and Big Hit train their idols strictly based on their skills, such as vocal, rap and dancing, but they also have to have to have a good personality. They have to be respectful not only to their elders and group members, but also their fans. JYP and Big Hit owners were personally good friends back in the day, and they even grew the entertainment JYP together, so this could be why they have many similar training styles. This could very well be why they are some of the most scandal-free agencies to date.

In the Burning Sun scandal, there are many companies whose idols are involved in it, but there are companies who trained their trainees well, so they aren’t involved. Hopefully proper training practices will continue so that the world of Kpop will be scandal-free and spread across the globe with ease. I can’t wait for the day when everyone has their own favorite Kpop star…as long as it isn’t Seungri.

Experiments in Photographic Memory (Phase 1: Guinea Pig)

 

photographic memory stephon city

The results of a powerful photographic memory. http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/art_gallery.aspx?Id=5935

Oh, you’ve heard of photographic memory before? Than perhaps you’ve already heard of Stephen Wiltshire, a.k.a’ed as “the Human Camera.” He is the artist responsible for the picture above, aptly titled “Monte Carlo.” I’m no art critic, but the tremendous accomplishment in this work is almost unparalleled in human history, not because the painting is especially brilliant in form or technique, but because the image depicted is photographically perfect to what you would see in a helicopter ride over Monte Carlo. For only a brief few minutes, a helicopter ride is just what Stephen went on; then he went on to paint this work entirely from memory.

Stephen is an autistic savant who sketches perfect skylines, down to the minutest of details, directly from his briefly-glimpsed photographic memories. Much has been said about this incredible young man already, and a full length documentary can be seen here, but this article is not about Stephen. It is about you. It is about you and your ability to do the exact same thing: develop a photographic memory.

The Photographic Memory

photographic memory camera

Photographic memory, yeah, just like that. darozz.tumblr.com

Lauded across civilization as one of the ultimate powers of mankind, the photographic memory has long resided in the realms of mythos, ambiguously skating the lines between reality and legend. The possibilities of attaining such a superhero ability, being nearly limitless, fill one’s mind with a power-high from just imagining it. Yet, as it currently stands, our general understandings widely boil down to hearsay and urban legend, dismissed the way of alchemy, until now…

On ehow.com, there is a tutorial on how to develop a photographic memory using only household appliances, within the span of a mere 30 days. Outrageous! Wild claims are nothing new to the internet and bullshit alarms should sound pretty quick. This method, however, seems to keep showing up over and over and over all across the internet like a foul rumor that just won’t die. While repetition hardly grants the premise credence, it does bring to light an intriguing question. Why can’t we find anyone who’s actually done it?

For such a simple training program with such amazing benefits, it seems no one is willing to put in the effort, or if they are, they are unwilling to share their newfound photographic memory with the world. So this is where we come in…

As of the publication of this article, I am 7 days into my own regimen, and I can tell you I’ve glimpsed victory (more on that shortly). This is, though, the 4th attempt I’ve made in the last 6 months, for reasons we’ll look at in a moment. Our focus here is to validate or discredit this idea by self experimentation, posting results, and looking for feedback/others interested in training their brains to be more.

The Photographic Memory Method (basic)

Instructions

  • 1. This system will take 1 month for you to develop a photographic memory, you must take 15 minutes every day and dedicate it to this training. For the first month, your eyes will take about 5 minutes time to adjust to daylight reading.
  • 2. Find a dark room in your house, free of distractions for 15 minutes. I use the bathroom. The room must have a bright lamp or ceiling lamp.
  • 3. Sit down next to the light switch with your book and paper that has a rectangular hole cut out of it the size of a paragraph.
  • 4. Cover the page, exposing only one paragraph and hold the book out in front of you. Close your eyes and open, adjust distance so that your eyes focus instantly with ease on the writing.
  • 5. Turn off light. You will see an after glow as your eyes adjust to the dark. Flip light on for a split second and then off again.
  • 6. You will have a visual imprint in your eyes of the material that was in front of you. When this imprint fades, flip the light on again for a split second, again staring at the material.
  • 7. Repeat this process until you can recall every word in the paragraph in order. You will be able to actually see the paragraph and read it from the imprint in your mind.

Tips & Warnings

  •  Do not get discouraged, it will work. It has been working for the military for 70 years.
  •  You will be developing this technique to a point where you will be able to execute this during the day, all day.
  •  Rate this article with the stars by my screen name.
  •  Omitting even one day, can prolong training by as much as a week.

 

As I’ve said, I’ve tried and failed 4 times now, but I’ve learned a few secrets along the way that I’d like to share, because have seen this work.

But why did you fail the last 4 times?

Well, it’s pretty simple actually. It’s boring. Actually putting in the effort to get a photographic memory is boring and tedious but mostly there was no feedback or reassurance because no one else (as far as we know) has done this yet. So, sitting in a dark bathroom every morning, frankly, I felt like a lunatic and quit. Congratulations to you, then. I’m here at your disposal (qwizx@wondergressive.com) and with enough traffic, we’ll be starting a forum as well, so you have just gotten past the biggest obstacle of attaining a photographic memory, no support, and haven’t even done anything yet. All that said, let’s break this down step by step, so you can know what to expect.

photographic memory big bang

Photographic memoy, or eidetic memoryhttp://www.tumblr.com/tagged/eidetic%20memory

1.   This system will take 1 month for you to develop. You must take 15 minutes every day and dedicate it to this training. For the first month, your eyes will take about 5 minute’s time to adjust to daylight reading.

The first few days are really interesting, because the sensations are just spectacular.  You’ll literally be able to see into the past through peripheral images burned into your retina. As for 15 minutes, this isn’t quite right. For the first several days, it will be more like 30-45; then you’ll develop a system and be able to pull back to 15. When it says “5 minutes to adjust,” this means don’t start the process until you’ve been in the dark for at least 5 minutes. After the novelty wears off, this routine will get tedious, so I highly recommend using this few minutes wisely: turn on some music for a reference to how much time has passed and brush your teeth or any other bits of your morning routine that don’t require light. I go so far as to take a waterproof flashlight into my cold shower (you can get flash images of individual droplets hovering in midair).

2.    Find a dark room in your house, free of distractions for 15 minutes. I use the bathroom. The room must have a bright lamp or ceiling lamp.

The bathroom works well, but it must be pitch black. Be sure to shove a towel under the crack in the door and unplug any appliances with even a tiny light. “Dark” just won’t cut it; it needs to be complete blackness. Also, if you’re using a bathroom (closet works great too), be sure to let anyone living with you know you’ll be in there for a while, cause it’s really frustrating to be 12 minutes in and get an “I gotta pee” knock, only to have to start all over.

3.   Sit down next to the light switch with a book and a paper that has a rectangular hole cut out of it the size of a paragraph.

Light switch is great, but flashlight is better so you won’t have to stand uncomfortably the whole time. The type of bulb is important as well; it can’t be one that emits residual light, cooling down gradually, as it needs to be a quick flash and nothing more or the effect is ruined. LED is excellent. As far as the book goes, forget it for the first few days. Just play around with the process until you can see a fair amount of detail in various objects in the room. After a few days, incorporate a book, but a child’s book with very large print (or print off anything you’d like, but with at least 20 sized font). Don’t be discouraged, because on the first day you won’t be able to read a paragraph, just get a vague shape of the page. it improves over time.

4.   Cover the page, exposing only one paragraph and hold the book out in front of you. Close your eyes and open, adjust distance so that your eyes focus instantly with ease on the writing.

The concept here is fascinating: you’ll be training yourself to be able to read a paragraph only from a brief glance. After 30 days, the amount of time it takes to establish a habit, you’re mind will essentially be on autopilot, doing this automatically. How cool! Over time use smaller and smaller font to train your eyes.

5.   Turn off light. You will see an afterglow as your eyes adjust to the dark. Flip light on for a split second and then off again.

Have fun playing around with the length of the flash, because the difference of a few milliseconds makes a huge difference, especially if there is any motion going on. Eyes work like cameras, and we want to avoid time-lapse photography (right).

6.  You will have a visual imprint in your eyes of the material that was in front of you. When this imprint fades, flip the light on again for a split second, again staring at the material.

You’ll be able to see everything, as though the lights were still on. It’s a dizzying experience (can be scary and mind-blowing).

7.   Repeat this process until you can recall every word of the paragraph in order. You will be able to actually see the paragraph and read it from the imprint in your mind.

Just start with details around the room and work up to this. Count tiles, trace wood-grain lines, anything. The memory itself is exactly “photographic;” an image is at your mind’s disposal. In the end, if you asked me what was the third word of the second paragraph on page 327 of Moby -Dick, I’d know it was blubber, not because I have it all memorized but because I can bring up the image of that page perfectly to my mind’s eye. It works on this same idea: currently, do you know what the fourth word in this paragraph is? Probably not. But you can find out easily enough because it’s only an inch or two up.

photographic memory head

A photographic memory is possible, but find out for yourself. http://www.mishes.com/inspiracion/collage-illustrations-randy-mora

Two weeks into my first attempt, my mind made a leap. I was spinning in revelry at the notion that soon I’d have the super power of photographic memory and I wanted to test it, so I went to the shelf with all the movies and tried it out. I wasn’t really sure what to do or how to “take a picture” so I looked at a shelf with 200 or so videos and just thought “click,” looking at the shelf for only a second or so, being careful not to consciously read the titles. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine, not remember, the shelf. ‘Imagine’ isn’t quite right either; maybe see is the best word. Once you experiment you’ll understand what I mean. The experience is like perfectly looking into the past with a camera with resolution as detailed as your eyesight and clipping out a perfect 3 dimensional frame of reality. you can go back and look at these images the same way you look at a photo album except… it’s more like if time suddenly stopped, but you can’t perceive beyond whatever you’re focused on this exact moment. I imagined the shelf and could see every bit of it, even details I’d never noticed before, like little cracks in the wood or tiny things that would normally elude or not interest me. Most importantly, I could read every title. Today, 4 months later, I still can.

One man’s speculations and lunatic claims are hardly proof of anything, so let’s try this together. What have you got to lose besides your mind?

 

Sources:

Our Special Time in the Universe

 

We know that we live in a special place. Earth is special as it supports the delicate conditions that have allowed us to evolve to our present state. I think it is fascinating to note that not only do we live in a special place, but the time in which we live is also remarkable.

Normally when we speak of time, we are referring to events that have or are occurring in a span that is relatively close to our own existence. Even when we discuss history, thousands of years ago, this is still very recent time as far as the universe is concerned. The time frame of which I speak is much broader, much deeper. We’re talking billions of years. Trillions of years. But trillions of years are peanuts for the universe. If the universe continues to be, and is not destroyed, then billions of years is still nothing compared to infinity. So here, when I say we live in a special time, I’m referring to a window of a trillion years, give or take.

So, what’s so special about our time? In Laurence Krauss’ book “A Universe from Nothing”, he demonstrates how our time is one when our ability to accurately observe and quantify our universe is a luxury. We live in a time when it is still possible for us to determine the size of our universe. This is possible because we can still see to the far edge of the universe, to the cosmic microwave background (the radiation that is left over from the big bang). This may not sound terribly impressive, but keep in mind that future civilizations will not have this luxury. Our universe is expanding, faster and faster, stretching space-time out as it does so. Eventually this expansion, if it continues to accelerate (which all evidence suggests that it will), will be stretching space-time out at a rate that is faster than the speed of light. Once this rate of expansion is reached, it will be impossible for light from these regions to ever reach other areas of the universe. Therefore, in a future civilization, on a different world, trillions of years from now, the greatest scientists of their era will look out through the lenses of the most powerful telescopes ever constructed and see nothing beyond their own galaxy.

This has other implications as well. Not only will these future civilizations be unable to see anything outside of their own galaxy (which will remain intact due to the local effects of gravity within the galaxy), but this will also mean that the expansion of the universe will also be undetectable. Without being able to detect the expansion, the now infamous dark energy will also remain in the dark, so to speak.

So, our time is unique in that we are able to learn key aspects of our universe that will be simply out of reach of our universal successors. The universe is a wonderfully mysterious place, and I for one feel tremendously lucky to be alive when we can appreciate intricacies such as this.

 

Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaGktVQdNg

Ancient Galaxy That Shouldn’t Exist is Perfectly Formed

 

Astronomers have discovered a 10.7 billion year old galaxy they say shouldn’t exist.  UCLA astrophysicist Alice Shapley thought her team had made an error when they first discovered the ‘grand design’ spiral galaxy, but after further observation it is clear that this galaxy is in fact the real deal.

The spiral galaxy formed just 3 billion years after the Big Bang, which according to contemporary physics and cosmology, is impossible.

For such a well organized, colossal galaxy to form and keep its shape is unprecedented.  Astronomers believe the galaxy, creatively named BX442, kept it’s shape through the gravitational pull and sway of a nearby dwarf galaxy which it is on a collision course with.

The discovery has set a new benchmark in cosmological inquiry and understanding.  Any find that forces us to rethink and reevaluate is a worthwhile discovery.

I think it’s fairly obvious what is going on.  Our distant galactic neighbors have perfected the art of intentional galactic-forming.

Duh.

Ancient Galaxy That Shouldn’t Exist is Found Perfectly Formed

Astronomers have discovered a 10.7 billion year old galaxy they say shouldn’t exist.  This ancient galaxy was discovered by UCLA astrophysicist Alice Shapley and her team who thought they had made an error when they first discovered the ‘grand design’ spiral galaxy.

Related Article: Our Special Time in the Universe

After further observation it became clear that this ancient galaxy is in fact the real deal. The ancient galaxy has been creatively named “BX442”.

The hallmark of a grand design galaxy is its well-formed spiral arms, but getting into this conformation takes time. When astronomers look at most galaxies as they appeared billions and billions of years ago, they look clumpy and irregular. A 10.7-billion-year-old entity, BX442 came into existence a mere 3-billion years after the Big Bang.

For such a well organized, colossal galaxy to form and keep its shape is unprecedented.  Astronomers believe the ancient galaxy, BX442, kept it’s shape through the gravitational pull and sway of a nearby dwarf galaxy which is on a collision course with it.

Related Article: Two New Blue Developments In Our Galaxy

The discovery of this well formed beautiful ancient galaxy has set a new benchmark in cosmological inquiry and understanding.  Any find that forces us to rethink and reevaluate is a worthwhile discovery. The galaxy we live in is called the Milky Way Galaxy, and Space.com tells us that:

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, about 100,000 light-years across. If you could look down on it from the top, you would see a central bulge surrounded by four large spiral arms that wrap around it. Spiral galaxies make up about two-third of the galaxies in the universe.

I think it’s fairly obvious what is going on though.  Our distant galactic neighbors have perfected the art of intentional galactic-forming.

Duh.

Related Article: Galaxy Geysers

 

Sources:

io9: Hubble has spotted an ancient galaxy that shouldn’t exist

Nature: High velocity dispersion in a rare grand-design spiral galaxy at redshift z = 2.18

Space.com- Milky Way Galaxy: Facts about our Galactic Home

 

The Big Bang Wasn’t the Beginning

A team of physicists are now hypothesizing that the big bang may not have been the beginning of the universe.  They believe that the big bang is instead the start of a phase change, like liquid water suddenly cooling to form solid ice.

The theory gets really interesting as the physicists discuss potential cracks in the universe like the cracks that form in actual ice.  One of the researchers, Quach, explained that the universe can be thought of “as being like a liquid, then as the universe cools, it ‘crystallises’ into the three spatial and one time dimension that we see today. Theorized this way, as the universe cools, we would expect that cracks should form, similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice.” 

The theory postulates that space and time are emerging properties of the universe that did not always exist.  The theory’s  math holds up, but even if the physicists do find the ‘cracks’ only time will tell whether the theory is even partially correct.  A whole lot of time.  And by that time a wholly other set of properties may emerge making the notion of time moot.

As for now, it’s certainly fun to consider.

Isn’t mystery just awesome?