Urine does not help Jellyfish stings

Many people are of the opinion (or should I say, under the impression) that urine can help sooth the pain of a jellyfish sting because it neutralises the chemicals. It doesn’t. It can actually make it even worse.

The following snippets give a general coverage of an article in Scientific American who spoke to Joseph Burnett, a dermatologist at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, and Christopher Holstege, a toxicologist and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia. Continue reading

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I met a Russian…and I brought up Ukraine

Whilst in Korea at SeoulTech for a 2 week summer school I met many people from many countries including: Japan, Taiwan, China, Russia, USA and more. It was a fascinating experience and I have made some true life long friends both in the UK and overseas. However, there was one incident that left me totally speechless, which for anyone who knows me is a complete rarity.

Now before I go into detail about this situation I want to say this as a kind of disclaimer. If the person I am talking about in this post ever happens to read this, do not take what I say too personally. We clearly just have very contrasting opinions and I simply want to explore that difference.

So, let’s get into it. It was the first Friday night of the summer school and most of us decided that we would go clubbing for the night in Itaewon – an area of Seoul popular with foreigners. Clubbing is not something I usually indulge in, simply because people in clubs generally drive nuts, but I went along for the experience and the company.

Before heading to the club we went to a sports bar for a few drinks. We joked around and talked about little things, mostly small talk like what do you study? Where are you from? What languages do you speak? (given that to Asians my French is fluent I may have played that card a little stronger than I should have while I had the chance) etc.

At some point we ended up talking about where people look like they are from and I passed a comment that the person opposite me – a Russian – did not look like they were from Russia. She looked pretty stunned by my remark and maybe even disgusted, so I waited for her to reply and that’s where it gets interesting.

She went on to explain that one of her parents was Ukrainian and the other from Belarus and thus concluded that she was fully Russian and was surprised to hear that I thought she did not look it.

Speechless. I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing. I thought maybe she was joking but she was very direct and looked totally serious. So I poked the bear a little more to see how deep the rabbit hole went.

“You know Ukraine is its own country, right?” I asked.

“Well…maybe.”

This reply honestly shook me despite how trivial it may seem to some (though more likely most) people.

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Day 5 – Thursday – Drums, Gangnam & 빙수

Hey guys, not many photos this time around. Woke up with a killer headache only to find out that we would be playing drums – very loud ones – called Samulnori (사물놀이). Here’s a quick video of the proper guys playing.

And here are the pictures that I have

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I started playing these drums, a little more complicated that the others…mainly because my hand-eye coordination isn’t great.

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These are the bass drums. You use the the rim and the main skin to play

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This guy was pretty fast at playing

Once we finished, we headed to Gangnam for more bingsu (빙수) this time with Oreos

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SOOOOOOOOOOO much 빙수

Day 3 – Tuesday – Korean, K-Pop Dancing & Hiking (w/ video)

Wow! Today was one hell of a long, tiring day!

  1. First Korean lesson
  2. Did a K-Pop cover dance of Fantasic Baby by BigBang – video included 😉
  3. Walked up a small mountain to get to Namsan Tower

So in our Korean lesson we covered these

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I knew most of these before I arrived. The vowels are across the top and the consonants on the left

Obviously I don’t have any more photos from the class so I’ll move on to number 2…the K-Pop dancing

Yes, as part of our program we were asked to do a cover dance of a k-pop song called Fantastic Baby BIGBANG

Here’s how it is supposed to look like

Here’s how our part looked.

The guy I danced with at the end was totally awesome, he even wanted a pic of us before we left xD

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Seoul Day 2 – Monday – The learning begins

So, no pictures this time, in fact we didn’t even really get up to much.

Started the day at 11am with introductory speeches from the dean and other staff, followed by a class.

The class began with some basic vocabulary and phrases that we would see in a film we were about to watch called Sunny (써니)…without subtitles -_-

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Seoul Day 1 – Sunday – Kimchi, League of Legends & Midnight Exploring

Finally finished my first full day in Seoul and what an amazing day it was. We started with breakfast:

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Kimchi (김치), sesame leaf, cucumber & beef, some stuff, rice and soup

Holy shit Kimchi for breakfast!!! This place is definitely heaven.

After breakfast, Alice and So Young took us around some places in downtown Seoul, it was hella fun. Lunch was amazing, mandu (만두) and noodles, then we headed to a dessert cafe where he had shaved ice with blueberries. Bliss! Yes, I have pictures 😉

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