Plastic surgery blamed for making all Miss Korea contestants look alike

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It’s an established fact that South Korea has one of, if not the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita in the entire world, and a Japanese blog covering South Korean topic recently wondered out loud if the phenomenon hasn’t unintentionally turned the country’s Miss Korea beauty pageant into a clone parade.

More at GAWKER.

How she escaped North Korea

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Park Ji Woo was born in North Korea and escaped with her mother when she was 9 years old. Today Park is 24 and studies English in New York City.

I was born in North Ham-Gyong province, North Korea, which is located in the far northeast of the country. It is extremely cold in winter. When the North Korean food distribution system collapsed in the early 1990s, my father, who was a doctor and the breadwinner for my family, couldn’t bring us food anymore.

More at PARKJIWOO.

Porn identification officer in China

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A non-governmental Chinese organization called simply “Safety Alliance” is on the lookout for a “Chief Pornography Identification Officer.” According to ChinaSmack, the group describes itself as a “neutral and impartial third-party organization, establishing industry standards for internet safety, improving China’s internet usage environment, protecting netizens’ internet rights and interests.”

More at The Daily Dot.

China’s Communist party isn’t really afraid of the internet

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Earlier this week, a Chinese propaganda official said China’s internet-based “new media” were threatening the Communist party. Using one of Mao Zedong’s most famous phrases, Ren Xianliang, vice-minister of propaganda in Shaanxi province, wrote in an editorial (link in Chinese): “Just as political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, the Party’s control of the media is an unassailable basis of the party’s leadership.”

More at the QUARTZ.

How Cambodian dance survived after so much death

A class in traditional dance at the Khmer Arts Academy in Takmao, Cambodia. (James Wasserman/SE Globe)

A class in traditional dance at the Khmer Arts Academy in Takmao, Cambodia. (James Wasserman/SE Globe)

IN the beginning warring gods and demons churned the cosmic ocean, and celestial dancers called apsaras emerged from the froth. That’s one story about Cambodian dance, its origin myth. This tale is preserved in bas-reliefs on the monumental temples of Angkor, created (like the dance) during the Khmer Empire (802-1431), left to become ruins during centuries of vassalage and rediscovered in the 19th and 20th centuries as emblems, first of royal pride and then of national identity.

More at The New York Times Dance.