The drop in the approval rating of South Korean president Lee Myung-bak from about 50% to 20% in a little over three months is rather impressive. Elected with the largest margin of victory among South Korean presidents, he's becoming unpopular really fast.
There is a hilarious cult of Jesus Christ claiming that the head of Jesus was that of a raptor. The sad thing is that the arguments for the claim were so similar to the types that some fundamentalist Christians use that I had to double check that it wasn't a real cult. Poe's Law strikes again!
I wish it were the case that I could have dismissed it as satire immediately, but sadly it's the case that some Christians seriously believe some weird things and often employ confused arguments (like what some believe about thermodynamics or the power of prayer). It's sometimes really hard to figure out whether certain religious content is sincere or parody.
Some people might think that there can never be such a thing as too much prayer. So it's funny to notice that an Islamic cleric thinks that Egyptians pray too much. While I'm not against people praying in their own time, there's no way I can be fine with people spending more time praying than working during work hours. I'm not sure if the average Egyptian is incredibly devout or if they're just using prayer as a state-sanctioned excuse for not working. However, significant loss of productivity due to prayer is certainly not a downside I would have thought of coming from state-sponsored religion.
A proposed constitutional amendment managed to get on the ballot. Considering that an initiative needs get more than half a million signatures to become a ballot measure, it's slightly depressing to think that so many people want to restrict the happiness of others. It would be understandable if gay marriages could bring harm to society, but there's no real reason why this would be so.
What's more depressing is that a measure to ban gay marriages actually passed in 2000. I'll be charitable and assume that this was only because the whole concept was so new that people couldn't get their head around it. I'm definitely going to vote against the proposed amendment, and I have a feeling a lot more people would be agreeing with me come this November than in 2000.
I think many Koreans are overreacting in their protests against the import of American beef. There has only been two cases of mad cow disease discovered in the US, which appears to have been contained before spreading further. The probability of contracting the disease from US beef is so low that it's a little hard to understand the level of conflict that's arisen from this issue. This is especially so since there has been less than five discovered human cases in the US itself who have contracted the disease, and it's not even clear that they contracted it from US beef.
The level of protests is bewildering, especially considering that there hardly seems to be any protests against Chinese food imports, where there is an actual and persistent history of contaminated foods being imported. At least the protests have not been particularly violent overall.