Figure skater Nathan Chen jumps his way into history at national championships

USA Today:

We have seen the future of U.S. figure skating and it is Nathan Chen.

Chen, 16, made history Sunday at the national championships by landing four quadruple jumps in his long program, more than any American skater ever, giving him a total of six over the two days of competition, a previously unthinkable number for a U.S. skater.

He did not win the men’s title, however. That honor went to veteran Adam Rippon, a lyrical skater who didn’t land a quad but still won his first national title at 26 with a score of 270.75 points. Max Aaron, the 2013 national champion, finished second (269.55), and Chen was third (266.93).

Third? Yes, third. Four quads were not good enough for first place. Chen is young and not fully developed as a skater and a jumper, but what a statement it would have been for the judges to have placed him first.

That said, all three skaters qualified for the world championships in Boston this spring, and Chen also will compete at the world junior championships in Hungary two weeks earlier, so he will get plenty of exposure on the international stage two years before the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

A 6-year-old American girl impresses her cab driver by speaking fluent Korean

Next Shark:

A 6-year-old American girl who spoke fluent Korean to a taxi driver impressed not only the Korean driver but is impressing netizens as well.

In a video posted to Youtube and Reddit by her mother, Anaya, a U.S.-born citizen, speaks fluent Korean to a cab driver in the country, where both her parents work teaching English.

Among the topics of conversation with the driver is that her parents call her a “princess,” to which the driver replies that those called princesses in the country are considered pretty.

At one point in the clip, Anaya’s mother says, “Korean little,” to express her inability to speak the language fluently. Her young daughter steps right in, however, to tell the driver that her mother is pregnant with a “little big sister,” to which the driver corrects her Korean to “a little sister.”

In the video’s description, Anaya’s mother writes that her daughter’s conversation is awesome because “Korean is one of the top 3 hardest languages for English speakers to learn.” and “How many little black girls do you know personally that can speak Korean?”

The video of Anaya, now aged 8, was taken from two years ago. She moved to Korea when she was 1 and currently attends a Korean elementary school.

She adds:

“We put this video up as a way to show the benefits of raising your children abroad. This is meant to be a positive video to promote awareness that black people are traveling the world and our children are the products of our travels. We want to encourage others that it is possible!”

Orphaned sisters separated 40 years ago in Korea reunited working in same Florida hospital

Adopted out of a Korean orphanage as children, sisters Meagan Hughes, left, and Holly Hoyle O'Brien found each other again while working on the same floor at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

The Guardian:

Two orphaned sisters separated decades ago in South Korea have been reunited after being hired at the same hospital in Florida. The women, now both in their 40s, were stunned to learn that they were related, having not seen each other since the early 1970s.

Both women had suffered tragic losses and spent time at orphanages in South Korea before being adopted by American families.

As a very young child, Eun-Sook – now known as Meagan Hughes – had been taken from her alcoholic father by her mother. But the woman left Hughes’ half sister, Pok-nam Shin, known as Holly Hoyle O’Brien, who was two years older, in the care of the father.

When the father died, O’Brien, then aged five, ended up in an orphanage in Pusan, 200 miles (335km) south of the capital, Seoul. In 1978, aged nine, she was adopted by an American couple who gave her the new name and took her to be part of their family in the state of Virginia.

Her half sister, Hughes, also has memories of a Korean orphanage but recalls little of her biological mother or what happened to her. In 1976 she was also adopted by an American family, growing up in New York state, about 300 miles (480km) from her sister.

Earlier this year, O’Brien was hired at a hospital in Sarasota, Florida, working as a nursing assistant on the fourth floor. Three months later, Hughes was hired to work on the same floor.

The two women worked the same 7am-7.30pm shift and struck up a friendship quickly.

The coincidences began stacking up. Both had “abandonment” listed on their orphanage paperwork and both had been adopted by American families.

O’Brien told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: “I was like, this is too good to be true. I said we’ve got to do the DNA test, it’s the only way we’ll get the truth out of the whole thing.

She ordered DNA kits from Canada and the women did mouth swabs, which were sent back to Canada in early August.

The match was positive.

I’m like, this can’t be,” O’Brien told the paper. “I was trembling, I was so excited. I was ecstatic.

Her half sister was just as surprised: “When I heard from Holly, my first reaction was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I was in shock, I was numb. I have a sister,” Hughes said.

Visa photos of Holly Hoyle O'Brien , left, and Meagan Hughes for their adoption and entry into the United States. STAFF PHOTO / DAN WAGNER

Visa photos of Holly Hoyle O’Brien , left, and Meagan Hughes for their adoption and entry into the United States. 

Former Maxim model becomes Korea’s ‘Most Beautiful Police Officer’

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Next Shark (by Riley Schatzle):

A police officer is gaining attention in Korea for her gender and good looks.

Kim Miso was nominated for Miss Maxim Korea in 2014, however, she is now pursuing a career where she can protect and serve. According to Korea’s Dispatch, the 25-year-old Miso left modeling behind, trained at the Central Police Academy and now works for the Seoul Metropolitan Police Department.

She has since been dubbed the “most beautiful police officer in Korea.”Miso_08Miso_04

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5 unique cafés to visit in Asia

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Audrey Magazine (by Alyssa Park):

Cafés are popping up all over America, and they are quickly becoming part of a global culture as well. For instance, all across Asia you can find amazing cafés with different types of aesthetics such as rustic, modern, traditional and even themed. If you are traveling through Asia, then these five destinations are a must.

1. Hoho Myoll Café : (Seoul, South Korea)

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Korea is known to have some of the most beautiful cafés in the world. With a bit of a rustic aesthetic, Hoho Myoll Café is an enchanting little café tucked away in the heart of Seoul.

2. Wangye Teahouse : (Zigong, China)

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Inside of what was once a 100-year-old temple lies a very famous Sichuan Teahouse in Zigong, China. Next to the Fuxi River, visitors not only enjoy a traditional cup of tea, they can also become engrossed in a rich cultural history.

3. Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop: (Tokyo, Japan)

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Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop is one of many of Japan’s themed cafés. Not only are the creampuffs Totoro-shaped, the café itself is extremely sophisticated while maintaining a youthful charm.

4.Up Café: (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

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Up Café is a mandatory destination in Saigon mostly for it’s novelty. With all of the furniture and windows hanging upside down from the ceilings, you can’t help but feel like you are in another dimension.

5. Audrey Café & Bistro: ( Bangkok, Thailand)

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Audrey Café & Bistro is one of the most popular destinations in Bangkok, Thailand because of its beauty. With decor that only reflects elegance and class, your experience here will be nothing short of luxurious.

“Music Library + Understage” opens in state-of-the-art complex in Seoul, boasting 10,00+ vintage vinyl record collection 

South Korea pays $3.8 million to make sure Seoul looks good in new “Avengers” movie

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KoreaBoo:
It has been revealed that the South Korean government paid the producers of Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron a whomping $3.8 million to make sure that Seoul was depicted as a high-tech and modern city.

The government’s culture ministry had agreed to cover a third of the filming cost for the newest Avengers movie under the condition that Seoul, and South Korea as a whole, be shown in a postivie light.

Although the use of public funds for product placement has displeased many South Korean citizens, officials hope that Korea’s image in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, will raise the country’s reputation up and out of the publicity shadow of North Korea.

Kim Young Gun from the Korean Film Council revealed that officials hope the movie will change the status of Seoul, bringing it up along the ranks with Tokyo to represent Asia in Hollywood films.

However, an insider with Marvel Studios has claimed that their team has not changed anything in production to appease Korean officials.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron began filming in Sangam-dong, Seoul, last year and has already made its Hollywood premiere.