Saturday, March 11, 2006

Visibility is crappy - is the 'hwang-seo' back?

UPdate 2: I mis-spelled yellow dust in Korean - it should be hwang-sa. Sounds like a temple. Thanks Kevin.

UPdate: Yes, the yellow dust (in Korean, Hwang-seo) is back. Arirang noon news described the situation and forecast the air being clearer tomorrow (Sunday). Sunday will also be much cooler as the wind that brings the dust is from the north. People at risk (the young, the elderly and those with breathing problems) should stay inside or wear a mask today.

Yellow dust is dust from China's deserts that is carried great distances. Some of the dust is composed of pollutants and some is radioactive, but inhaling even relatively benign dust makes breathing difficult. A few years ago in Seoul, I could barely see 100 metres. Visibility today is better but we don't have the open sky Coastal Gangwondo is known for.

I found in the Chosun information about the yellow dust in Seoul on Friday and checked some weather sites but found no information on yellow dust here. Is there a good dust forecasting site? Should I keep my little guy in and place a towel over his mouth just to be sure?

Skindleshanks, take care of your little guy as I know he is having breathing difficulties these days. All the best.


Kevin said...

Just a quick linguistic note:

The yellow dust is not hwang-seo (황서), but hwang-sa (황사,黃砂).

In other news-- here in Seoul, I think the dust just blends in with the rest of the atmospheric pollutants. Black boogers for everyone!

Y'all be careful out there; I share your concern for the kids' health and safety.

By the way, I've enjoyed your blog for a while and finally blogrolled it a few weeks back. Keep up the great work, both on the blog and in your life.



kwandongbrian said...

Thanks for the correction; I still have trouble hearing a difference between the Korean "a" and "eo" - especially when Koreans spell 'cop' with the 'a' character.

My comments go to my e-mail address so I only knew Kevin left a message. Do you no longer use your last name online? I actually am curious about that sort of thing because you post a lot of personal details. I don't put much effort into hiding my identity online but I don't post as much personal info.

Finally, thanks for posting a link here.

Kevin said...

re: "Kevin" and not "Kevin Kim"

I think there's no last name because my blogger handle is simply "Kevin," as can be seen at the bottom of my posts.

In the main part of the Hairy Chasms blog posts themselves (and in my comments on other bloggers' non-Blogspot blogs), I usually go by Kevin Kim, which is how I'm known to Koreans. Kim is actually my middle name-- something Koreans find extremely odd, since it's supposed to be a family name.

I keep my family name off the blog mainly to ward off certain Google searches, but since two-thirds of my name PLUS my face appear on the blog routinely, it wouldn't be hard for a determined researcher to track down my last name in an hour.

re: "a" and "eo" sounds

I sympathize. I have trouble with a whole host of Korean vowels, and some consonants, too. I also feel for my students when they struggle to hear the difference between "I BEAT the dog" and "I BIT the dog." For Korean speakers, that distinction is devilishly hard to hear.

Rock on,