Friday, November 30, 2012

"Small World" - That's Why We Need to Protect It

I saw this article in the Korea Times yesterday, "Korea selected as council member for chemical weapons treaty" (November 28, 2012):
Korea has been re-elected to an executive council of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday. The convention, which took effect in 1997, is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. The convention is administered by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an independent entity based in The Hague, Netherlands, and has 188 member states. During the Conference of the States Parties held there, Korea became one of 21 members of the executive council for the May 2013-May 2015 term, according to the ministry. The council plays a role in verifying the scrapping of chemical weapons, implementing international agreements and supervising the management of its secretariat, it added. "As the country having the world's sixth-largest chemical industry, Korea has served as a member of the executive council since the convention took effect, and continues to strive to play a key role in scrapping chemical weapons and urging non-member countries to join the move," the ministry said in a statement.
That reminded me of two things: first, that one of my childhood friends is head of the Industry Verification Branch at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is located in The Hague Area of the Netherlands; and second, that when my friend took the job a couple of years ago, she asked my then-eleven-year-old son to create some artwork on the danger of chemicals, so he did:

Chemical 1
En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

Chemical 2
En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

Chemical 3
En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

Chemical 4
En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

Chemical 5
En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

My friend liked the result and wrote these words in response:
I like them all! The face in the beaker (#1) is a bit scary. I think he has a future in flag design. They seem to be the colors and shapes of many countries' flags.

He got the idea pretty clearly, didn't he? He has . . . [a way] of making something simple represent a complex circumstance. Does he have description for the symbols? What are the oblong things that look like bar codes?
En-Uk never did explain himself . . . but artists don't have to. Anyway, I wrote an email to my friend yesterday, providing a link to the Korea Times article, and she wrote back:
Yes, this is my work. I just finished a big annual "Conference of States Parties" today. They just approve what the smaller "Executive Council" forwards to them from their 3-4 meetings per year. The EC is made up of 42 of the 188 member states and has a rotating representation, so Korea will function as one of the representatives of the Asian group. I see them occasionally.

Small world.
Yeah, it is a small world. That's why we need to protect it . . .

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At 4:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Childhood friend? I assume I would know her as well, but maybe not. It is interesting to see how global some of our classmates and peers have become, including yourself!


At 7:00 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You'd know her well -- she's the smartest high school graduate Salem ever produced -- but I wasn't sure that she'd want her name plastered across this blog entry.

Global, me? I'm a hillbilly in Seoul! Wherever I happen to live, I'm always local . . . and loco.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tobacco companies kill millions monthly, but publicize their voluntary work with the elderly (Philip Morris Inc.). Bankers suck out every penny from people, but organize actions where the bank executive is photographed cleaning streets of Cambodia (Woori Bank). Airlines damage the environment, but force their employees to fly to oversees countries to plant trees (Korean Air, Asiana). Korean arms industry sells weapons to countries where 10 year-olds play with AK and Norwegian bullets instead of Nintendo, Korean is now among the top 15 exporters, Korean media call their export boost successful, but the country is selected as council member for chemical weapons treaty, while leftist Norway every year tells us whom should we now admire for bringing peace to the world. SIBC organizes another "collect dirty rags... sorry... collect clothes for orphanages in India" even though I keep telling them that in this way they support Korean textile industry and ruin the clothing business in India, as we already did in Africa. We all love to keep up appearances and pretend that we care.


At 2:54 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The law of unintended consequences rules over all our efforts . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just some. 150 years ago manufacturing and smoking tobacco and the resulting lethal consequences could be called unintended. Now it's just sheer greed and stupidity. It also refers to many other things in our lives.

As I see you also like Latin maxims, let me then leave here one of my favorite: "Errare humanum est, in errore perservare stultum."


At 7:30 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

My entire life has been stultifying . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smartest ever! In my case that would not take too much. I tell people YOU were the smartest. Do you think she would mind if you sent me her name or email address via email?


At 10:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'm not especially smart, but I can mimic intelligence -- the Viceroy butterfly of things intellectual, that's me.

The childhood friend lived at Agnos, but her name wasn't Eva. She's a friend of yours, too, merely a year younger.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hints. I will have to pull out my annual as I am not recalling the name. I am guessing the last name begins with a "W"? Pete was part of that class as well, and he is no slouch in the brains department. :-)


At 7:12 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

No, it's "H" -- and she was a National Merit Scholar.

Who is this "W" person?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was tempted at yesterday's post:

"Jacek" rather made the point - but otherwise - thing to consider on the points I'd think your friend is onto - weaponized chemical munitions.

And there's the crux - our feel goods as it were:

Thalidomide. Bhopal. The occasional train wreck - as occurred three days ago in New Jersey. "Endocrine Disruptors" fired wherever grasshoppers choose to hop grass.

In the US at least we've an entire generation - with: "can't whip their butts so let's chemicalize them."

That'd be ADHD or whatever the diagnosis of the month is. And we'll spray our crops with whatever and whatever is left - we'll chemicalize them with whatever is left.

There used to be beds of mussels in Southfork.

Mussels. Not so much up to high-level-thought but something of an indicator.

And I miss finding mussels in Southfork.

Herschel D.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"And I miss finding mussels in Southfork."

So do I. They were a mysterious hint of the sea way up in the Ozarks.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"W" = Willet

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I thought the Willets were more into basketball . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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