Create a Cool Korean Circle Pattern in Illustrator

I’ve been quite interested in Korean designs and patterns for some time now. I’ve also been hoping to incorporate some of the best Korean patterns into my designs. However, there seems to be a real lack of Korean design resources out there, so I decided to make my own. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a cool Korean circle pattern like those found on many Korean traditional buildings and clothes. This is one of the coolest patterns I’ve found in Korea, so it was a lot of fun making it in Illustrator. I found a similar pattern here, and if you want to see more great Korean patterns, I encourage you to pick up this book all about Korean patterns.

Well, let’s begin.

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Glenn Beck’s Rotten Apple

You know when you eat an apple that has a worm in it? It just ruins the whole thing. America is that apple, and Glenn Beck the worm.

And although he uses big words like “prayer” and “God” in his rants, he in no way embodies the same religious zeal he attempts to conjure up in others – he merely uses those words as showpieces to rally other “religious people” to his cause. But, one must remember that Glenn is not representative of all “religious people” or all Mormons (his religion) or all Christians (there’s a big difference between the two), and therefore one cannot blame “religious people” for Glenn Beck. He is his own creation (and one of the media’s creations), and his ideas are not representative of the ideas of “religious people.”

And “religious people” would do well to truly PAY ATTENTION to who Beck is and what he says. I’m sure most would find there is a bit of a disconnect between their particular religious beliefs and the extreme things Beck says and does.

I particularly like how he elevates America above the place of God in his 9-12 Project ( In fact, most of what is written on his 9-12 Project page can be classified as ONE of these four things: (a) can be overturned by Scripture, (b) is counter to what Jesus taught, (c) has not been demonstrated or lived out by Beck, or (d) has been radically disproven as fundamental to Beck’s core beliefs (

So, “religious people,” please don’t feel that you need to loop yourselves in with Glenn Beck just because he talks about “God” on a nationally publicized media program. And “media people,” please don’t assume that all “religious people” or conservatives fall into the same narrow category that Beck has taken it upon himself to occupy.

He’s just a little worm burrowing down into the apple of America, with enough space and a loud enough voice to ruin that apple for everyone.

Don’t Fly United Airlines

UselessAs an American citizen living in Korea and teaching English, I’ve had a good share of international and domestic travel experience. Since my first trip to study abroad in Shanghai in 2004, I’ve traveled to China twice, Hong Kong once, Japan three times, Korea five times, and returned home to visit my family five or six times. Therefore, I have a very good working knowledge of what is required for all portions of a successful journey: from buying tickets, to arranging documents, to finding my way around crowded airports, to security checks, boarding planes, and customs at the other end. I’ve developed my own habits and patterns for doing things that make my international travel much better, safer, faster, and more efficient (including always using carry-on bags). After countless successful experiences with airplane travel, I had begun to take my success for granted – I had a perfect record of travel. But a recent experience in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with United Airlines sent me spinning.

Since I have so much travel experience to different countries, I’ve also had lots of experience with different airlines. By far the best of the best always happen to be Asian airlines. Korean Air was always my favorite, Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong is also wonderful, I’ve heard Singapore Airlines gives first class service even in economy class, and I recently experienced Asiana Airlines first class service in economy as well. The US airlines however, leave something to be desired. Delta is not bad, but nothing like their SkyTeam partner Korean Air (first class service). Northwest is the cheapest and it’s really true that you get what you pay for, service is just average. United Airlines, or perhaps Los Angeles International airport (LAX), or perhaps a combination of the two however is by far the worst airline I’ve ever dealt with. It’s not the flight itself that stinks, but the customer service stinks and as Dave Carroll sings it’s often a case of “pass the buck” and “don’t ask me.” Here is the story of my recent experience with them, in an email complaint I sent to the company.

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My Two-Fold Theory on Self-Destructive Study Patterns in Korea

sleepingToday in class, all my students were asleep. Teaching them was like pulling teeth: not pleasant at all. I’m constantly discouraged by the educational system in Korea, particularly hagwons. But more than the system itself is the mindset that drives and encourages the system. Hagwons in and of themselves are not evil or even bad. They are present to fill a need (real or perceived) and they generally succeed in what they strive to do. Rather it is the “need” that drives much of the success or failure of schools and hagwons in Korea. The need is: to receive high quality education, learn enormous amounts of material quickly, pass difficult high school and university entrance tests with flying colors, graduate from an “Ivy League” (or at least upper-level) school, and ultimately have all money, wealth, and fame lavished upon them for their accomplishments. However, in their rush to get a jump on the competition and increase their own standing, I feel that many students (with their parents’ strong encouragement) are actually doing themselves more harm than good. Often I feel, the very goals these students are attempting to achieve are hindered by their own self-destructive study patterns.

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Laptop Hard Drive Problem? Clone It!

sata-ide-laptop-hard-driveComing to Korea is a wearing experience, even for computers, especially if they aren’t handled well on the journey over (thanks airport security for cracking my friend’s screen). If you’ve been having trouble with your computer -> slow down, freezing, crashing, over-heating, or only turning on sporadically,  it would probably be a good idea to either (A) upgrade the whole computer or (B) switch out the hard drive. Most people would probably prefer to not shuck out the bucks for a new computer, so with this post I’ll deal with cloning and switching out an old hard drive.

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My “Lack-of-Ownership” of Korea

koreausLiving in a foreign country definitely has it’s ups and downs. Of course every country has its share of frustrations and  difficulties, blessings and good points. But, by being a foreigner in a foreign land, it can often be much easier to complain openly and “blame” that land (in my case Korea) for its differences. We (expats) can easily begin to fall into an “us vs. them” mindset, especially in Korea where everyone who is not Korean is labeled a “Wei-guk-in (foreigner).”

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And Here I Thought IE 6 was Broken

badge_saveie6Internet Explorer 6 has given me a good share of headaches over these past few months. Every time I make a website, I have a process: from design, to code, and finally to fixing my code (particularly for IE). Wouldn’t it be great if just for once the code I wrote really worked everywhere it was supposed to? Wouldn’t it be great if the site I create and use in Firefox (with such wonderful tools as Firebug to help out) was the same site that all my friends could see, on the first try? Sometimes I can spend weeks trying to figure out one small, seemingly insignificant, yet incredibly frustrating problem.

But then there are times when Internet Explorer 6 just surprises the pants off of me with it’s wonderful ingenuity!

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