The Strange World Of South Korean Fan Death

News Report Of South Korean Fan DeathImagine you are visiting with a friend in South Korea, who has kindly let you sleep on the couch in his small apartment to save money on a hotel. It’s hot out, so as you settle in for the night you turn on the fan in the room to cool things down. Suddenly, your friend becomes angry:

“Are you trying to kill me?!?” he says and stomps over to the fan, turning a little dial at its base and setting some sort of built-in timer. He leaves without saying another word.

What have you done?

Welcome to the world of South Korean Fan Death. South Korean Fan Death is a belief in Korean culture that leaving a fan on all night in a closed area can kill you in your sleep.

Answer To Question South Korean Fan DeathIt’s a superstition almost as old as the electric fan itself, but many believe that the South Korean government, ahem, fanned the flames of the superstition during the 1970’s.

During the 1970’s South Korea was going through an energy crisis and the government desperately wanted people to curb their energy use. Fans being left on all night was viewed as a massive waste of energy, so they released propaganda to the public that made people fearful of keeping their fans on all night.

South Korean Fan Death ExplainedThe idea behind the Fan Death superstition is that keeping a fan on all night might lower a person’s body temperature enough to kill them. Or somehow change all the oxygen in the room into carbon dioxide. Either way, leaving a fan on all night is viewed as playing a game of Russian Roulette …not worth it for the tiny benefit of having an artificial breeze blowing while you sleep.

As a result fans sold in South Korea have timers on them so that the fans can be set to turn off after an hour two. Even so, there are usually at least several reported cases of people dying of ‘fan death’ during the summer time each year, further perpetuating the myth.

So if you’re ever in South Korea it might be best to set that fan timer, lest your host think you’re out to kill them.

November 6, 2016

Please Do It At Home, Creeper

Picture of a Tokyo Subway poster saying Please Do It At Home to women putting on makeup on the train.Here is a public service poster for the Tokyo Subway that makes me giggle every time I see it.

The poster shows a woman on a subway car rudely taking up 2 seats with her overflowing bag of makeup accessories and generally offensive grooming tactics.

The subways of Tokyo are notoriously overcrowded, so that even though it’s filled with the generally well behaved people of Japan, there are always those few obnoxious people that can make traveling a less than ideal experience.

This poster is part of a series called ‘Please Do It At Home’ that aims at showing obnoxious subway passengers just how …obnoxious… their actions are.

Apparently ladies trying to save time in the morning by putting makeup on while riding the train is a big problem. The text of this poster keeps things polite by asking ‘please do it at home’ and ‘please refrain from putting on makeup in the train’.

But the main impact of the message is in the yellow, black, and white picture which basically says ‘Lady, look at how ignorant you look to other people when you do this kind of thing!’

Closeup of the Tokyo Subway travel poster showing a creepy guy in glasses riding the subway.What gets to me though is the guy in the background.

I know that he’s supposed to represent the outrage and indignation of other Tokyo Subway riders at women who put on makeup while riding the train, but…well to me he just looks like a creeper.

Maybe he’s been stalking this particular lady for a while now, shadowing her every move while she travels unaware.

Or maybe he’s just a guy that rides the subway specifically to stare creepily at women from the other side of the a subway car.

Either way it looks like he just slid into the shadows to watch her from as close a vantage point as possible.

So I say this poster can be read another way: No staring creepily at other subway passengers! Please do it at home.’ :D.

July 1, 2013