Gangnam Style Tourist Police Dance Up A Storm In Seoul


South Korea has been riding the wave following the global success of “Gangnam Style,” the catchy song made famous by singer Psy’s quirky music video — and the country has just launched another tribute to the song.

The country’s capital, Seoul, unveiled its new tourist police force this week, inspired by performer Psy’s unique sense of style. The same costume designer who outfitted Psy for his Gangnam Style video designed the uniforms for the law enforcers, decking the men and women out in bold blue jackets and a sleek pair of shades.Given the inspiration, it should come as no surprise that the famous song was also the backdrop to the inauguration ceremony held this week in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square. The 101-strong police force even performed a number of famous dance moves from the viral Gangnam Style music video, including the good old horse-riding sequence.

Seoul has seen tourist numbers rise in recent times, but this has also been followed by an increase in complaints from visitors about issues such as being overcharged. The new multilingual police force will assist travelers, crack down on taxis that try to gouge visitors and generally maintain law and order in the tourist hotspots.

Tourists Mistaken For Illegal Immigrants Beaten By Greek Police

Greek authorities have been cracking down on illegal immigrants to the country but a number of tourists have been detained as part of the sweep. Some of the travelers have even been beaten so badly by police that they ended up in the hospital, according to the BBC.

Greek police patrolling the streets are stopping anyone who looks foreign and asking to see their ID. However, many tourists claim to have been arrested and taken to a police station despite showing authorities their passport.

One tourist from Korea says a police officer punched him in the face after he handed over his passport when stopped in the street in Athens. He was then taken to the police station where he was attacked again in a stairwell.

Another man traveling with his family on a US passport says he was beaten so badly after being detained that he fell unconscious. He woke to find himself in a hospital.

“I went there to spend my money but they stopped me just because of my color. They are racist.” Christian Ukwuorji told the BBC.Greece has been clamping down on illegal immigration as the country’s economic woes make it increasingly difficult to support the growing numbers of immigrants. It’s believed that as much as 10 percent of the country’s population is living there illegally.

Greece is also under pressure from the European community because the country is viewed as a gateway to the EU – almost 95 percent of Europe’s illegal immigrants enter via Greece.

More than 60,000 people have been stopped in the streets since the operation began in August last year. The US State Department has updated its travel advisory to warn tourists of the potential harassment.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user George Laoutaris]

Police Urge Hikers To Learn Orienteering Instead Of Relying On Smartphones

orienteeringPolice in northern Scotland have issued a call for hikers to learn orienteering rather than relying on their smartphones for navigation, the BBC reports.

Grampian Police have had to lead four separate groups to safety in the past week. The latest rescue included the use of mountain rescue teams and a Royal Navy helicopter to retrieve 14 hikers. The hikers were in the Cairngorms, a rugged mountain range with some of the UK’s tallest peaks.

Police said that the growing use of smartphone apps for navigation can lead to trouble. People are relying too much on technology without actually understanding the world around them. Police then have to rescue them at taxpayer expense.

Hiking with an app sounds to me like the antithesis of hiking. Basic orienteering with a map and compass is not difficult to learn. I’ve been teaching my 6-year-old and his brain hasn’t melted. Not only do a map and compass not have to rely on getting a signal, but they help you understand the land better and give you a feel for your natural surroundings.

So please folks, if you’re going out into nature, actually interact with it!

Museum Month: Madness And Badness At Psychiatric And Crime Museums

michael myersIt’s no secret amongst my friends (and I suspect, most of my readers) that I’m obsessed with the more sordid aspects of humanity. Why? Hell if I know. As with most things, I blame my dad, the veterinarian. I’m pretty sure a childhood spent playing necropsy assistant has something to do with it.

My love of forensics is only the tip of the iceberg: psychiatry, taxidermy, eating weird shit and serial killers also make my list of fun things to read about or watch documentaries on when it’s time to relax. I know – I’m a total freak.

Obviously, I’m not alone (do a quick Google search of “forensic television shows” and you’ll see what I mean). There are also scads of museums and the like devoted to the seamier side of life, all across the U.S. My picks, after the jump.

P.S. If you find this reprehensible yet you’ve read this far, well, that makes you a bit of a voyeur, as well. Embrace it, and click away.nurse ratchedGlore Psychiatric Museum
A part of the St. Joseph Museum located in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Glore was once housed in “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2.” Founded by George Glore in 1903, the museum is essentially a history of the treatment of mental illness (including keepsakes from patients that include “items ingested” and contemporary artwork). There are also interactive exhibits, replicas and documents. Expect to see everything from lobotomy instruments to treatments for patients “possessed” by witchcraft or demons.

Glore worked for the Missouri Department of Mental Health for nearly 41 years, and despite the thematic content, his museum contains what’s considered the largest and most well curated exhibition of mental health care in the U.S. According to its website, Glore’s goal was to “reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric treatment for patients, their families and their communities.”

The Glore Psychiatric Museum is located at 3408 Frederick Avenue, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. – closed on major holidays.
CSI
The National Museum of Crime and Punishment
Washington, D.C.‘s “Crime Museum” opened in the Penn Quarter neighborhood in 2008, and boasts 28,000 square feet packed with artifacts, interactive exhibits, including an FBI shooting range and high-speed police chase simulator, and forensic techniques ranging from ballistics analysis to facial reconstruction. There are also historical exhibits focused on colonial crime, pirates, the Wild West, the Mafia and serial killers, and law enforcement uniforms, firearms and other equipment.

Other educational offerings include public forensic workshops, CSI summer camps for teens (it’s never too early to become the next Marg Helgenberger, kids) and rotating exhibits. Don’t forget your night vision goggles.

The Crime Museum is located at 575 7th Street NW, Washington D.C, and is open seven days a week. Hours vary by season. Click here for details. If you’re traveling by Metro, take the Green, Yellow or Red lines, and get off at the Gallery Place/Chinatown station.

[Photo credits: Michael Myers, Flickr user Chepe Leña; Crime Museum, Wikipedia Commons]

Photo Of The Day: Easter Island P.D.

photo of the day - Easter Island police
Spring is in full swing and Easter and Passover are coming this weekend. Looking for something seasonally appropriate, I searched the Gadling Flickr pool but instead of Easter the holiday, I found images of Easter the Island. This shot by davitydave especially caught my eye, showing the uniformed (and probably Chilean) Easter Island police looking rather stern and serious with their incredible and unusual view. I wonder what their “beat” is like? Do they see much action other than rowdy tourists and the occasional protest? Hey officers, I see some shady looking characters loitering down at the water.

Add your travel photos to the Gadling Flickr pool to be featured on another Photo of the Day.