Spring has finally sprung in Seoul. More correctly, Winter has given way to Summer, because it seems like we've gone from being miserably cold to being miserably hot within the space of just a week or two. We're not quite ready yet to
I had long been curious about the fact that - given that electricity is so expensive in Seoul - none of the apartments we had looked at had ceiling fans. The ceiling fan is ubiquitous in homes in many parts of America; in the case of cooling,they are less expensive to run than air conditioning, and can also be used in the winter to circulate warm air. Why the Seoulites - usually so practical and thrifty - had not figured this out yet was puzzling.
And then I learned about fan death.
That's right. Death by fan. Electric fans, to be precise. And not in the evil-criminal-pushes- innocent-victim-into-sharp-whirling-blades-and-makes-hamburger sort of way. Nothing nearly that dramatic.
As it turns out, 'fan death' - according to those in Korea who believe in it -occurs when an individual goes to sleep in a room with an electric fan in a room with a closed door and windows. The fan then, by some mysterious process not understood by me (or scientists), is believed to either suck out all the oxygen from the room, or thin it, or freeze it or something, and the individual who goes to sleep in a bedroom with an electric fan running risks waking up dead.
For this reason, electric fans in Korea are always equipped with a timer (so you don't leave them running all night and accidentally do yourself in) and also often include a safety warning:
|Image from Source|
If you are questioning MsCaroline's veracity, and possibly considering that she has fabricated this theory just to spice up her
After MsCaroline - who is nothing if not fair-minded - first heard about this concept, she did some more reading on this topic besides just the Wikipedia article, and found a number of blogs, as well as this article at Snopes.com, that scoffed at the concept of fan death. However, there was at least one blogger who - while admitting that fan death was indeed a rare occurrence - went into a complex explanation of exactly how a person could theoretically die from 'fan death' if conditions were exactly right. MsCaroline, who studied the Liberal Arts at University (and would be happy to discuss the Romantic movement in German literature with you at length if you're interested) puzzled over all of the scientific explanations - and their counter-explanations - and decided that they all sounded completely plausible to her. (This is mostly because as soon as the discussion started including concepts like 'air convection' ' heat transfer' 'hyperthermia' and 'airflow,' MsCaroline lost interest and began thinking about Goethe, and - what with one thing and another - didn't really get the gist of either argument.)
MrLogical - who has an Engineering degree and therefore understands heat transfer - scoffed and tried to explain - using small words and simple concepts - just why these arguments were so improbable, but MsCaroline (who, again, wasn't really paying attention) remained unconvinced (and, if truth be told, slightly intrigued.)
Besides - it makes a nice change from worrying about North Korea.
Always a silver lining, right?