time-cover-1950-rhee.jpg It is a little-known fact that before becoming president of South Korea, Syngman Rhee was for many years foreign corresponcent for Life magazine, dividing his time between their New York and Seoul offices. One day, he left New York for a routine trip to Seoul, but, when he wasn’t heard from, the New York office became worried and called the Seoul office. The Seoul office confirmed that he had arrived as scheduled but had left almost immediately for North Korea. They quoted him as saying that he was not at liberty to say where he could be reached but that he would be doing a story on how the other half lived, promising to cable it to Seoul and New York on completion.

The New York office was worried and decided to send a bilingual correspondent to North Korea to try to locate him. He arrived in Seoul, at which time he was told that they had had an update: Syngman Rhee had called in a half hour earlier to say that his story would concern interviews with a taxi driver, a tailor, and a restaurant manager, all in Pyongyang. But he still declined to supply a contact address.

So the reporter decided to go to Pyongyang to track him down. At the Pyongyang airport he took a taxi into town, and luck was with him: while his taxi driver had not been the one interviewed, he knew the driver who had, and he gave the reporter his name. When reporter talked to the driver, the driver said that Rhee had planned to interview a tailor in a district known for its many tailors.

Again luck was with him: out of 3,518 tailors, he only had to talk to 17 before finding the one who had been interviewed by Rhee: he quoted him as saying he intended to talk to a restaurant manager located in a suburb of Pyongyang. Acting on a hunch that the suburb would be the last one on the commuter train line, he took the train for the northern suburbs and got off at the last stop. He interviewed a restaurant manager there without success, so he returned to Pyongyang Central Station and took a train to the northeast, getting off at the last stop. In this way he worked his way around, taking trains to the east, then southeast, and again luck was with him. He did not have to get half way around the circuit before arriving at the last town on a line running southeast of Pyongyang, where he talked to the manager of one of the town’s only two restaurants. The manager confirmed that Syngman Rhee had gone to the other one for his interview.

Arriving there, the correspondent talked to the manager, who said that Rhee had just interviewed him and was now in the kitchen talking to the staff. The reporter went into the kitchen, and there was Syngman Rhee, looking as if he hadn’t aged a day in three months, sipping a cup of tea with the staff with his notebook on his knee. The correspondent said, “Ah, sweet Mr. Rhee of Life, at last I’ve found you!”

Er, –Ahem!– Sorry, I found that online and it’s hard to resist a  good  pun.

How about we open nominations for stupidest lyric to a Christmas song or carol with this one: “Christmas comes this time each year.” Duh.

Okay then, on with the linkage:

  1. JollyBlogger David Wayne has been diagnosed with colon cancer — please pray for his recovery. (His daughter is posting updates on his blog.)
  2. David Fitch recounts some of the standout missional posts from the past year: End of the Year Missional Linkage – And to All a Good Night.
  3. Erin Word takes a walk; beautifully written.
  4. WordPress users – take the survey to say what you’d like to see in 2.8
  5. So Long, Sola?
  6. What's in Your Bible? Find out at BibleStudyMagazine.com Bible Study Magazine‘s Canon Chart (via)
  7. Prophetic Words from Penn (of Penn & Teller): “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. …How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?”
  8. Ed Stetzer on the Pros & Cons of Social Networking
  9. How can you miss with The Gospel According to House: A Christmas Meditation, Part One and The Gospel According to House, Part Two (Well, According to John, Actually)?
  10. EV collection of Christmas links
  11. Open Mic At the iMonk Cafe: Christians and Technology based on a Themelios editorial by D.A. Carson
  12. [Jordon Cooper’s] Top 10 favorite blogs of 2008
  13. Love the title, and the concluding quote. Don’t Mess With The Bride
  14. Andrew Jones blogs on the 1914 Christmas Truce (see also)
  15. Brad Sargent is kicking off a Missional Futures Learning Community

I’ve got to cut it off there and get my day started. Anyone want to nominate a few “posts-of-the-year” for next week? Have at it in the comments.

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