A Korean festival just made 60 tons of free kimchi for those who need it.

How much do you love kimchi?

Probably not as much as this woman. All photos by Woohae Cho/Getty Images.

If you grew up eating Korean food or have been to any fusion restaurant or food truck in the last couple years, you're probably already familiar with the delicious, spicy goodness that is kimchi.


On Friday, Nov. 3, people donned red smocks and pinked gloves and dove into the age-old art of making the delicious dish as part of the Seoul Kimchi Festival.

The first day's attendance topped more than 2,300 people, who together produced a whopping 120,000 pounds of kimchi.

That's a lot of kimchi!

The festival started in 2014, and besides giving people a chance to get their hands dirty, it features parties, playgrounds, a kimchi museum, and plenty of opportunities to chow down on the stuff.

If you're not hungry already...

...I guarantee you will be now.

The festival gives Koreans a chance to get their hands dirty and reconnect with some age-old traditions.

You seriously don't understand. I'm writing this during lunchtime.

In the past, making kimchi was a big community event, done after the harvest and just before the first winter snowfall to make sure everyone had enough to eat through the winter. But as people have moved out of the country and into cities, this community tradition had fallen away. The modern festival was started to help people reconnect.

"We don’t really get much chance to make kimchi usually, so through this opportunity, I have come to understand how much effort our mothers and grandmothers put into making kimchi," Jeung Ji-hun, an 18-year-old student, told Reuters.

There's a Korean place, like, two blocks away. As soon as I send this to my editor.

To make kimchi, Napa cabbage leaves are salted and then slathered with a spicy paste made from garlic, ginger, seafood, and chili flakes. It can be eaten right away or left to ferment for a few days. Either way, the end result is a crunchy, spicy punch of savory umami flavors.

Yeah, that's approximately how much I'm going to need.

How else are you going to know it's good if you don't take a little taste?

That's just one recipe, though. Koreans have been chowing down on various recipes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It's even been recognized as an important cultural heritage by the United Nations.

Kimchi selfie!

Fitting for that traditional community spirit, the kimchi made at the festival will be packed up and given to needy households throughout Seoul.

Organizers are hoping to end up sharing a total of 120 tons over the course of the three-day event.

"This kimchi, along with our warm hearts, will be shared with our neighbors in need of help," festival director Shin Myung-ki told Reuters.

OK, lunchtime!

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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