I ask, the NYT answers

Nice article about the craziness that was Kim Jong Il’s family.  Now I know the full answers to my questions (Ben was largely on target, but many more fun details here).   My favorite part:

Kim Jong-chol, 30, was Kim Jong-il’s first son with Ms. Ko. But his father considered him too feminine to lead the North’s militaristic regime, North Korea scholars in Seoul said.

And as for Kim Jong Un?  Apparently, he was quite precocious in some areas:

From an early age, Kim Jong-un liked to wear a military uniform and displayed hostility toward Japan, Korea’s old colonial ruler, the chef said.

As for Kim Jong-Nam?  He’s currently in exile, and obviously a man who dresses like this is not suitable to lead North Korea.

Photo of the Day

Alan Taylor puts together all the winners and honorable mentions from the 2011 National Geographic Photo Contest.  The winner is pretty cool, but I think my favorite is this:

“Blue Pond & First Snow”, honorable mention in Nature category. The blue pond of the famous tourist resort. This is a place where many tourists gather in spring, summer, and autumn. However, since this pond freezes in winter, nobody is there during that period. This photograph is the moment of the first snow of the season falling on that blue pond. We can see the first snow of the season beginning at the end of October. Why is the pond blue? Because the underground hot spring ingredient is gushing. This blue pond changes color every day. I think that mystical blue and pure white snow are beautiful. All are nature’s tints. Location: Biei, Hokkaido, Japan.(© Kent Shiraishi) # 

On an unrelated note, I’m off on Christmas travels beginning today.  I’m sure I’ll be unable to resist chiming in on various things instead of spending quality time with my family, but do expect a much slower pace.

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