Here's a story about our troops that doesn't involve horrible news and tragedy. This is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy reading about, and learning about. I'm afraid I can't do horror and screaming and what the hell is our government doing? posts all of the time. Most of the time, sure. I have brass balls in that regard. But, once in a while, I have to get off that bus and stretch my legs.
In South Korea, our troops have many, many golf courses. One, in particular, stands out:
You stand atop an elevated tee box on the first and only hole of the world's most dangerous golf course.
And you consider your chances.
This deadly little par 3 measures 192 yards but plays more like 250 in the face of the vicious winds that often blow out of North Korea across an exclusive piece of real estate called the DMZ just a few yards away.
Underneath your feet and off to the right are bunkers. The military kind. To the left, over an 18-foot-high security fence topped by concertina wire, are hazards that make high rough, deep water and dense woods seem like child's play.
Try countless unexploded mines -- the very definition of out-of-bounds. One herky-jerky backswing, one snap hook yanked out of your bag at the wrong moment and . . . ba-boom!
The soldiers would like Tiger Woods to play the course, and there's no reason why he shouldn't. It would be a great Public Relations move. I've seen some nutty things on the golf course, but this is a bit much:
Over the years, the course has developed its own mystique. Play alone here and you'll see. Weird things happen.
"You see animals," [Army Sgt. Mikel] Thurman says.
Like wild boars, Korean tigers and so-called vampire deer.
And even something weirder.
"Some guys say they've seen this thing, a man-bear-pig," Thurman says without smiling. "That's what they say."
Well, there is no man-bear-pig. There are men who don't shave, and there are men with pig faces, but unless someone has been dabbling in the realm of cloning and dogs and...and...
Research by South Korea's top human cloning scientist [he announced in August, 2005 that his team had created the world's first cloned dog]- hailed as a breakthrough earlier this year - was fabricated, colleagues have concluded.
A Seoul National University panel said the research by world-renowned Hwang Woo-suk was "intentionally fabricated", and he would be disciplined.
Dr Hwang said he would resign, but he did not admit his research was faked.
"I sincerely apologise to the people for creating shock and disappointment," he said after the panel's announcement.
"As a symbol of apology, I step down as professor of Seoul National University."