Tag Archive | Super Junior

Dancing Kings

A man who’s comfortable in his own skin, can dance like a sexy gal. He’s Key from the K-pop band SHINee. He syncs really well to the moves, shakes his cheeks with sass, and dances like no man can in front of millions of fans. He puts on a titillating performance to some of my favorite K-pop girl songs: SNSD Gee, Genie (Tell Me Your Wish), Hoot; Miss A Bad Girl, Good Girl; f(x) Chu, Nu ABO; and other songs I’ll experiment with post-Physiology. Even better when a guy has the balls to do the cute stuff, boob pops and booty bounces…Here’s 10-minutes of your time =D

I think my favorite is T-Ara’s Bo Peep Bo Peep, the obnoxiously cute and loud ringtone that went off in Histology one time. It’s the song I’m hooked to currently.

And here’s Han Geng from Super Junior (with some little Taiwanese kids) jiving to Bo Peep Bo Peep; I’m telling you, the song is addictive. It’s driving up the estrogen levels in Asian guys…

This was the song that started my K-pop fever, courtesy of my old roommate in college. Sheesh, I admire girls who can dance in pointy heels; most of the time I just want to survive walking around Manhattan.

And I also admire Super Junior and SHINee in drag, singing and prancing to Gee like it’s a circus town. No, they are not gay either… just a very merry group of hot guys.

See, they can be charming in other ways… “No Other” by Super Junior and “Lucifer”/”Ring Ding Dong” by SHINee


Songs About the Heart

“We are humans, young and old, who share a common bond of love and humanity that is rooted in the heart.  Traditional Chinese symbolizes this enduring concept that connects such selfless feelings to the physical human heart:  “xin” (心) represents the heart and occupies the center of the character for love, “ai” (愛).  Likewise, a doctor symbolizes this unique blend of human character and devotion, to heal and treat patients from the inside out.”

I have learned so much about the human body that it’s almost unfathomable and amazing. I can’t help but make connections with everyday life. Like right now, as I’m jamming to my iTunes DJ. I was shuffling through my multifaceted music collection and tallied how many songs from around the world related back to the heart and its core meaning – love.  Here is a compilation of my favorite songs that have some connection with “heart” and “love,” from sappy love ballads to Asian hits and Korean stuff I can’t understand. These are only song titles; if you listen to lyrics, the list will include all my 2000+ songs and much more.

– Celine Dion: “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic, my all-time favorite movie

– Celine Dion:  “Pour Que Tu M’Aimes Encore” – “Because You Loved Me” – “To Love You More

– Kylie Minogue: “Love At First Sight”

– Mariah Carey: “Love Takes Time” – “Dreamlover” – “Heartbreaker

– Britney Spears:  “From the Bottom of My Broken Heart

– Madonna: “Open Your Heart

– Lady Gaga: “Love Game”

– Willa Ford: “Haunted Heart

– Maroon 5: “This Love” (and G-Dragon’s Korean version)

– Savage Garden – “I Knew I Loved You”

– Backstreet Boys – “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” – “As Long As You Love Me” – “I’ll Never Break Your Heart“- “The Shape of My Heart”  … Yes, I’m still swooning to timeless 90’s boy bands

Forever BSB

– ‘N Sync:  “Tearin’ Up My Heart

– ‘N Sync & Gloria Estefan: “Music of My Heart

– Joey McIntyre: “I Love You Came Too Late”

– Rob Thomas: “This is How a Heart Breaks

– BBMak: “Out of My Heart (Into Your Head)” (I like Euro-pop *.*)

– Bon Jovi: “You Give Love a Bad Name”

– Daniel Powter: “Love You Lately”

– Air Supply: “All Out of Love” (Wow, this is ancient…)

– 2Pac: “California Love,” a random, but catchy rap song

– Josh Groban: “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up),” something a little hopeful

– Elton John: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” from my favorite Disney movie The Lion King

– Phil Collins: “You’ll Be in My Heart

– Jay Chou 周杰倫 – “簡單愛 Simple Love” – “ Heart’s Rain

– Lee Hom 王力宏 – “放開你的心 Release Your Heart” – “心中的日月 Sun & Moon In My Heart” – “心跳 Heartbeat

– Lee Hom 王力宏 & 盧巧音 Candy Lo “好心分手 Good Heart Break Up” (a nice Mando-Canto duet mix)

– Lee Hom 王力宏 & Selina – “你是我心內的一首歌 You Are the Song in My Heart

– Fahrenheit 飛輪海 – “心理有數” (lit. Your Heart Knows)

– Emil Chau 周華健 – “愛相隨 Love Follows”

– Richie Ren 任賢齊 – “心太軟 Soft Heart

– Teresa Teng 鄧麗君 – “月亮代表我的心 Moon Represents My Heart,” a classic Taiwanese song w/many variations

– Jackie Chan 陳龍/Kim Hee-Seon – “Endless Love,” from The Myth 神話 (2005)

– Phil Chang 張宇 – “用心良苦 Well-Intentioned

– Jacky Cheung 張學友 – “心碎了無痕

– David Tao 陶喆 – “就是爱你 Only Love You” – “愛很簡單 Love is Really Simple”

– Wilber Pan 潘瑋柏 – “不得不愛 Gotta Love”

– JJ Lin 林俊傑 – “只對你說 Sarang Heyo” (the Korean saying “Sarang Heyo” = I Love You)

– Vanness Wu 吳建豪 – “Listen To Your Heart

– Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 – “Love Love Love” — “愛無赦 Bravo Lover”

– Ding Dang 丁噹 – “我愛他 I Love Him,” from Taiwanese drama 下一站, 幸福 Autumn’s Concerto (2009)

– 元若蓝 Yuan Ruo Lan & 吴忠明 Wu Zhong Ming – “心願便利貼 Sticky Note Wish,” from Taiwanese drama 命中注定我愛你 Fated to Love You (2008)

– Super Junior 슈퍼주니어- “너같은사람 또 없어 No Other,” the MV has 10 hot Korean guys singing, dancing, and expressing their heart. I noticed how each of them get creative with their artful gestures of love, with the fancy red heart and baby blue aura giving the video and song a sweet feel.

– 2pm – “Heartbeat” (I have a whole blog on this up next…)

– G-Dragon – “Heartbreaker” (Ah yes, another one)

– CNBlue 씨엔블루– “Love”

– SS501 – “Love Like This” – “Making a Lover”

– DBSK 東方神起 – “Love in the Ice” (such a passionate song by 5 sexy Korean guys)

– XIAH Junsu 김준수– “君がいれば ~Beautiful Love~” (Junsu with a solo Japanese album post DBSK-breakup; now back in JYJ, yay!)

– JY Park – “No Love No More,” in the MV, after a double suicide, JYP lives it up in hell; he reminds me of a dancing Hugh Heffner for some reason…

– A’ST1 에이스타일 – “아쉬운 마음인 Yearning Heart,” from Boys Over Flowers (2009)

– Shin Seung Hoon 신승훈 (申昇勳) – “Love of Iris,” from Iris (2009)

– SeeYa 씨야 – “ 슴이 뭉클 My Heart is Moved,” from Personal Taste (2010)

– Utada Hikaru – “Prisoner of Love,” from Japanese drama Last Friends

– Arashi 嵐  – “One Love,” from Japanese drama Hana Yori Dango 花より男子 (2005)

20 Most Played on iTunes

I’ve turned up my iTunes DJ and mixed up some favorite Asian and American music. I realized how much I missed bygone days, like back in the 90s (and 80s) when:

Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync rocked girls’ lockers and bedrooms

Backstreet Boys were still young hearthrobs; now they’re just old, but the talent’s still there

‘N Sync before Justin and JC went solo and changed the whole dynamics; the other 3 were just… there

Britney Spears was my pop idol, before she made a big “Oops” and married a hobo dancer, popped out a few babies, picked up a bad smoking/drinking habit, and copied Voldemort’s hair-do

Christina Aguilera wore clothes

Mariah Carey broke wine glasses with her love ballads and not yet a cougar

Madonna could pull off skimpy outfits and didn’t have such manly biceps brachii

Jessica Simpson had a stable relationship and wasn’t so desperate in life

LFO still had a living Rich Cronin looking like an Abercrombie model

Ricky Martin didn’t come out of the closet and had babies

Rob Thomas was still part of Matchbox 20, even when I thought he was solo already

Savage Garden still existed… I still have a weakness for “Truly Madly Deeply” and “I Knew I Loved You”

Spice Girls ruled my 4th grade treasure chest: stickers, lollipops, books, magazines, posters, dolls, every merchandise that was out to drain my dad’s wallet

Michael Jackson… He’s still a timeless sensation… RIP

And now? I’ve added Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to my “Love-it” list. I’m really hooked on Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Hot n’ Cold.” And Lady Gaga? I love “Bad Romance,” “Just Dance,” “Love Game,” “Telephone,” and “Alejandro.”

My gym jams and study music are still predominantly C-pop and K-pop: DBSK 東方神起, SNSD 少女時代, Super Junior, 2PM, 태양 Taeyang, 빅뱅 Big Bang, SS501, Jay Chou, JJ Lin, Lee Hom, etc… I like how K-pop is funky, upbeat; basically, I like rap, hip-hop and R&B by Asian musicians, because there’s no blasphemy, no sexualization, no violence, just pure talent and incredible dancing! I like C-pop, mainly from Taiwan, because 1) I can understand it, 2) I can boost my Mandarin proficiency, and 3) sappy love songs help me study. Here’s my Top 25 playlist since it came into existence 3 years ago:

  1. 童 話 Fairy Tale – 光良 (Michael Wong) –> 466X
  2. 내 머리가 나빠서 Nae Moriga Nabbaso (Because I’m Stupid)- SS501 –> 455X
  3. Stand By Me – 샤이니 SHINee –> 324X
  4. 約 定  Yue Ding – 光良 (Michael Wong) –> 316X
  5. 아쉬운 마음인 걸 Yearning Heart – 에이스타일 A’ST1 –> 311X
  6. 只對你有感覺 Only Have Feelings For You – 飛輪海 Fahrenheit & Hebe –> 309X
  7. 說愛你 Say I Love You – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 293X
  8. 不得不愛 Gotta Love – 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan ft. 弦子 XianZi –> 286X
  9. 就是爱你 Only Love You – 陶喆 David Tao –> 278X
  10. 聽媽媽的話 Listen to Mother’s Words – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 271X
  11. 霍元甲  Huo Yuan Jia – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 264X
  12. 日不落 Sun Will Never Set – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 263X
  13. 半糖主义 Half-Sugarism – S.H.E. –> 260X
  14. Love Love Love – 蔡依林 Jolin Tsai –> 260X
  15. 你和我 You and Me – 王力宏 Lee Hom –> 258X
  16. One More Time – 나무자전거 Namu Jajeongeo –> 251X
  17. 給我一首歌的時間 Give Me a Song’s Time – 周杰倫 Jay Chou –> 251X
  18. 放開你的心 Let Go of Your Heart – 王力宏 Lee Hom –> 250X
  19. 玩酷 Play It Cool – 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan –> 248X
  20. 주문-Mirotic – DBSK –> 247X

You get the idea… It looks like chicken scratches above. I’m a super-Asian. Maybe there will be an eventual avalanche on this Top 20 list, a great disaster waiting to happen.

Suju, Explorers of the Human Body: In the Blink of an Eye, Part 1

Episode 1, Continued: The Eye

Remarkable how you cannot always see what you see; sound crazy? The eye is connected to the brain via the optical nerve. Technically you see with the back of the head, because the occipital lobe is located there. Here, the brain receives and interprets incoming stimuli from the eye. Plus, we have somehow experienced randomly fun optical illusions and perceptual tricks, like these.

The young woman or the old hag?

7 Faces

And my alma mater NYU’s Bobst Library atrium floor pattern, where I spent many sleepless hours cramming for some pre-med class; it was rather dizzying to look at from the upper floors.

Okey dokey, back to Super Junior now. Imagine, if you look at something, how well can you remember it? In their first task, 2 flashing pictures of the same thing appear, but there is only one difference. Given the alternating visual stimuli, how well can the lone changing element be picked up? The first is a picture of Super Junior and the second is the 10,000 won bill. For the first one, each member is concentrated and stern, until Ryeowook snaps out of his spaced-out look with “That’s easy!” Siwon acts cool (as usual), but he’s hiding his real befuddlement (What the heck?) It’s really cool to play along and catch the one thing that’s supposed to stand out, without the flashing pictures blinding you. Shindong completely messes around with his answer that Siwon’s foot is getting bigger and smaller, like Alice in Alice in Wonderland… Eeteuk follows suit with Yesung’s head inflating and deflating, LMAO…

Siwon, confuzzled

The reason why Super Junior failed so miserably and nonchalantly tried to save themselves from embarrassment, is because it’s hard to take in visual stimuli accurately that is under 0.2 seconds. To make it even more challenging, add a black screen between the 2 pictures.

Next is the 10,000 won; for this, you see Siwon and Kibum ready to work hard, all focused and determined. I failed on this one, even when I was searching furiously around the darn dollar, thinking my brain is still young and sharp. Every corner was hit, or so I thought. Eeteuk did not get it, he says, “King Sehjong’s eye winks and doesn’t wink.” And he acts it out.  Donghae starts to fib along, by pointing to an imaginary hat on his head. At least he admits he does not know. Heechul is actually intelligent, he picked out the subtle difference on the right side; I have a little more respect for him =)

Leeteuk, one eye bigger than the other

Cute Donghae

Heechul, Bingo!

Super Junior, Explorers of the Human Body: Taste of Hell

Explorers of the Human Body: Super Junior

Okay, so this television show, Exploration of the Human Body with Super Junior, is painfully hard to find, because SBS International has copyrighted it.  That means, any form of broadcasting on the internet is illegal, in violation of the

copyright laws.  I’ve been roaming around, attempting to find the renegades secretly recreating accounts and uploading Eng-subbed versions. This is getting ridiculous. This will be a slow ride, as I trudge around and feel like a rebel too, finding random episodes.  SBS needs to understand, I have no access to spanking good Korean TV shows and I must watch this Super Junior show to keep my brain alive for medical school!!!

Super Junior-their asses will be on fire

Episode 1:  The Senses, Tongue, & Taste Buds

Hot Pepper Tasting– Super Junior on fire, is thoroughly amusing.  Koreans love hot and spicy, and this trial tests their limits, with the hottest of all fiery peppers in the world.  They guys clap their hands and cheer in ecstasy, unaware of the burning tears they will endure.

The first taste of hell begins with Korean Chungyang green-chili peppers.  At first, they take a bite and savor the flavor.  Slowly, the spice becomes overwhelming and they panic like cornered animals.  Heechul says, “Please prepare a camera behind us since we always keep turning and you only get our backsides.”

You think Korean peppers are spicy?  Super Junior are already panting like dogs and bulging their eyes… Think again and consider the 3 hottest peppers in the world.  How lucky they are to even dare to tread dangerously hot waters.  Behind them lies a table of food and drinks that mild the hot flavor- milk, rice, soymilk, cheese, eggs, and bananas… and a few health professionals on standby =D

The third hottest pepper is Thai Prik Ki Nu; they look like wrinkly red fingers.  To put things into perspective, these peppers are 10X hotter than the Korean Chungyang peppers.  In terms of Scovilles, the unit of hotness, Prik Ki Nu is 100,000.  Clearly, Super Junior has not seen the bitter end just yet… To start off, Shindong is the first to go, as he is blessed with a round, hungry belly.  Even the Dongyup says he can eat anything.  The other team (Lacking Action) challenges, with Kibum proudly saying he’ll eat the #1 pepper and Yesung happily preparing for all 3 peppers.  Not sure if those are the wisest decisions to make to prove their tasting prowess on Korean TV, especially when they barely survived the Korean peppers and the top hottest peppers are still unknown.  Then jokingly, Shindong backs off and motions all the peppers for Yesung to handle.  Wahwawa~Yesung just looks up, expressionless now, wondering what he got himself into??!!

Shindong and Leeteuk go first as planned.  Dongyup even warns them, “One bite. Don’t eat too much.  Just chew it,” as if they might want to devour the whole pepper like it’s gourmet.

As there’s not much of a dramatic reaction and Leeteuk describes how the feeling comes up, Kangin, initially hesitant, jumps in like a hyper child, wanting to try the #3 hot pepper.  Someone even says to him, “Why are you eating all the good things for yourself?!” Oh Kangin, have you heard how curiosity killed the cat?  Well, soon enough, Yesung looks like he got a pow in his face, when the pepper finally drops its bombshell in his mouth.  Same thing with Heechul… then you find Kangin scrambling around, reaching for Leeteuk in revenge, and hunching over like a drunken hobo.  Shindong describes, “It’s different than Chungyang peppers.  It’s not spiciness. It just tastes like pain.  Very hot pain.”  Leeteuk adds, “It’s the feeling you get when you bite your tongue.”  Ouchies! After seeing the unfortunate reactions, Kibum becomes uneasy.  Uh-oh, but too late now, deal’s been made already.  All he can do now is laugh, but his time is coming…

#2 hottest pepper goes to the Mexican Habanero! Everyone’s like “Ooooh, it’s pretty! I want to eat it!” It’s a radiant, bulby red pepper.  It’s small and cute and shiny, like a Christmas ornament.  Don’t let the innocent looks deceive you, the bite-sized balls of fire are the world’s #2 hottest at 300,000 Scovilles.  Siwon curiously volunteers to try it, even when he was tearing up and hacking over a bite of Korean green chili.  When he goes in for the first bite, it is a rather big one for someone who could not take spicy; Dongyup warns him to take a smaller one.  Soon after, he turns and covers his mouth with a napkin, as if the spicy flavor got to him already.  Ah, he fools us, and says the Habanero isn’t too bad after all.  He even smiles and points to the little ball of fire, “It’s not hot,” and takes another eager bite.  He thinks he’s so clever, and guesses the hot flavor comes from the inside.  Ahoy, in the middle of explaining, he gets practically knocked out by the approaching hotness that all he can say now is, “oo, it’s coming,” all the while covering his mouth and hunching over in sweat and shameful giggles. He slinks away in pain.

Next, Yesung follows his promise, and dares to consume the Habanero in 1 bite.  He looks all focused, proud, and dandy, but you notice his anxiety.  He just stares off into the distance and challenges the old pepper in his fingers, victory in his cartoon-ish eyes.  He closes his eyes, facing the bright lights and hoping his Lord will have mercy.  In his frenzy, he eats a whole pepper and chews it many times.  They had to shout to him “Don’t swallow it!!!” and “He’s going to faint!” The feeling should be coming soon.  Kangin cheers, “If you spit it out, it won’t be fun;” he’s just cocky because he’s not the one under fire.

All the while, Yesung smiles and chews, smiles and chews, but suddenly, his expression completely darkens.  His eyes and mouth just freeze, as if he becomes petrified stone.  I love how his eyes just go beady and blank.  Everyone’s like, “Don’t eat it… You’re not supposed to eat it!”

Finally, he dips his head into a bowl, in shame, and relieves himself.  He can barely talk about his experience and nods his head in defeat.  Right next to him, Donghae and Ryeowook eat bananas, not daring to succumb to the fire balls.

On the other team, Leeteuk sacrifices himself. He acts like a flamboyant goof-ball, jiving and grooving with a pepper.  He behaves like this omnipotent big-shot and shoves the whole pepper in, chewing it like it’s sweet fruit.  The banana boys on the side cringe at the sight of this.  While Kangin goads him on and makes fun of Yesungie, Leeteuk gives out and throws up the poor pepper.  He tears up behind his glasses and his eyes go Habanero red XD  His face nearly explodes and he tops off with, “I’m fine.”  Without the faintest bit of embarrassment, he recovers, “It’s not hot” with a wave of his hand and calm expression.  Way to stand up as team leader Leeteuk!

Funny how the band pokes fun at Shindong.  Heechul points to the peppers, “You know you’re the best.  The show was made for you.”  Leeteuk sheepishly begs, “Don’t…eat it.  DON’T EAT IT… Don’t eat it, even for fun,” and giggles quietly, coming from a guy who just said “It’s not hot.” Shindong now appears scared and pitiful after Lee’s imploring.  Kangin jumps in here and reminds him that Kibum still has to eat the world’s hottest pepper, the one who’s been sitting along the sidelines and watching the misery unfold, pepper by pepper.

Meet the world's hottest peppers

The countdown has culminated to the #1 hottest pepper, the Indian Bhut Jolokia~100X hotter than the Korean green chili!!! It’s a wrinkly piece of evil… perhaps these sure-fire peppers can warm you up during the next snowstorm!  Shindong exclaims, “The color’s not red! It’s BRIIIGHT red!” A woman named Anadita Dotatamulgu set a record with 60 such peppers in 2 minutes… what a monster.  One guy freaks out, “Is there anything wrong with Anadita now??!” Kangin gets all charming, “Anadita is amazing,” with Dongyup responding “Yes, she is ve-ery amazing.”  This is how freakishly dangerous these hot peppers are.  Whoever dares to try, they can only chew 5 times and spit it out.  Dongyup shares a memorable story: “Once I chewed it 7 times.  I was left with a beautiful, UNFORGETTABLE memory.” Kibum is the first to take the bite and chews it happily. He spits it out as instructed, looks normal and calm, then his eyes bulge and he heaves.  He scrambles around like he’s itchy, but maintains his cool.  He does not stay cool for long, because he soon turns as red as cooked wet lobster.

Hankyung and Heechul try the deathly pepper as well.  Hankyung’s face gets all contorted in disgust.  He’s so strung over, he cannot even mend his broken Korean.  Heechul looks strangely calm, like a little mischievous boy trying to hide something.  He then jumps up and down like he’s going to pee in his pants.  Yesung starts to hiccup.  Poor Kibum, he gets himself in a mess.  He’s suffering, yet he’s laughing it off.  He tears up so well that he can be put in a sad, romantic drama, and yet he’s speechless.

Lastly, Dongyup tries the pepper again.  He calmly takes it in, chews and relishes it.  Did he forget that beautiful, unforgettable moment?? His brows and eyes crinkle in anticipation.  Super Junior count his chews, and finally he spits it out in relief.  Relief? Ya right, he’s knocked senseless and on the brink of crying a Han river.  He stumbles around and gulps down the refreshing milk (Got milk? moment).  He can barely think straight:  “The next test is… Yes, that was the taste~” Eunhyuk asks him, “So who did you say ate this pepper again?” and Dongyup responds, “Huh? Was it Hakuna Matata or something?!” (laughs)…

Warning to all hungry, cultured, and lovely food addicts.  You may like to try exotic food, but beware of these spicy vegetables.  These 3 raw hot peppers do not cultivate the palates; they rub your tongue raw and hit with a pow of pain.  If you do want to go through the burning tears, at least have a cup of milk and bananas by your side and a doctor to monitor your blood pressure.  Thank you Super Junior for being sacrificial lambs in this episode! I can’t believe I still laugh at their pain…

Super Junior, Explorers of the Human Body: Taste of Tea-rror

Explorers of the Human Body, w/Super Junior and Dong Yup

Hands up for Super Junior, as they become lab rats in the name of science!  Korean SBS aired a weekly variety show from November 2007 to February 2008 featuring the popular Korean boy band and Shin Dong-yup, Exploration of the Human Body (인체탐험대/人體探險隊), to answer questions related to the human body, like its some mysterious walking block.  As a future medical student, I highly recommend this show for its mix of educational value, curiosity, and humor.  Each of the 13 episodes follows a theme connected to how the human body works.  And Super Junior’s function?  To be obedient donkeys as they are literally experimented on to answer interesting, curious, sometimes bizarre questions.  It’s amazing to see these singing and dancing sensations learn science with the public.  Plus, I do not think some of the silly nature or content of the show would be acceptable here in America, or anywhere outside Asia. Come Episode 2, some members will test out limits of their body with kilograms of food and beer chugging and X-ray exposure, for fun.

Episode 1:  The Senses,  Tongue & Taste Buds

Goal:  To determine how sensitive Super Junior is to different tastes

Background:  Tongue, the gateway into the inner body, with over 6000 taste buds, is sensitive to 4 basic tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty).  It’ll be the first SJ experiments with.

Tea Tasting- Shindong starts:  “Our outfits make us look like a whole bunch of doctors came together for a party!”

Yong Dam anyone??

One by one, they think they’re drinking and toasting to delectable tea, since tea is a healthy, prized component of daily life in Asia.  Amidst the happy mood, one by one, beginning with Eunhyuk, each member tastes a shocking wave of tangy pain, known as Yong Dam herbal tea (han yak).  Herbal?  More like a cruel dose of punishment for the naughty on Christmas Eve.  As each person drinks, the others wait down the line, looking like they are doomed for the worst end.  Their faces are classic Kodak moments:  smiley Eunhyuk turns sour (but he gulps it down anyway), Shindong looks like a buck-tooth beaver gasping for air, Hankyung cringes in twisted pain, Siwon actually relishes it, Donghae looks like a writhing baby, Sungmin reminds me of a skunk (with his blond mohawk) that has laid stink bomb on himself, and lastly Kibum the brave lad who downs the bitter tea like it’s soju.  Of course, MC Dong Yup has to do it too to be fair, but his face scrunches up like prunes!

*BUT Yong Dam is not such a bad guy… it’s a special restorative tea that can cure diarrhea and itchiness.  Upon hearing this information, Ryeowook and Heechul reach out for more!

Taste Numbing- Shindong complains the bitter taste lingers in his mouth.  This segways into the next segment to experiment with ways to dull the tasting sensation.  To numb the taste of medicine, you can freeze or dry the tongue.  Bewildered Kangin chimes in, “So you have to put your tongue in the freezer and take it out?” XD  Thinking their brilliant scientists, Suju hypothesize on which is the more effective method and why.  Following through the experiment, they organically split into 2 teams (reminiscent of Moses splitting the Red Sea), a Reaction and Lacking Action team.  Reaction freeze by using an ice cube, while Lacking Action dry with a hair dryer.

Dongyup goes around with a dropper to all their tongues, beginning with Leeteuk and Heechul.  Suddenly, Heechul screams like he’s in a horror movie.  I think the taste of the tea was enhanced with the coldness.  Heechul and Kangin both cringe with the taste, then we see Shindong furiously scrub his tongue with more ice, but to no avail.  He screams like a child anyway and his face scrunches into a pulp.  Certainly, Reaction team chose the worse of the fates and a name that suited their response.  After they scramble around from their suffering, they realize that freezing is a failure.

Man, Kibum is cute and all, but he has a long-ass tongue!  The Lacking Action team takes the bitter tea in stride.  They look like good, happy boys.  So drying your tongue, removing all moisture, helps numb the taste buds.

Gymnema Sylvestre plant from India

In addition, they test out Gymnema Sylvestre herb from India.  After chewing this plant, you actually bizarrely do not experience a specific taste- sweet, salty, sour, or bitter (here, Ryeowook asks, “Forever?” xD).  Siwon, Ryeowook, Donghae, and Yesung volunteer to test out which flavor… and yes, Siwon and Ryeowook get a spoonful of sugar and salt, respectively. I would not be thrilled if I got a spoonful of salt either.  They put on their best poker face as the others try to guess which taste is gone.  The others choose salt, because Ryeowook looks the most awkward, as he did not swallow his salt.  Boy were they in for a surprise!  Also not a good idea to try it with Yong Dam bitterness either…

Turns out, it’s the sugar.  Kangin goes, “The feeling is… you’re chewing on the sand.”  The funny part comes when they try chocolate, the sweetest of all sweets.  Imagine eating the crunchy, creamy Twix or colorful, milk chocolate M&Ms, and not tasting the sugar.  Candy IS sugar, and when the sweet is gone, what IS left??!!  Well, SJ experiments, and Heechul goes, “I lost my sense of flavor!” (eyes bulge).  Judging from everyone’s reaction, it’s best to never try that exotic Indian herb, because you just might never again enjoy your favorite candy bar.

Why would anyone want to consume Gymnema Sylvestre?  In Japan, it’s primarily used for dieting, to suppress the urge to indulge in sweet foods.  The anti-sweet activity is attributed to gymnemic acids, glycosides, lasting up to 2 hours.  It’s also good for diabetes (to decrease blood sugar).

Team Lack Action

Some drying action with a hair blower