Our adventure for the week consisted of attending the Boryeong Mud festival after missing it last week due to, er... extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately Kyle was sick, so Justin and I left early last Saturday to meet Katie and Christina in Seoul and hop a bus to Boryeong. When we bought tickets, I was booked in the last seat on the bus leaving prior to the other three. This tidbit would make no difference, however apparently the others were privy to the fact that the bus would go all of the way to the ocean for an extra 800 won (80 cents). So while I waited at the bus stop for them to arrive, they went straight to the beach. After an hour of waiting there we finally made wifi contact, and I figured out they weren't coming to the bus station. So I took a very expensive cab ride to the beach and met them outside the entrance to the festival. Really there isn't much to mention about the rest of the weekend as far as what we did. We didn't want to pay the money to get into the official mud fest area where the obstacle courses and other mud things were. We essentially just hung out on the beach for the weekend. There were concerts and other free events that we attended and it was generally a good time all around. One of the most enjoyable aspects was the number of english speakers that attended; we could actually communicate with a significant portion of demographic. To be honest, we spent a lot of time just standing around talking to people. The low point of the trip was fitting 4 people into a tent that was sold as a four person tent and designed as a 2 person tent. To combat this problem, we just stayed out all night. The beach front never really slowed down so there were friends to be made all night. In the morning we caught a few hours of sleep when we were thoroughly exhausted and didn't care about the cramped quarters. After our nap we spent some time swimming in the ocean and watching a concert before packing up and heading home. I didn't want to ruin my phone so I didn't have the opportunity to take pictures, but I'll slip a few in from the internet to show the overall mood of the festival.
Its been a busy week for our research. On monday we gave a powerpoint presentation on what we've accomplished in the last two months. Hangkyo (Dr. Lim) was in attendance, so that was exciting. It was a preliminary presentation, we will give a more official one in a couple of weeks. On wednesday we went through our ordinary routine of a late night scan of the forest to look for frogs, only now we're looking for frogs for in-lab experiments rather than just surveying they're location. We caught a few, but generally had little luck, especially since we needed males and caught mostly females. Beside the ordinary stuff, I have started to analyze the movement of individual frogs through the paddies from week to week. To do this I use an application developed by Dartmouth college called Wild ID that takes scores the lateral line pictures we took of the frogs and shows the 20 best matching results to any one individual photo. From there I manually choose whether the photo matches the given results. It is very time consuming and about as somnifacient as it could possibly be. From the first two weeks alone we caught 650 frogs, which is the number of photos I have to compare to the 20 best matches. 13,000 comparisons. Just for the first two weeks. On the bright side, the number of frogs we caught dramatically decreased over the subsequent weeks, so that number will lessen as I go.