The son of Paul Christie and Sonya Stagnoli, Ben and his sister Bella are home-schooled students who also take college courses. He'll graduate with an associate's degree from Germanna Community College next spring, at about the same time that he receives his high school diploma. She takes classes at Rappahannock Community College.
Choong-am Dojang is far from a typical Korean school. Its best pupils will never study history or math, nor will they receive traditional high-school diplomas. The academy, which operates above a bowling alley on a narrow street in northwestern Seoul, teaches only one subject: the game of Go, known in Korean as baduk and in Chinese as wei qi. Each day, Choong-am's students arrive at nine in the morning, find places at desks in a fluorescent-lit room, and play, study, memorize, and review games--with breaks for cafeteria meals or an occasional soccer match--until nine at night. Choong-am, which is the product of a merger between four top Go academies, is currently the biggest of a handful of dojangs in South Korea.
For those outside the fold, the Rubik's cube is cognitive kryptonite. Until this week, I'd certainly never solved one. Even now, saying that I solved a Rubik's cube feels like a grievous overstatement of my accomplishments. The truth is that we--a patient pre-teen "cuber" whose solve time is 47 seconds, her slightly-less-patient middle school teacher (whose solve time, she's embarrassed to admit, is closer to a minute and a half), and me--completed a cube together. The site of my public humiliation could not have been more incongruous with the task at hand.
A disgruntled Minecraft gamer is believed to be behind a bomb hoax email sent to more than 400 schools and colleges. Some students were evacuated from school and college buildings across the country on Monday after an email threatening to detonate a bomb if they refused to hand over cash was sent out. The email appeared to come from gaming network VeltPvP – a server which allows users to compete in the game Minecraft – but the US company said that the account had been "spoofed". Carson Kallen, the US firm's 17-year-old CEO, told the BBC he suspected the hoax emails had been sent by a disgruntled Minecraft player in a bid to damage VeltPvP's reputation. He said: "Everyone who plays it is between the ages of eight and 18 years old - it's all kids playing.