Monday, March 29, 2010

I thought it would change after I left.

Gangwon is apparently full of fatties.
From the Chosun Ilbo:
In the study of data from 9.88 million people who had checkups in 2008, Dong District in Ulsan topped the list with 43 percent of its residents overweight, followed by Yanggu in Gangwon Province with 42 percent.

Four other areas in the Gangwon Province recorded obesity rates of over 40 percent: Inje (3rd place), Yeongwol (5th), Yangyang (7th), and Cheolwon (9th).

Of the 230 administrative areas nationwide, Gangnam and Seocho districts in Seoul ranked the lowest with 28 percent.
I have never noticed any place in Korea having a third of the population obese. I think someone's definition of 'obese' is wrong - it could be mine.

To look for a silver lining, this may mean Gangwon residents are less dependent on pharmaceuticals (wow, I spelled that right on the first try). From the Chosun Ilbo (note the obesity rate and compare it to the above article - consistency, guys!)
Korea's use of slimming pills and appetite suppressants ranks near the top in the world despite an obesity rate of 3.5 percent, only a quarter of the OECD's average 14.6 percent.

Production and import of obesity drug Sibutramine rose 11 times from W4.4 billion in 2003 to W49 billion in 2008 (US$1=W1,140). The market for psychotropic appetite suppressants, which are categorized as narcotics by the International Narcotics Control Board, also grew four-fold.

It is a paradox that one of the skinniest countries in the world consumes the largest amount of diet drugs. In a survey of 1,000 Koreans aged 15 to 59 by Consumers Korea, 86 percent had gone or were on a diet in 2008, while 13 percent said they had resorted to diet pills.
So, are gangwon residents obese? Is the rate 3.5% or 35%?

Friday, March 19, 2010

KMLA is seeking a biology teacher

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy is a domestically famous high school, and is looking for a biology teacher. I am a science enthusiast and hobbyist but am uncertain if I would be able to teach and grade these classes. I feel this way because I have spent so long looking at very basic English essays and paragraphs; I don't think I could accurately judge the quality of a top high school lab report.

The job listing is at Dave's ESL Cafe and, because of my history with the school (I taught biology at their summer and winter camps for several years), I felt I should help in advertising the position.

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy (KMLA), a residential high school in South Korea, is seeking outstanding candidates for a full-time biology teacher. Located two hours outside of Seoul in the serene mountains of Gangwon Province, KMLA is a coed, independent secondary school for gifted students of Korean heritage with grades 10 through 12. KMLA was founded in 1996 to cultivate global leaders by training their academic mind and moral character. Each year, about half of our graduates attend top tier universities in Korea and the other half attends top tier universities and colleges in the U.S. and other countries. KMLA maintains an English-Only-Policy, which encourages all students to speak English on campus. Please refer to for further details.

* Native or native-level English speaker
* Undergraduate degree in biology or related fields; M.S. or Ph. D. degree in biology preferred

Primary responsibilities include: (1) teaching AP Biology, and other biology classes at high school or college level; (2) supervising students to conduct lab experiments and write research papers; and (3) being an active member in the Science Department and school community.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Download the Gangwon chapter from Lonely Planet

Not much more detail needed here: Lonely Planet is offering their Gangwon Chapter as a preview to the book.

Well, some details are needed. Google Alerts had the title "Download Lonely Planet chapter" and I, for some crazy reason, thought it was a free download of the whole chapter. Anyway, you can download the first two pages of the chapter for free and buy the chapter for $2.10 US, which seems like a good deal.

Korean fighter planes crash near Pyeongchang

From Xinhua, which I guess is a Chinese news source:

The jets seemed to have crashed into a mountain in Pyongchang, Gangwon Province, and the Air Force is searching for the three missing pilots aboard the jets. The drill was a daily routine, according to the Air Force.

Yonhap has the same news, with little more detail.
I hope this story has an better ending than appears likely, I really do. Still, I can't resist reminding people that this was one thing you didn't have to worry about at Vancouver's Olympics!