Jim Yong Kim: Superstar Pragmatist
Call me a proud alum. If you haven't yet heard of Jim Yong Kim, the Dartmouth College president nominated by Obama today to head the World Bank, then welcome to a galactic superstar in the making. Only three years into his tenure at Dartmouth, I am disappointed to potentially see Kim go, but his dynamic and pragmatic leadership and his interdisciplinary outlook on development and public health holds the potential to transform the World Bank into one of the 21st century's most important institutions. I am particularly excited about the potential for the World Bank to continue to pursue programs that connect economic development, climate change, and public health.
The Washington Post editorializes that Kim is an "ideal choice," opinion page editor Fred Hiatt calls him "a groundbreaking choice," and the Post's Ezra Klein has perhaps the best overview of Kim's career arc and the unique qualities he brings to the job.
At Dartmouth, among initiatives, Kim grabbed my attention with his immediate pursuit of harm reduction related to college drinking and his intense passion for applying the science of human performance to college athletics, academic achievement, and the formation among students of lifelong habits related to mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Take a look at the video below from the Dartmouth Idol series. Kim joins students about 2 minutes into the video with a rap and dance performance, turning popular pop and rap lyrics into a message about campus fun without alcohol. There are few people in the country who merge Kim's experience, intellectual heft, and charisma. I anticipate that the World Bank is just the start of his national leadership.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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