August 28, 2005
In the UK (population 60m) the average daily suicide count is around 10 people.
A report by the Office for National Statistics reveals that certain days are more popular to end it all than others. It tend to be beginnings. On Mondays, on average, 12 suicide. In fact the numbers fall throughout the week, to a low of 8 on sundays. The highest suicide toll on any day in the UK was New Year’s Day 2000, with 23.
Curiously there has been one day on which no one committed suicide, Friday March 16th, 2001. Wondering what was so special about that day, I had a quick trawl on the net and found this:
Now that IS depressing.
Tag: suicide, comicrelief, beginnings
August 20, 2005
The kids have been seeing a lot of their granny lately. This is a page from an activity book that they’d been given based on the story of Elijah. Other things that have turned up include a cross on Zoe’s wall complete with (temporarily) dead jesus.
The other day Zoe said to me “You didn’t make me dad, god did.” I had to explain, yet again, that their granny was deranged.
August 18, 2005
If I could invest in one company right now it would be Vestergaard Frandsen. The company have developed a water-purification straw, the “lifestraw”. It seems too good to be true, it’s cheap and will cover the annual water consumption of one person.
The company is nominated for some award at index. they give some details.
Short description of design:
The LifeStraw is a 25 cm long straw/pipe filter, 29 mm wide diameter in plastic.
Functionallity and use of design:
When water is sucked up it is met by ever finer textile filters in order to filter out dirt and sediments, as well as clusters of bacteria.
In the centre of the pipe several medias, including iodine, will kill and withhold remaining bacteria, viruses and parasites, as well as improve the taste of the water.
The main goal, to kill bacteria, is done up to log 7 – log 8, according to laboratory tests. Better than municipal tap water in many developed countries.
Drawbacks of life improvement:
If we were not able to control the output of iodine there could have been a draw back there, but with the existing iodine deficiency in most 3rd world communities, WHO would have appreciated if we had had a higher release of iodine. We have, however, chosen to put in so much granulated active carbon, that no consumer shall discard the filter due to chemical taste.
Research and need:
Being a textile company we tried originally for many years to reach this design only by using textiles, but eventually we realised that textiles could only be part of the solution and that additional media, especially killing media had to be applied. For about a year we also tried to combine textiles with only carbon, but realised then, that bacteria and viruses were building up in the carbon. Only when combining it with the iodine did we realise we were on the right track. Then a lot of time was spent searching globally for the best of the various products we needed, and when they were at hand, a long and tedious way had to be followed to find the right position, quantity and size of each component.
found on IFTF
Tag: lifestraw, water
August 16, 2005
A blogger witnesses a jump off of a bridge. Complete with pictures.
have a nice day.
Tag: suicide, jumper
August 13, 2005
hitchens was asked once what motivated him. hate, he said. he flies high in this interview for washington prism, a persian language online publication. here we get somewhere.
They [Islamist radicals or, as Hitchens calls them, Islamo-fascists] gave us no peace and we shouldn’t give them any. We can’t live on the same planet as them and I’m glad because I don’t want to. I don’t want to breathe the same air as these psychopaths and murders and rapists and torturers and child abusers. Its them or me. I’m very happy about this because I know it will be them. It’s a duty and a responsibility to defeat them. But it’s also a pleasure. I don’t regard it as a grim task at all.
it’s well worth a read.
hitchens in slate.
It never seemed to me that there was any alternative to confronting the reality of Iraq, which was already on the verge of implosion and might, if left to rot and crash, have become to the region what the Congo is to Central Africa: a vortex of chaos and misery that would draw in opportunistic interventions from Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Bad as Iraq may look now, it is nothing to what it would have become without the steadying influence of coalition forces. None of the many blunders in postwar planning make any essential difference to that conclusion. Indeed, by drawing attention to the ruined condition of the Iraqi society and its infrastructure, they serve to reinforce the point.
i’m all at sea here. as someone who admires hitchens, loves his writing, this truly is horeshit. it gets worse. he goes on to ask why humanitarians harp on about abu ghraib rather than the plight of iraqis under fascistic ba’arth party or clerical fascism. then a few sentences on the “mayor of baghdad”:
Dr. Tamimi is a civil engineer and convinced secularist who gave up a prosperous exile in Canada to come home and help rebuild his country. He is one among millions who could emerge if it were not for the endless, pitiless torture to which the city is subjected by violent religious fascists. He is quoted as being full of ideas, of a somewhat Giuliani-like character, about zoning enforcement, garbage recycling, and zero tolerance for broken windows. If this doesn’t seem quixotic enough in today’s gruesome circumstances, he also has to confront religious parties on the city council and an inept central government that won’t give him a serious budget.
Question: Why have several large American cities not already announced that they are going to become sister cities with Baghdad and help raise money and awareness to aid Dr. Tamimi?
August 12, 2005
Malasia. A guy suicides by drinking weedkiller, embarrassed by the public argument going on in the street between his two wives.
The reports said the truck driver was with his younger wife, who is aged 20, at his mother’s house in the central state of Pahang when his first wife, who is 35, turned up unexpectedly.
An argument ensued between the two women, attracting a large crowd of neighbours, the New Straits Times said. In frustration, the truck driver rushed to the back of the house and fetched the bottle of weedkiller, which he drank before the shocked onlookers.
I like wikipedia, it has a very Peircian taste. Surely, he would piss his pants at such a thing.
Jimmy Wales co-founder of wikipedia, gave a talk at the Open Source Applications Foundation, blogged by ross mayfield, socialtext entrepreneur. it’s well worth a read, though it’s blogged live and the english is a mess. a few excerpts:
Mitch recalls that at one point there were more articles on Tolkien’s Middle Earth than Africa. Jimmy recalls that there were more words about the war on Deep Space 9 than the Congo war and how old time Wikipedians saw that africa was a red link, then someone wrote that africa is a continent.
The English Wikipedia said the Wright Brothers invented the airplane, French said otherwise. Now there is a wonderful and detailed article on definitions and a discussion of the issue. Korean and Japanese Wikipedias differ on disputed islands. In the Japanese Wikipedia, incidentally, they use the discussion page for a long time before they make the article.
More rules are necessary over time, but they encourage not making rules until they are absolutely necessary. Small languages haven’t made the same rules as large ones. The 3 revert law (in one day) in English version was created to prevent revert wars. But in small languages it’s okay to do 10. What I do varies in many languages, I can’t work on the Chinese Wikipedia in the same way as English, so they vote a lot. Dutch Wikipedia had a civil war, 500 users quit.
But in the end, there is no such thing as competition for Wikipedia.
Tag: wikipedia, peirce
August 10, 2005
The London bombs killed 55 people.
I read yesterday (was out and about, could have been the Guardian) that this 55 people came from 22 different countries. I find this quite remarkable, obviously.
I hear reports from friends that some muslims have taken to carrying six-packs of beer to show they shouldn’t be a concern to the travelling public.
The police at the more minor tube and rail stations have remanifested as Community Support Officers, rather than the real deal. I take this to be the result of the spate of crimes in recent days. There have been high profile rapes and robberies, more drug dealers on the streets, and the number of yellow boards springing up is probably unprecedented.
The people being stopped and searched are getting paler. I wonder whether the police have been told to bag a few white guys to make it look better.
Tag: bombing, london
Since 1947 it has been a widely held belief in Israel that “Holocaust survivors do not commit suicide; they heroically prove the continuity of the Jewish people”. A new study reveals this not to be the case. In fact the suicide rate in holocaust survivors is three times greater than in the general population.
It was also believed that even in the camps, suicide was rare. However, they saw the highest suicide rate in history. The country currently top of the pile for suicide is Lithuania with 87.9 per 100,000 committing suicide. In the camps it was 25,000 in 100,000.
“As far as is known, this is the highest suicide rate in human history,” Barak said. “We’ve learned that religious people in Auschwitz and other camps made formal applications to rabbis in the camps seeking permission to commit suicide.”
Tag: suicide, holocaust, israel