Some interesting stories

Too much to do, too little time to blog, so here’s some stuff I enjoyed to keep you going.

From some science: on the weird, hugely interesting and currently unexplained early spring peak in suicides in the Western world:

…people usually commit suicide because personal, social-system and environmental factors combine to push them to a new place of energized despair.

In this view, spring somehow adds weight to an already unbearable load. But how?

One traditional candidate, favored by both Dr. Jamison and Dr. Kaslow, is the “broken promise effect” — the sometimes crushing disappointment that spring fails to bring the relief the sufferer has hoped for.

To science meeting religion: and the push to erricate polio in Pakistan, which is up against strong – and deadly – opposition from local religious leaders:

On Sunday 16 June, gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two polio workers carrying out a vaccination drive in Peshawar, a crowded city in Pakistan’s north-west. One of the men who died was a schoolteacher, the other a paramedic. Both left behind grieving families. Their deaths bring the total tally of polio workers assassinated in Pakistan up to nearly 20 since last December.

To religion: as a paralysed child gets an answer to his prayers.

Said Angela Schlosser, a day nurse who witnessed the Divine Manifestation: “An incredible, booming voice said to Timmy, ‘I am the Lord thy God, who created the rivers and the mountains, the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars. Before Me sits My beloved child, whose faith is that of the mustard seed from which grows mighty and powerful things. My child, Timmy Yu, I say unto you thus: I have heard your prayers, and now I shall answer them. No, you cannot get out of your wheelchair. Not ever.'”

That last link via @grant_mcdermott in response to my tweet about the lack of any response to the tens of millions of prayers being said for Nelson Mandela at the moment.

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