In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another. The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7) was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008. During eight months of combat, the unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and suffered more casualties than any other Marine battalion that year. When its members returned, most left the military. Seven years later, at least 13 of the 1200 members of that battalion have killed themselves in the interim: two while on active duty, the rest after they left the military. That is nearly four times the rate for young male veterans as a whole and 14 times that for all Americans. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
The staggering reality of America's post-9/11 era of perpetual war: For every active duty soldier killed in combat, twenty veterans died by their own hand. This is Daniel Wolfe's story. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
Creating just online social spaces - Aria Stewart, Geek Feminism
"The last two months have seen two Slack chats start to support marginalized groups in the technology field, LGBTQ* Technology and Women in Technology, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to run the spaces effectively, not just being a place for those who it says on the tin, but to support, encourage and not be terrible to people who are marginalized in other ways than the one the particular group is trying to represent. "This is a sort of how-to guide for creating a social Slack that is inclusive and just, and a lot of of this will apply to other styles and mediums for interaction."[more inside]
In a post-speedo world of increasingly European beachwear the mankini, popularized by Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat, provides an alternative method of support and coverage for the discerning sunbather. This item of modesty, predominately marketed for the male physique but occasionally for the female, has been designed across a range of colors, styles, pouch volumes and variations in the number and positioning of straps. However, the approaching summer brings more swimwear options... [more inside]
'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
Private Ceremonies. "Most women don’t talk about their abortions and miscarriages. Virtually none go through the experience with a loved one at their side. The greatest gift an abortion counselor can give is to bear witness, to be with a woman as she goes through this private journey, to witness her strength and weakness, her grief, her relief, her pain." A first person essay from a former abortion counselor.
Ernest Callenbach, author of the classic environmental novel Ecotopia among other works, died of cancer at 83 on April 16th, leaving behind this document on his computer.
The Summer 2011 issue of Stanford Medicine Magazine is about "Surviving Survival": The Woman Who Fell To Earth / Khmer Rouge on Trial / A Kid Again / Her Stroke of Insight / RxErcise [more inside]
TheFix.com is a new site targeting the more than 40 million Americans who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. It features Ask-An-Expert videos, news, editorials and thorough reviews of rehab facilities based on Zagat's system. Founded by Maer Roshan, one of the founders of Radar Magazine. (Via) [more inside]
Blood and Milk is the blog of international development worker and writer Alanna Shaikh, who consults on global health development and writes for publications such as the UN Dispatch. Her views, based both on her work in the field and her study & understanding of sociology, international relations, and other such subjects, tend to be contrary to most other opinions on international development: voluntourism isn't helpful, development work is mired in a culture of nice, don't bother starting an NGO (or, if you will anyway, here's how to succeed), global health doesn't need innovation, and microfinance is a disappointment. Also, here's how to tell if your health project is doomed, and Haiti doesn't need your shoes (some people vehemently disagree). Educated well-researched iconoclast, or pessimistic Mary Contrary?
Your chance to say: Thank you for throwing your shoe!
Computer Hope The location for free online computer support and computer related information. Computer Hope has been designed to assist all types of computer users with any of their computer related questions as well as a great location to learn more about your computer and its hardware and software.
In need of last-minute Christmas gifts? Want to help the world in some way? Websites like ChangingThePresent and Alternative Gifts International allow you to buy or sponsor something useful as a present - from an hour with a creative coach, to wheelchairs in Cambodia; from walking children to school in the West Bank to flighting corruption. Maybe even a charity gift certificate? [more inside]
The Shock Absorber Bounce-o-Meter is *definitely* NSFW, but sure is a lot of fun. Choose your cup size, then your level of activity, and you will be presented with naked breasts, breasts in a normal bra and breasts in the Shock Absorber bra side by side...all the while doing some exercise to get things jiggling.
"You have selected Regicide..." How to get a human on the phone for dozens of IVR systems. And a bonus page for Amazon, e-Bay, and PayPal.
Music to our ears......or at least, music from a bunch of people who give a damn. A boatload of musical artists at CDBaby.com decided to give 100% of their profits to the Red Cross to help victims of Katrina.
Dubya's Dilemma: Daddy Doesn't Support the Iraq War The Iraqi war that has so divided Americans is also causing a rift in the family of President George W. Bush. The President’s father, George H.W. Bush – 41st President of the United States – disagrees with his son’s decisions in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which is why the former President has not commented in public on the war. “The President and I discuss the war privately,” the elder Bush said in an interview earlier this year. “That is the way it will remain.” But sources close to the Bush family say the elder Bush thinks his son has mishandled the war in Iraq.
A collective "I told you so" from all the layed-off American tech workers. Dell to Stop Using Indian Call Center for Corporate Customers. Apparently, there was a high volume of complaints about thick accents and scripted responses. You don't say? You mean explaining complex technical issues to end users over a phone are further complicated by mixing in large dialect and enunciation differences?
Unbiased (ideally) but not inhuman (hopefully) The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the University of Washington studies the effects of crazy badness ("if it bleeds, it leads") on reporters and studies ways in which the news media can better cover traumatic events in the life of the world: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. From a piece on the site, "9-11 Journalists Share Memories, Support," "Long before Sept. 11, he was interested in how journalists respond to the pain and misery they encounter in their work, and the lack of support they often find in a traditionally tough-minded business. Then he nearly died while photographing the World Trade Center attack, and found those issues hit closer to home than he ever imagined."
Is it me, or does Mac Mentor sound like the name of a comic book super-villian? (Say it slow.)
SBC Customer Service staffed by bots? The bots themselves don't bother me too much, I think its pretty cool if SBC Yahoo has bots advanced enough that they can use them for online customer service and the bots turn out to be actually helpful (I don't know, since I never have problems with my DSL and have never used them). What is disturbing, though, is the apparent deceit involved by having that the bots insist on being human. Anyone know anything more?
Not just selfcentered, but warmongers too. SUV owners are more likely the the general populous to support the war in Iraq (60%). When small SUVs are eliminated, the figure jumps to (80%). Probably not a causal relationship, but interesting none the less.
"Cryptophis nigrescens killed my computer."... "my computer was making a strange hissing noise last night and this morning when I turned it on there was a crackling noise and some smoke then nothing, if I bring it in can you fix it?"
One of my colleagues took this tech support call and has the photographs to prove it.
One of my colleagues took this tech support call and has the photographs to prove it.
No more Muzak™ and classic rock? "The [IBM] interns collaborated on something called Hold Freedom, a way to ease the tedium of being on hold while waiting to talk to a human. The program enables callers placed on hold to listen to news, music of their choice, enter a chat group with other customers or even make another phone call without losing their place in the queue. The choices would be based on personal profiles that the customers had previously completed on the call center to phone company's Web site." (Also cool that the idea comes from summer interns.)
"Ask Maxwell" -- Microsoft's New Support Database Am I the only one who finds something a tad sinister about this thing? He looks a bit odd, and considering it's supposed to be automated support, this profile of him is damned creepy. By the way -- the profile states that he/it is an English major. Uh, Bill? -- wouldn't it have been a smoother move to say that the "guy" was a Comp Sci major? Geez...