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Suicide

  1. I Can’t Do That, Dave: Apple Updates Siri to Help Prevent Suicides

    If you tell Siri "Remind me to kill myself tomorrow," your calendar will still set up an alert for the next day. So, there's that.

    According to many iPhone users who seemingly can't resist provoking the robotic voice in their phones, Siri would respond to suicide threats with "helpful" tips: The nearest bridges, open pharmacies, a listing for Michael C. Hall. As suicide rates continue to climb, however, Apple and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline began working together to give Siri somewhat less passive-aggressive responses. Now, if prompted by statements like "I am going to commit suicide," Siri will ask if you would like to call the suicide hotline. Should you not respond, the phone will display local suicide prevention centers, and provide you with a map.

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  2. Context Matters: 9th Graders Write Suicide Notes for English Assignment

    The headline "School Requests Students Write Suicide Notes" seemed a bit too alarming.

    As if students didn't already feel fed up with this world enough after a day of school, one teacher decided to give an assignment to drive them over the edge. Jessica Barrish, a literature teacher at York Prep in New York City, told her students to write a suicide note for homework. The class had been reading The Secret Life of Bees, which is, subjectively speaking, the most depressing book ever, and Barrish thought that writing a suicide note would help them better understand character May Boatwright. To do so, the students were required to give reasons that would justify killing themselves -- from the point of view of the character, of course. 

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  3. Hyundai Attempts to Scrub Their Terrible Suicide Ad From the Internet, Fails Miserably

    The Streisand effect is a powerful, powerful thing. When you attempt to purge the Internet of some kind of media that's gone public, all you're going to do is draw even more attention to said media. Everyone should really know by now that the cat really doesn't effectively go back into the bag once it's out. It's just common sense, or so we thought. Case in point: Hyundai's been trying to cleanse YouTube of their recently pulled suicide ad.

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  4. Former Reddit Co-Owner Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

    What a miserable thing to wake up to. Aaron Swartz, former Reddit co-owner, committed suicide yesterday in New York City at the age of 26. That's more or less the extent of what we know at this point, and it's enough to be heartbreaking as it is. Whether you approve of his actions or not, Swartz has had a major impact on the Internet as a whole. Not only was he essentially a co-founder of Reddit, but he also helped found Demand Progress, which fights for civil rights among other things. In short, his legacy lives on, but he'll definitely be missed.

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  5. Why Are Hundreds Of Deer Throwing Themselves Off Of An Idaho Bridge?

    In sad but perhaps predictable news, hundreds of deer have leapt to their deaths from an Idaho bridge. The rash of suicides has left Idaho Fish and Gameofficials baffled as to why the deer may be jumping off of the bridge the bridge, leaving us to assume they've already ruled out the simplest answer, which is, of course, "Because they're deer, and deer are profoundly, monumentally stupid creatures."

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  6. Apple Bans ‘Objectionable’ Game Based on Foxconn Suicides

    As a company, Apple is very finicky about the content they allow onto the iOS app store. Even if an app makes its way through certification, there's always the possibility that somebody might realize that it may raise some eyebrows and get taken down. Case in point, it took Apple less than an hour to find and remove In a Permenant Save State, an interactive story following seven factory-workers who commit suicide and their journeys into the afterlife. Though Apple didn't state a reason, (they rarely do) it isn't exactly a stretch to say that Apple had a vested interest in taking the game down: The game, labelled "a serious [mobile] game", was directly inspired by real-life suicides at Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner, Foxconn.

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  7. The U.S. Military is Designing Anti-Suicide Spray

    A scientist from the Indiana University School of Medicine has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Army to design a nasal spray that should suppress thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, it makes perfect sense that the military would be looking into alternative methods to keep soldiers from killing themselves. According to RT, 116 U.S. soldiers have died of suspected suicide in 2012, and the army currently has the highest recorded rate of suicide in its history.

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  8. Dark Comedy Project Astronaut Suicide Photos Comes in Response to End of Shuttle Program

    Now that the Shuttle program is over, photographer Neil DaCosta and art director Sara Philips decided to show the world what astronauts have to look forward to now that there's no program to put them into space. Suicide, if you're wondering. The astronaut now has nothing to look forward to other than suicide.

    A dark comedy project, or at least, clearly, a dark something project, dubbed Astronaut Suicides, depicts just that -- an astronaut dressed up in full gear, committing suicide in various ways. Suicide's no joke, so we'll let you be the judge of DaCosta and Philip's project, but seeing an astronaut dressed in full gear, helmet and all, with his or her head shoved into an oven, should at least provoke some kind of feeling of absurdity. Head on past the break to see some more astronaut suicides.

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  9. Google: No Longer Helping Users Kill Themselves

    Google wants to keep you alive. The New York Times reported yesterday that any searches related to suicide techniques will now bring up the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline accompanied by a bright, red telephone icon as the first result on the page. This is the second time that Google has offered a helpful telephone number to go with troubling search terms. A few months ago, the search engine added the phone number for the national poison control hotline when users search terms like "poison emergency".

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