Happy, with a 20 Percent Chance of Sadness

first_imgIn the winter of 1994, a young man in his early twenties named Tim was a patient in a London psychiatric hospital. Despite a happy and energetic demeanour, Tim had bipolar disorder and had recently attempted suicide. During his stay, he became close with a visiting US undergraduate psychology student called Matt. The two quickly bonded over their love of early-nineties hip-hop and, just before being discharged, Tim surprised his friend with a portrait that he had painted of him. Matt was deeply touched. But after returning to the United States with portrait in hand, he learned that Tim had ended his life by jumping off a bridge.Matthew Nock now studies the psychology of self-harm at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even though more than two decades have passed since his time with Tim, the portrait still hangs in his office as a constant reminder of the need to develop a way to predict when people are likely to try and kill themselves. There are plenty of known risk factors for suicide—heavy alcohol use, depression and being male among them—but none serve as tell-tale signs of imminent suicidal thoughts. Nock thinks that he is getting close to solving that. Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Property Awards 2009 Introduction

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Blinded by racial lens and political fixation

first_imgDear Editor,The other day the media kindly published a letter from me in which I underscored the need for a review of the criteria and system used to identify national honourees.In the letter, in addition to suggesting that the total annual numbers should be reduced, I also identified some factors that might be considered and some that need not be, because there are other means available to take care of them. There was no iota of racial or political consideration, overtly nor implicitly, in any of my critique or suggestions.I was, therefore, flabbergasted to see that practically all the “commentators” imported and assigned their own racial/political biases into my letter; they used their standard cowardly pseudonyms to hide their own disgusting and dangerous fixation. Of course, they were liberal in their ‘personal attacks’ on me, which do not bother me in the least, but which unfortunately serve as additional fuel for the dangerous societal fires that are already engulfing this sadly depressing territory called Guyana.When, oh when, my dear compatriots, will we break out of our obsession with race and politics so that we can start realising the true potential of our ‘dear land of Guyana’ for the benefit of all Guyanese?Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more