Diane Ackerman on What Working at a Suicide Prevention Hotline Taught Her about the Human Spirit
A suicidal person whom you are talking to is like ‘a dangling person whose hands you are gripping in your own.’ she says.
‘Ackerman — scientific sorceress of the senses and supreme historian of the human heart — marvels at the humbling, uniquely human notion of the very concept of a suicide prevention hotline:
‘”We use only a voice and a set of ears, somehow tied to the heart and brain, but it feels like mountaineering with someone who has fallen, a dangling person whose hands you are gripping in your own.”
‘Ackerman recalls one particularly poignant call, with Louise — a frequent caller with “many talents, a lively mind, a quirky and unusual point of view, and a generous heart” — whom she had reeled back from the brink of suicide many times before. Louise’s anguish, like that of many on the downward spiral of the psyche, stems from feeling, as Ackerman puts it, bereft of choices. (Which is why Kerkhof’s pioneering suicide-prevention technique is so effective both in clinical contexts and in controlling our everyday worries.) Ackerman reflects on this uniquely human dance with possibility:…’
This 3-Question Quiz Predicts Whether You Believe in God
It’s funny but I’ve taken similar ‘Math’ tests before. Were those tests only disguised as Math tests?
‘In 2012, in the journal Science, social psychologists Will M. Gervais and Ara Norenzayan published the results of five studies suggesting this might be the case. I’ll discuss the findings in a moment. First, it’s time to test yourself…’
1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? ____cents
2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? _____minutes
3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? _____days
CIA toyed with idea of Osama bin Laden doll to turn Afghan children from leader.
It was named Operation Devil Eyes and the face of the doll was designed to slowly turn into a devil’s face.
‘…The spy agency began quietly developing the bin Laden doll in 2005, as first reported by The Washington Post, and recruited the help of the former head of the Hasbro toy company, Donald Levine.
‘The CIA’s proposed plan, according to the newspaper, was to produce the dolls, with their bright red faces and spooky green eyes, and hand them out to children in Afghanistan in hopes of turning them away from the al Qaeda leader.
‘But the agency aborted the plan after reviewing three prototypes of the doll, a CIA spokesman told CNN…’