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Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide 498

HughPickens.com writes: Experts and laymen have long assumed that people who died by suicide will ultimately do it even if temporarily deterred. Now Celia Watson Seupel reports at the NY Times that a growing body of evidence challenges this view, with many experts calling for a reconsideration of suicide-prevention strategies to stress "means restriction." Instead of treating individual risk, means restriction entails modifying the environment by removing the means by which people usually die by suicide. The world cannot be made suicide-proof, of course. But, these researchers argue, if the walkway over a bridge is fenced off, a struggling college freshman cannot throw herself over the side. If parents leave guns in a locked safe, a teenage son cannot shoot himself if he suddenly decides life is hopeless.

Reducing the availability of highly lethal and commonly used suicide methods has been associated with declines in suicide rates of as much as 30%–50% in other countries (PDF). According to Cathy Barber, people trying to die by suicide tend to choose not the most effective method, but the one most at hand. Some methods have a case fatality rate as low as 1 or 2 percent," says Barber. "With a gun, it's closer to 85 or 90 percent. So it makes a difference what you're reaching for in these low-planned or unplanned suicide attempts." Ken Baldwin, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985 and lived, told reporters that he knew as soon as he had jumped that he had made a terrible mistake. "From the instant I saw my hand leave the railing, I knew I wanted to live. I was terrified out of my skull." Baldwin was lucky to survive the 220 foot plunge into frigid waters. Ms. Barber tells another story: On a friend's very first day as an emergency room physician, a patient was wheeled in, a young man who had shot himself in a suicide attempt. "He was begging the doctors to save him," she says. But they could not.

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days 986

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes The E-Cat (or "Energy Catalyzer") is an alleged cold fusion device that produces heat from a low-energy nuclear reaction where nickel and hydrogen fuse into copper. Previous reports have tended to suggest the technology is a hoax, and the inventor Andrea Rossi's reluctance to share details of the device haven't helped the situation. ExtremeTech now reports that "six (reputable) researchers from Italy and Sweden" have "observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, "far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume."... "The researchers, analyzing the fuel before and after the 32-day burn, note that there is an isotope shift from a "natural" mix of Nickel-58/Nickel-60 to almost entirely Nickel-62 — a reaction that, the researchers say, cannot occur without nuclear reactions (i.e. fusion)." The paper (PDF) linked in the article concludes that the E-cat is "a device giving heat energy compatible with nuclear transformations, but it operates at low energy and gives neither nuclear radioactive waste nor emits radiation. From basic general knowledge in nuclear physics this should not be possible. Nevertheless we have to relate to the fact that the experimental results from our test show heat production beyond chemical burning, and that the E-Cat fuel undergoes nuclear transformations. It is certainly most unsatisfying that these results so far have no convincing theoretical explanation, but the experimental results cannot be dismissed or ignored just because of lack of theoretical understanding. Moreover, the E-Cat results are too conspicuous not to be followed up in detail. In addition, if proven sustainable in further tests the E-Cat invention has a large potential to become an important energy source." The observers understandably hedge a bit, though: The researchers are very careful about not actually saying that cold fusion/LENR is the source of the E-Cat’s energy, instead merely saying that an “unknown reaction” is at work. In serious scientific circles, LENR is still a bit of a joke/taboo topic. The paper is actually somewhat comical in this regard: The researchers really try to work out how the E-Cat produces so much darn energy — and they conclude that fusion is the only answer — but then they reel it all back in by adding: “The reaction speculation above should only be considered as an example of reasoning and not a serious conjecture.”

Comment Re:Units were chosen for the conclusion? (Score 1) 409

Oh, as for the 95%, it's an economist's report and tries to calculate price for new sources. IAEA gets average from all the countries (Soviet Union) and all the reactors that exist at the time (1990 meant ancient Magnoxes, not-yet-refurbished RBMKs and other engineering offenses still merrily grinding away). I've seen the 95% for the new plants quoted often, even from relatively respectable sources and can imagine how it got there, but still seems excessive, 93% is actually promoted by vendors (if you operate it right etc. and after the first few years of breaking the new plant in) for AP1000 and several others, real performance evaluation will have to wait after those new types are built and operated for several years.

Some useful stats for the past and current performances.

Comment Arithmetical error? (Score 1) 409

2012 was indeed a bad year for Swedish nuclear with Oskarhamn 1 being out and reaching 0.7 % load factor but the yearly average was 70 %. Check your math, either you misplaced decimal somewhere or you are mixing up the load factor of your turbines with the nuclear's share of Sweden's electricity production for 2012 - 38.5%, understandable brain fart, but still completely different metrics.

Comment Check the numbers, kid (Score 1) 409

Typical modern wind turbines have diameters of 40 to 90 metres (130 to 300 ft) and are rated between 500 kW and 2 MW. As of 2014 the most powerful turbine, the Vestas V-164, is rated at 8 MW and has a rotor diameter of 164m.

That from the wiki and which also has other numbers for that biggest piece, which clearly show that diesel still wins.

Comment Re:Externalization (Score 1) 409

You haven't even bothered to read the abstract, did you? BTW. Amory Lovins' bussiness is consulting for fossil fuel companies, he stopped advertising it, but if you use Google and Wayback Machine, you can still find him saying so. And of course the old, zombie canard of oil wars. Truthers should finally get together and explain why US didn't invade Canada and Nigeria in the first place (and possibly Mexico, it's close), check out the actual oil imports figures from those times, you might be surprised.

Comment So this is news now? (Score 1) 288

Maybe Amazon or some other provider could take a page from some local utilities and let users signal their own preferences with a (surcharged) "clean energy" option.

Meh, I'd like them more, if they started a better trend - ignore Greenpeace altogether. What's next? We're gonna have posts about Westboro Baptist Church's stance on computers, presented as a valid opinion? Fuck you, Jason, your submission is lamer than your hockey mask.

Comment Re:increased cancer risk. See references (Score 1) 230

Sorry, I'm not gonna google von Hippel, Jacobson or other concern trolls/pressure group activists/outright quacks. I've already read enough stupid, flawed shit based on their work and of course, enough about the methodology they used. This methodology is questionable (that's the accepted scientific term for bullshit, right?).


A bit of light reading for those interested in the amount of conservative assumptions, posited improbable scenarios, rounding up and Fermi estimates necessary to claims of actual radiation-induced health consequences to the public.

Comment Not enough! (Score 1) 230

Those homes would have to be made of carefully chosen materials not to emit radiation themselves (no granite countertops, too) and, of course, no sleeping with a spouse or a baby in the same bed - human body is naturally radioactive, which brings us to the last point - we would have to be fed with isotopically purified food to get rid of all the K-40 and in the long run, maybe replace all the carbon in our bodies with a purified carbon than doesn't consist partially of radioactive C-14.

Also, you missed a decimal, it's 2.4 mSv, not that the average means much, it's counted from about half mSv in some places and tens in others.

Comment Re:Perl (Score 1) 536

There are more "hardcore/weird/idiosyncratic/expressive/niche/unintelligible" languages for geniuses than just C, I've just recently ran into this nice 18 byte cunt-generating tidbit:

' *'{~4=+/~ 4<.|i:5

Ha, got "Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.", when trying to post both code and result, Slashdot apparently can't stomach rhombus made of asterisks, thus inadvertently giving unplanned example of expression and power being too limited for something relatively simple, yet unexpected. Unless it's just protection from pasting heaps of ASCII art?
Anyway, result's here, proper Slavic cunt symbol should have vertical line in the center, but the shape is generally recognized as simplified substitute, as in, say, Renault logo ("One cunt on the grill, the other behind the wheel." as somebody mean, probably me, remarked when homeroom teacher passed us in her car).

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