Thursday, December 16, 2010

News of the Week

*** Berile and Connie Stander’s family has created a tradition for saying farewell. In their family, the funeral services don’t focus on religion and clergy don’t officiate. Instead, only immediate family and close friends gather together at graveside. One family member leads the service as each person who wants to speak shares memories about their loved one. The graveside service lasts less than thirty minutes. Afterwards, additional family and friends attend a reception at the family home... See full article

*** This snippet, written by Charles Duhigg, ran in

"When Kirk Jones jumped over the guardrail at Niagara Falls last week and fell 180 feet alongside 150,000 gallons per second of rushing water, traditional explanations for his leap were plentiful. Jones' parents said he had lost his job and was depressed. A suicide expert pointed out the appeal of dramatic farewells. And everyone called the jump suicidal: Jones is the first person to survive a Niagara fall without safety gear.
But when it later came out that Jones had boasted to a friend, "If I go over and I live, I am going to make some money," it was time to call in the economists.
Jones is now negotiating with tabloids to sell his story for thousands of dollars. His case, however, will complicate a debate that is roiling suicidology, one that pits economists against psychiatrists over a basic question: Is suicide a rational decision?"