Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'suicide'

Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That

November 17th, 2011 · 2 Comments

It’s been far too long since I posted about suicide, a Microkhan staple since this project’s earliest days. Let me rectify that oversight by quoting from this 1971 study of mortality among Hiroshima survivors. One might expect such unfortunate souls to be so psychologically traumatized by their experiences that they would be unusually prone to […]

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A Sailor’s Life for Me?

August 12th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Many moons ago, one of my good friend’s older brothers spent a summer on an Alaskan fishing boat. He returned with a pocketful of money and some truly harrowing tales of the seafaring life, which included a comrade abandoned off the Aleutian Islands and much drunken thuggery. The anecdote of his that I remember most […]

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Demanding Satisfaction, to a Young Nation’s Detriment

August 20th, 2010 · 5 Comments

It doesn’t take much imagination to mock Kentucky’s oath of office, which contains this gloriously anachronistic bit of verbiage: I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of […]

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Suicide in Sri Lanka

August 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment

My previous posts about suicide haven’t been particularly cheery, and not just because of the grim subject matter. Everything I’ve seen in recent years has convinced me that our current anti-suicide measures aren’t working particularly well, given the stability of America’s suicide rate over the past half-century. It’s quite discouraging to realize that innovations such […]

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The Suicide Conundrum

July 20th, 2010 · 2 Comments

(Cross-posted from Ta-Nehisi Coates) Sorry to start this gorgeous summer day on an exceedingly somber note, but it’s time to talk suicide. I’ve written a lot about this topic, primarily from a public-health angle. Despite all we’ve learned about human psychology over the past several decades, we seem unable to make much of a dent […]

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The Bridge Factor

December 14th, 2009 · 5 Comments

In the course of questioning the utility of suicide-proof barriers on bridges, a political scientist makes an intriguing observation: In order to determine if exposure to bridges increases the suicide rate, I examined the relationship between the suicide rate and the number of bridges likely to attract suicidal individuals in all 50 states plus Washington […]

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Gone Too Soon

November 11th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We first got turned on to Donny Hathaway by reading the liner notes for The Chronic. We were amazed by how many of the samples were copped from Extension of a Man, and so we saved up some hard-earned cash to buy the album. It’s since become one of our favorites, a platter we’ve spun […]

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Those Wage Earners Left Behind

September 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

As you’re stuffing your face with sweet sausages and Budwesier Chelada this holiday weekend, we hope you’ll pause for a brief moment to remember those who really could have used a Labor Day respite: victims of karōshi, who remain far more numerous than they should be. Karōshi translates from the Japanese as “death from overwork,” […]

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Doin’ It All for Xbalanque

July 16th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Though the practice of seppuku is virtually synonmous with ritual suicide, it’s worth noting that feudal Japan hardly had a monopoly on ceremonial self-slaughter. The Mayans were also enthusiasts, though the details of their process obviously differed from those of their peers across the Pacific. As this fascinating paper makes clear, the Mayan method involved […]

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“Amorous Paranoia”

July 9th, 2009 · No Comments

The tragic death of former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair—one of the toughest competitors to ever play the position—gives us a chance to loop back to one of Microkhan’s most dicussed topics: suicide. For those who don’t already know, McNair perished in a murder-suicide perpetrated by his young girlfriend. We’ve long been morbidly fascinated with […]

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The One Thing You Can’t Fix

June 5th, 2009 · 5 Comments

We’ve been so wrapped up with parenting and screenplaying these last two weeks, we’ve had scant time to ponder the tragic demise of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. As longtime Microkhan readers know, suicide is one of our great topics of interest. And so we were struck by the means with which Roh chose […]

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The Stability of Suicide

April 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

It’s a bright, gorgeous morning here at Harlem headquarters, which obviously means it’s the perfect time to revisit one of Microkhan’s favorite topics: suicide. The graph above shows the suicide rate in the United States between 1950 and 2005. As you can see, the rate has been remarkably stable over the years, despite growing awareness […]

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Suicide in the Treasure State

April 9th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Longtime readers know that Microkhan has a curious obsession with suicide. (We blame Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads.) So we couldn’t help but notice the fact that Montana has by far the highest suicide rate in the U.S., at 22 cases per 100,000 residents. That leaves even Nevada and its legions of busted, coked-out gamblers […]

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The Puputans of Bali

March 31st, 2009 · 10 Comments

Microkhan’s few loyalists know that suicide is a frequent topic of interest ’round here. No surprise, then, that in the midst of reading Miguel Covarrubias’s Island of Bali, I was struck by the Mexican artist/ethnographer’s account of an infamous 1906 ritual mass suicide. Students of Balinese history (of which I’m certainly not one) are already […]

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“A Prohibition So Divine…”

March 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, Microkhan delved into the apparent link between literacy and suicide—the more literate a nation’s population, it appears, the likelier it is to have a high suicide rate. This theory might explain in part why so many post-Soviet nations have serious suicide problems—their citizens are well-educated, but also struggling economically (at […]

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The China Conundrum

March 13th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Sorry to play Captain Bringdown on a Friday, but a promise is a promise. Microkhan recently vowed to explore the female suicide rate in China, and by golly, that’s what’s gonna happen in this here post. If you want sunshine and ponies instead, click here; otherwise, read on. China is the only nation in which […]

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The Downside of Reading

March 5th, 2009 · 7 Comments

In scanning the World Health Organization’s latest compilation of suicide rates, you can’t help but wonder why self-slaughter is so prevalent in Eastern Europe. All of the highest rates occur in countries from the former Soviet Bloc, such as Lithuania (68.1 males per 100,000) and Belarus (63.3). The rate in the United States, by contrast, […]

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