Re: is suicide a final act of bravery or cowardice?

  Albert Camus, famous for his suicidal thoughts, said, "There is only one true philosophical question, whether life is worth living." Ah, but you did not ask whether suicide itself is acceptable but rather, in doing it, am I brave? or cowardly? If I do it because I'm old and feeble and a drain on my loved one's resources, couldn't that be seen as brave? If I do it slowly through bad habits I know are sapping my life, is that brave for sticking around to face my karma? If I choose to stand in a city street and immolate myself in order to bring attention to some social ill, is that a "better" suicide than if I hang myself because a boy doesn't like me? Suicide is a powerful statement. All of us consider it but only about one in 10,000 actually does it. It is not an easy thing to decide to do, because no matter how many bad things you are leaving behind, you're also leaving this amazing world without having a clue what's next. Maybe suicides should be less brave about marching through the big black door.

     So, is suicide brave or craven? As each person must answer for himself the essential questionof whether life is worth living, those who say no shouldn't be judged for their choice. Personally, I think the answer is to plant more flowers and watch how much they sweat being alive.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Cornell engineers create artificial material with 3 key traits of life

An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less

After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

Keep reading Show less
  • A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
  • The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
  • But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.