suicide

A guy named Bill Sparkman was looking for extra money when he took a job as a part-time census taker (called an enumerator, Chuck and I recently learned). It turns out that he was looking for a bit more than the $350 a week the Census Bureau paid him as a part-time temporary worker. He was looking for something more like a $600,000 pay off, not for himself, but for his son. Whom he'd named as the sole beneficiary to two life insurance policies he'd taken out before heading door to door in Clay County, Kentucky, where he'd been assigned.

Is it worth the hassle to milk suicidal cows after they've plunged hundreds of feet to their deaths?

There's something so peaceful about the image of a 2,000-pound dairy cow full of milk falling silently through the air between its leap from a cliff until the moment of impact on the rocks hundreds of feet below the precipice. In my imagination, I see them quietly, gracelessly falling end over end, legs jutting out still, eyes lolling about to take in the suddenly vast, groundless landscape. The whipping air is the only sound before -- KABOOM!!

Yeah, man, I've been hitting the tech stuff pretty hard lately, between this post and yesterday's. Despite finding the severed head of a Jellofox on my desk this morning -- a warning, I suspect, from J-Strick and Pollette to watch my back -- I will press on. Not only will I press on, I will write about a topic that Strickland already posted on. How you like me now? At issue is a bill under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 1966 would make it a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, for using electronic communication "to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person," reports Network World. You've likely guessed that the bill came out of a case in Missouri where a woman made up a fake MySpace page to humiliate a teenager after she chose to no longer be BFF with the woman's daughter.

I read a very sad story today from Time Magazine about the alarming suicide rate of U.S. Army recruiters. The United States is in the longest running war waged by an all-volunteer Army in history. Early on, patriotism in the wake of 9/11 made a recruiter's gig pretty steady. Now things aren't so easy. The longer the war drags on, the harder it is to convince young men and women to sign up for what will most likely mean a long tour of duty in an inhospitable land. The problem is, recruiters are still expected to sign two recruits per month, even if it means working 15 hour days, seven days a week. Burnout is typical during wartime and suicide is no stranger to the military. But last year alone, the number of suicides by recruiters was three times the rate for the rest of the Army.

This just in -- an American man believed to be between 35 and 40 years old was rescued from the frigid waters below Niagara Falls at 2:15 pm today. And he was naked. The man allegedly took the plunge into Horseshoe Falls without any kind of protection, which makes him only the second person to do so and live. Josh and I did a podcast on this very topic about three weeks ago and got a lot of good listener mail regarding the topic. He remains unidentified for the time being, but I'll be updating the post as more details become available. It looks like he went over on his own accord and while he was pulled from the water without clothes on, he was allegedly wearing them when he went in.