Io is icky, bullying and suicide, and other science news

Io is icky, bullying and suicide, and other science news September 18, 2019

 

Io is gross
This NASA photograph of Jupiter’s moon Io, taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 2005, reveals it to have been patterned after a very unappetizing orange. The volcanic lake known as Loki appears quite distinctly in the upper right quadrant of this plainly diseased Jovian moon.

 

This is an interesting essay from Dr. Heath Ogden, of Utah Valley University:

 

“Accepting Truth with Joy: An Evolutionary Biologist’s Perspective”

 

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Ehh.  We’re probably all doomed:

 

“The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole reached record brightness this year: The behemoth at the center of the galaxy flared up in near-infrared wavelengths”

 

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You might want to reschedule your vacation there:

 

“The Biggest Volcano on Jupiter’s Molten Moon Io Is Likely to Erupt at Any Moment”

 

And it may be that residents of Jupiter are themselves heading for the hills ahead of Loki’s eruption.  Our hills:

 

“UFO videos are footage of real ‘unidentified’ objects, US Navy acknowledges”

 

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Is Jovian vulcanology too mundane, though?  Is it too practical for your taste?  Okay.  Alright.  We turn now to something that’s very foreign to your ordinary daily life:

 

“The truth about eating eggs: Are eggs helpful to our health… or a cause of heart disease? BBC Future examines the evidence.”

 

The incredible edible egg, no?

 

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Perhaps you don’t know the story, so here’s some background:

 

“He was bullied over his clothes. So classmates stepped in”

 

“Tennessee gives scholarship to boy bullied for his homemade T-shirt and welcomes him to the Class of 2032”

 

“University of Tennessee marching band wears T-shirts designed by bullied fan”

 

But here’s the piece that caught my interest for this particular blog post.  It’s an article written by a psychologist named Peggy Drexler:

 

“Bullied Florida boy’s story is complicated”

 

I think that most normal people would already assume that habitual bullies — as opposed to non-bullies but also even to people, especially children and adolescents, who simply (though shamefully) join up with a bullying “mob” for a single event in order to feel accepted within a group — have some sort of psychological issue or issues.  And, of course, Dr. Drexler agrees.

 

What I didn’t know is that (according to Dr. Drexler, anyway) habitual bullies have a considerably higher rate of suicidal ideation and of suicide.

 

Now, she is referring mainly if not exclusively to, once again, very young bullies, to children and teens.  But (in my opinion, anyway) social media have pretty obviously and conclusively demonstrated that bullying is far from being restricted to childhood and adolescence.  The anonymity and pseudonymity of the internet have, it seems, freed many formerly youthful bullies from societal constraints and enabled them to continue their bullying into adulthood.  With what consequences, though — I wonder — for their mental health?  For rates of suicide?

 

An interesting question, I think.

 

Posted from St. George, Utah

 

 


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