Monday, September 10, 2007

Because It Can Be Your Friend..

World map of suicide rates per 100,000 (Wikipedia)

What a queer day at work. B walks around in the wee early morning, handing out a suspiciously sticky fruit toffee. I'm eating it and text L anyway so she can catch the culprit if something happens :-). Moments later, Mr S hops about giving out a leaflet and a sticker. I suspect it's the ubiquitous parking/speeding ticket, but it's something about the World Suicide Prevention Day thing. Hmm.., behavioral patterns to identify a suicidal person, great. Oh god, everybody stares after him, suppressing snickers and guffaws. Is this what we look like? Poor D comes last, and Mr S whizzes out the last leaflet at him. We exchange knowing snickers again. D's dumbfounded.

It almost seems funny now. I never thought I had much to do with it, but once I had a close shave with it. One of my best [i mean bestest] friends, attempted it. She was out of the country at that time, abroad in university. She had undergone a recent emotional tragedy and was so depressed about it. I knew it, and tried to be there for her, keeping touch with her every now and then. But somehow she went so near and attempted it, almost. She had a lucky escape, a really 'lucky' escape, cause another friend had phoned her just about in time [all her hostel friends had been sleeping when she tried it]. If it had not been that phonecall, all would've been over. Thank heavens things turned better, and now stuff is fine, but still, it came so close. It could've cost me my pallie. If her colleagues there took a bit more care of her, if they had been a bit more aware of the behavior, she might not have had to rely on her 'luck' to escape. Actually no one should. She told me afterwards that it had not been a planned act. It had been spontaneous, and she said her intention was only 'to get away'. She said afterwards that she herself was surprised that she didn't even think about her parents. Her focus only had been to get away from her burning emotions.

I think we all should be more careful about this. Cause it might lurk quietly down under and raise its ugly head when no one expects it. Careful about friends or acquaintances who have undergone similar circumstances. Keep your eyes open for them. It can be someone you really care about.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Is My Membership Due?

Dijkstra's Algorithm by riggzy

Here's an algorithm puzzle I came across this morning. It requires simple logic but is harder than it seems. Check how long does it take you to do it:

You have two dates, both in mm/dd/yyyy format. One is the day you last renewed your library membership and the other is today. Write an algorithm [using simple pseudocode] to determine whether your library membership has expired or not. Remember, the only variables you can use are the mm, dd and yyyy values of the two dates.

Membership renewal date : mm1 / dd1 / yyyy1
Today's date : mm2 / dd2 / yyyy2

No PLs what-so-ever. Simple English.