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'13 Reasons Why' Led to An Alarming Uptick in Suicide Searches

When Netflix released the teen suicide drama 13 Reasons Why in March, it automatically both repulsed and captivated viewers who saw the show’s graphic portrayal of the aftermath of suicide as controversial.

Spoiler alert: Spoiler’s for 13 Reasons Why ahead.

Based on a novel by Jay Asher, the show vividly illustrates protagonist Hannah Baker’s suicide in the finale. While some argue that the series was an accurate depiction of depression and brings much need awareness to mental health issues, many mental health experts criticized the show because they believed it glorifies suicide. A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, however, suggests the show’s portrayal of suicide is more complicated than “good” or “bad”.

Researchers saw a 19 percent increase in suicide search terms after the '13 Reasons Why' started streaming on Netflix

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The researchers looked at Google search trends 19 days after the series premiered (between March 31 to April 18) for key phrases, then compared them to the search trends from January to the launch of the show.

They found a 19 percent increase in all suicide search inquiries, particularly “how to commit suicide,” “commit suicide,” and “how to kill yourself.” The fact that these suicide-related searches were spiking so much perhaps support criticism that the show glamorized suicide, making it seem cool.

There’s reason to consider these Google trends reflective of actual suicide rates. According to a review published in the journal American Behavioral Scientist, evidence of suicide in the news and in fictional portrayals have led to increased rates of suicide, making 13 Reasons Why’s singular focus of suicide as a plot point one that is potentially worrisome.

But on the bright side, the study indicates there’s hope that the Netflix hit might double as a public health message. The researchers noticed saw an increase of searches for suicide prevention. Searches for “suicide hotline number” and “suicide hotline” increased by 21 percent and 12 percent respectively, while there was a 23 percent increase for the search terms “suicide prevention” and a 34 percent increase for “teen suicide.”

“It is unclear whether any query preceded an actual suicide attempt,” the authors note, which is an important caveat to the study — and one that puts the show up for further studies going forward on how it affects teen suicide rates.

Steve Irwin: He Gave Attention to One of Nature's Saltiest Big Boys

The endangered saltwater crocodile received a helping hand from Irwin.

The late icon of conservation Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin would have been 57 years old on Friday, and Google chose the day to mark his extraordinary life with a touching Google Doodle slideshow. Irwin was deeply involved with animals, reptiles especially, from an early age, as his parents ran a reptile park when was a child in Australia. As you do, he eventually began to wrestle crocodiles, nature’s saltiest, crustiest lords of the mud, proving that what he’d do later in life was no stunt for TV.

Steve Irwin Is Still Protecting Animals Worldwide, 13 Years After His Death

The Crocodile Hunter's legacy lives on in thousands of acres of protected land.

In 2004, the late conservationist Steve Irwin caught a lot of heat for feeding a crocodile while simultaneously holding his baby. The incident captured his lifelong approach to animal conservation, which began with his animal-filled childhood and continues even after his death with the conservationist legacy he left behind. Irwin’s 57th birthday would have been on Friday, and he was commemorated with a front-page Google Doodle.

Steve Irwin: How He Rose to Fame as the Crocodile Hunter

Google paid tribute to the star.

Google commemorated the life of Steve Irwin on Friday with a homepage doodle on what would have been the Australian’s 57th birthday. Irwin became a household name through his animal activism and television appearances, first launching onto screens of Animal Planet viewers with his show The Crocodile Hunter.

Irwin was born in the Essendon near Melbourne in 1962 to parents Lyn and Bob Irwin. His parents famously gave him an 11-foot scrub python for his 6th birthday which he named Fred. The young Steve learned a lot from his parents about animals, and they laid the foundations for Beerwah Reptile Park when they bought some land in 1970. Steve learned to wrestle crocodiles from the age of 9, and helped manage the family-owned park. The park was renamed Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, and in 1990, it was renamed Australia Zoo — the same year Steve met producer John Stainton. He met his future wife, Oregonian Terri Raines, when she was visiting the park the following year. Their croc-filled honeymoon in 1992 formed the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter.

The Incredible Science Behind This Self-Warming, Self-Cooling Bed

Eight Sleep’s new bed will make tossing and turning a thing of the past.

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Sleep tracking can unquestionably help you establish better habits which allow for a more restful night’s sleep. By keeping track of the nights that you toss and turn, you can identify potential explanations for your sub-optimal slumber. Maybe it’s the time of week that’s got you anxious. Maybe it was the cheeseburger you had for lunch. Paying attention is just the start, though.

You Probably Can't Watch NASA's 8K Video So Watch This Version Instead

There's no way your monitor is big enough for the original.

Last week, NASA released an ultra high definition video of the International Space Station, but many people may have trouble experiencing it as it was filmed. It’s not because of space radiation or mystery holes, but because of something far more Earthly.

The video, which was created in partnership with the European Space Agency, shows the crew of the ISS conducting a range of scientific experiments, all in unprecedented 8K. But the video’s uniqueness is also its downfall: Most computer monitors, even the very largest of desktop monitors, aren’t big enough to show 8K video in all its splendor. To put it another way, that’s a resolution of 7,680 pixels wide x 4,320 pixels tall, whereas the typical high-def YouTube video is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.