Many blame the rise on the country's high-pressure education system, as many of those who commit suicide are students, says the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul.
Others believe the rise is a result of the country's rapid economic growth, which has led to some of the longest working hours in the developed world, she says.
But the South Korean government has a very different theory: it's the evil interwebs.
The government says a rise in harmful web material is a contributing factor.
The article doesn't follow up on this, sadly, but we can infer that the state draws on classic cyberfear: addiction, suicide support groups, general scariness online. Let's see if policies flow from this.
We here at Infocult do gaze upon the Olympics from time to time. We do this in appropriate style, of course, recognizing the Gothic scope of that athletic ritual.
For example, what happens to the vast Olympic architecture constructed for a one-time purpose? Sometimes those spaces fall into ruins, of course. Tottering, decayed, abandoned spaces succeed where one stood proud objects of global cynosure.
Consider this bobsled run in Sarajevo, its shining moment followed by such horror:
Or consider these structures from the 1972 Munich Olympics buildings:
when the universe was 15 million years old, the cosmic microwave background had a temperature of warm summer day on Earth. If rocky planets existed at that epoch then the CMB could have kept their surface warm even if they did not reside in the habitable zone around their parent star. Hence liquid water could have existed on their surface, starting the chemistry of life as we know it.
Which sounds lovely, a universe just teeming with life.
However, we at Infocult always take the Gothic view. So imagine a universe filled with planets, many covered with water, and out of which emerge a delightful diversity of life forms, basking in the warmth provided by the very universe.
For a while.
Because, you see, that background radiation declines by degrees, steadily. It is now just 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, in fact. So at some point that pleasant warmth would have faded into a chill, then a killing cold. And unless those life-bearing planets orbited friendly stars at just the right distance, and unless those life forms developed advanced techologies.... there would have been a vast, cosmic-level die-off. Countless ecosystems must have died in slow, glacial horror.
In which case the universe would have been dotted with the frozen remains of life. Our cosmos would have become a vast display of horrible death and futility.
Over time, those remains would fade, and become victims of entropy, forgotten by a largely, if not entirely, silent universe.
That's what we see when we peer up from Earth into the deeps of space.
KATIE CAMPBELL: First, the stars twist their arms into knots, and sometimes lesions form on their skin.
BEN MINER: One of them was very sick, and the other two individuals started ripping themselves apart. The arms just crawl away from the particular body.
KATIE CAMPBELL: You heard that right. The arms crawl in opposite directions, until they tear away from the body and their insides spill out. And unlike most starfish, the arms don’t regenerate. Stars that came in with symptoms died within 24 hours.
This wasn't randomly cruel; the poor man's daughter had indeed been killed.
On the one hand this seems like old-fashioned snail-mail horror. On the other, there's a digital aspect: "OfficeMax said the mailing 'is a result of a mailing list rented through a third-party provider'".
The article goes on to ground this explicitly in digital data:
The nation has recently been riveted by the debate over how Americans' personal data is gathered by government agencies, and corporate data-mining has drawn concern as well.
Listen to the father's horror and sadness, and perhaps glimpse a form of fearing the new age of data:
"Why do they have that?" Seay said of the information about his daughter's death. "What do they need that for? How she died, when she died? It’s not really personal, but looking at them, it is. That’s not something they would ever need."
An unknown scientist injected this arm with wax to preserve its structure and highlight the complex network of blood vessels. Dutch botanist and anatomist Frederik Ruysch is credited with perfecting the morbid preservation technique.
This model can be unscrewed from its base to show the cornea, pupil, and the iris. Glass replaces the jelly-like vitreous humor. Ambitious artisans could also paint veins on the eyeball to give it a more life-like appearance. This specific model is fitted with a pair of eyelids as well.