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various methods of shuffling off the mortal coil
August 10, 2011 5:36 PM   Subscribe


 
Now if an engineer who'd worked on Deep Blue were killed by a short circuit midgame you'd have the trifecta.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:40 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the vein of the chess deaths, a woman once shot her husband dead over a bridge game. (Of course, in almost all cases such as this, there were other factors involved too.)
posted by kmz at 5:42 PM on August 10, 2011


Les Harvey, lead guitarist of the Glasgow rock band Stone the Crows, died after being electrocuted by his microphone while performing at Swansea's Top Rank Ballroom.[1]

This was a dmaned shame, they were a terrific band. I've only heard them on record, but a Scottish friend used to follow them and said they were amazing on stage.
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on August 10, 2011


Oh god I started reading that first link the other night and it kept me up until four. It also made me decide never again to enter an elevator, a swimming pool, an MRI machine, or a peasants' revolt in Hungary.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:45 PM on August 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Drowned in the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 gets my vote.
Death has never been so sweet.

[Previously]

posted by lemuring at 5:46 PM on August 10, 2011


I was wondering on my flight yesterday: how often do commercial airline pilots die in flight?
posted by shothotbot at 5:47 PM on August 10, 2011


I'm cheating a little, since he didn't actually die during the performance, but the famous 19th-century English actor Edmund Kean collapsed on stage at Covent Garden in 1833 during Act III, scene 3 of Othello, saying to his son (who was playing Iago opposite him) "O God, I am dying. Speak to them, Charles."

I've always wondered if he regretted not being able to finish the show. I would.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:50 PM on August 10, 2011


Wait...how did you miss this link?
posted by Mcable at 5:51 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


For an alternative, try Wikipedia's List of premature obituaries.
posted by zachlipton at 5:56 PM on August 10, 2011




Comedian Harry Parke, father of Albert Brooks, died while performing as "Parkyakarkus", a pun on "park your carcass", at the Friar's Club roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. When he died, he collapsed onto Milton Berle.
posted by 445supermag at 6:00 PM on August 10, 2011


Drowned in the Great Molasses Flood

Right up there with the London Beer Flood of 1814, in... STRAIGHT OUT OF TODAY'S HEADLINES! ... Tottenham Court Road. Not really sure if that road runs through the area called Tottenham, though.

Great post, mjj, hours of fiendish delight!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:00 PM on August 10, 2011


I had no idea Isadora Duncan died like that. How awful.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:05 PM on August 10, 2011




Metafilter is now just straight up linking to Wikipedia?
posted by xmutex at 6:07 PM on August 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


My favorite inventor killed by his own invention is Thomas Midgley, inventor of both CFCs and tetraethyllead as a gasoline additive (i.e., leaded gasoline), who contracted polio late in life and strangled to death in the pulleys of a machine he designed to lift himself out of bed. If an author invented him we would dismiss it as a trite and heavy-handed allegory, but history does not labor under the same constraints.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Metafilter is now just straight up linking to Wikipedia?

For this particular post, yes.

You no likey? You flaggy and moves on, thank you.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:09 PM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter is now just straight up linking to Wikipedia?

Apparently it is. If you have a problem with it, you have three choices. 1) flag it an move on, 2) start a MeTa thread about it, and 3) scroll down and use the Contact link to talk to the mods about it.

Otherwise, stop threadshitting.
posted by hippybear at 6:10 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently it is. If you have a problem with it, you have three choices.

4) Die in a flood of molasses.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:21 PM on August 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


Man, I read about the poor segway guy and thought: Columbo remake.
posted by shothotbot at 6:22 PM on August 10, 2011


5) Die in freak MeFi Flag explosion
posted by shothotbot at 6:23 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Charles Drew, the doctor whose pioneering work on blood transfusion led to the first large-scale blood banks, is the subject of (what I just learned) is an urban legend which says he was denied access to a transfusion after a car accident because of his skin color and subsequently died. This book apparently declares that story bunk.
posted by Apropos of Something at 6:23 PM on August 10, 2011


Charles Drew, the doctor whose pioneering work on blood transfusion led to the first large-scale blood banks, is the subject of (what I just learned) is an urban legend which says he was denied access to a transfusion after a car accident because of his skin color and subsequently died

Excuse me, that was on MASH. So, check your facts please.
posted by shothotbot at 6:39 PM on August 10, 2011


Oddly, his death was never attributed to Wikipedia.
posted by Oddly at 6:40 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Excellent; they have the bloke who died laughing while watching 'The Goodies'.

(It was 'Ecky Thump', which admittedly is a very funny episode...)
posted by andraste at 6:40 PM on August 10, 2011


What's with the distaste for wikipedia links? I can sort of see the "it's an encyclopedia, who the flip links to an encyclopedia? reaction;" but it's also a place with amazing never-before-seen pages like List of Unusual Deaths or List of Unexplained Sounds and a hunnerd thou more that I've never heard of, so if people that have heard of them then link to them on the metafilter.com I appreciate the hell out of it.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:42 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suppose they had better add this poor guy.

Being killed by your invention is like being inadvertently murdered by your child. Ick. (The number of unusual deaths that are kids getting killed in gruesome ways is putting my head in a bad place. Don't think I'll finish)
posted by mkb at 6:44 PM on August 10, 2011


Can someone just make a OSHA-style video of all these and win the internet?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:12 PM on August 10, 2011


List of unusual deaths;

Heh. I just had reason to mention that list last month. In a discussion of Mr. Hands. Which I initiated. And am apparently initiating again, to my dismay. And which you should do yourself a favor and NOT google.
posted by dersins at 7:15 PM on August 10, 2011


I had no idea Isadora Duncan died like that. How awful.

The Wikipedia entries for Isadora Duncan and Preston Sturges are contradictory on this point, but the entry for Preston Sturges says that his mother "Mary Desti" was the one who gave Isadora Duncan the scarf that killed her. "Mary Desti" would then inspire some aspects of the characterization that her son Preston Sturges wrote for Barbara Stanwyck's role in The Lady Eve.
posted by jonp72 at 7:19 PM on August 10, 2011


.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:25 PM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


whoa
posted by blue_beetle at 7:31 PM on August 10, 2011


So weird. I was going to ask a similarly themed AskMe today after watching a special on the Brooklyn Bridge and learning that John Augustus Roebling, who designed it and, when he was surveying, sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling. After amputation of his crushed toes he developed a tetanus infection when he didn't get it checked out...because he was too busy working.*

Getting killed by the ferry you are looking to replace with your bridge is pretty... something.

* I and/or this History Channel may have exaggerated the last bit.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:37 PM on August 10, 2011


If you have a problem with it, you have three choices. 1) flag it an move on, 2) start a MeTa thread about it, and 3) scroll down and use the Contact link to talk to the mods about it.

4) Kill the OP in a fit of rage over the declining quality of the site, leading to the devlopment of a Wikipedia article about unusual, Metafilter-related deaths. Which someone will then post to the blue.
posted by Naberius at 7:55 PM on August 10, 2011




Chung Ling Soo (William Robinson) died the day after being accidentally shot on stage. Don't know if that counts as "during" a performance.
posted by mattbucher at 8:32 PM on August 10, 2011


4) Die in a flood of molasses.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:21 PM on August 10


Okay.Stop.Really....you're killing me.
posted by Benway at 8:49 PM on August 10, 2011


Related: The strange deaths of philosophers, as listed by British philosopher Simon Critchley. He also wrote the Book of Dead Philosophers, which I totally intend on reading one of these days.

I am surprised that "suffocated in cow dung" or "jumping into a volcano" - among many, many others - were not listed on the Wikipedia page.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 9:12 PM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


so .... have we just called a truce that we can laugh at some of these? cause this one cracked me up:

1996: Opera singer Richard Versalle died on stage at the Metropolitan Opera during the company's première performance of The Makropulos Case when he suffered a heart attack while standing on a sliding ladder attached to a file cabinet. He was stricken after singing the line, "Too bad you can live only so long."
posted by mannequito at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2011


I'd rather see a list of usual deaths, just so I'd know what to expect.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:39 PM on August 10, 2011


1996: Opera singer Richard Versalle died on stage at the Metropolitan Opera during the company's première performance of The Makropulos Case when he suffered a heart attack while standing on a sliding ladder attached to a file cabinet. He was stricken after singing the line, "Too bad you can live only so long."

Jackie Wilson collapsed from a heart attack on stage at a Dick Clark oldies revue while singing the line "My heart is crying, crying..." from Lonely Teardrops. He didn't die right then, but he remained in a coma or a vegetative state for 9 years until he died in 1984.
posted by jonp72 at 9:44 PM on August 10, 2011


i guess being stabbed, beheaded, and cannibalized while riding the Greyhound should probably be added to this list.
posted by mcgordonliddy at 9:58 PM on August 10, 2011


Metafilter is now just straight up linking to Wikipedia?

Er, why not? It's on the web like everything else, and these pages in particular have some great reading.

I've always been fascinated by the deaths cause by the demon core. I suppose it's not unusual in the same sense as a lot of these, but it still amazes me to think about scientists rolling up their sleeves and working with this just-barely-subcritical hunk of Plutonium, which they surely knew was ridiculously dangerous.

And yeah, Thomas Midgley deserves the #1 spot for any list like this, though rereading the article, I'm a little put out to see the [citation needed] on this part of his story:
On October 30, 1924, Midgley participated in a press conference to demonstrate the apparent safety of TEL. In this demonstration, he poured TEL over his hands, then placed a bottle of the chemical under his nose and inhaled its vapor for sixty seconds, declaring that he could do this every day without succumbing to any problems whatsoever.[3][6] However, the State of New Jersey ordered the Bayway plant to be closed a few days later, and Jersey Standard was forbidden to manufacture TEL there again without state permission. Midgley himself was careful to avoid mentioning to the press that he required nearly a year to recover from the lead poisoning brought on by his demonstration at the press conference
.
posted by cj_ at 11:57 PM on August 10, 2011


Molière collapsed onstage in a tubercular fit of coughing and haemmorhage while playing Le Malade imaginaire. ("The Hypochondriac".) Later that evening, he had another fit and died a few hours later.
posted by Wolof at 12:28 AM on August 11, 2011


Excellent; they have the bloke who died laughing while watching 'The Goodies'.
(It was 'Ecky Thump', which admittedly is a very funny episode...)

Watch if you dare!
Since the 70s, perhaps, the world has developed a certain degree of immunity to the threat of death by laughing at this particular stimulus.
posted by rongorongo at 3:05 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christine Chubbuck's story gets to me every time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:11 AM on August 11, 2011


The Amok Journal Sensurround Edition is great fun from cover to cover but the best chapter is the one on unusual autoerotic fatalities.
posted by bukvich at 5:18 AM on August 11, 2011


I'm surprised more people haven't been killed because of chess matches. It's impossible to play more than a few games of chess with someone without your friendship suffering.
posted by joannemullen at 5:25 AM on August 11, 2011


1998: Brazilian politician Antario Teodoro Filho was assassinated during a radio show by two men who burst into the studio with revolvers

Does that really count as an entertainer being killed during a performance? Unless the politician was doing a song and dance number on the radio, this doesn't really seem like it counts.
posted by antifuse at 6:25 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I looks like it hasn't been updated since 2005, but aintnowaytogo.com is a website devoted to unusual deaths. It includes the story of surgeon Robert Liston, who once managed to kill 3 people during a single operation. (Operating before anesthesia or sterility were part of surgery, he amputated a leg in a matter of seconds, inadvertently cutting off the fingers of an assistant; both the patient and assistant died of infection. He also cut the clothes of a spectator who was so startled he fainted, fell and hit his head, which was also a fatal injury.)
posted by TedW at 6:43 AM on August 11, 2011


Made me think of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAKoU_W_mf8
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 7:25 AM on August 11, 2011


Kill the OP in a fit of rage over the declining quality of the site, leading to the devlopment of a Wikipedia article about unusual, Metafilter-related deaths. Which someone will then post to the blue

Definitely belongs on the gray.
posted by IvoShandor at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2011


Composer Jean-Baptiste Lully hit himself in the foot with his staff while conducting a piece, and died from gangrene.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:00 AM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sergey Tuganov, a 28-year-old Russian, bet two women that he could continuously have sex with them both for twelve hours. Several minutes after winning the $4,300 bet, he suffered a heart attack and died, apparently due to having ingested an entire bottle of Viagra just after accepting the bet.

If I were condemned to die but were allowed to choose the manner of my execution, I think this is the one I would go with.
posted by e1c at 10:50 AM on August 11, 2011


I have done an entire video on Tiny Tim dying onstage.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:44 AM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember most of these from The Book of Lists!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:55 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


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