"Ben Turnbull is fascinated by the global dominance of American culture, and his works unsettling effects result from re-presenting the toys of our innocent youth in symbolic forms that reveal the shocking truths about war, death and guns in the world’s most powerful country." [more inside]
He was an enigma, a man looking for a home, producing writing that was cryptic and full of longing.... the McSweeneys insisted that the use of the name was acceptable, even appropriate, given Timothy's background as an artist and search for connection and meaning through the written word.The real Timothy McSweeney, after whom Dave Eggers' website was named, has died. (hattip: Kottke)
My Life With Death : is the personal blog of a funeral home "first responder." It occurred to me this morning as I sat before my employer being lectured about my "availability" on my days off, that my life is singularly joyless. I have effectively traded in my own life for other people's deaths.
Seymour Sarason, a man considered to be one of the fathers of community psychology and one of the most influential U.S. researchers in educational psychology and educational reform, died on Thursday at the age of 91. [more inside]
Famously reclusive American author J.D. Salinger has died at 91. The author of The Catcher in the Rye, a novel alternatively banned and labeled the Great American Novel, Salinger was also among the last authors whose short stories were routinely published in magazines. Salinger's other published works include Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories & Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. [more inside]
Robert B. Parker, prolific crime-novel author, creator of Spenser, Sunny Randall, and Virgil Cole, among others, has died with his boots on.
much too young.. Prolific, awesome, sometimes hated musician Jay Reatard dies in New York. [more inside]
A new study of death penalty deterrence by researchers from Sam Houston State University and Duke University suggests that there is a decline in murders in the month of or after executions. Meanwhile, Kenneth Mosley became the 448th inmate executed in Texas since 1982 on January 7th, 2010. (Last link: previously, previously and previously)
Girl, Interrupted: The Life and Death of Brittany Murphy "Part of the shock surrounding Murphy's death is clearly related to her age, though it may also be attributed to the fact that Murphy has been in the public eye for over 15 years, starting out in Hollywood when she was 14... It's something we've watched progress this entire decade: young women who are held up as the next big thing (Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears) and then brushed aside or openly mocked after they no longer fit an expected mold. It is both a story of self-destruction and mass-destruction, the business of creating and destroying a star; sometimes it's caused by internal forces, and sometimes it's fed by the rest of the world."
Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, probably best known for his work on Alien, as well numerous other science fiction films, has passed away age 63.
On January 1st, the U.S. estate tax will disappear. For exactly one year. Then it will come back higher on Jan. 1, 2011. Will lots of old rich people die? [more inside]
This has not been a good year for SCI, the worlds largest funeral services corporation. Now allegations have surfaced that groundskeepers for Eden Memorial Park were secretly instructed to desecrate graves (possibly in excess of 500 individual bodies) in order to make room. [more inside]
Charles Van Schaick was a photographer in Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th and early 20th Century. His work was made famous by Michael Lesy in the book Wisconsin Death Trip in which the photographs were juxtaposed with local newsreports of murder, suicide, disease, insanity, animal mutilation and other calamities plus the occasional non-morbid event. Flickr set of photos used in Wisconsin Death Trip. Some of the texts from Wisconsin Death Trip. Robert Birnbaum interviews Michael Lesy about Wisconsin Death Trip and other things. Over 2500 photographs by Charles Van Schaick owned by The Wisconsin Historical Society. [Warning: Some of the photographs are of deceased infants]
A posting last month to RISKS on the topic of posthumous emails brings to mind the story of Colin Douthwaite. Mr. Douthwaite, an active USENET user, passed away in March of 1999 after some prolonged medical difficulties. His son Ian's farewell message to alt.ascii-art inspired a small flood of original memorial works and a much larger flood from members' personal archives in his memory. [more inside]
War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
After a short battle with pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze has died. Having starred in numerous movies throughout his career, he's probably best known for his Roles in The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing and Ghost. [more inside]
"Death Risk Rankings calculates your risk of dying in the next year and allows you to compare that risk to others in the world." Fun with mortality data and statistics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Late last night, a cyclist was killed in Toronto. "Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant ... will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead." Accounts vary, but the sequence appears to be 1) Some collision and argument between the cyclist and the driver; 2) The cyclist grabs the driver's door and hangs on (or he may have been caught on the car accidentally) while the Saab convertible drives on; 3) The car drives into the opposite lane, across a construction zone, and the cyclist is battered against mailboxes and light posts; 4) The cyclist falls under the car's back wheels and is killed. [more inside]
People are starting to get a little worn out on Healthcare coverage, or at least, a little worn out on the way it's been covered. Thank god our own grrarrgh00 isn't listening. Because someone has to spread the truth about Obama's nazi socialist communist granny killing satanist witchcraft healthcare reform.
Edward M. Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts, has died at age 77. After a rocky youth (including scandals of cheating and reckless driving), Kennedy followed his brothers into politics, making health care his cause, and eventually went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Anticipating his own death, he had been trying to create a quick transition for his replacement as a vote on health care reform rapidly approached.
Terry Pratchett: I'll die before the endgame
Children Full of Life - grade 4 students in Kanazawa, Japan learn deep life lessons from their incredible teacher and from each other. I strongly recommend this as awesome, but one caveat: keep tissues handy. (5 parts, 40 minutes total, English)
Acclaimed Malaysian film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad has passed away at 11:52pm Saturday night at the age of 51, after collapsing from a stroke at a media presentation the day before. She leaves behind a legacy of film that captures the modern multicultural spirit of Malaysia, winning international festival awards and local hearts while at the mercy of conservative censors. [more inside]
In 1947, Thomas Ley, a virulently sectarian, pro-hanging Australian politician, died in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, where he had been sent after being sentenced to death for murder. It was probably not his first.
Mrs. Slocombe is no longer free. Actress Mollie Sugden has died at 86, after a long illness. Best known as the irascible Mrs. Slocombe in the long running British sitcom "Are You Being Served?" who famous cared a great deal about her pussy.
The tragic story of Timothy Cole who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit, and died because of inadequate health care in prison. He was recently posthumously exonerated based on confessions of the guilty man and DNA evidence.
With the world buzzing about celebrity deaths, it was an opportune moment for hoaxsters. A rumour that Jeff Goldblum had died spread quickly on Twitter, and "'Jeff Goldblum dead' was at 11am the third-most popular search term on Google". The actor's agent quashed the rumour, but not before Australian TV broadcast it as fact, complete with a touching montage tribute. Still, now he knows what it will be like when he really goes: "A surprise funeral? For me?"
Gather 'Round the Cadaver! : A new "coffee-table" book, Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine is a new collection of photographs documenting what happened when bored medical students of the early 1900s met the camera.
Frankie Manning, as seen previously, passed away, but his 95th birthday party will go on as scheduled which will feature a Battle of the 'Bones with the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet.> [more inside]
With all of the economic strife in the world, the funeral industry is still going strong. There is a niche for all budgets these days, including the availability of coffins at Costco. [more inside]
Dave Arneson joins Gary Gygax in the Happy Hunting Grounds. Arneson helped develop the original Dungeons and Dragons and was the man who introduced Gygax to the concept of roleplaying. Surely, it's a sad day in Blackmoor.
Why do mummies scream? Are screaming mummies really testaments to horrific deaths? Or are they the result of natural processes, botched or ad hoc mummification jobs, or the depredations of tomb robbers? Archaeology Online examines the science and history behind the gape-mouthed "masks of agony" seen on some mummies, and explores their portrayal in entertainment and pop culture. The article includes lots of interesting and informative additional links.
mid-70s proto-punk band, Death, have finally gotten a real disc out. unearthed in crates lost for decades, their founder dead before seeing it happen, their children never knowing the shadowy past of their forebears, the sound of black pop-punk-politi-metal-wave is finally here. [more inside]
People die and different folk celebrate and mourn in various ways. However, while it does seem as if everyone is blogging about baseball and boxing or UFC during these times that try men's souls'... not everyone can write about it for the CTV network. John will be missed by both Blue Jay and Expo fans and perhaps fight fans as well. Please take a moment of your time to click on some links, thank you.
Dead.AtYourAge.Com is a handy website that tells you about noteworthy people who died at exactly your age (or thereabouts). Like, in my case, Dimebag Darrell.
A visualization of the estimated 1.4 million deaths resulting from the Khmer Rouge. (Single Link Big Picture) There is no "more inside", thank goodness.
Alison Des Forges, American historian of Africa, MacArthur genius and top human-rights advocate, was an impassioned observer of the Rwandan genocide, lobbying the United States and United Nations to intervene in the killings, saving some Rwandans from certain death, and later writing one of the definitive histories of the events, "Leave none to tell the story". She testified at hundreds of trials and inquiries resulting from the genocide. Last night, she perished aboard Flight 3407. "Her death is a devastating blow," said the president of Human Rights Watch, where she worked as an advisor. "She epitomized the human rights activist — principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people."
Hans Beck, the inventor of Playmobil has died. The guy who made a toy that so many people had so much fun with is gone.
It's been 50 years (on Tuesday) since Buddy Holly died. He still has some rabid fans who will be celebrating his life and work, but should the rest of us still care? [more inside]
Man found dead [warning, graphic] in the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository. [more inside]