The Comic's Comic site provides a list of comedians who died in 2014, along with some photos and video links. Some you likely know, like Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Some perhaps not, like the great John Pinette. And some goddamn tragedies, like Jan Hooks.
Herb Jeffries, 'The Bronze Buckaroo' and cowboy crooner, has died. So it totally depends on the source, but he was somewhere between 100-111 years old; he was born in Detroit, or maybe Chicago. He was African-American, Sicilian-American, Irish-Sicilian, 'part Ethiopian' or something else. He grew up with both parents and a younger brother, or his father died before he was born and he was raised in the boardinghouse his mother owned --- or was it a bordello? He was married either four or five times, including once to exotic dancer Tempest Storm. He is survived by at least three daughters and two sons. Herb Jeffries was a jazz singer with both Duke Ellington's and Earl "Fatha" Hines' bands, the first black 'cowboy crooner' on so-called 'Negro Circuit' films (including starring with Mantan Moreland in Harlem on the Prairie), a 'luscious' tenor and/or a 'smooth, warm' baritone, and the owner of jazz nightclubs in Paris and the south of France.
Mickey Rooney the former child star, who made his stage debut at the age of 18 months and was in show business for over 8 decades, died Sunday, aged 93. He was known for his relationship with MGM where he played such roles as Andy Hardy and starred in several pictures with Judy Garland. For a period of two years, he was considered the top star in Hollywood. [more inside]
If you ever wanted to run away and live at the museum, you probably read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Author and two-time Newbery Award winner E. L. Konigsburg who gave the runaway Kincaid siblings a mystery to solve at the Metropolitan Museum of Art died today at age 83. Konigsburg attended what later became Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in chemistry, and went on to teach science before writing children's books. (previously)
Michael Clarke Duncan has died at 54 from a heart attack, following recent heart problems. After working as a bodyguard for the Notorious B.I.G. he landed his first major role in Armageddon (1998) which led to his Oscar-nominated performance in The Green Mile (1999). He is also known for prominent roles in The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Daredevil (2003), and Sin City (2005).
Looking back at the past week, as thunderstorms finally rolled into the Midwest Saturday evening, it seems that the past week's extreme heat (previously) has broken more than 3,500 temperature records in the U.S. [more inside]
Before Quantum Leap, there was a another scifi tv show where two time traveling Voyagers tried to put right what once went wrong….. [more inside]
“Obituaries are not about death. They are a celebration of life." The Art of the Obituary [more inside]
Zdeněk Miler, the animator of the beloved Krtek ("Little Mole") animations died today. Conceived in 1954 after stumbling on a mole's burrow on his evening walk, Krtek appeared in about fifty films all drawn by Miler. The first Krtek film ("How Krtek Got His Pants"), originally an educational video about the manufacture of linen, won first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1957. The Krtek films have been aired in about eighty countries. Miler's young daughters did the uber-cute vocalizations for Krtek, and were the films' test audience as Miler tweaked the films per their suggestions. Here are some perennial favorites: Krtek and the Radio, Krtek and the Green Star, Krtek at Christmas, Krtek and the Robot. Miler, like most film buffs, was surprised that Krtek had remained largely unknown in the United States. "Pretty much the whole world knows Krtek," Mr. Miler said. "America, which is usually first in everything, is last in this. I always look at American history," he said, "and it is a very hard one. People came. They conquered a continent. They suffered hardships, and that hardship is reflected in its movies. I look at children there and think what they are watching is a reflection of that hardness. If you look at America, it is epic. Whereas here, it is more poetic. I feel here there is more lyricism."
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
Dwight Arrington Myers, also know as Heavy D passed away today. Hip hop is far less fun today after the passing of the overweight lover. He was instrumental in launching Puff Daddy's career as well. Some of his most popular singles include Somebody for Me, Now That We Found Love and Mr. Big Stuff.
"...we still can’t tell whether we are all about to die or whether we are being sold a bill of goods."
'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash. (Via) [more inside]
Summer's here and the time is right...for American high school football players to drop dead. [more inside]
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
"A ballet dancer needs a mirror to perfect her style, her technique. A singer needs the same -- an aural mirror."In 1950 and '51, Japan’s first reel-to-reel tape recorders, the "G-Type" (for gov't use) and the "H-1" (for home use) were released by a company named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Music student Norio Ohga was unimpressed by the wobbly sound of "Talking Paper," so he wrote a note complaining to the firm's founders, who hired him. Mr. Ohga never achieved his original dream of becoming a baritone opera singer, but the future President of TTK, (later renamed Sony,) would still make an indelible, global impact on the world of music -- including the development and introduction of the compact disc. Mr. Ohga died on April 24, 2011. [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
"All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin's 'life was about seeing. In the literal sense, he was an optometrist. In a more figurative sense, through the lens of his camera, he saw things and people that were often ignored — the poor, the oppressed, the "forgotten ones," as he called them.' "A librarian in Buffalo's Communist Party, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957, and was named "Buffalo's Top Red" in the Buffalo Evening News. Losing business and facing intense social persecution, Rogovin turned to photography in order to create images that conveyed his desire for a more equal and just society, and to give voice to others who were persecuted, who were invisible to most." Mr. Rogovin died on January 18th at his home in Buffalo at the age of 101. Previously on Metafilter [more inside]
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
"If you fail to provide your animals with the excitement they need, you may be certain they will create the excitement themselves."
The Killer in the Pool. Outside Magazine's in-depth feature on the Sea World trainer death earlier this year, and the history of the business of killer whales. A Whale of a Business is a Frontline resource page on orcas and captivity, and includes a section on Sea World, and one on the debate over capturing/releasing orcas and other whales and dolphins...which includes an excerpt on the danger to trainers--and inhumane captivity conditions--published shortly after Tilikum's first fatal incident in 1991. Previously.
Folk singer Kate McGarrigle succumbs to cancer. Perhaps best known for her work with sister Anna, Kate was also the mother of performers Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright. Kate and Anna's music was covered by more popular (in the US) performers, such as Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, and others. My favorite thing they did is "The Log Drivers Waltz", available as a video from the National Film Board of Canada. It always takes me back to my mother's house in the Canada. The McGarrigle website has lots of news, information, and links on the performers.
Despondent at having to lay off staff, Stephen Huneck took his own life Friday. Perhaps not well-known outside of Vermont, Stephen Huneck dedicated his life to celebrating the bonds between people and dogs. He credited his dogs with helping him survive and recover from a serious illness. Half of the proceeds from his art sales go to the Chittenden County Humane Society. His Dog Studio and Dog Chapel are open to dogs (as well as humans), and they are free to roam the buildings and land. Treats are always available for the dogs. [more inside]
We've talked about tasers on Mefi before. We've all heard about the tasing of mouthy grandmothers, recalcitrant students, and diabetics. But as a method of controlling a 10 year old's temper tantrum? Stanford University [PDF] released a report saying that tasers should only be used in situations where the suspect is dangerous, and should not be used on children. However, there seems to be a trend where the taser is being used as a threat and a disciplinary tool, rather than as a tool to protect officers.
American jazz singer Blossom Dearie dead at age 82. American jazz singer Blossom Dearie died Friday in her Greenwich Village home after a long illness. For most, an acquired taste. Her voice and phrasing had a way of drawing you in, taken aback by how soft and gentle she sounded. I think it was New Yorker critic Whitney Balliet who said her voice wouldn't reach the second story of a doll house. [more inside]
An average of 81 people die of gunshot wounds in the US each day. Most of them aren't who you'd expect.
Heart attacks, not overdoses, number one cause of musicians' early demise. An almost-thorough list of dead rock stars, but there are some "cause" blanks that need filling in.
US deaths in Iraq exceed 9/11 deaths today but of course the Iraqi deaths crossed that line long ago.
The invasion of Iraq may have caused 650,000 Iraqi deaths according to a study being published in the Lancet on Saturday. The work follows up a controversial late 2004 study by the same researchers that estimated "excess deaths" due to the conflict (at that time) to be 100,000. In response to criticism that the 2004 paper's margin of error was uselessly high (the 95% confidence interval was 8,000-194,000), the new results are based on a larger sample, yielding more reasonable range of 426,000-793,000. The paper is virtually guaranteed to reignite debate over the accuracy of the most widely cited source for Iraqi casualty information, the Iraq Body Count project (which currently gives a max of 48,893), and the media reports it relies on. The lead author, Les Roberts of John Hopkins, has said that the original study's publication was timed to influence the 2004 elections, and it would appear that this one is as well. [more inside]
The Movie Deaths Database. 273 movie deaths, categorized and rated by greatness.
“the SOUND of the DEAFENING REVVING ROARS of the ENGINES and the SMASHING of METAL against FLESH and BONE"
Death Race 2000. Eric Red isn't the only celebrity to have killed someone in a car accident. But his story may be the most bizarre.
Yet another dead microbiologist. Why was Joeng Im of the University of Missouri, a 72 year old protein chemist, stabbed to death, stuffed in the trunk of his car, and burned? Was it a random act of violence? Was it a former student bent on revenge? Or is this biologist merely following in the footsteps of 40 other microbiologists and other scientists who have mysteriously died in the past 4 years? Scientists like David Kelly, Steven Mostow, Ian Langford, , Don C. Wiley, David Wynn-Williams, Michael Perich, Gene Mallove, and dozens of other scientists? Is it too presumptuous, too "tinfoil hat" to suppose that someone is killing off the microbiologists of the world, for some nefarious purpose?
The coffins that George Bush doesn't want you to see. The Memory Hole filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photographs of American servicemen and women who died in Iraq. After an initial refusal, the request was granted. Over a hundred US troops have been killed in action in the last month alone.
World's most stubborn man dies. Fell in yard, insisted he was fine.
1.26 million people killed every year on the road or from subsequent injuries... ..Four Qld road deaths in 5 hours. 42,815 people died in 2002 in automobile crashes in the United States. Shouldn't these facts give us the resolve to explore a better solution to our transportation needs? I do not see the national debate that these deaths would evoke if the cause was different. Why are we numb to this?
deadly weekend in iraq this weekend was a particularly bad one in iraq, with numerous american deaths and casualties ... yet there is barely a mention of the death toll in the media (check washington post, ny times, drudge, etc. etc.) this morning. is something going on here? or are editors and the american public bored with the story? - i had to dig for the links in this post.
Defending America. I really don't know what to say about this site. Except that I didn't even know a .mil domain extension existed until now. The link comes from a letter to the editor of my hometown, small-town Indiana newspaper (also see "Operation Dear Abby"), where people are generally in support of the war. A boy from my hometown was killed. He was a really good kid; I knew his family, who are just the kind of people you think of when you think of small town John Couger-style, pink-housed, middle class America. I am against this war in principle, but how can you say this really decent kid's life was wasted? All questions, no answers, probably a bad post. Apologies all around.
The number of health-related deaths in the United States in 2000 was over 1 million. The United States spends $13.6BN per year on ALL medical research. For $100BN-$200BN could we save 110,000 more people each year from health-related deaths? High end estimates of homelessness put the number around 3.5 million in the United States. For $30,000 each (100B/3.5M) we could house, feed and provide vocational training for every homeless person. Alternatively, we could provide $2,500 per year for insurance to each person without health care.
list of deaths in 2g2 -win a few of those 'are-they-dead?' arguments in 2g3.
The Political Graveyard -- It all started innocently enough.....I was reading a piece by a professor of media and journalism studies who wondered: Was Paul Wellstone murdered?" and cited an unusual number of democrats who had died in plane crashes. Was it true, I wondered? -- My search led me to The Political Graveyard, with it's endless categorizations of the details in the deaths of US politicians. Deaths by religious affiliation, politicians killed by poison or gunfights, opium overdoses or car crashes. But was it true? Yes, the site seemed to confirm the deaths (for the last 3 decades or so) of a statistically anomalous number of national democratic politicians (sitting or running for office) in plane crashes....but the site just grabbed me and wouldn't let me leave: Charles Tillinghast James (1805-1862): died while making his own cannon, Richard Ellis (1781-1846): died when his clothes suddenly caught fire, Thomas Caute Reynolds (1821-1887): killed himself by leaping down an elevator shaft, Sidney Theodore Roebuck (1901-1982): died from RAT poison, and MY FAVORITE, Elmer Severson (1922-1999), who died from spinal cord injuries he lost a "tussle with a cow"
In 1997, Scott Shuger created for Slate.com what would quickly become the wildly popular column "Today's Papers." The column was innovative in its brief and snarky discussions about that day's headlines on all the major news dailies. The differences between each paper's choice of stories covered, and the variances from paper to paper in their coverage of those same stories was illustrative in a fashion we now take for granted around here on MeFi. Shuger died suddenly over the weekend in a scuba mishap and is remembered here by his colleagues at slate.com.
More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the US in the year 2000 than all of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the US in the year 2000 than all of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. 10 times the number of people killed in 9/11 attacks died due to motor vehicle attacks that same year. And yet some say the US government is on a course that will take away many of our civil rights in order to protect us from the boogie-monster terrorists. OF COURSE, the terrorist attacks were a horrible nightmare, and of course we want our police forces to prevent even worse attacks in the future, but before we start thinking about creating a Brave New Police State, maybe now is a good time to have a little perspective.
Big Country singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson found dead in hotel room in Hawaii. The Big Country singer had been missing for over a month. Big Country was one of my favorite bands in the 80s, though they continued making music together until just a few years ago. Adamson was a big influence on U2's Edge, among others. R.I.P. Stuart.
More non-Americans than Americans were killed on Sept. 11th, according to cryptome. Should this change the way we feel about the attack? Should it change the way other countries feel about the attack?
Smoking creates "indirect positive effects." A report from tobacco giant Philip Morris concluded that the Czech government saved money because of the "indirect positive effects" of the early deaths of cigarette-smokers. PM makes about 80 percent of the cigarettes smoked in the Czech Republic. Said a Philip Morris spokesman: "Tobacco is a controversial industry, but we are still an industry and sometimes we need some economic data on our industry."
Go to a football match. Police arrive with tear gas and start a riot. 130 people die. I wonder if the police get some kind of bonus for killing innocent civilians...
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