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A life well lived.

"In life, things happen twice if you're lucky. There's the father you get and the father you choose." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 10, 2013 - 10 comments

 

Ryan Davis, 1979-2013

Ryan Davis, co-founder of gaming website Giantbomb, passed away on July 3rd. He was 34 years old. He had been married less than a week and was on his honeymoon. [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jul 8, 2013 - 61 comments

Godspeed Human Metronome

Alan Myers, drummer for Devo during their seminal '76-'85 period, has died. [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 26, 2013 - 74 comments

He is Legend

Writer Richard Matheson has died. One of the most prolific and adapted American authors of the last half of the Twentieth Century is gone. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder on Jun 24, 2013 - 108 comments

So long, Bobby 'Blue' Bland

It's time to say farewell to one of the great and legendary voices of American music. Mr Bobby 'Blue' Bland has died. With the perfect combination of muscle and tenderness, grit and sweetness, he gave us so many stellar performances over his long career. Here are but a few: Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City, The Way You Treated Me, Stormy Monday, Further Up the Road, St. James Infirmary, I'll Take Care of You, I Stand Accused, That's the Way Love Is, Ain't Nothing You Can Do... and the list goes on. Thanks for the music, Bobby Bland.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 23, 2013 - 44 comments

Don't Stop Believing

James Gandolfini, best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 51. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 19, 2013 - 213 comments

Slim Whitman, RIP

Country crooner Slim Whitman has passed away at the grand old age of 90. His gentle, relaxed and pristine voice (featuring an effortlessly soaring falsetto and a mighty fine yodel, friends) is the kind that, well, you just don't really hear anymore on the pop music landscape. Let's take a moment to revisit a musical aesthetic that now seems a million miles away... Cattle Call, Rose Marie, North Wind, Blues Stay Away From Me and Indian Love Call. So long and happy trails, Slim.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 19, 2013 - 36 comments

No more issues

Kim Thompson, of Fantagraphic and Comics Journal, dead at 57
posted by klangklangston on Jun 19, 2013 - 41 comments

His final words were "Set me free."

On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts. His final letter.
posted by zarq on Jun 13, 2013 - 161 comments

Crow Road

RIP Iain Banks. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 9, 2013 - 372 comments

Yunupingu

Yunupingu, former Yothu Yindi frontman, has died at 56 Yunupingu was the the first Indigenous Australian from Arnhem Land to gain a university degree. He Co-founded Yothu Yindi in 1986. Yothu Yindi released six major albums, from 1988 to 2000. The band was nominated for 12 ARIA music awards between 1992 and 1997. They won eight awards, including Song of the Year for Treaty. Yunupingu was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2012 Yunupingu was named Australian of the Year in 1992 for his role in building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. He died aged 56 at his home in Yirrkala, NT, after fighting kidney disease for over 5 years.
posted by greenhornet on Jun 2, 2013 - 29 comments

RIP Mulgrew Miller

Jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller is gone too soon at 57. His music lives on, including this streaming NPR recording of the Mulgrew Miller Trio live at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club.
posted by .kobayashi. on May 30, 2013 - 14 comments

Jack Vance, dead at 96

“While we are alive we should sit among colored lights and taste good wines, and discuss our adventures in far places; when we are dead, the opportunity is past.” ― Jack Vance (1916-2013) [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on May 29, 2013 - 109 comments

"He had his life. And he did not yield."

The Final Days of 'Macho Man' Randy Savage [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2013 - 28 comments

It won't be long now.

"Every teenager out there feels invincible. And they'll never admit it. It's not the kind of invincible like Superman. It's the kind of invincible like - I'll see you in five months." [20-minute YouTube documentary by SoulPancake.]

At age 14, Zach Sobiech (previously) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Given months to live, he turned to music to say goodbye. Zach's song "Clouds" received 3 million hits, and inspired a celebrity cover video featuring dozens of actors and musicians. Zach died today at his home in Minnesota. He was 18.
posted by Sfving on May 20, 2013 - 13 comments

The lost history of Dr. Alice E. Kober and her research on Linear B

For more than 50 years, Linear B was an ancient language that hadn't given up its secret. Professor Bennett spent much of the 1940s hammering out a list of about 80 characters, and in 1951 he published the first definitive list of the signs of Linear B. The next year, archaeologist and Linear B enthusiast Michael Ventris finished "breaking" the code, with some hope from the research of Bennett, and another scholar named Alice Kober, but apparently she was rather hard to get on with and they went their separate ways. Except the magnitude of Doctor Kober's painstaking and self-sacrificing work is still largely unacknowledged. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 14, 2013 - 20 comments

Obitfilter

Did you know you can pay to have the obituary for a non-famous loved one put in the New York Times? The family of Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi did.
"Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia."
The obituary goes on to make fun of four generations of family (from her father to her grandchildren), the Hancock County Library Foundation and the clergyman presiding at her memorial service, closing with the statement that "Anyone wearing black will not be admitted to the memorial."
via Miss Cellania of Neatorama
posted by oneswellfoop on May 5, 2013 - 62 comments

\m/ . \m/

Guitarist Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has died at 49.

A founding member of the long-running thrash institution, Jeff Hanneman passed away of liver failure after a long battle with necrotizing fasciitis thought to have been caused by a spider bite (previously.) Hanneman wrote music and lyrics for many of the band's most iconic songs, including Angel of Death, Raining Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss.
posted by Existential Dread on May 2, 2013 - 102 comments

"it’s one thing to survive, and another to live."

This past September, Jessica Ann Lum won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 1, 2013 - 12 comments

The Naked Edge

Layton Kor, one of the world's most prolific and admired rock climbers, has died. [more inside]
posted by gruchall on Apr 27, 2013 - 10 comments

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've already kept Jesus waiting five minutes.

"Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice — pull down your pants, and slide on the ice." - Dr. Sidney Freedman, M*A*S*H. Allan Arbus, actor, photographer, and amateur clarinetist, passed away last Friday. He was 95. [more inside]
posted by heyho on Apr 25, 2013 - 47 comments

A Compassionate "Human Computer", RIP

Shakuntala Devi, the Indian "human computer," passed away on Sunday. The NY Times first did a profile on her when she visited the US in 1976, during which she computed the cube root of a 9 digit integer in her head, but could not remember that she had been to the US once before -- over 20 years prior. Bob Bemer (inventor of the Escape key previously) remembers meeting her in 1953 on the TV show You Asked For It (which had previously featured a race between an abacus and a calculator). Psychologist Arthur Jensen (who did controversial research on race and IQ) wrote a paper on Shakuntala's exceptional ability in 1990. Shakuntala made her living as an astrologer and authored numerous books mostly on mathematical puzzles and tricks, but also The World of Homosexuals (1977), one of the earliest ethnographic studies of gay people in India. Specifically about gays in her hometown of Bangalore, Shakuntala called for "not only the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, but also its 'full and complete acceptance' by the heterosexual population so that the Indian homosexual may lead a dignified and secure life."
posted by bluefly on Apr 23, 2013 - 28 comments

How to Live at the Met

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)
posted by girlhacker on Apr 20, 2013 - 77 comments

I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.

Jonathan Winters, the wildly inventive actor and comedian who appeared in such films as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Loved One" and played Robin Williams' son on the TV show "Mork & Mindy," has died. He was 87. [more inside]
posted by mazola on Apr 12, 2013 - 128 comments

Les Blank

Beloved indy ethnographic documentarian Les Blank died yesterday. This interview gives a good overview of his background, and this post includes clips. Watch a couple of his public domain films here. Or do yourself a favor and find the complete version of Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 8, 2013 - 19 comments

You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.

Prolific and well-respected film critic Roger Ebert has died at 70. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Apr 4, 2013 - 499 comments

The Glorious Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is dead. RIP

RT @bijli Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the German-born screenwriter and novelist who, as the writing member of the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team, won two Academy Awards for adaptations of genteel, class-conscious E. M. Forster novels, died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 85. Her 1975 novel, “Heat and Dust,” about an Englishwoman exploring a family scandal in India, received the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s highest literary honor. She wrote the screenplay for the Merchant Ivory version in 1983 as well. New York Times obit
posted by infini on Apr 3, 2013 - 26 comments

An obituary to fit the man

Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Harry Stamps' obituary, penned by his daughter Amanda Lewis.
posted by zerobyproxy on Mar 12, 2013 - 27 comments

Hugo Chavez: the revolutionary's final battle

Hugo Chavez dies. Al-Jazeera reported it first on their live stream, while internal media are still holding back. The Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, made the announcement.
posted by moonbird on Mar 5, 2013 - 283 comments

Bob Godfrey 1921-2013

On Thursday, February 21st, influential British animator Bob Godfrey passed away at the age of 91. (Guardian, BBC,Cartoon Brew, Mirror, Rueters, Telegraph, and yes, even the Daily Mail. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Feb 23, 2013 - 12 comments

The Lafcadio Hearn of Our Time

Donald Richie, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004
[more inside]
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Feb 19, 2013 - 23 comments

Playing with God is indeed playing with fire

Beloved Legal Philosopher Ronald Dworkin Passes Away. Dworkin was described as "perhaps the most influential legal philosopher of the last century" in a 2005 profile. A surprisingly comprehensive collection of his essays for the New York Review of Books are available online. You can also watch his lecture on truth and interpretation. Or you can read about his recent book Justice for Hedgehogs. [more inside]
posted by likeatoaster on Feb 14, 2013 - 20 comments

Jonathan Rendall, 1964-2013

Late last month, the writer Jonathan Rendall was found dead at his home in Ipswich. He was 48. He was the greatest gonzo writer you've never heard of. [more inside]
posted by hydatius on Feb 13, 2013 - 9 comments

"No one noticed, they found, until the cords had lost an entire foot."

John E. Karlin, Bell Labs' first behavioral psychologist and the father of human factors engineering, has died at the age of 94. [more inside]
posted by spitefulcrow on Feb 11, 2013 - 32 comments

Batteries not included

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, has died aged 86. [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Washington Post] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 2, 2013 - 25 comments

"Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself."

"He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II." - a self-written epitaph by the former 105th Mayor of New York City: Edward Irving Koch.
"Hizzoner" passed away on Friday morning at the age of 88, and the New York Times City Room blog spent the day collecting and posting stories about him. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 1, 2013 - 53 comments

RIP Ronald Francis Watts

Peter Watts eulogizes his gay Baptist father.
posted by infinitewindow on Jan 18, 2013 - 21 comments

To tell the story to someone else...

In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83. "The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 14, 2013 - 35 comments

Open access, open internet, closed book

Aaron Swartz, web technologist, has committed suicide. First mentioned on Metafilter for his involvement in the standardization of RSS in 2001 as a ninth-grader, most of Swartz's 26 years were devoted to leaving a lasting impact on the web. Swartz co-founded Infogami, which merged with the internet aggregator Reddit, and also founded the Internet activist organization Demand Progress which fought against the SOPA/PIPA legislation. His framework for web servers, web.py, was first released in 2006 when Reddit switched from Lisp to Python and continues to be actively used and updated. In a 2008 attempt to make a public version of the contents of the PACER public court records database, Swartz angered government officials when they learned he had downloaded 20 million articles, which he subsequently made freely available. In 2011 he was indicted for data theft for downloading large amounts from the academic article repository JSTOR. Despite JSTOR's statement indicating "no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter," the US case continued with additional charges, to which Aaron pled innocent in September of 2012. [more inside]
posted by Llama-Lime on Jan 12, 2013 - 528 comments

RIP Sol Yurick

Sol Yurick, author of the book that was the basis for Metafilter favorite film The Warriors, has died at 87.
posted by rhiannonstone on Jan 9, 2013 - 15 comments

She was my mother

Jeanne Manford, the former schoolteacher and founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays , has died at 92 years old. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 8, 2013 - 73 comments

"the arts are just a part of the weapons of life"

The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

Sounds like a mountain range in love

Mike Auldridge, the influential dobro player has died. While he played with many people over the years (Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, etc.), he was a long standing member of bluegrass band The Seldom Scene (caution, autoplay music). Here is The Seldom Scene playing 'Rider,' Mike takes a solo at about 6:40. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 31, 2012 - 10 comments

Charles Durning has died.

Charles Durning has died. (NYT)
Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge. His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year career as a consummate Oscar-nominated character actor, playing everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in “Tootsie.” (WashPo)
posted by OmieWise on Dec 25, 2012 - 58 comments

Sen. Daniel Inouye, 1924-2012

Senator Daniel Inouye, Democrat and senior senator from Hawaii, has died at the age of 88 from respiratory problems. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy on Dec 17, 2012 - 109 comments

The Real Dr. House, R.I.P.

William F. House, known by many in the field as the "Father of Neurotology," has died at the age of 89. Dr. House is credited with developing the cochlear implant, pioneering the use of the operative microscope in ear and brain surgery, and, with his brother Howard, establishing the House Ear Institute. [more inside]
posted by robstercraw on Dec 13, 2012 - 2 comments

Fyodor Khitruk (1917-2012)

The great Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk passed away on December 3rd at the age of 95. You might know him as the director of the delightful Vinni Puh. (Parts one and two can be seen here with subtitles, for part three see this previous post.) [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Dec 7, 2012 - 15 comments

RIP Jazz master Dave Brubeck.

I am devastated to read that jazz master and Kennedy Center honoree Dave Brubeck has died. His influence on jazz was wide and profound. His frequent collaborator and the composer of one of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s best known tunes, “Take Five,” Paul Desmond, said of the sound of his alto sax, “"I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini." Brubeck was well-known for his use of differing time signatures, again referencing “Take Five” which was in 5/4 time and another example, “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” in 9/8 time. Desmond passed away in 2005, and Brubeck has left the earthly plain to join him in the Heavenly Jazz Band. RIP. (MLYT)
posted by Lynsey on Dec 5, 2012 - 182 comments

Trashman Forever

Spain Rodriguez Fought the Good Fight - underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez, most famous for his violent antihero Trashman, passed away yesterday.
posted by Artw on Nov 29, 2012 - 30 comments

"HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND NO ONE WILL GO AWAY UNSATISFIED!"

Boris Strugatsky passed away Monday, 19 Nov 2012. [more inside]
posted by wobh on Nov 20, 2012 - 22 comments

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