Harold Ramis, SCTV alumni, Ghostbuster, and director of films such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day (previously discussed on the blue here and here, among other moments), passed away this morning at 69.
"I thought you were sleeping. It seems silly now, but you must understand, when one sees a person slumped over inside a parked car, the most reasonable conclusion is rarely that the person slumped over is dead. It was the lights from the dashboard that caught my eye." – This Crappy Obituary – For the Woman I Found Dead in the Starbucks Parking Lot. You know you should never read the comments, but read the comments.
"Morrie Turner, a cartoonist who broke the color barrier twice — as the first African-American comic strip artist whose work was widely syndicated in mainstream newspapers, and as the creator of the first syndicated strip with a racially and ethnically mixed cast of characters — died on Saturday in Sacramento. He was 90. " [more inside]
Nigerian photographer J.D Okhai Ojeikere passed away last weekend, but at the age of 83 he left behind a truly incredible body of work celebrating Nigerian culture. These photos from his Hairstyles series are part of an archive of nearly 1000 pictures showing the intricate hair-dos of African women taken at work, social engagements and in the streets of Lagos. The beautifully composed black and white images draw attention to the sculptural quality of the hair, almost elevating it to an art form in itself. It goes without saying that his work is a unique treasure of historical and anthropological importance.Via
Shirley Jane Temple Black, actress and US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, has passed away, aged 85.
Out in a forgotten, dusty corner of Southern California, just east of the Salton Sea, Leonard Knight let his love and devotion to the Lord inspire a Technicolor vision on the desert floor. His creation came to be known as Salvation Mountain. On Monday, Leonard Knight passed away at the age of 82. [more inside]
Stuart Hall, influential theorist and founder of New Left Review, has died aged 82. Born in Jamaica on February 3rd, 1932, Stuart Hall became a beacon of the New Left in Britain, a hugely influential cultural theorist (as one of the founding figures of British Cultural Studies) and an incisive critic of Thatcherism.
Can you believe he even existed? Did we conjure him up in a strangely unexplainable collective? On January 19th, the animation world lost one of its most idiosyncratic and principled voices, Michael Sporn. Sporn not only gathered accolades for his work, including an Oscar nomination for his short Dr. Desoto (excerpt) and four Emmy awards, he also won the respect of the animation community and the affection and high regard of those who worked with him, and for his wonderful Splog, which has been linked previously, 1 2 High quality clips of his work can be viewed at his website (see link in the comments.) [more inside]
Police say Hoffman, 46, was found dead with a needle in his arm. Hoffman's struggles with substance abuse have been well documented, and he had told 60 Minutes in 2006 that he was grateful to have gotten sober before getting famous.
Arthur Rankin Jr., the animator behind holiday classics such as Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town passed away on Thursday, January 30. [more inside]
Pete Seeger, singer, musician, songwriter, political activist for more than 7 decades died, age 94. As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn, Turn, Turn! [more inside]
Grindcore fan that happened to be a goat passes away. Star of an unlikely web meme dies young due to leading a metal lifestyle.
The Portuguese footballer Eusébio, considered one of the greatest of all time, died today. The first great footballer to come out of Africa, Eusébio was above all an humble man who would congratulate a keeper who had just made a difficult save and for whom the greatest joy after winning the European Cup (now named UEFA Champions League) was in getting to trade jerseys with his idol, Real Madrid's star di Stéfano. (The goals of the final.) [more inside]
Phil Everly, one half of the iconic and deeply influential vocal duo the Everly Brothers, has died at age 74. Marked by their sweet, tight harmonies and chopping acoustic guitars, tunes like All I Have To Do Is Dream, Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy's Clown and When Will I Be Loved made an indelible mark on the musical consciousness of America.
Dennis Lindley, one of the most influential of 20th century statisticians, passed away on December 14 at age 90. Lindley was a strong advocate for Bayesian statistics before it was widely popular. What is Bayesian statistics and why was Dennis Lindley important? [more inside]
Joan Fontaine, star of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and "Suspicion" (not to mention "Jane Eyre" and "Ivanhoe"), has died at the age of 96. [more inside]
Colin Wilson has passed away at the age of 82. He rose to fame in the 50s with The Outsider, which made him a figure amongst Britain's Beat movement and Angry Young Men. His writing has spanned the fiction and non-fiction, with an interest in the paranormal and the occult, his thoughts on which he blended with HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos to produce The Mind Parasites. A TV series based on his The Space Vampires, also the basis for the movie Lifeforce (previously), is currently planned. Wikipedia page, 2004 Guardian interview, Times Obituary (subs only).
Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at home at age 95. The Globe and Mail has a good roundup of information and resources about his life. The PBS Newshour already has a show online about his life and moments after the news broke even The Onion chimed in. Rest in peace, Madiba.
Judy Rodgers, whose deceptively simple and extraordinarily delicious roast chicken made San Francisco's Zuni Cafe famous, has died. She was 57 and had been suffering from cancer for more than a year. [more inside]
The much-renowned and very influential singer, songwriter and bandleader Tabu Ley Rochereau, the legendary pioneer of soukous, has died. His music was characterized by his sweet, mellow voice, smoothly beautiful and quintessentially African vocal harmonies, and chiming, smooth-as-silk interwoven guitar melodies. Not to mention a steady, infectious beat that kept people moving on dance floors all across Africa for the past five decades. Here is but a small sampling, spanning from his very fruitful, prolific musical career: Mokolo Nakokufa, Muzina, Kaful Mayay, Bania Irene, Mongali... and since the man is said to have written as many as 3000 songs, there's plenty more out there to discover. RIP Tabu Ley Rochereau.
Last month, we lost one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. Arthur C. Danto was perhaps the most eminent voice in contemporary aesthetics. Always on the cutting edge, Danto shined a light on aesthetics in the post-art world. [more inside]
Doris Lessing, revolutionary Nobel prize-winning novelist, passed away this morning at the age of 94. [more inside]
The last remnants of the old LLC are being swept away forever. Nathan Rabin over at The Dissolve offers his own personal requiem to the store. And because moving on is part of the healing process, movie fans should prepare themselves for some final liquidation sales.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki has died. The first prime minister after the fall of communist regime in Poland was later an UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Bosnia and resigned this post in protest over the failure of international community to prevent the Srebrenica massacre. [more inside]
Marcia Wallace, the Emmy-winning voice of Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons” and earlier Carol Kester, the receptionist on the 1970s sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show,” has died at 70 NYT LAT [more inside]
Cowell had been a racing driver, a Spitfire pilot and a prisoner of war – but her biggest challenge was to become the first person in Britain to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. Two years after Roberta Cowell's death, an obituary in the Independent. [more inside]
Laughing Past The Grave
We realize we aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, but we adore it, often to a perfectly scandalous degree, when others do, and especially when it’s funny.
Philip Chevron - "singer, writer, composer, punk rocker, poet, Radiator, Pogue" - passed away from esophageal cancer on October 8th, far too young at only 56. He was most widely known as the Pogues’ rhythm guitarist, who penned "Thousands Are Sailing", a haunting ballad about Irish immigration to the USA that quickly became a live favourite (in later shows usually sung by Phil himself). [more inside]
Character actor Ed Lauter has died. In a career that spanned over forty years, he was a familiar face on both television and film (and active until the end with appearances in "Trouble With The Curve" and "The Artist"). And with the greatest respect and affection, he also costarred in one the greatest bad films of the eighties.
5 Minutes With Kumar, episodes 2 - 3 - 4
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
Scott Carpenter has died at 88. As the commander of Aurora 7 in 1962, Carpenter was the second Mercury astronaut to orbit the Earth. He is best known for having wished his friend John Glenn "Godspeed" as the latter launched into orbit. [more inside]
“There is no doubt some of Read’s stories are embellished, polished or, in some cases, stolen, but there is also no doubt that through the 1970s and 80s he was one of the most dangerous men in Australia.” RIP Mark 'Chopper' Read [more inside]
'Legendary Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap dies.' 'Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the Americans to abandon their grueling effort to save the country from communism, has died. At age 102, he was the last of Vietnam's old-guard revolutionaries.' 'To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.' [more inside]
A Culinary Giant Perhaps like no other food writer, Marcella Hazan, helped intergrate a foreign cuisine into American culture with her no-nonsense and easy to understand approach. Mrs. Hazan passed way yesterday a the ripe old age of 89. Her simple tomato sauce is legendary - she made all of us better cooks and eaters.
"Her wood carvings were made from ironing boards, breadboards, old ships' timbers and in one case an old wooden toilet seat. Her jewellery was made from a cut-up caravan." (Obituary.) There's not much on the web about this woman, but what there is, is gold. [more inside]
Eiji Toyoda, architect of the “lean manufacturing” method helped turned the automaker Toyota, into a global powerhouse and changed the face of modern manufacturing. 'In almost six decades with the company he helped transform a tiny spinoff of a textile loom maker into the world’s biggest automaker. Early on, he helped put Toyota at the forefront of a wave of automobile production in Japan, pushing it to bolster its lineup, first by adding compact vehicles and sports cars in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated the development of luxury models to compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, culminating with the Lexus brand in 1989.' [more inside]
Pioneering Dutch electronic/tape composer Dick Raaijmakers has died. Raaijmakers was an early adopter of electronic technology for music production, and his work in the field expanded far beyond the laboratory to include film, theater, installations and visual art, and literature. He wrote for orchestras, percussion ensembles, educational and industrial films, Satie-inspired ambient and background environments, and unorthodox "musical" objects such as tractors and bicycles. He was also a noted essayist and author on new concepts and applications related to sound. [more inside]
Blue II, the beloved mascot for Butler University, died of Cushing's Syndrome on Saturday. After his show-stopping appearance on the court during March Madness 2008, Blue maintained a high profile on various social platforms. His webcam was one of the most popular sites visited at Butler. He is survived by his owners, the Kaltenmarks, and by his protege, Trip. Blue II's last words.
Tommy "The Duke" Morrison, grand nephew of John Wayne, former WBO heavyweight champion, co-star of Rocky V, and, later, supporter of the HIV Denial movement, has passed away at 44. [more inside]
Noted science fiction author, editor, and SFWA Grand Master Frederik Pohl has died. His granddaughter announced the news via her twitter account. Pohl was born in 1919 (the same year stainless steel was patented and a year before the first commercially licensed radio station in the US) and after nearly a century of imagining the near and far future, and sharing that with the world, he was still updating his blog [previously] on a regular basis until his death.
The poet Seamus Heaney has died aged 74. "There's a summons in those first words; they're like a tuning fork": a long interview from 1997. Metafilter's 70th birthday celebration. Some poems. [more inside]
Hyon Song-wol, North Korean pop star and rumoured lover of Kim Jong Un, has reportedly been executed by firing squad. The singer, previously noted on Mefi for her 2005 video Excellent Horse-Like Lady, was reportedly arrested on August 17 and was executed with others on August 20.
Actress Julie Harris, best known for roles in the film East of Eden and on television's Knots Landing, has died at the age of 87. [more inside]
Jose Julio Sarria, Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose I, The Widow Norton, passed away on August 19th, at the age of 91. [more inside]
Barbara Mertz, whose writing career encompassed over sixty books and three nom de plumes, has died at the age of 85. As Barbara Mertz, she wrote scholarly books on Egyptology after receiving a doctorate from the from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago in 1951, but then turned her hand to writing fiction under the names Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. [more inside]