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RIP, Prince of Sealand

In his 45th year on the throne, Prince Roy Bates has passed away at the age of 91. The seeds of his nation were planted with the establishment of pirate station Radio Essex aboard the Knock John Tower offshore platform. Legal troubles forced Bates to move his operations further into international waters, claiming Roughs Tower for himself, and establishing the micronation of Sealand. He is survived by his wife and children, including his son, Prince Michael Bates, who has been acting ruler the nation of Sealand since the 1990s.
posted by AzraelBrown on Oct 12, 2012 - 24 comments

The Railway Man

Eric Lomax, River Kwai prisoner who forgave, dies at 93.
posted by tykky on Oct 11, 2012 - 32 comments

Grupo Cine Liberación 1968-2012

"The death in Buenos Aires of Argentine filmmaker (in Spanish) and theorist Octavio Getino was reported on the same day as that of the historian Eric Hobsbawm in London. Worlds apart and different spheres of activity, perhaps, but both contributed in major ways to the broad current of independent and international critical culture that grew up after 1968, even though Hobsbawm remained a Communist and Getino was always a Peronist." - Michael Chanan, with a video interview of Mr. Getino from 1982.
posted by parmanparman on Oct 2, 2012 - 5 comments

Our Huckleberry Friend

Popular US crooner Andy Williams, best known for singing the bittersweet "Moon River" (YouTube link), is dead at age 84. [more inside]
posted by Sidhedevil on Sep 26, 2012 - 52 comments

"Are we the baddies?"

Danish author Sven Hassel (Wikipedia, official site) has passed away at the age of 95. (Danish - Translation) Hassel fought for the Germans during WWII and became famous after publishing Legion of the Damned, a semi-autobiographical account of the war. He went on to write thirteen more books following the adventures of his convict battalion, incuding Wheels of Terror which in 1987 was made into the movie The Misfit Brigade staring Bruce Davison and David Patrick Kelly (clip). He will be remembered fondly by all who browsed the bookshelves of charity shops as young men.
posted by Artw on Sep 23, 2012 - 31 comments

The Autumn wind is pirate

Filmmaker, football ambassador, part-time poet, creator of a music video genre and NFL films president Steve Sabol has passed away at the age of 69. The winner of 40 Emmys, Sabol made arguably the single biggest impact on the mythology of American football, completely changing the way the sport was covered and photographed.
posted by nathancaswell on Sep 18, 2012 - 33 comments

The Spirit Catches Lia Lee, RIP

First published in 1997, Anne Fadiman's book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a chronicle of a Hmong refugee family's interactions with the American medical system in the face of a child's devastating illness, has become highly recommended, if not required, reading for many medical students and health care professionals, over the past 15 years quietly changing how young doctors approach patients from different cultures. On August 31, with little publicity, Lia Lee, the young girl who inspired the book, after living most of her life in a persistent vegetative state, quietly died [NYT obit].
posted by Slarty Bartfast on Sep 15, 2012 - 79 comments

Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012.

Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012 "I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Sep 9, 2012 - 12 comments

Michael Clarke Duncan, 1957-2012

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).
posted by Evilspork on Sep 3, 2012 - 99 comments

Excess heat without light

Martin Fleischmann, who with Stanley Pons claimed in a press conference to have observed sustained nuclear fusion in a room-temperature experiment, died on August third at age 85. [more inside]
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Aug 31, 2012 - 19 comments

A photograph isn’t necessarily a lie, but nor is it the truth. It’s more of a fleeting, subjective impression.

Goodbye Martine Franck.
My grandfather killed himself falling off the dike in Ostend while photographing my two cousins.
This can happen so easily when looking through a lens: for a split second nothing else exists outside the frame

Here she explains her choice of an iconic photograph.
She followed the Theatre du Soleil from it's conception and sought out the Tibetan Tulkus.
Here is a Magnum slideshow and her Magnum Albums.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 25, 2012 - 2 comments

The 555 Timer IC

The simple but powerful 555 timer IC can be rigged to produce a timed pulse or a square-waveform oscillation up to 68kHz. It later came in dual-timer (556), quad-timer (558), military-grade (SE555), and low-power (7555) configurations. Although it's largely obsolete in commercial electronics, it became beloved of amateurs wanting an easy and cheap way to make things buzz or blink. In memory of the recent passing of its inventor, Hans Camenzind, Make Magazine offers a retrospective of 555 contest winners. Here's a tutorial on chip function from instructables. How to build a toy piano. The morse code practice circuit. Miniature beeping circuit prank to baffle your friends and co-workers and a screaming altoids tin. (Previously on metafilter, the 555 footstool.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Aug 22, 2012 - 44 comments

Guess St. Peter needed a good laugh

Phyllis Diller, dead at 95 I encountered her first on Scooby Doo and I discovered how funny she really was as an adult. She was on the Ed Sullivan show in 1969 and she sounded just as fresh and full of sass in an interview I heard taped last year.
posted by peppermind on Aug 20, 2012 - 131 comments

Tony Scott, 1944-2012

Tony Scott, younger brother of Ridley Scott, is perhaps best known for directing True Romance, but he had a long career making action films that had verve and a pulse, including an ongoing collaboration with Denzel Washington. His last film, Unstoppable, was one of his biggest critical and commercial hits, earning him widespread praise as the consummate mainstream Hollywood stylist. He committed suicide today at age 68.
posted by eugenen on Aug 19, 2012 - 171 comments

"The latest victim of the tumor has been my facial nerve."

Kathi Goertzen, a TV news anchor on KOMO in Seattle, has died after battling brain tumors for 14 years. In 2011, she candidly discussed how it felt to be in the public eye after a tumor caused one side of her face to become paralyzed. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown on Aug 14, 2012 - 18 comments

The Oldest Living Cosmo Girl Has Left Us

Author and longtime Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown has died at the age of 90. [more inside]
posted by MissySedai on Aug 13, 2012 - 49 comments

RIP Joe Kubert

Comic book artist Joe Kubert has died. Kubert, who started a New Jersey school of cartooning that cemented his legacy as an industry great, has died after a hospital stay. He was 85.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist on Aug 12, 2012 - 41 comments

Farewell, Pushcart Queen

Farewell Pushcart Queen: Jean Merrill has passed away from cancer. Many of her 30 books were young adult stories which followed underdogs in conflict with powerful interests. Her most well-known books were The Pushcart War, about a confrontation between New York pushcarts and the trucking industry, and The Toothpaste Millionaire, about a young African American entrepreneur who challenges big business. (previously) [more inside]
posted by honest knave on Aug 12, 2012 - 33 comments

Mel Stuart goes to the great chocolate shop in the sky.

RIP Mel Stuart, 1928-2012. Best known for directing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — essentially an elaborate product-placement for Quaker Oats, which funded the whole thing to promote a new chocolate bar — the versatile Stuart was also a committed documentarian whose films for producer David L. Wolper included 1964's Four Days in November and 1973's Wattstax.
posted by Joey Bagels on Aug 10, 2012 - 27 comments

David Rakoff, 1964-2012

David Rakoff, essayist and humorist, died on August 9th. Huffington post obituary; The Awl obituary. If you're not familiar with his writing, a good place to start might be listening to any of of his appearances on This American Life.
posted by Greg Nog on Aug 10, 2012 - 136 comments

No Llora mas....Adios Chavela; mil besos a ti.

Chavela Vargas, iconic singer in the Spanish speaking world has died aged 93.
She would appear on stage dressed as a man, toting a gun or brandishing a bullwhip, and drawing on a fat cigar or swigging from a bottle of hooch.
La Llorona her tribute to Frida Kahlo, is probably one of her better known songs outside the Spanish speaking world.
Some of her other songs:
En el último trago.
Piensar en mi.
Se me olvido otra vez.
Noche de bodas with Joachin Sabina.
Flor de azalea. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Aug 9, 2012 - 14 comments

"I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion."

"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University." Garrett's legal troubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death. "Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart." [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 7, 2012 - 17 comments

Robert Hughes died in New York yesterday.

Influential Australian art critic Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New and The Fatal Shore, has died aged 74.
posted by wilful on Aug 6, 2012 - 62 comments

Man, I don't know where we at

When the works of David Simon were translated to television, the job of portraying 15-year-old DeAndre McCullough from "The Corner" was given to Sean Nelson. DeAndre himself, then 23, appeared on screen in a cameo as an officer and in a non-fiction discussion at the end of the miniseries. Later, in the world of "The Wire," DeAndre returned as the bodyguard of Brother Mouzone.

David Simon: "He enjoyed acting, and showed some poise, but the jobs that offered the chance at a real career — the behind-the-camera production work, the path to union wages and benefits — those couldn’t hold him."

DeAndre McCullough was found dead on Wednesday in Baltimore. He was 35.
posted by rewil on Aug 4, 2012 - 38 comments

Gore Vidal October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012

Gore Vidal, arguably one of america's greatest living post-war writers, died Tuesday at the age of 86. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 31, 2012 - 141 comments

RIP Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy, Irish author, died at 72 yesterday. [more inside]
posted by jeather on Jul 31, 2012 - 25 comments

Mort de Chris Marker

Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
posted by chavenet on Jul 30, 2012 - 68 comments

R.I.P. Lupe Ontiveros

Lupe Ontiveros, the excellent, perpetually under-appreciated character actress, died Thursday at the age of 69. [more inside]
posted by Nibbly Fang on Jul 29, 2012 - 28 comments

RIP Margaret Mahy

Acclaimed New Zealand children's and young adult's book author Margaret Mahy died in Christchurch yesterday aged 76. [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert on Jul 23, 2012 - 24 comments

Sally Ride has died of pancreatic cancer

Sally Ride has died of pancreatic cancer at age 61. NPR blog. She was an inspiration to many. I saw her speak years ago when I took my daughters to a women in science program at the University of Michigan and both they and I came away impressed with her intelligence and commitment - the world is a richer place for her having been in it.
posted by leslies on Jul 23, 2012 - 214 comments

SNL writer Tom Davis, RIP

Comedy writing parter to Sen. Al Franken (the two went to high school together and shared an apprenticeship salary when first hired by Lorne Michaels as two of the first writers for Saturday Night Live), Tom Davis has died at 59 from throat cancer. In 2009 he published his memoir of those years, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss.
posted by aught on Jul 20, 2012 - 38 comments

If you want to live forever, then don't stop breathing, like I did.

To Disneyland - you can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore - and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this. Val Patterson, 1953 - 2012, wrote his own obituary as he was dying of throat cancer. He made a few confessions.
posted by gaspode on Jul 17, 2012 - 53 comments

A Writer, and a Friend, of the Highest Class

Journalist and critic AA Gill writes a moving, heartfelt and beautiful tribute to young colleague Amy Turner [more inside]
posted by chris88 on Jul 16, 2012 - 28 comments

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, died today at age 79. According to Covey's family, the death was due to "the residual effects of a bike accident he suffered this past April." The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People has sold more than 20 million copies since its initial publication in 1989, and is one of Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential Business Management Books." 7 Habits popularized the concepts of "win/win," "interdependence," and "paradigm shift" in self-help and managerial vocabularies.
posted by catlet on Jul 16, 2012 - 41 comments

When I die, bury me / In my high top Stetson hat / Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain / God'll know I died standin' pat.

It is a sad day in New Orleans. At the age of 80, Uncle Lionel has passed on. Uncle Lionel was the long-time bass drummer and sometime singer for New Orleans favorites the Treme Brass Band. (Watch the Treme Brass band playing one of their standards, "It Ain't My Fault".) Known to many as The Best-Dressed Man in New Orleans, he was a legendary and universally-loved fixture of the New Orleans music scene. Here is a video of him partying down at Sydney's Saloon on St. Bernard Ave, age 78. Here he plays drum and sings Let Me Call You Sweetheart at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe, earlier this year. And finally, here he is with Monty Banks singing Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? at the Spotted Cat in 2009. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, but rest assured there will be one hell of second line the day they lay Uncle Lionel down.
posted by Scientist on Jul 9, 2012 - 29 comments

Andy Griffith Dies at 86.

Take down the fishin' pole and meet me at the fishin' hole: Reports are that entertainer Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86. A comedian, actor, and musician, he created an icon of American decency by portraying sheriff Andy Taylor in his fictional TV town of Mayberry, featured on the Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. By all accounts, a kind a decent man. You can still visit his museum and peruse his archives.
posted by Miko on Jul 3, 2012 - 157 comments

"Shelagh would have thought this was stupid perfect"

Shelagh was here - an ordinary, magical life: The Toronto Star dedicated unprecedented coverage to the funeral of 55-year-old Shelagh Gordon – interviewing more than 100 of her friends and family – to show how a modest life can have a huge impact. "She didn’t have a great job, she wasn’t married and never had children, so she wasn’t successful in either the traditional male or female sense, Ms. Porter said. But people would keep telling stories about her kindness. 'She had a lot of magic in her life, and that’s reassuring... That you can live a full, interesting, ordinary life.'" The link includes an extensive interactive photograph of stories from those at Shelagh's funeral, and a video with clips from the memorial as well. Via the NYT: Redefining Success and Celebrating the Unremarkable. (previously: you are not special)
posted by flex on Jul 3, 2012 - 17 comments

Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash

Nora Ephron, best known for writing the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, has died at 71 from pneumonia as a complication of acute myeloid leukemia. [more inside]
posted by brina on Jun 26, 2012 - 156 comments

Caroline John RIP.

Caroline John who played Liz Shaw, the Third Doctor's companion in the Earth-bound 1970 season of Doctor Who has died. Hers was the first of the Doctor's companions who could be seen as anything like an equal and inspired many of us to follow her into the science profession.
posted by feelinglistless on Jun 21, 2012 - 41 comments

RIP Andrew Sarris

RIP Andrew Sarris, the legendary film critic who popularized the auteur theory in the United States, sparred with arch-rival Pauline Kael, and helped define American film criticism. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 20, 2012 - 17 comments

Can't we all just get along?

Rodney King, victim of a 1991 police brutality incident that became the catalyst for civil unrest and rioting a year later, was found dead by his fiancee at the bottom of his swimming pool. He was 47. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 on Jun 17, 2012 - 134 comments

You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.

Informant, former wiseguy and goodfella Henry Hill (website, Wikipedia) has been made dead by illness. He was not a schnook.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2012 - 33 comments

No more tunes and numbers

Ray Bradbury has passed away.
posted by mightygodking on Jun 6, 2012 - 470 comments

RIP Эдуард Анатольевич Хиль

Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, aka Mr. Trololo, has died at the age of 77. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 4, 2012 - 50 comments

You know I could beat you up anytime I want, sir.

Kathryn Joosten, Emmy award winning actress who played Mrs. Landingham, has died. [more inside]
posted by MrVisible on Jun 3, 2012 - 38 comments

Leo Dillon 1933 - 2012

Book illustrator Leo Dillon, who in partnership with his wife Diane Dillon, illustrated and did the covers for many of your favourite childrens' books, has passed away on May 26th. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on May 29, 2012 - 18 comments

RIP mister bassman, Donald "Duck" Dunn

Millions may know him best from one of the only lines he delivered in the Blues Brothers movie: "We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline". Others who notice these things will remember him as the guy who also played the bass in the Blues Brothers band. And those for whom Stax records and the Memphis sound are important will know him as the four-string foundation of the great Booker T and the MGs, and the man who lent his solid, no-frills bass lines to many a tune by soul luminaries Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and lots of other greats. Memphis-born bassman Donald "Duck" Dunn has died while on tour (along with fellow legend and bandmate Steve Cropper) in Tokyo. RIP, Duck Dunn, and if there's any goat piss in heaven, I know you're gonna turn it into gasoline up there, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 13, 2012 - 112 comments

Nobody else had Denny Fitch, who beat those one-in-a-billion odds.

Denny Fitch, one of 4 pilots who guided United 232 to a controlled crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa after a complete hydraulic fluid loss following an engine failure, has died of cancer. He was interviewed about the landing for Errol Morris' First Person series (YouTube) (previously). Denny's family also documented his journey with his incurable brain tumor on his website and blog.
posted by bluefly on May 13, 2012 - 22 comments

RIP Everett Lilly

Everett Lilly, founding member and mandolin player for the Lilly Brothers, has died. The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover (on banjo) had a longtime residence in Boston in the 1960s at the Hillbilly Ranch. Although the band disbanded and moved back to West Virginia following the death of Everett's son in an accident, their influence on the folk revival was substantial. Here is their classic rendition of "Sinner You Better Get Ready" from their 1961 Folkways album Bluegrass at the Roots. Everett's mandolin is upfront and sweet. RIP
posted by OmieWise on May 10, 2012 - 7 comments

Vidal Sassoon, 1928-2012

Vidal Sassoon has died at the age of 84. Sassoon, perhaps best known as a hairdresser who opened a chain of salons that spread worldwide and who created Mia Farrow's pixie cut for Rosemary's Baby, was also an anti-fascist in post-World War II London and fought as part of the Haganah in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1982, he founded an organization devoted to the study of anti-Semitism, which is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sassoon was named a CBE in 2004 "for services to the British hairdressing industry." He had been in treatment for leukemia for the past two years.
posted by catlet on May 9, 2012 - 53 comments

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