The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony KennedyJohn Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
Comic book artist Eduardo Barreto, best known for his work on such DC titles as New Teen Titans and various Superman projects, not to mention his work on the Judge Parker newspaper strip, has died at the age of 57. [more inside]
"If I am kept away from writing I become physically unwell. It is art and the creation of art that sustains me." Russell Hoban 1925-2011
Depending on when and what you started reading you may know Russell Hoban as the author of the children's book Bread and Jam for Frances or the post-apoocalyptic sci-fi novel Riddley Walker. Hoban also wrote Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas which was made into a one-hour Christmas Special originally aired by HBO in the 70's and re-released as recently as 2008. He published one book of poetry, The Last of the Wallendas, which included many dark poems such as The Dream of the Kraken. Hoban died in London last night, aged 86. [more inside]
Between February 1989 and May 1990, there were three significant deaths in the Sesame Street world. The first was Joe Raposo, a significant musician for Sesame Street and Electric Company. The last was Jim Henson, mourned by Big Bird, remembered by Frank Oz, and celebrated in song by many (from the St. John's Memorial, detailed here). The second person to die in this time period was Northern Calloway, Sesame Street's David. Unlike Joe and Jim, there were no television tribute to Northern's life and career on Sesame Street or Broadway. Instead, David, once a young, cool, urban guy, who was studying to be a lawyer while working at Mr. Hooper's storeand the initial romantic interest of Maria, left the show through a letter, read by Gordon. The story behind David is told below the fold. [more inside]
Jerry Robinson, Batman artist and creator of the Dark Knight's arch-nemesis The Joker, died yesterday in his sleep at the age of 89. [more inside]
"Almost everything I do is based on other texts anyway. Without plagiarism, there would be no literature. I'm a rewrite man." The poet Christoper Logue has died, aged 85. Logue had a varied career, at various points serving in the British Army (and being arrested for espionage after a drunken threat to sell secrets), writing pornography under the nom de plume Count Palmiro de Vicarion, recording George Martin-produced, "heroically daft" jazz recitals of the poems of Pablo Neruda (YT) and regularly contributing to the British satirical magazine Private Eye, where he edited Pseuds' Corner, while finding the time to be arrested again, for civil disobedience as part of Bertrand Russell's Committee of 100. [more inside]
The man who lent his wonderfully warm and soaring voice to the rolling soul ballad Get It While You Can, the limber southern funk of Eight Days on the Road, the coolly driving How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark, the mellow soul lilt (with breathtaking falsetto interjections!) of I Learned It All the Hard Way and so many other delightful soul numbers has died. Farewell Howard Tate. [more inside]
Leka I Zogu died November 30, 2011 at the age of 72. When he was less than 48 hours old, Mussolini's troops invaded Albania and drove out his father, King Zog I of Albania, and the rest of the royal family. He spent the rest of his life fleeing invading armies, stockpiling weaponry, trading commodities, attempting coups, returning to Albania (three times), and eventually settling into a quiet life in the very country where he refused to relenquish his claims to the throne. [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]
"To say that this hypothesis was controversial was akin to saying that Napoleon had a bit of a thing about the Russians."
American biologist Lynn Margulis has died. Prolific and determined, Margulis was best known for her development of Endosymbiotic Theory, the now widely-accepted idea that complex cells began as a combination of simpler, prokaryotic ones, and the Gaia Hypothesis, which posited the Earth as a type of living organism. Some of her later ideas, including the claim that HIV is not the cause of AIDS or that caterpillers and butterflies were once separate organisms, received less support, but Endosymbiotic Theory, in the words of Richard Dawkins, remains "one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology."
Anne McCaffrey, author of Dragonriders of Pern, the first woman to win a Hugo award, is reported dead.
Paul Motian (wiki) (myspace) (allaboutjazz), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
Gary Garcia, half of the musical duo Buckner & Garcia, died on November 17, 2011 at his home in Florida. The duo is best known for their 1982 top ten hit Pac Man Fever. [more inside]
Tom Keith, sound effects wizard on A Prairie Home Companion and longtime host of MPR's Morning Show, has died.
How's about that, then? Now then, now then. Goodness gracious. As it appen's. Guys and gals. Jewelry jewelry... etc
RIP Sir Jimmy Savile, English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality. Quite a personality. [more inside]
Two time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon has died of his injuries after a 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. [more inside]
According to breaking news, Dennis Ritchie, inventor of the C programming language, co-author with Brian Kernigham of the famous book on it, and creator with Ken Thompson of the Unix operating system, has died. [more inside]
Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Civil Rights Advocate, dies at 80. Bell was a pioneer of critical race theory and the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School. Bell was also a lover of gospel music, and hosted an annual gospel choir concert.
"I tried to get killed in Birmingham and go home to God because I knew it would be better for you in Birmingham"
Civil Rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth passed away this morning at the age of 89. [more inside]
Mansoor 'Tiger' Ali Khan, erstwhile Indian cricket captain, has died. His legacy evokes a previous era in Indian history: a last-generation Royal blinded in one eye as a young man, he captained the Oxford then the Indian teams (his father had played for Oxford and England before captaining India), and married movie actress Sharmila Tagore with whom he had children who went on to become movie stars themselves. Some memories of a man known for his cricketing skill, style and charisma.
Character actress Frances Bay has passed away at the age of 92. You may recognize her from Happy Gilmore, the work of David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart) and Seinfeld.
Journalist and Detroit techno historian, Dan Sicko passed away Sunday, August 28th from a rare form of eye cancer. [more inside]
"Uncle Frank" of late night TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live has died at 77
On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
Somewhere along the line, you might've heard one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the world of jazz: it was a song originally made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris back in 1969, called Compared To What. If you were in the right place at the right time, you might've even caught them doing it live. Or, if you were born a little too late for all that, you might've heard the song performed by John Legend and the Roots. Well, the man who wrote the song, Gene McDaniels, has just left us at age 76. RIP Gene McDaniels.
When forensic sculptor Frank Bender, Esquire's Man of the Month in April 2004, died this week the world mourned one of the foremost skull-to-face recreationists. What fewer people knew was that his passing created an opening in The Vidocq Society a members-only crime-solving organization he co-founded in 1990, dedicated to working on long-unsolved murders. Membership is limited to 82 members, one for each year of Inspector Vidocq's life. The organization does have a newsletter available online and guests and associates sometimes tag along to their monthly luncheons, Cuisine & Crime Solving.
Amy Jade Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. CNN and BBC are providing breaking coverage of the story. The powerful British soul and R & B singer had a history of struggling with drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
British figurative painter Lucian Freud, whose uncompromising, fleshy portraits made him one of the world's most revered and coveted artists, has died aged 88. Tate Gallery Google image search. [NSFWish]
"I knew that by assembling seven different people and forcing them to live together, the show would have great philosophical implications". Television genius Sherwood Schwartz, dies at 94.
American football player John Mackey has died at 69. Mackey, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for the Baltimore Colts in their victory in 1971's Super Bowl V, suffered from dementia. His wife Sylvia petitioned the NFL to create the 88 Plan, a program that pays for health care for NFL veterans with dementia. By 2007, Mackey, then 65, could not recognize former teammate Ralph Wenzel or distinguish coffee from soup. When the 88 Plan (so-named after Mackey's jersey number) was implemented in 2006, the NFL maintained that the plan, and the 97 players who then qualified for its assistance, "doesn't imply any link between football and brain damage". [more inside]
Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, son of Charles, last monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, died on July 4 at the age of 98. [more inside]
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928, friends with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and victim of art vandalism, artist Cy Twombly died today . Some of his works can be seen here and here.
Comic book artist Gene Colan died on June 23, 2011. Colan began his comic book career in 1944, and after service in WWII went on to illustrate a wide range of comic book characters for both Marvel and DC. The artist might be best known for his 70 issue run in Marvel's Tomb of Dracula in the 1970's. Colan's lush moody style was also well-suited to Batman, as evidenced by his work on Batman and Detective Comics in the 1980's. Other titles and characters associated with Colan include Howard the Duck, Daredevil (including an 81 issue run from 1966-1973), Doctor Strange, and Captain America. [more inside]
RIP Wild Man Fischer (NYTimes link) Only saw him once, opening for the Mothers of Invention.
M.F. Husain, Indian painter, passed away at age 95 in England, on the 9th of June 2011. [more inside]