Philosopher Derek Parfit has died. The author of the landmark Reasons and Persons was 74. If you've never heard of Parfit, you may have heard of the Repugnant Conclusion (which highlights paradoxes in how we understand obligations to future generations). Or if you've ever mused on what would happen to you if you used a Star Trek-style transporter, you may enjoy Parfit's treatment of the philosophical implications in the teletransportation paradox. For more about Parfit, read this profile by Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker.
Peng Chang-kuei, the inventor of General Tso's Chicken, has died at the age of 98. Peng first made the dish in the 1950s while working for the Nationalist government in Taiwan, naming it for Zuo Zongtang, a statesman and military leader from the Qing dynasty famous for having put down the Taiping Rebellion (previously). When the dish made it to the U.S., the New York Times' Mimi Sheraton raved about it using the words in the post title. [more inside]
Artist and co-creator of the comic book Preacher, Steve Dillon, has died at the age of 54, his brother announced today on Twitter. Dillon was best known for his artistry on Preacher from Vertigo Comics, and the Punisher from Marvel Comics, both written by Garth Ennis. Some of his art can be seen here (not Dillon's tumblr).
MLB Miami Marlins Pitcher José Fernández Killed in Boating Accident at Age of 24 [The Guardian] “Authorities in Florida are investigating the death of one of baseball’s best young players, the Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández [wiki], who was killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach early Sunday. Divers from the Miami-Dade fire rescue department recovered the bodies of Fernández, 24, and two friends from the water after the crew of a coastguard patrol boat spotted their upturned vessel at about 3.15am, it was announced at a Sunday morning press conference.” [more inside]
Rest in peace, Terence Bayler - groundbreaking NZ actor, Monty Python alum, and so much more. [more inside]
W.P. Kinsella, author of ‘Shoeless Joe,’ dead at 81 [Maclean's Magazine] W.P. Kinsella, the B.C.-based author of “Shoeless Joe,” the award-winning novel that became the film “Field of Dreams,” has died at 81. His literary agency confirms the writer had a doctor-assisted death on Friday in Hope, B.C. The agency did not provide details about Kinsella’s health. [more inside]
"After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week." [more inside]
Cartoonist Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac, Richard's Poor Almanac) has passed away at the age of 58 due to effects from Parkinson's Disease.
Isao Tomita, early pioneer of electronic music, has died. In the 1970s, he made several albums of classical pieces played on Moog synthesizers, including Debussy's "Clair de Lune", and "Arabesque no. 1" (which for many years was used as the theme music for the PBS "Stargazer" program). He also recorded a full version of Holst's "The Planets." [more inside]
His full name was Prince Rogers Nelson. He was 57 years old when he passed away today at his home, Paisley Park, outside of Minneapolis MN [more inside]
Andrzej Zulawski, the legendary Polish cult director, has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer. A non-conformist visionary of world cinema, his approach to storytelling is idiosyncratic and characterised by explosions of violence, sexuality, and despair. The actors in his movies have played out the most intensely high-pitched emotions in cinema history which inspired the French to coin the term 'Żuławskien', meaning 'over the top'. [more inside]
Revered arthouse icon Jacques Rivette, whose films explored the fine line that separates reality from theater and paranoid fantasy, died at his home in Paris on Friday of complications related to Alzheimer’s. [more inside]
Robert Loggia, Rugged but Versatile Character Actor, Dies at 85 [New York Times]
Robert Loggia, an Oscar-nominated actor who had a durable career in television and movies, notably in Brian De Palma’s gangster film “Scarface” and Penny Marshall’s comedy “Big,” died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85. His wife, Audrey Loggia, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. “He struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for five years,” she said. “It just took its natural progression.”
René Girard, literary theorist and religious historian, has died at the age of 91. The French-born academic and Immortel of the Académie Française first became famous for developing the idea of mimetic rivalry as a predominant theme in modern literature. Later, and more controversially, he argued for the centrality of violence and scapegoating in ancient religions, by which the sacrifice of a chosen victim restores peace in society. Most controversially of all, he argued that the Judeo-Christian tradition is unique in exposing and refuting this scapegoating mechanism. (Previously, previously)
Tillman, the Skateboarding English Bulldog who became an Internet celebrity, has left the Boardwalk. He was 10 years old in centripetal years.
Carey Lander, keyboardist for Scottish indie band Camera Obscura, has passed. Carey died of Sarcoma, and she asked everyone to give for those who would come after. She was 33.
Henning Mankell, Dean of Scandinavian Noir Writers, Dies at 67 [The New York Times]
Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police procedurals that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died Monday morning in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67. Mr. Mankell was considered the dean of the so-called Scandinavian noir writers who gained global prominence for novels that blended edge-of-your-seat suspense with flawed, compelling protagonists and strong social themes. The genre includes Arnaldur Indridason of Iceland, Jo Nesbo of Norway and Stieg Larsson of Sweden, among others.[more inside]
Catherine Coulson, Log Lady on ‘Twin Peaks,’ Dies at 71 [Variety]
Catherine Coulson, who played the Log Lady on David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” and was set to return to the new Showtime version, has died. She was 71. She died Monday of cancer, according to KOBI-TV NBC 5 in Oregon. She reprised the Log Lady role in the feature “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and more recently, she appeared on an episode of “Portlandia” and in the film “Redwood Highway.”[more inside]
Jackie Collins, Novelist Who Wrote of Hollywood’s Glamorous Side, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
Jackie Collins, the best-selling British-born author known for her vibrant novels about the extravagance and glamour of life in Hollywood, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77. The cause was breast cancer, her family said in a statement.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi, who stood at just 21 inches tall (54.6 cm), has passed away at 75 years old, after being ill with pneumonia. He was the shortest adult ever recorded and confirmed by Guinness. [more inside]
Sasha Petraske, founder of the legendary bar Milk & Honey, and considered by many to be the Godfather of modern cocktail & bartender culture, has died. He was 42. Sasha was one of the featured interviews for the documentary Hey Bartender. At 9:00pm Eastern Monday August 31st, bartenders and friends of Sasha the world over will be having daiquiris in his memory. [more inside]
Leonard Robinson, 51, of Owings Mills, Md. died Sunday night. Robinson (seen here previously) became an Internet viral sensation in 2012 when he was pulled over by Montgomery County MD police while dressed as Batman. [more inside]
Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo and former president and star programmer at HAL Laboratories (he was one of their first programmers), main coder of Earthbound, programmer of NES/Famicom Balloon Fight, coder on some early games in the Kirby series and many other games besides, and the author of the Iwata Asks columns on Nintendo's website, has died at 55 of a bile duct growth. Kotaku article. The Verge.
Omar Sharif, 83, a Star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ Dies. [New York Times]
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the desert in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous if brief reign as an international star in films like “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died on Friday in Cairo. He was 83. His death, at a hospital, was caused by a heart attack, his agent, Steve Kenis, said. Mr. Sharif — who later became as well known for his mastery of bridge as he was for his acting — was a commanding, darkly handsome presence on screen. He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.
RIP, Jobst Brandt. Brandt established a reputation among cyclists first with his book The Bicycle Wheel, later with his promotion of slick-treaded clincher tires for road bikes, and finally with his presence on Usenet, where he and Sheldon Brown (RIP) were the Pillars of Hercules of technical knowledge about bikes, with Brown on the east coast and Brandt on the west, Brown with his jovial personality, and Brandt with what can euphemistically be described as an insistence on intellectual rigor.
James Salter, a ‘Writer’s Writer’ Short on Sales but Long on Acclaim, Dies at 90 [New York Times]
James Salter, whose intimately detailed novels and short stories kept a small but devoted audience in his thrall for more than half a century, died on Friday in Sag Harbor, N.Y. He was 90. His wife, Kay Eldredge, confirmed his death, saying he had been at a physical therapy session. He lived in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Mr. Salter wrote slowly, exactingly and, by almost every critic’s estimation, beautifully. Michael Dirda once observed in The Washington Post that “he can, when he wants, break your heart with a sentence.”Previously. Previously.
He was a prophet without imprimatur in his own city. Charles Correa, who passed away late on the night of 16 June, was among the great architects of our times. His institutional buildings across the world are all iconic. Yet, Mumbai, his lifelong home, boasts just one* residential tower designed by him – an irony as much as a travesty. Though the cubist Kanchanjunga is eye-catching, it’s still high-rise: a genre caustically savaged by this patron saint of low-slung architecture.[more inside]
The hard-working son of a plumber, who dined with kings and queens and slept in alleys and ate pork n' beans, the man of the hour, the man with the power, the hit-maker, the record-breaker, who had style and grace, a pretty face, made backs crack and livers quiver, the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, a multiple time world champion of professional wrestling, father of two sons who themselves have become talented wrestlers, has gone to his final ten-bell count.
Professional wrestler Tommy Rogers (real name Thomas Couch), best known as one half of the tag team The Fantastics, has passed away at the age of 54. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Rogers "...had been having legal troubles in recent years stemming from fighting. He was to be sentenced tomorrow over a fight with police officers and feared a long prison stay." [more inside]
Ruth Rendell, crime writer, dies aged 85. [The Guardian]
Ruth Rendell, one of Britain’s best-loved authors, who delighted fans for decades with her dark, intricately plotted crime novels, has died at the age of 85, her publisher has announced.[more inside]
Long time Parks and Recreation writer and recurring character, inventor of the Humblebrag, curator of the goofiest segment on Comedy Bang Bang, and very sexy drummer for the joke band Don't Stop Or We'll Die, Mr. Harris Wittels passed away today suddenly. He will be missed. (Many links extraordinarily NSFW) [more inside]
Carlos Llaguno Garcia, the Mexican born chef who rose from being an undocumented immigrant to executive chef at Les Halles, has died of cancer. He was 38. Carlos gained some minor television fame when he took his former mentor, Anthony Bourdain, on a tour of Puebla and Mexico City for No Reservations, and also appeared in his role as the restaurant's executive chef when Bourdain and chef Eric Ripert went back to work in the Les Halles kitchen for the show.
Marcus Borg has died at age 72. The liberal Christian theologian was one of the leading figures in the modern-day "quest for the historical Jesus," participating in the Jesus Seminar and writing prolifically about how best to interpret the Bible. [more inside]
Robert Stone, Novelist of the Vietnam Era and Beyond, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
"Robert Stone, who wrote ambitious, award-winning novels about errant Americans in dangerous circumstances or on existential quests — or both — as commentary on an unruly, wayward nation in the Vietnam era and beyond, died on Saturday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 77.[more inside]
Kent Haruf, ‘a great writer and a great man’, dies aged 71 [The Guardian]
"Pan Macmillan, Haruf’s UK publisher, said that the novelist died on Sunday 30 November, praising his “beautifully restrained, profoundly felt novels” which it said “reflected a man of integrity, honesty and deep thoughtfulness”."
Ex-Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn dead at 71 [Toronto Star]
"Former Toronto Maple Leaf coach and general manager Pat Quinn has died at the age of 71. Quinn died Sunday night in Vancouver after a lengthy illness, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Vancouver Giants said Monday. Quinn, who was co-owner of the WHL’s Giants, was 71.
Rest In Power: John Holt, composer of The Tide Is High, early hero of the Legalize It movement, and singer of the spookiest reggae song ever, "Ali Baba", passed away October 19th. Long Live His Music.
Jack Bruce, best known as bass player and vocalist for 60s supergroup Cream has died of liver disease at the age of 71. [more inside]
BKS Iyengar, one of the most prominent founders of modern yoga practice, has passed away. His 1965 book Light on Yoga (pdf link) sold millions of copies and began the growth of yoga into its current popularity. Namaste, Guruji. [more inside]
Walter Dean Myers, a best-selling and deeply respected children's author and tireless champion of literacy and education, died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness. He was 76 years old. [more inside]
Gerry Goffin, lyricist for many of the songs that those of us over 50 grew up on, passed away Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, at age 75. [more inside]
Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54. In his 20 years with the San Diego Padres, Gwynn racked up over 3,100 hits, a .338 career batting average--the 18th-best of all time--and eight batting title, the second-most in Major League history.