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Dead Pool 27th September 2020

Strangely enough, only one of us guessed that Jackie Stallone would depart us this year, so Vic is the only recipient of points this week, 52 of them in fact! Well done Vic!! That only leaves five of us who haven’t scored yet this year, which includes myself :/ 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

A Massachusetts man has died after eating an excessive amount of black liquorice, doctors said this week. The unusual case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and details the death of a 54-year-old construction worker. The man collapsed inside a fast-food restaurant and was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day. Doctors discovered he had dangerously low potassium, which led to heart rhythm and other problems. Doctors wrote that the man had maintained “a poor diet, consisting primarily of several packages of candy daily,” which threw his nutrients out of whack. One doctor cited in the study described the man’s diagnosis as, “Metabolic, renal, vascular, and cardiac toxic effects from apparent mineralocorticoid excess due to liquorice consumption.” The problem, according to a report from the Associated Press, lies in the consumption of glycyrrhizic acid, a sweetening compound found in black liquorice and in other foods containing liquorice root extract. It can deplete potassium levels, cause high blood pressure, and imbalance electrolytes. “The key message here for the general public is that food containing liquorice can potentially be hazardous to your health if eaten in large quantities,” said Dr Neel Butala, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who contributed to the case study. “I don’t think people realise it. It’s not labeled that way.” In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a warning about the dangers of black liquorice consumption, advising that eating only two ounces of black liquorice a day for two weeks could lead to an irregular heart rhythm and may require hospitalisation. With Halloween coming up next month, perhaps this new study will serve as a reminder to enjoy candy in moderation. 

If you noticed, this week was all about cows, especially in the North of England. Yet another pensioner has died after being charged by cows, meaning two people in northern England have been killed in such circumstances this month. Malcolm Flynn was walking along the Pennine Way near Thirlwall Castle and Gisland in Northumberland when the animals stampeded. The 72-year-old from Carlisle was so badly injured during the incident that he died at the scene. The tragedy occurred just 10 days before popular school teacher David Clark was killed by a herd of cows while walking his dog near Richmond in North Yorkshire. Some 98 people have been killed by cows in the UK over the last 20 years, according to the government’s Health and Safety Executive – 22 members of the public and 76 farm workers. In the vast majority of public deaths, a dog is the trigger. It is advised that if you are charged, let the dog go and walk calmly away in the opposite direction, most likely you will survive and the dog will outrun the cows for later collection. Or just avoid fields with cows in, not all rights of way are worth it. 

On This Day

  • 1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson obtains her divorce, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
  • 1962 – By refusing to agree to the firing of a nuclear torpedo at a US warship, Vasily Arkhipov averts nuclear war.  
  • 1992 – United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, precipitating debate about gays in the military that results in the United States’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.

Deaths

  • 939 – Æthelstan, English king (b. 894)  
  • 1988 – Charles Hawtrey, English actor, singer, and pianist (b. 1914)  
  • 2013 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1942)

The Man Who Saved the World

Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike (and, presumably, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Such an attack likely would have caused a major global thermonuclear response. As flotilla commander and second-in-command of the diesel powered submarine B-59, Arkhipov refused to authorise the captain’s use of nuclear torpedoes against the United States Navy, a decision requiring the agreement of all three senior officers aboard. 

On 27 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered, nuclear-armed Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. Despite being in international waters, the United States Navy started dropping signalling depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine’s crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic. Those on board did not know whether war had broken out or not. The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, decided that a war might already have started and wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo. 

Unlike the other subs in the flotilla, three officers on board B-59 had to agree unanimously to authorise a nuclear launch: Captain Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the flotilla commodore (and executive officer of B-59) Arkhipov. Typically, Soviet submarines armed with the “Special Weapon” only required the captain to get authorisation from the political officer to launch a nuclear torpedo, but due to Arkhipov’s position as Commodore, B-59‘s captain also was required to gain Arkhipov’s approval. An argument broke out, with only Arkhipov against the launch. Even though Arkhipov was second-in-command of the submarine B-59, he was in fact Commodore of the entire submarine flotilla, including B-4, B-36 and B-130. 

Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface and await orders from Moscow. This effectively averted the general nuclear war which probably would have ensued if the nuclear weapon had been fired. The submarine’s batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, causing extreme heat and high levels of carbon dioxide inside the submarine. They were forced to surface amid the American pursuers and return to the Soviet Union as a result. 

Immediately upon return to Russia, many crew members were faced with disgrace from their superiors. One admiral told them “It would have been better if you’d gone down with your ship.” Olga, Arkhipov’s wife, even said “he didn’t like talking about it, he felt they hadn’t appreciated what they had gone through.” 

In 2002, retired Commander Vadim Pavlovich Orlov, a participant in the events, held a press conference revealing the subs were armed with nuclear torpedoes and that Arkhipov was the reason those devices had not been fired. Orlov presented the events less dramatically, saying that Captain Savitsky lost his temper, but eventually calmed down. 

When discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis in 2002, Robert McNamara, the U.S. Secretary of Defence at the time, stated, “We came very close” to nuclear war, “closer than we knew at the time.” Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., an advisor for the John F. Kennedy administration and a historian, continued this thought by stating “This was not only the most dangerous moment of the Cold War. It was the most dangerous moment in human history.” Thomas Blanton, who was then director of the US National Security Archive, said that Arkhipov “saved the world”.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Anna Camp (38), Gwyneth Paltrow (48), Indira Varma (47), Meat Loaf (72), Denis Lawson (73), Avril Lavigne (36), Jim Caviezel (52), Linda Hamilton (64), Olivia Newton-John (72), Lysette Anthony (57), Serena Williams (39), Anne Robinson (76), Will Smith (52), Michael Douglas (76), Mark Hamill (69), Catherine Zeta-Jones (51), Michael Madsen (63), Heather Locklear (59), Felicity Kendal (74), Kevin Sorbo (62), Sven-Ole Thorsen (76), Rosalind Chao (63), Karl Pilkington (48), Bruce Springsteen (71), Tom Felton (33), Billie Piper (38), Sue Perkins (51), Ruth Jones (54), Joan Jett (62), Nick Cave (63), Bill Murray (70), Stephen King (73), David Wenham (55), Alfonso Ribeiro (49), and Ricki Lake (52).

Dead Pool 20th September 2020

Welcome once again to another issue of the newsletter! We have points to award due to the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Well done to Jemm and Louise, who both had her down as their Woman, so an epic 163 points, and also to Mark who scored the normal 63 points! Well done all of you, its certainly made the top half of the leader board interesting. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Jacquie Beltrao – one of the main Sky News presenters and former Olympic gymnast – has given fans an update on her health, following her incurable cancer diagnosis. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. The 55-year-old’s cancerous lump in her breast has shrunk to half its original size. The former gymnast was initially told the difficult news in June, after doctors reportedly first told her she had the condition in 2013. Jacquie recalled that “neither my doctors nor I could believe” how much the growth had shrunk by. “When I was told it was incurable, I burst into tears and thought, ‘That’s it, I’m going to die’.” She recalled: “I felt so sad that I’d never go to my daughter’s wedding, see my sons graduate, or become a grandma.” Jacquie stated that while she is “not out of the woods yet” doctors have told her it is “possible to keep the cancer under control”. She has also has revealed that she “lost so much” weight after following a strict diet, amid her devastating cancer diagnosis. Jacquie has been sticking rigidly to a ketogenic diet – a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that excludes sugar. “If I’ve done everything I can to stay well, I can’t beat myself up if things go wrong,” she explained. Jacquie continued: “I’d have Rich Tea biscuits with my tea, strawberries and grapes by the punnet. Boiled sweets when I was tired.” The former Olympics gymnast revealed she has lost a stone in weight after following the new plan. Jacquie admitted: “We’ve eaten a ton of salad and tuna and yes, it is really hard. “I will relax it soon to incorporate rice, because I’ve lost so much weight [at least a stone, she is 5ft 6in and weighs 8st 4lb] but so far I haven’t fallen off the wagon.”  

Linda Nolan shared the emotional moment she rang the cancer bell to mark the end of her chemotherapy. The 61-year-old reached the milestone just weeks after her sister Anne finished her rounds of chemo. ‘It was an amazing feeling and I felt so emotional, especially when all the nurses came out and cheered. It’s been such a lovely day.’ Linda was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 but has been told the secondary cancer found in her pelvis in 2017 had since spread to her liver and is not curable. The pair have already lost one of their sisters, Bernie, to secondary breast cancer seven years ago. Anne recently opened up her conflicting emotions as she finished chemotherapy for breast cancer, knowing sister Linda’s illness is incurable. Anne told us: ‘Chemo was absolutely horrendous for me and I was so happy it finally was over, but at the same time I felt a terrible melancholy that Linda wasn’t ringing the bell with me. ‘I started my chemo a week before Linda, so she still has one more round to go, but she said to me: “Anne, I will ring the bell, but we all know my cancer is never going away.”’ 

In yet another attention seeking stunt, Justin Bieber has confirmed that he is suffering from an “incurable disease”. The world famous singer took to social media to explain his diagnosis and what this means for his current and future health. The ‘singer’ hit back at claims that he looked “like shit” on Instagram. Addressing his some 142 million followers, The Bieber, 25, confirmed that he has been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and that he is “battling” and “overcoming” the illness. He wrote: “While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like shit, on meth etc. they failed to realise I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health. It’s been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever NO CAP.” *According to Urban Dictionary, “No Cap” means either “no lie” or “for real”, or back in my day it meant a cold head.  

Amy Schumer revealed on September 8th that she has Lyme disease, but she didn’t make a fuss about it. The 39-year-old comedian shared the news with her 10 million followers on Instagram, opening up about how she might have had it for years. Schumer captioned the throwback photo herself, “My first ever fishing pole. Anyone get LYME this summer? I got it and I’m on Doxycycline. I have maybe had it for years. Any advice? Can you have a glass of wine or 2 on it? I know to stay out of the sun. I’m also taking these herbs from cape cod called Lyme-2. Please comment or text me on my number in my bio. I also want to say that I feel good and am excited to get rid of it.” 

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans from infected blacklegged ticks, according to the CDC, and is the most common vector-borne disease in America. Typical symptoms include headache, fatigue, fever and a skin rash known as erythema migrans. However, Lyme disease is completely treatable. The drug Schumer is taking, doxycycline, is one of the top-recommended drugs for adults with Lyme disease. Three to four weeks of antibiotic therapy is recommended for successful treatment. If Lyme disease is left untreated, more severe symptoms may arise as the infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system. To answer Schumer’s question, drinking while on doxycycline can make the drug less effective if you have liver problems. However, if the patient is healthy, it’s okay to have a drink or two without making the antibiotics less effective.

On This Day

  • 1973 – Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.  
  • 2000 – The United Kingdom’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building is attacked by Real Irish Republican Army using a Russian-built RPG-22 anti-tank missile. Expect more after Brexit. 
  • 2017 – Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, resulting in 2,975 deaths, $90 billion in damage, and a major humanitarian crisis.  
  • 2018 – At least 161 people die after a ferry capsized close to the pier on Ukara Island in Lake Victoria and part of Tanzania.

Deaths

Nutty Biographies

William Seabrook was an American occultist, explorer, traveler, cannibal, journalist and author. Born in Westminster, Maryland; he began his career as a reporter and City Editor of the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia and later became a reporter for The New York Times. Besides his books, Seabrook published articles in popular magazines including Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and Vanity Fair. 

He was married several times but all of his relationships ended up in divorce, perhaps because of his alcoholism, sadism and obsessions; like the time he traveled to West Africa and came across a tribe who partook in the eating of human meat. Seabrook writes about his experience of cannibalism in his novel, Jungle Ways; however, later on Seabrook admits the tribe did not allow him to join in on the ritualistic cannibalism. Instead, he obtained samples of human flesh from a hospital and cooked it for himself, as you do. 

Or the week he spent with occultist Aleister Crowley, which inspired him to write a story based on the experience and to recount the experiment in Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today. He was an extensive traveler, having lifelong fascination with the occult practices of satanism and Haitian Vodou, which he witnessed and described firsthand in Third World countries, as documented in his book The Magic Island. The book is credited with introducing the concept of a zombie to popular culture. 

In December 1933, Seabrook was committed at his own request and with the help of some of his friends to Bloomingdale, a mental institution in Westchester County, near New York City, for treatment for acute alcoholism. He remained a patient of the institution until the following July and in 1935 published an account of his experience, written as if it were no more than another expedition to a foreign locale. The book, Asylum, became another best-seller. 

On September 20, 1945, Seabrook committed suicide by drug overdose

Last Week’s Birthdays

Jon Bernthal (44), Kristen Johnston (53), Sophia Loren (86), Moon Bloodgood (45), Asia Argento (45), Michelle Visage (52), Michelle Visage (52), George R.R. Martin (72), Danielle Panabaker (33), Jeremy Irons (72), David McCallum (87), Jimmy Fallon (46), Twiggy (71), Jason Sudeikis (45), Jada Pinkett Smith (49), Cassandra Peterson (69), Mickey Rourke (68), Jennifer Tilly (62), Danny John-Jules (60), David Copperfield (64), Tom Hardy (43), Tommy Lee Jones (74), Oliver Stone (74), John Bradley (32), Brendan O’Carroll (65), Jimmy Carr (48), Prince Harry (36), Sam Neill (73), Andrew Lincoln (47), and Walter Koenig (84). 

Dead Pool 13th September 2020

Without doubt, this weeks big news is the passing of Dame Diana Rigg. As always, with much loved celebrities, nobody had her listed. But onward we go… 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Two-time major champion John Daly has revealed he has undergone surgery after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. The 54-year-old American says the cancer was discovered during an appointment related to kidney stones. Daly – winner of the 1991 US PGA Championship and 1995 Open – had surgery to remove the cancer but said there was an 85% chance it could return and require further treatment. “They will probably have to cut it out again, It’s probably going to come back, and then another three months, that you don’t know,” the five-time PGA Tour winner said. “Luckily for me they caught it early, but bladder cancer is something that I don’t know all the details about. But it doesn’t look like it may go away. We will just see what happens. Maybe there’s a miracle. “I always tell people I’ve lived one hell of a life. No matter what happens, I’m not scared to die or anything. I’m still working, I’m still living life, I’m still doing the things I need to do. I can accept the challenge. I’m not scared of that. “I just want my kids to be OK and everyone else in my family.” Daly last played a PGA Tour event at last year’s Safeway Open, where he missed the cut. His 1991 US PGA Championship win saw him claim a major despite only entering the tournament with days to spare when Nick Price withdrew from the field.

Yet another “influencer” has kicked the bucket. Beauty blogger and influencer Ethan Peters, known as Ethan Is Supreme, has died at the age of 17. Ethan’s father Gerald told us: “He was a kind soul, who accepted everyone for who they were.” His friend, fellow influencer Ava Louise, also posted saying she’d lost her “best friend in the entire world”. Both have said that Ethan was struggling with addiction, but his official cause of death is not yet known. Ethan had over half a million Instagram followers and 139,000 YouTube subscribers. A Vice article last year described his makeup style as “characterised by its desire to catch your attention” and “dramatic, emotional and, at times, gory.” He started young, saying that by the summer of 2017 he’d hit 100,000 followers and left his private Christian school because his social media activity “violated their moral conduct code.” He moved to an online school instead. There was some negative response on social media after news of Ethan’s death broke. He had been accused of racism and transphobia in the past. But fans also spoke in his defence – including one of his inspirations, fellow makeup artist Manny MUA, who posted: “He’s made many many mistakes… but to say he deserved to pass away is horrible and inhuman.” The 17-year-old had recently started his own clothing line called Hellboy. Dunno about you, but at 17 I was too busy chasing after girls and trying to find the next bottle of 20/20 to influence fuck all.  

Remember Michael Schumacher? Nope, nor do I. But former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has revealed he saw Michael last week and says the seven-time Formula One world champion is fighting to overcome the devastating injuries that have kept him out of public view for almost seven years. Following a skiing accident on the French Alps in December 2013, Schumacher’s condition has been kept a closely guarded secret from those outside his Lake Geneva home. FIA president Todt, 74, is among just a handful of visitors to see the 51-year-old. The Frenchman oversaw five of Schumacher’s seven titles as team principal for Ferrari. On the eve of the Italian constructor’s 1,000th race, Todt told us: “I saw Michael last week. He is fighting. My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems. But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too. All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it.” So basically he’s still cabbaged. 

On This Day

  • 1501 – Italian Renaissance: Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David. 
  • 1848 – Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survives an iron rod 114 inches (3.2 cm) in diameter being driven through his brain; the reported effects on his behaviour and personality stimulate discussion of the nature of the brain and its functions.  
  • 1899 – Henry Bliss is the first person in the United States to be killed in an automobile accident.  
  • 1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage.  
  • 1985 – Super Mario Bros. is released in Japan for the NES

Deaths

  • AD 81 – Titus, Roman emperor (b. AD 39)
  • 1996 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper, producer, and actor (b. 1971)

Almost Fatal Injuries

Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain’s left frontal lobe, and for that injury’s reported effects on his personality and behaviour over the remaining 12 years of his life‍—‌effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as “no longer Gage.” 

Gage was the first of five children born to Jesse Eaton Gage and Hannah Trussell (Swetland) Gage of Grafton County, New Hampshire. Little is known about his upbringing and education beyond that he was literate. 

On September 13, 1848, Gage was direct­ing a work gang blast­ing rock while pre­par­ing the road­bed for the Rut­land & Bur­ling­ton Rail­road south of the village of Cav­en­dish, Ver­mont. As his attention was attracted by his men working behind him. Looking over his right shoulder, and inad­vert­ent­ly bringing his head into line with the blast hole, Gage opened his mouth to speak; in that same instant the tamping iron sparked against the rock and the powder exploded. Rocketed from the hole, the tamping iron — ‌114 inches in diameter, three feet seven inches long, and weighing 1314 pounds —‌ entered the left side of Gage’s face in an upward direction, just forward of the angle of the lower jaw.  

Continuing upward outside the upper jaw and possibly fracturing the cheekbone, it passed behind the left eye, through the left side of the brain, then completely out the top of the skull through the frontal bone. The tamping iron landed point-first some 80 feet (25 m) away, “smeared with blood and brain”. Gage was thrown onto his back and gave some brief convulsions of the arms and legs, but spoke within a few minutes, walked with little assistance, and sat upright in an oxcart for the 34-mile (1.2 km) ride to his lodgings in town. About 30 minutes after the accident physician Edward H. Williams, finding Gage sitting in a chair outside the hotel, was greeted with “one of the great understatements of medical history”

When I drove up he said, “Doctor, here is business enough for you.” I first noticed the wound upon the head before I alighted from my carriage, the pulsations of the brain being very distinct. The top of the head appeared somewhat like an inverted funnel, as if some wedge-shaped body had passed from below upward. Mr. Gage, during the time I was examining this wound, was relating the manner in which he was injured to the bystanders. I did not believe Mr. Gage’s statement at that time, but thought he was deceived. Mr. Gage persisted in saying that the bar went through his head. Mr. G. got up and vomited; the effort of vomiting pressed out about half a teacupful of the brain [through the exit hole at the top of the skull], which fell upon the floor!  You will excuse me for remarking here, that the picture presented was, to one unaccustomed to military surgery, truly terrific; but the patient bore his sufferings with the most heroic firmness. He recognised me at once, and said he hoped he was not much hurt. He seemed to be perfectly conscious, but was getting exhausted from the haemorrhage. His person, and the bed on which he was laid, were literally one gore of blood. 

With Williams’ assistance Harlow shaved the scalp around the region of the tamping iron’s exit, then removed coagulated blood, small bone fragments, and “an ounce or more” of protruding brain. After probing for foreign bodies and replacing two large detached pieces of bone, Harlow closed the wound with adhesive straps, leaving it partially open for drainage; the entrance wound in the cheek was bandaged only loosely, for the same reason. A wet compress was applied, then a nightcap, then  further bandaging to secure these dressings. 

12 days after the accident, Gage was semi-comatose, “seldom speaking unless spoken to, and then answering only in monosyllables” the globe of the left eye became more protuberant with infected tissue pushing out rapidly from the internal canthus and wounded brain coming out at the top of the head.” By the 14th day, “The exhalations from the mouth and head are horribly fetid. Will not take nourishment unless strongly urged. The friends and attendants are in hourly expectancy of his death, and have his coffin and clothes in readiness.”  Galvanised to action, Harlow decided to reopen the wound and “cut off fungi which were sprouting out from the top of the brain and filling the opening, and made free application of caustic to them. 

On the 24th day, Gage “succeeded in raising himself up, and took one step to his chair”. One month later, he was walking “up and down stairs, and about the house! By November 25 (10 weeks after his injury), Gage was strong enough to return to his parents’ home in Lebanon, New Hampshire. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Evan Rachel Wood (33), Shannon Elizabeth (47), Toby Jones (54), Julie Kavner (70), Doug Bradley (66), Martin Freeman (49), Heather Thomas (63), Pink (41), Miles Jupp (41), Adam Sandler (54), Henry Thomas (49), Hugh Grant (60), Eric Stonestreet (49), Jeffrey Combs (66), Julia Sawalha (52), Rachel Hunter (51), Guy Ritchie (52), Colin Firth (60), Virginia Madsen (59), Elizabeth Henstridge (33), Roxann Dawson (62), Johnny Vegas (49), Alfie Allen (34), and Linda Gray (80). 

Dead Pool 6th September 2020

A fairly standard no scoring week, thankfully Nickie kept me abreast of the news as I was taking a busman’s holiday in North Wales, where I noticed first hand the lack of social distancing and mask wearing that holidaymakers seem to be entitled to. I suppose those who feel the real urgent need to go on a holiday are the ones who are most likely to transmit and die of the covids.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Bill Oddie has been suffering from an “almost fatal” condition throughout the summer.  The British TV personality and former member of The Goodies revealed the news to his Twitter followers. He told them he has been “very ill” with “lithium toxicity”. “Just so you know, I have been very ill most of this summer. Lithium toxicity. Almost fatal!” he wrote on social media. “I am still here but very confused about most things! But then aren’t many of us. He added: “It fuddles my brain. Confusion. Will I return? I Really dunno. I do hope so. Please wish me luck. XX.” Lithium is a type of medicine known as a mood stabiliser. According to the NHS, too much of it in the blood can trigger serious side effects, including a loss of appetite and the feeling of confusion. Oddie – a known conservationist and birdwatcher – first shot to fame as a member of the comedy trio The Goodies. Earlier this year, his co-member Tim Brooke-Taylor died from Covid-19, aged 79.   

As you saw above, DJ Erick Morillo — best known for his 1993 hit, “I Like to Move It” — has died. Law enforcement sources tell us the DJ and music producer’s body was found on Tuesday morning in Miami Beach, the circumstances surrounding his death are currently unclear. Best known for his work in international house music, Morillo produced his biggest hit in the ’90s with the electro-dance track “I Like to Move It”, which he put out under the stage name Reel 2 Real. He’s a 3-time winner of the DJ Awards’ Best House DJ and a 3-time winner of Best International DJ, including his most recent win in 2009. Morillo’s death comes a few weeks after he was arrested in Miami on sexual battery charges. The alleged victim claims she and Morillo went to his place after they were both DJing. She alleges she resisted his sexual advances, and then went to sleep at his place, but woke up nude … with Morillo standing next to her, also nude. He’d turned himself in on August 6th.   

Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor star Ian Royce has died aged 51 following a health battle, with the tragic news announced on his Twitter account on Tuesday evening. A statement was shared on his verified Twitter account with his 68,100 followers which read: “It is with our greatest regret that we have to tell you all that Ian has passed away today from severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure. “He was in no pain and was surrounded by friends and family. He put up a good fight but is in a better place now. Roxanne.” The tweet was immediately inundated with well wishes to Ian’s family from fans, friends and former colleagues. One said: “Incredibly shocking and sad news. Hugs to you Roxy and the rest of the family. Ian was one of those unsung legends, he never gave up and despite his own struggles his outspoken outlook helped others. RIP Ian.” Last year, aged 50, Ian’s showbiz pals including Ant McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, Simon Cowell, Olly Murs and Robbie Williams rallied behind him as he opened up about his rehab stint. In an emotional statement, the ITV favourite said: “I just wanted to let you all know that my first 28 days of treatment have come to an end and I will now be going abroad for the next three months to continue my treatment and really work on me and issues that have been buried deep for 40 years.” He continued: “As well as my alcohol addiction I have also surrendered to my sex and love addictions stemming from my past which have affected my relationships greatly. Ian was best known as the warm up guy for ITV shows Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.

On This Day

  • 1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower to settle in North America. 
  • 1901 – Leon Czolgosz, an unemployed anarchist, shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. 
  • 1952 – A prototype aircraft crashes at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, England, killing 29 spectators and the two on board.  
  • 1972 – Munich massacre: Nine Israeli athletes die (along with a German policeman) at the hands of the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group after being taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day.  
  • 1997 – The Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place in London. Well over a million people lined the streets and 2 12 billion watched around the world on television.

Deaths

  • 1998 – Akira Kurosawa, Japanese director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1910)  
  • 2007 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor (b. 1935)  
  • 2012 – Terry Nutkins, English naturalist, television presenter and author (b. 1946)  
  • 2018 – Burt Reynolds, American actor, director and producer (b. 1936)   
  • 2019 – Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean politician, 2nd President of Zimbabwe (b. 1924)

Last of The Khmer Rouge?

The Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, who killed 16,000 Cambodians, ordered babies to be beaten to death and carried out medical experiments on live prisoners has died peacefully in hospital aged 77. Kaing Guek Eav, known as Comrade Duch, had been serving a life prison term for war crimes and crimes against humanity having locked up and abused thousands of men, women and children seen as enemies of the regime or who disobeyed its orders. Under his rule, torturers beat and whipped prisoners and shocked them with electrical devices, before their children were then also killed to stop any fears of the next generation taking revenge. When he finally faced a trial over the regime’s crimes, some 30 years on from the atrocities, he called himself ‘criminally responsible’ for babies’ deaths, with many infants having their young bodies battered against trees. Duch died at Cambodian Soviet Friendship Hospital on Wednesday, having developed breathing difficulties at the Kandal provincial prison he was being held two days earlier. The body is now to be examined for a cause of death before being handed to his family.   

Duch, whose trial took place in 2009, was the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to face the U.N.-backed tribunal that had been assembled to deliver justice for the regime’s brutal rule in the late 1970s, which is blamed for the deaths of 1.7 million people – a quarter of Cambodia’s population at the time. The communist Khmer Rouge regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975-79 was accused of genocide for causing the deaths of so many of their countrymen from executions, starvation and lack of medical care due to its radical policies. Only after neighbouring Vietnam pushed the Khmer Rouge from power did the scale and barbarity of their rule become absolutely clear.  

As commander of the top-secret Tuol Sleng prison code-named S-21, Duch was one of the few ex-Khmer Rouge who acknowledged even partial responsibility for his actions, and his trial included his own wrenchingly graphic testimony of how people were tortured at the prison. The site in Phnom Penh, which had been a secondary school before the Khmer Rouge came to power, is now a museum with stunning evidence of the cruelty with which the Khmer Rouge persecuted even its own members they accused of disloyalty. Men, women and children seen as enemies of the regime or who disobeyed its orders were jailed and tormented there, and only a handful survived. ‘Everyone who was arrested and sent to S-21 was presumed dead already,’ he testified in April 2009. The tribunal since Duch’s trial has convicted two top echelon Khmer Rouge leaders, while two other defendants died before their trials could be completed.

Youk Chhang, head of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, which has collected voluminous archives about the country’s tragedy, said Duch’s death ‘is a reminder to us all to remember the victims of the Khmer Rouge. And that justice remains a difficult road for Cambodia.’ 

Like many key members of the Khmer Rouge, Duch was an academic before he became a revolutionary. The former maths teacher joined Pol Pot’s movement in 1967, three years before the U.S. started carpet-bombing Cambodia to try to wipe out Northern Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong inside the border. The Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975 and immediately attempted a radical transformation of Cambodia into a peasant society, emptying cities and forcing the population to work on the land in the country they renamed Democratic Kampuchea. They backed up their rule with ruthless elimination of perceived enemies, and by 1976, Duch was the trusted head of its ultimate killing machine, S-21. Tribunal judges said he signed off on all executions there and was often present when interrogators used torture to extract confessions, including pulling out prisoners’ toenails, administering electric shocks, and waterboarding. Despite his denials, the judges said he had at times taken part in the torture and executions himself. The torture and executions that took place at Tuol Sleng were routinely recorded and photographed, and when the Khmer Rouge were forced from power in 1979, the thousands of documents and film negatives left at the prison became proof of the regime’s atrocities. Duch fled, disappearing for almost two decades in northwestern Cambodia and converting to Christianity until a chance discovery by a British journalist in 1999 led to his arrest. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Idris Elba (48), Naomie Harris (44), Michael Winslow (62), Mathew Horne (42), Rose McGowan (47), Michael Keaton (69), Raquel Welch (80), Carice van Houten (44), Paddy Considine (47), Bob Newhart (91), George Lazenby (81), Damon Wayans (60), Beyoncé (39), Michael Berryman (72), Charlie Sheen (55), Keanu Reeves (56), Salma Hayek (54), Keith Allen (67), Zendaya (24), Burn Gorman (46), Lily Tomlin (81), Steve Pemberton (53), Craig McLachlan (55), Gloria Estefan (63), Richard Gere (71), and Chris Tucker (49).

Dead Pool 30th August 2020

This weeks big news is without doubt the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman; who’s illness was alluded to in one of our reports back in April. Just goes to show that those who pay attention and read the articles have a better chance of making a winning list. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding has been diagnosed with breast cancer, which she says has spread to other parts of her body. Writing on Twitter, the 38-year-old told fans she was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year. Harding explained she then received the “devastating news” this month that the cancer had spread. “I’m currently undergoing weekly chemotherapy sessions and I am fighting as hard as I possibly can,” she said. She thanked NHS staff, her family and friends for support, adding that she was “trying to keep positive”. Harding said she had decided to go public with her diagnosis after being seen in hospital last week. Her Girls Aloud bandmate Cheryl responded to the news by posting a superficial broken heart emoji on Twitter. Harding shot to fame in 2002 as a contestant on Popstars: The Rivals – an ITV talent show which aimed to find both a new girl band and boy band. She made it to the final and was voted into the group which became Girls Aloud, alongside Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh and Cheryl Tweedy. The group went on to have several UK hits, including Sound of the Underground, The Promise, Love Machine, Jump and Call The Shots. They split in 2013. Harding has since taken on several acting roles, including appearances in Run for Your Wife, and St. Trinian’s 2. In 2017, she won Celebrity Big Brother.   

R Kelly has been attacked by another inmate in prison, his attorney has claimed. The singer was allegedly attacked on Wednesday (26th August) at Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Chicago, where he is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to dozens of state and federal sex crime charges. Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg made the claims on Twitter as he demanded that the “musician” be released from jail ahead of his trial, which is scheduled to begin in New York in September. “We received conflicting reports as to the extent of Kelly’s injuries,” Greenberg wrote. “We have not been provided any information from the jail, nor has Mr Kelly called. We are hopeful that he was not seriously injured.” “The government cannot ensure his safety, and they cannot give him his day in court. We should not incarcerate people indefinitely because we cannot provide them with due process!” Kelly, 53, was originally due to face trial on 7th July, but his trial date was pushed back to the end of September due to the coronavirus pandemic. He is facing charges for multiple offences, including sex trafficking, child pornography and racketeering, in New York, Minnesota and Illinois. Earlier in August, three men were charged with threatening, intimidating or attempting to silence Kelly’s alleged victims, with one accused of setting fire to a vehicle outside the residence where an accuser was staying. 

On This Day

  • 1916 – Ernest Shackleton completes the rescue of all of his men stranded on Elephant Island in Antarctica.  
  • 1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.  
  • 2008 – In a bad day for the pilot, a Conviasa Boeing 737 crashes into Illiniza Volcano in Ecuador, killing everyone on board.

Deaths

  • 1979 – Jean Seberg, American actress (b. 1938)  
  • 2003 – Charles Bronson, American actor and soldier (b. 1921)  
  • 2015 – Wes Craven, American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor (b. 1939)  
  • 2019 – Valerie Harper, American actor (b. 1939)

The ‘Horror Movie’ Island

There is an island off the coast that hardly anyone talks about. And you definitely wouldn’t want to go there. You’ll find it opposite Queenborough in Sheppey and its probably one of the most haunting spots anywhere, situated as it is just off the River Medway. It’s local name sounds like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean – it’s dubbed Deadman’s Island, a name it earned after recent investigations found it littered with human remains. More than 200 years ago, the island was used as a burial ground for convicts who died aboard prison ships, and rising sea levels have caused the lost bodies of the ‘prison hulk’ boats just off Sheppey to be uncovered. 

Coastal erosion and lower tides mean that in 2020, wooden coffins, aged skulls and fragments of bones stick out from the six feet of mud that once blanketed the area. Usually the island is completely out of bounds to the public. But a Dead Pool roving reporter was among some of the only visitors who have been allowed to Deadman’s Island in recent times as all others have been banned due to its bird breeding and nesting site. Natural England owns the land which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is recognised to be of international importance under the Ramsar convention. Television crews have been drawn to this spine-tingling location to explore its hidden secrets, with the BBC’s Inside Out team unearthing some harrowing sites on the forgotten island. Director Sam Supple previously told the Sun: “It is like being on the set of a horror film. “It looks so surreal, it’s like an art department has designed it. There are open coffins and bones everywhere.” Presenter Natalie Graham added: “What I saw there will stay with me forever. “This is a really strange sight. I would imagine there can’t be anywhere on earth like this.” It’s not just visitors that are prohibited, no-one lives on the island and so it remains untouched by modern civilisation. This in turn has spurred ghostly folklore about it. 

Locals have warned travellers of hounds with glaring-red eyes that ate the heads of buried bodies, a skin-crawling atmosphere and ‘an island solely occupied by the dead’. And ‘Coffin Bay’ greets anyone who enters its perimeter with, you guessed it, open coffins accompanied by scattered remains along its banks. Floating prisons were former warships which housed inmates, including young pick-pockets, awaiting the death penalty in Australia. If prisoners were not healthy enough for the journey they would be left in the underbelly of the ship until they died, possibly of cholera. They were then buried in unmarked graves on the island so the disease did not spread further, causing an epidemic. Many have wondered whether the bodies at Deadman’s will be re-buried, but experts have admitted this would be a difficult task. This is because the constantly changing seascape threatens the durability of the bones, washing them out to sea. Coincidentally, researchers also found more human remains of a similar nature in Chatham. These were from many French prisoners who were held during the Napoleonic wars – those who died were buried in nearby marshes. When the bones of these prisoners were revealed by erosion they were exhumed and reburied on St Mary’s Island. Later, when this land was needed for redevelopment they were moved to St George’s Church at Chatham Maritime. 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Cameron Diaz (48), Michael Chiklis (57), Warren Buffett (90), Emily Hampshire (38), Carla Gugino (49), Rebecca De Mornay (61), Elliott Gould (82), William Friedkin (85), Jack Black (51), Brian Thompson (61), Billy Boyd (52), Shania Twain (55), David Soul (77), Aaron Paul (41), Peter Stormare (67), Paul Reubens (68), Barbara Bach (73), Peter Mensah (61), Reece Shearsmith (51), Chris Pine (40), Melissa McCarthy (50), Macaulay Culkin (40), Blake Lively (33), Alexander Skarsgård (44), Sean Connery (90), Rachel Bilson (39), Tim Burton (62), Joanne Whalley (59), Tom Skerritt (87), Gene Simmons (71), Billy Ray Cyrus (59), Claudia Schiffer (50), Jared Harris (59), Steve Guttenberg (62), Rupert Grint (32), Jennifer Lien (46), Dave Chappelle (47), and Stephen Fry (63).