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Dead Pool 4th December 2022

Welcome all to another newsletter, bet you’re all super excited about it. Let’s begin by officially opening the 2023 competition. As per usual you can send your lists via email to me on mail@thedeadpool.rip or by filling out the form on the website. 

We also have a film recommendation by Nickie, have a read about Bones & All. It does sound rather tasty. 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Brazilian football legend Pele has been moved to palliative end-of-life care in hospital,  however his health remains stable and he is responding to treatment, with his daughter adding that there was “no surprise or emergency” involved. Kely Nascimento’s post to Instagram came after the Brazilian arm of the Flying Monkeys reported that Pele had been admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital with “general swelling” and was undergoing several tests for more in-depth assessment of his health issues. “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication,” Nascimento wrote. “There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Years and promise to post some pictures.” The 82-year-old had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has since been in and out of the hospital for treatment on a regular basis. The Flying Monkeys reported that Pele was having cardiac issues and his medical staff showed concern that his chemotherapy treatment was not having the expected results. Pele’s manager and the Albert Einstein Hospital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.   

Sandi Toksvig has been rushed to hospital after falling “seriously ill” in Australia. The Qi host was in the midst of a tour, but has had to cancel her dates in New Zealand as she has developed bronchial pneumonia and is unable to travel. In a statement posted to Twitter, her team said: “Due to illness, Sandi has cancelled the New Zealand leg of her tour. She has been admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia while still in Australia and is unable to travel & perform. Our main priority is getting her home to the UK as soon as she is well enough – Team Toksvig”. Bronchopneumonia is a kind of pneumonia that affects the lungs. It’s usually caused by a bacterial infection, but can also be caused by viral or fungal infections. Coughing, trouble breathing a fever are common signs of the illness. Fans were full of support for the presenter, as they took to social media to wish her a speedy recovery. Some had also noticed that she had been unwell during some of her most recent shows in Australia, and praised her for doing them anyway. One fan wrote: “Saw her show in Sydney – she said she wasn’t 100% but you wouldn’t have known it. She was due to visit nine cities across Australia and New Zealand on her live tour, which centres around her sharing jokes, facts and stories about her life.  

Simon Cowell has sparked concern among fans after sharing a video message for Britain’s Got Talent auditions. The music mogul shared an appeal to talented Brits to apply for the hit show, but fans were left ‘worried’ about the star. He said in the short VT: “I always say on this show, two or three minutes can change your life. And it has. And maybe this time it’s gonna be you. So please audition now for next year’s season and I look forward to meeting you.” The X-Factor judge was inundated with comments about his changing appearance as social media users branded him ‘unrecognisable’. On Twitter, social media user Dar said: “Not one for slagging someone’s appearance but his face looks like it’s melting.” Davey wrote in reply: “LOOK AT HIS FACE! JUST LOOK AT HIS FACE!,” Tardis wrote: “Simon Cowell brought to you via Nintendo Gamecube it seems.” Commudus replied saying: “Ya wouldn’t think he had work done at all. Flawless. Jules said: “Holy moly I nearly didn’t recognise him then.” Marcas wrote: “I always say on this show, two or three face lifts can change your life” David Yung wrote: “Well…I’m torn between my general hatred of Simon Cowell’s TV shows & being alarmed as to how he looks these days. I’m going for the latter this morning.” Uncaring said: “I have never seen a more asymmetrical man in my life, bro is held together with spit and prayers.” Simon famously lost 20 Ibs over the past two years and completely overhauled his lifestyle after breaking his back in 2020 when he crashed his electric bike near his Malibu home. He suffered complications from surgery to fuse his vertebrae, which required him to mostly stay in bed for six months

On This Day

  • 1872 – The crew-less American brigantine Mary Celeste, drifting in the Atlantic, is discovered by the Canadian brig Dei Gratia. The ship has been abandoned for nine days but is only slightly damaged. Her master Benjamin Briggs and all nine others known to have been on board are never accounted for.
  • 1971 – During a concert of Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention at the Montreux Casino, an audience member fires a flare gun into the venue’s ceiling, causing a fire that destroys the venue. Rock band Deep Purple, who were to use the Casino as the site for the recording of their next album, witnesses the fire from their hotel; the incident would be immortalised in their best known song, “Smoke on the Water“.
  • 1991 – Terry A. Anderson is released after seven years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut; he is the last and longest-held American hostage in Lebanon.

Deaths

  • 1976 – Benjamin Britten, English pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1913)
  • 1993 – Frank Zappa, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1940)
  • 2015 – Robert Loggia, American actor and director (b. 1930)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Jeff Bridges (73), Marisa Tomei (58), Tony Todd (68), Pamela Stephenson (73), Tyra Banks (49), Jay-Z (53), Brendan Fraser (54), Amanda Seyfried (37), Julianne Moore (62), Daryl Hannah (62), Ozzy Osbourne (74), Lucy Liu (54), Lesley-Ann Brandt (41), Britney Spears (41), Connie Booth (82), Zoë Kravitz (34), Sarah Silverman (52), Bette Midler (77), Kaley Cuoco (37), Elisha Cuthbert (40), Ridley Scott (85), Richard Brake (58), Ben Stiller (57), Mandy Patinkin (70), Woody Allen (87), Gemma Chan (40), Diane Ladd (87), Don Cheadle (58), Jeff Fahey (70), Aimee Garcia (44), Karen Gillan (35), Ed Harris (72), Judd Nelson (63), Martin Clunes (61), Ellie Taylor (39), Jon Stewart (60), Armando Iannucci (59), and Richard Osman (52).

Dead Pool 27th November 2022

Not a huge amount to share this week, but the early passing of Irene Cara was certainly a talking point! Unsurprisingly, nobody had her listed, but Martin did have Doddie Weir listed, so we can award him 98 points! Well done that man! 

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

BBC Strictly Come Dancing has been thrown into turmoil in the last week with several celebrities and professionals ‘very, very ill’ according to competitor Fleur East. The singer and radio host who is taking part in this years competition told her listeners that the Saturday night favourite was in chaos last week due to illness. “There were a few mentions on Saturday night, but it was a tough week for a lot of people in the competition”. While it had been documented that there had been some illness in camp ahead of Saturday’s show, Fleur laid bare the reality. She said: “Hamza Yassin was very, very sick, so was Will Mellor]and so was Kym Marsh and we didn’t say anything on Saturday but Vito Coppola was really ill last week too. I got one full day of rehearsal with him.” She added: “Everyone was getting the flu! So, he was out for the count and in bed – he didn’t move for two days. I started freaking out on Thursday because I was like oh my gosh, I’ve had to practice with someone else. And as soon as Vito did make it to rehearsals, he was a different height, had a different stance – it was like a brand-new routine I had to learn. In the end we got about six hours together before production rehearsal on Friday. But I think when you have that added pressure you just pull it out from somewhere. We were both like right we were in the dance off last week, we need to just get this done! He was sweating and everything but somehow, we pulled it together!”  

For more than 30 years, Rolf Harris was a showbiz powerhouse, earning a slew of number one hits and appearing on some of the biggest TV shows of the day. But all that came to an abrupt end in June 2014 when he was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for 12 indecent assaults on four teenage girls between 1968 and 1986, although one of those was later overturned. The former star – who was born in Perth, Australia – served nearly three years at HMP Stafford before being released on licence in May 2017. In 2016, while still in prison, Harris was charged in relation to seven unconnected historic allegations of indecent assault but was cleared on three counts and the jury was discharged before reaching a verdict on the remaining four. He was later retried for three offences and one new charge but was acquitted after the jury could not reach a verdict. “I feel no sense of victory, only relief,” Harris said in a statement at the time. Now said to be ‘gravely ill’, the last years of Harris’ life have been a world away from the glamorous existence he once enjoyed. Aged 92, he is believed to have returned to his multi-million pound estate in Berkshire upon his release from prison – as several neighbouring homes were put up for sale, some with millions off the asking price. In 2019 it was reported that Harris was living as a recluse, leaving the house only to get medication for his diabetes, which he once told Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, he had ‘suffered from for 25 years’. He is said to spend his days with wife Alwen Hughes, who he met at art school when she was a sculptor, and stood by him in the trial. Harris did, however, make an infamous appearance that same year when he showed up in the grounds of a primary school where he was seen waving at children before the head teacher asked him to leave. School head Richard Jarrett shook Harris’ hand before ­ordering him off the grounds. Mr Jarrett said it was the first time Harris, who lives nearby, had entered the school gates. But parents were outraged that he had got anywhere near their kids. Rolf is reported to have taken a turn for the worse after the death of his beloved poodle earlier in the year. Neighbour Portia Wooderson told the Flying Monkeys: “Only carers and nurses, who care for him 24 hours, come and go. I’m told he can’t eat anymore.” Private investigator and author William Merritt confirmed his health woes, claiming it was difficult to understand Harris when he communicates. “As far as his health goes, yes, he is very ill. But, Rolf keeps going. He’s still around but he’s not well at all.” 

On This Day

  • 1835 – James Pratt and John Smith are hanged in London; they are the last two to be executed for sodomy in England.
  • 1978 – In San Francisco, city mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk are assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.
  • 2001 – A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.
  • 2020 – Days after the announcement of its discovery, the Utah monolith is removed by recreationists.

Deaths

  • 1852 – Ada Lovelace, English mathematician and computer scientist (b. 1815)
  • 1975 – Ross McWhirter, English author and activist, co-founded the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925)
  • 1978 – Harvey Milk, American lieutenant and politician (b. 1930)
  • 1988 – John Carradine, American actor (b. 1906)
  • 2010 – Irvin Kershner, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1923)
  • 2011 – Ken Russell, English actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1927)
  • 2011 – Gary Speed, Welsh footballer and manager (b. 1969)
  • 2013 – Lewis Collins, English-American actor (b. 1946)
  • 2014 – P. D. James, English author (b. 1920)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Lashana Lynch (35), Sharlto Copley (49), Robin Givens (58), Bill Nye (67), Kristin Bauer van Straten (56), Peter Facinelli (49), Mark Margolis (83), Rita Ora (32), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (34), Tina Turner (83), Christina Applegate (51), John Larroquette (75), Kristian Nairn (47), Bruno Tonioli (67), Sarah Hyland (33), Colin Hanks (46), Katherine Heigl (45), Stephen Merchant (48), Conleth Hill (58), Denise Crosby (65), Billy Connolly (80), Dwight Schultz (75), Kayvan Novak (44), Miley Cyrus (30), Kelly Brook (43), Michelle Gomez (56), Ricky Whittle (41), Scarlett Johansson (38), Jamie Lee Curtis (64), Mads Mikkelsen (57), Mark Ruffalo (55), Terry Gilliam (82), Goldie Hawn (77), Alexander Siddig (57), and Björk (57).

Dead Pool 20th November 2022

Short and sweet this week, no points to award, so let’s get on with it!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Officials have set an execution date in early 2023 for a man on death row described by critics as “one of the most mentally ill prisoners in Texas history,” the final step in a conviction process with documented instances of racism. In 2005, at age 21, Andre Thomas, a Black man, was sentenced to death for the murder of his estranged wife, Laura Boren, a white woman, their son Andrew, as well as Ms Boren’s daughter Leyha. According to his attorneys, Thomas who began hearing voices in his head at age 9, committed the murders in the midst of documented psychosis, believing his family members represented Jezebel, the anti-Christ, and an evil spirit, before attempting stabbing himself in the heart. He didn’t die, and later turned himself in. “Andre Thomas is one of the most mentally ill prisoners in Texas history,” Maurie Levin, Thomas’s attorney, said in a statement. “His profound illness led him to remove both of his eyes and has rendered him incompetent for execution. For the past 13 years Mr. Thomas has resided at the Wayne Scott Unit, where the most mentally ill Texas prisoners are housed. There he is given multiple powerful anti-psychotic drugs, which manage only to mitigate his auditory and visual hallucinations.” Thomas doesn’t dispute that he committed the murders; instead, his attorneys argue he was mentally unfit to stand trial, let alone be executed. Two days before the 2004 murders, Thomas was diagnosed in a hospital as psychotic and suffering from hallucinations, following one of many suicide attempts, but he wandered away from the facility before he could get further care. Once in jail, Thomas removed one of his eyes while awaiting trial, prompting the state to declare him temporarily unfit to stand trial, and he was sent to a state mental hospital. Forty-seven days later, doctors there declared Thomas ready to be tried, and the Texas man’s attorneys didn’t raise the question of his mental competence. As a result, the jury didn’t hear about his lengthy history of mental health crises. Critics say there were further issues with the trial process. Because the case involved a murder committed by a Black man against his white ex-wife, jurors were asked on their screening questionnaires about their views on interracial relationships. Three jurors, all of whom served on the all-white jury that sentenced Thomas to death, evinced explicit disapproval of interracial relationships. “I don’t believe God intended for this,” one wrote, while another said they believed ‘we should stay with our Blood Line.’” At trial, prosecutors played explicitly to racist fears, with attorneys asking if the jury was comfortable to “take that risk” and allow Thomas to survive, meaning he could someday “ask your daughter or your granddaughter out.” “The importance of having a jury that did not already come with existing bias is very strong [in Thomas’ case],” Ngozi Ndulue, deputy director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told the flying monkeys. “It’s really profound to see the lack of effort on the part of an attorney that would allow these jurors to serve.” That month, the Supreme Court declined to review Thomas’s case, with three liberal justices dissenting. “This case involves a heinous crime apparently committed by someone who suffered severe psychological trauma,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Whether Thomas’ psychological disturbances explain or in any way excuse his commission of murder, however, is beside the point. No jury deciding whether to recommend a death sentence should be tainted by potential racial biases that could infect its deliberations or decision, particularly where the case involved an interracial crime.” Thomas is set to be executed in 5th April, 2023.  

Jane Fonda has pondered on her mortality, saying she is “ready” to die. The actor and activist, 84, said that people her age need to be “realistic” and should “be aware of the amount of time that is behind you as opposed to in front you”. She told the flying monkeys that she’s “aware” she is “not going to be around for much longer”, adding that she is “ready” as she has “had a great life”. “Not that I want to go, but I’m aware that it’s going to be sooner rather than later,” she added, stating: “That’s just realistic.” In September, Fonda revealed she had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, a part of the body’s immune system dedicated to fighting germs. She wrote on Instagram: “This is a very treatable cancer. Eighty per cent of people survive, so I feel very lucky. I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. I realise, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this.” Fonda said that she would undergo six months of chemotherapy and that, so far, she has been “handling the treatments quite well”.

On This Day

  • 1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks and sinks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. (Herman Melville‘s 1851 novel Moby-Dick was in part inspired by this incident.) 
  • 1947 – The Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London. 
  • 1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0, the first graphical personal computer operating environment developed by Microsoft, is released. 
  • 1990 – Andrei Chikatilo, one of the Soviet Union’s most prolific serial killers, is arrested; he eventually confesses to 56 killings. 
  • 1992 – In England, a fire breaks out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage. 

Deaths

  • 1910 – Leo Tolstoy, Russian author and playwright (b. 1828). 
  • 1975 – Francisco Franco, Spanish general and dictator, Prime Minister of Spain (b. 1892). 
  • 2003 – Robert Addie, English actor (b. 1960).  
  • 2006 – Robert Altman, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1925). 

Last Week’s Birthdays

Sean Young (63), Ming-Na Wen (59), Bo Derek (66), Joe Biden (80), Meg Ryan (61), Adam Driver (39), Jodie Foster (60), Terry Farrell (59), Kathleen Quinlan (68), Robert Beltran (69), Owen Wilson (64), Linda Evans (80), Delroy Lindo (50), Alan Moore (69), Rachel McAdams (44), Martin Scorsese (80), Tom Ellis (44), Danny DeVito (78), Sophie Marceau (56), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (64), RuPaul (62), Pete Davidson (29), Missi Pyle (50), Maggie Gyllenhaal (45), Martha Plimpton (52), Lisa Bonet (55), Gigi Edgley (45), Jonny Lee Miller (50), Winston Duke (36), Beverly D’Angelo (71), Petula Clark (90), Olga Kurylenko (43), Russell Tovey (41), Paul McGann (63), Sandahl Bergman (71), and King Charles III (75). 

Dead Pool 13th November 2022

Even though I’m slightly dying, or maybe I should say, recovering from a short hospitalisation, I still felt I had to get this weeks issue out, too many points and dead celebrities abound! I know, I’m a martyr! 

So, with the passing of Dead Pool favourite Leslie Phillips, let’s dole out the points! 52 points go to Shân, Lee, Paul C, Julia, and Martin; and a whopping 152 points go to Fiona, myself, and Paula for listing him as our Certs. Well done everyone! 

And since I’m sat on my arse convalescing, I’ve had time to go through everyones lists to correct any misses, so 46 points go to Dave for the passing of Art Rupe last April and a further 50 points for the death of Charley Trippi. Also 71 points go to Lee for the passing of Tom Weiskopf and a further 59 points for Stuart Briscowe who died last August. Rachel also scores 48 points for the death of Laurent Noël from last August. So with all those points awarded, the leader board looks quite different now. Well done everyone!!!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News 

Jonnie Irwin, presenter of shows A Place in the Sun and Escape to the Country, has terminal cancer. The host, 48, kept his illness a secret, but has decided to make the news public after learning the cancer has spread from his lungs to his brain. He said in a new interview that he he hopes it will inspire people to “make the most of every day”. Speaking to the Flying Monkeys, Irwin said: “I don’t know how long I have.” He said he first became aware something was wrong while filming Channel 4 daytime series A Place in the Sun in August 2020. He experienced blurry vision while driving and, “within a week of flying back from filming” he said he was “given six months to live”. “I had to go home and tell my wife, who was looking after our babies, that she was on her own pretty much,” he said, adding: “That was devastating. All I could do was apologise to her. I felt so responsible.” Discussing his decision to come forward with the diagnosis, Irwin continued: “It’s got to the point now where it feels like I’m carrying a dirty secret, it’s become a monkey on my back. I hope that by shaking that monkey off I might inspire people who are living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of every day, to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying. One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible. I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.” Irwin has a three-year-old son named Rex, and two-year-old twins named Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica. He said that, while he is unsure how long her has left to live, he tries “to stay positive” and tell himself that he’s living with cancer, not dying from it”. “I set little markers, things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying ‘Don’t plan ahead because I might not be well enough.’ But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart.” Irwin also recommended taking out life insurance, stating “that has helped so much”. “When I leave this planet, I’ll do so knowing Jess and the boys are in a house that is fully paid off and there’s a bit of money in the bank for them to live off.”   

The man who inspired Tom Hanks’ blockbuster film ‘The Terminal’ died after suffering a heart attack in the Parisian airport he called home for 18 years, officials revealed. Mehran Karimi Nasseri lived in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport from 1988 until 2006 – first in legal limbo and later by choice. He had recently returned to the airport and taken up residence in Terminal 2F after several years in a shelter in Paris. Police and a medical team were called to the terminal on Saturday amid reports Mr Nasseri had suffered a heart attack. He could not be saved, an airport authority said. Karimi Nasseri, believed to have been born in 1945 lacked residency papers when he first arrived in France, meaning he was stranded in the airport. Year in and year out, he slept on a red plastic bench, making friends with airport workers, showering in staff facilities, writing in his diary, reading magazines and watching passing travellers. Staff nicknamed him Lord Alfred and he became a mini-celebrity among passengers. His saga inspired The Terminal starring Tom Hanks, and a French film. ‘Eventually, I will leave the airport,’ he told The Associated Press in 1999, smoking a pipe on his bench, looking frail with long thin hair, sunken eyes and hollow cheeks. ‘But I am still waiting for a passport or transit visa.’ Mr Nasseri was born in Soleiman, a part of Iran then under British jurisdiction, to an Iranian father and a British mother. He left Iran to study in England in 1974. When he returned, he claimed he was imprisoned for protesting against the shah and expelled without a passport. Later investigations suggested he was never, in fact, banished from Iran. He applied for political asylum in several countries in Europe. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Belgium gave him refugee credentials but he said his briefcase containing the refugee certificate was stolen in a Paris train station. French police later arrested him but could not deport him anywhere because he had no official documents. He ended up at Charles de Gaulle in August 1988 and stayed. Further bureaucratic bungling and increasingly strict European immigration laws kept him in a legal no-man’s land for years. When he finally received refugee papers, he described his surprise, and his insecurity, about leaving the airport. He reportedly refused to sign them, and ended up staying there several more years until he was admitted to hospital in 2006, and later lived in a Paris shelter. Both France and Belgium offered Nasseri residency throughout the years but he reportedly was upset they listed him as Iranian, rather than British, and wanted them to address him by his preferred name; Sir Alfred Mehran. Those who befriended him in the airport said the years of living in the windowless space took a toll on his mental state. The airport doctor in the 1990s worried about his physical and mental health, and described him as ‘fossilised here’. A ticket agent compared him to a prisoner incapable of ‘living on the outside’.

On This Day

  • 1947 – The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first assault rifles.
  • 1970 – Bhola cyclone: A 150 mph tropical cyclone hits the densely populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night.
  • 1985 – The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupts and melts a glacier, causing a lahar (volcanic mudslide) that buries Armero, Colombia, killing approximately 23,000 people.
  • 2015 – Islamic State operatives carry out a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, including suicide bombings, mass shootings and a hostage crisis. The terrorists kill 130 people, making it the deadliest attack in France since the Second World War.

Deaths

Inside the world of Wikipedia’s  Deaditors

Ever wondered how Wiki pages are updated so quickly when someone dies? It’s all thanks to a community of dedicated volunteers, who are so fast they even beat the BBC to announcing the Queen’s death. 

Wikipedia is pretty sick, isn’t it? Imagine the world before you could do a quick “Wiki” search – life must have been inconvenient, dissatisfying, maybe even frustrating. Pub chats, quick curiosities, proving points to your flatmates halfway through a discussion, all left up in the air. Libraries are useful, but they’re just not at our fingertips. Nor are their books updated in practically real time. 

At 5:30pm on September 8th 2022, for instance, the Queen’s Wiki page had a huge increase in “edit conflicts”, the term given to an instance where two or more people edit the same page at the same time. In fact, there were hundreds of edit conflicts. Note the time. The BBC announced her death on the news at 6:30pm. This means Wiki’s “deaditors” were already scrambling to update her Wiki page an hour before the beeb. Now that’s quick.

“Deaditors”, you ask? Coined by a Wikipedia editor and web developer Hay Kranen, the term refers to the people responsible for making you go “woah, that was quick” when you check someone’s Wiki as soon as you’ve heard they’ve died. Every “is” has been turned into a “was” and the photo of the deceased will have been changed, too (a Wikipedia tradition, for some reason). The death of Queen Elizabeth II is a good recent example of this happening, but these diligent deaditors are always en garde to document history as it happens. 

Wikipedia pages are all kept up to date by volunteers, and the operation is funded mainly through donations to Wikimedia Foundation Inc., the parent company for Wikipedia (surely you’ve seen the pop ups asking you to donate?). These volunteers are called Wikipedians, but there’s a few sub-categories within this community of online archiving. 

Annie Rauwerda is a recent neuroscience graduate from the University of Michigan, who runs the Depths of Wiki social media accounts. Rauwerda tells me she’s more into “editing or creating pages for unconventional things that are less in the limelight. More boring, evergreen topics, as opposed to current affairs.” This form of Wikipedian doesn’t have a specific name just yet – perhaps we could call them nichepedians. But other types of wikipedians do have defined names. The editor categorisations are technically known as WikiFauna and there’s loads of ‘em: WikiOrcs, WikiKittens, WikiNinjas… we could go on.

When it comes to the deaditors, there’s also a special title given to the person who updates the deceased’s page first: WikiJackal. In the case of the Queen, the quickest of them all was an editor called Sydwhunte, whose edit was the first to be validated at 5:32pm. (The validation here refers to sorting stuff out on the back end of the site; people don’t necessarily check for facts before a change is made on Wikipedia, which does mean “vandalism” occurs from time to time.) Given the magnitude of the event, Sydwhunte’s been getting more kudos from the Wiki community than most, with other editors and users sending congratulatory messages. 

Why do these volunteers dedicate so much time to updating pages? It’s fairly simple, really. “If you make small insightful edits, it’s possible that if you’re on a highly trafficked article, your work is going to be read by a ton of people,” says Rauwerda. Plus, we all like the buzz of being the first to do something, don’t we? It’s just like chipping into the Twitter discourse with a fresh, spicy take. 

But on Wikipedia you tend to be anonymous, which makes the pursuit of editing its pages a more noble trade. “You don’t get glory. You don’t get recognition beyond a small community of media editors,” says Rauwerda. “You certainly don’t get money. But there are a lot of very smart, selfless people that spend a lot of time writing history in real time.” 

One of these is Steven Pruitt, the most prolific (English language) Wikipedia editor of them all. Pruitt goes under the username Ser Amantio di Nicolao, which is borrowed from a minor character in Giacomo Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. He’s made over five million edits to Wikipedia and created well over 30,000 articles, so you’ve almost certainly read his work at some point. Given how prolific his edits are, he’s also dipped across a few categories of wiki editor during the roughly twenty years in which he’s been a volunteer. A true Jack of all WikiFauna, in a Reddit AMA, Pruitt himself said, “Wikipedia’s a free community – it wouldn’t feel right asking for money to edit. It’s a hobby. One that has taken over my life a bit, but a hobby nonetheless.” 

And yes, anyone can edit Wikipedia – that’s why we’re told not to rely on it too much for university assignments or whatever. But the people doing so are generally diligent and accurate, updating and creating pages out of the kindness of their hearts. Without them, you’d still be quietly seething after not being able to prove you were right about whatever sparked your last pub debate. Wikipedia, what a wonderful world.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Gerard Butler (53), Whoopi Goldberg (67), Chris Noth (68), Jimmy Kimmel (55), Anne Hathaway (40), Ryan Gosling (42), Wallace Shawn (79), Neil Young (77), Stanley Tucci (62), Leonardo DiCaprio (48), Demi Moore (60), Calista Flockhart (58), Taron Egerton (33), Hugh Bonneville (59), Clare Higgins (67), Neil Gaiman (62), Lou Ferrigno (71), Parker Posey (54), Gretchen Mol (50), Tara Reid (47), Alfre Woodard (70), Matthew Rhys (48), Richard Curtis (66), Gordon Ramsay (56), and Adam Devine (39).

Dead Pool 6th November 2022

Here we are again, another week of ‘celebrities’ passing away. Personally I haven’t got a clue who they are/were, but the Flying Monkeys insist they’re notable for some reason or other… Anyhow, thank you to everyone who contributed to this weeks edition, you’re superb as always!  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Former Pakistan leader Imran Khan was shot in the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in what his aides said was an assassination attempt. The 70-year-old was standing and waving to cheering crowds from the roof of a truck when the shots rang out. One of his supporters was killed and several more injured in the attack in Wazirabad, 120 miles from Islamabad. Khan was out of danger, said Faisal Sultan, a doctor who is also the head of the Lahore hospital where the former premier was being treated. Scans and x-rays showed bullet fragments in Khan’s leg. “It was a clear assassination attempt. Khan was hit but he’s stable. There was a lot of bleeding,” said Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesperson for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Footage on Pakistan television channels showed Mr Khan with a bandage on his leg as he was being taken to a hospital. Video of the incident showed a gunman being taken down by another man as he tried to fire his weapon. Mr Khan is leading a massive “long march” to Islamabad to demand a snap election after he was ousted as prime minister in a parliamentary confidence vote in April. He has mobilised mass rallies across the country, claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy by his successor, Shehbaz Sharif. Sharif condemned Thursday’s attack and ordered his government to investigate the incident. He added that he was praying for Khan: “Violence should have no place in our country’s politics.”  

Former Love Island star, Maura Higgins, almost died from toxic shock syndrome (TSS) after medics found a tampon inside her, three months after she used it. The reality TV star revealed she had a “very bad experience” and is hoping by speaking out, she can raise awareness of the risks for people. TSS is mainly associated with tampon use in young women. Maura, 31, is set to appear on Shopping with Keith Lemon, where she will discuss her experience, as well as how women can achieve the perfect orgasm on their own, sans her rotting tampon we hope…. Recalling her experience, the former grid girl explained she believed she was going to die, before adding: “I’m not a doctor, I don’t know much about that, but I know you are not meant to leave a tampon inside for more than, in think, it’s nine hours, I think that’s the max. There was a tampon inside me for three months. When the doctor found it, it was stuck to my cervix and I was so ill, I did not know what was going on.” Maura explained that she had to leave the room after it had been removed due to the smell of the tampon. “There were people that have died from that happening,” she said, before continuing: “young girls might not have noticed, like you go on a night out, what if you got really drunk and forgot, like, these things actually do happen, and people don’t speak about it. I remember even being in school, I used to get my tampon out the bag, push it up my sleeve and then go to the toilet like that…thinking back, why was I doing that? It’s nothing to be ashamed about, that’s why I think it’s an important topic.” Anyhow, the putrid punani didn’t die, but would probably be worth listing as a Maverick in the future. 

On This Day

  • 1986 – Sumburgh disaster: A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashes 21⁄2 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people. It is the deadliest civilian helicopter crash on record.
  • 2004 – An express train collides with a stationary car near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing seven and injuring 150.
  • 2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

Deaths

The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities

Just to make you feel more of a failure, the listed celebrities below are earning more money than all of us together will see in a lifetime, whilst rotting away in their graves. 

Thanks to an insatiable demand for proven hitmakers, there is a bonanza in the boneyard: Over the last year, the total earnings for the thirteen best compensated dead celebrities has tripled to nearly $1 billion.  

1. $513 Million – Roald Dahl – November 23, 1990 (74) – Cancer 

Roald Dahl has finally found his golden ticket. The creator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had plenty of success while living – he wrote 43 books which were adapted into 16 feature films – but it wasn’t until he was long dead that his fortunes hit the stratosphere. 31 years after Dahl died of cancer at age 74, Netflix paid a reported $684 million for the Roald Dahl Story Company. The streaming giant plans to build out a sweeping flood of programming from the British novelist’s trove of stories including Charlie, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and scores more. 

2. $120 Million – Prince – April 21, 2016 (57) – Overdose 

With so many hits under his belt prior to his death it’s no wonder he would rate high on this list. Three of his heirs cashed in, selling each of their stakes for an estimated combined total of $108 million – sending The Purple One eight spots up the ranking from No. 10. 

3. $75 MillionMichael Jackson – June 25, 2009 (50) – Overdose

The King of Pop’s Music catalog, which includes tunes by Ray Charles, Elvis and Aretha Franklin, gave Jackson a big boost this year by drawing in a new $30 million investment during 2021. His own discography of hits — including “Billie Jean,” “Beat it” and “Thriller” racked up 1.3 billion streams.  

4. $47 Million – Charlie Schulz – February 12, 2000 (77) – Cancer

Charlie and the rest of the Peanuts crew haven’t slowed down. The Peanuts business brought in $47 million more in revenue this fiscal year compared to 2020, for a total of $157 million. Part of that comes from a deal with Apple TV+, where the second season of Snoopy in Space! is set to start streaming.

5. $35 Million – Dr. Seuss – September 24, 1991 (87) – Cancer

Theodor Seuss Geisel sold almost 7 million print books in the U.S. over the last year – despite controversy about racist imagery in some of his early works – up from 6 million copies in 2020 and continues to profit from a years-long courtship of Hollywood led by his widow before her death in 2018. Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt leaned into streaming, forging a deal with Netflix to create the big-budget animated series Green Eggs and Ham. 

6. $33 Million – Bing Cosby – October 14, 1977 (75) – Heart Attack

The Holiday Inn star, famous for his baritone singing voice, makes his debut on the list after his estate sold a stake in his master recordings royalties – including his 1,600-plus songs, name and likeness and more – for roughly $30 million. American holiday season lovers streamed the song “White Christmas” 87 million times in 2020. 

7. $30 Million – Elvis Presley – August 16, 1977 (42) – Heart Attack 

With Graceland approaching pre-Covid attendance levels, the King’s empire is recuperating – and landing new partnerships, including Cinedigm’s The Elvis Presley Channel, which debuts on his birthday, January 8th, and promises archival content, concerts and more. In the Autumn, Netflix will premiere an animated adult series called ‘Agent King,’ in which Elvis will explore an alternate history where he faked his own death to fight crime with a secret government spy program. 

8. $27 Million – Arnold Palmer – September 25, 2016 (87) – Heart Disease

Golf tournaments are back after a season shortened by the pandemic and Arnie’s Army is right there with the competition. The deal Palmer signed with Arizona Beverages for his namesake lemonade-iced tea beverage brings in millions, and the spiked version had a 15% growth spurt in sales this year, according to Molson Coors.

9. $23 Million – Gerry Goffin – June 19, 2014 (78) – Natural Causes 

The lyricist co-wrote 50-plus Top 40 hits with prolific singer-songwriter Carole King during their marriage, which were recorded by acts like The Shirelles, The Drifters, Bobby Vee and Steve Lawrence. He got even better with time: In the 80’s and 90’s he produced “Savin’ All My Love for You,” the song that made Whitney Houston a star and released his second album Back Room Blood with collaborators Bob Dylan and Barry Goldberg. Primary Wave bought a stake in his catalog for about $20 million.  

10. $21 Million – Luther Vandross – July 1, 2005 (54) – Stroke

R&B legend Vandross joins the ranks thanks to a deal with Primary Wave. His estate pocketed roughly $20 million for a stake of his publishing and master recording income streams, which include songs like his 1981 breakthrough tune “Never Too Much,” the lead single off his album of the same name that shot up the charts and earned his two Grammy nominations. Vandross sold 40 million records worldwide over his 30-year career.  

11. $16 Million – Bob Marley – May 11, 1981 (36) – Cancer 

The reggae star’s brand – which covers speakers, turntables, headphones, clothing and lighters, has expanded into psychedelics, thanks to an exclusive multi-year license agreement with Silo Wellness Inc. to develop a mushroom product line called Marley One. His listeners also keep coming back to his hits like “Is This Love” and “Jamming,” consistently streaming his songs 1 billion times per year in the U.S. 

12. $15 Million – Juice World – December 8, 2019 (21) – Overdose 

Jarad Higgins, better known by his 13 million followers on Twitter and Instagram as “Juice WRLD,” is the top-played musician on the list by a landslide with 5.6 billion U.S. streams, which make up the bulk of his earnings this year. In May, his team released an anniversary edition of his sophomore album Goodbye & Good Riddance with two additional songs. 

13. $12 Million – John Lennon – December 8, 1980 (40) – Murdered 

Lennon and Yoko Ono’s hopeful classic “Imagine” was commemorated on its 50th anniversary with the lyric “imagine all the people living life in peace” projected on buildings in New York and London. Though famously purchased in part by Michael Jackson, his share of the Beatles songs –  the world’s most valuable catalog – continues to pay off.

Last Week’s Birthdays

Ethan Hawke (52), Emma Stone (34), Rebecca Romijn (50), Thandiwe Newton (50), Sally Field (76), Lori Singer (65), Nigel Havers (71), Maria Shriver (67), Famke Janssen (58), Sam Rockwell (54), Tilda Swinton (62), Robert Patrick (64), Elke Sommer (82), Tatum O’Neal (59), Armin Shimerman (73), Art Garfunkel (81), Matthew McConaughey (53), Ralph Macchio (61), Olivia Taylor Dudley (37), Loretta Swit (85), Dolph Lundgren (65), Roseanne Barr (70), Dylan Moran (51), Lulu (74), David Schwimmer (56), Stefanie Powers (80), Toni Collette (50), Natalia Tena (38), Jenny McCarthy (50), Anthony Kiedis (60), Peter Jackson (61), and Stephen Rea (76).