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Dead Pool 25th September 2016

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Due to the lack of notable deaths this week, we have a bare bones edition of The Dead Pool. Who said everybody seemed to by dying this year??

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News 

JonesWe start this week with the sad news that Monty Python star Terry Jones has been diagnosed with a severe variant of dementia. The 74-year-old is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate. As a result, Jones “is no longer able to give interviews”, his spokesman said. The news was confirmed as Bafta Cymru announced the Welsh-born comedian is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award. The National Aphasia Association describes primary progressive aphasia as a neurological syndrome in which language capabilities become slowly and progressively impaired. “It commonly begins as a subtle disorder of language, progressing to a nearly total inability to speak, in its most severe stage,” their website states. Jones, who is from Colwyn Bay in north Wales, was a member of the legendary comedy troupe with Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman. He directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Gilliam.

michael-schumacherA lawyer for Michael Schumacher has told a court in Germany that the former Formula 1 world champion “cannot walk” following his skiing injury. Felix Damm was detailing the extent of Schumacher’s injuries in a lawsuit against German magazine, Bunte. The magazine had reported last Christmas that the seven-time world champion could walk again. But Mr Damm said that Schumacher, 47, “cannot walk” more than two and a half years after the accident. Bunte had quoted a source at the end of last year as saying that Schumacher could manage some steps with the help of therapists and could raise an arm. At the time, Schumacher’s agent, Sabine Kehm, released a statement denying the story, saying: “Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true. “Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.” Schumacher suffered a head injury in a skiing accident in France in 2013. He was placed in a medically induced coma for six months before being transferred to his home in Switzerland to continue his treatment. Very little is known of the sports icon’s recovery as his family has strongly protected his privacy.

bradley-manningWhat do you do to someone who has already tried to commit suicide? Well, a military prison disciplinary board has seen fit to sentence US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to 14 days in solitary confinement. She will serve seven days, with another seven suspended, for charges relating to her attempt to kill herself in July. She ended a hunger strike last week, after the military agreed to provide her with gender dysphoria treatment. The army private, born as Bradley Manning, is serving a 35-year sentence for espionage. Last July, the former intelligence analyst attempted to take her own life, after what lawyers said was the Army’s refusal to provide appropriate health care. She was found guilty on Thursday by prison officials in Leavenworth, Kansas, of “conduct which threatens” for her suicide attempt. She also was convicted of having “prohibited property” – the book “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy” by Gabriella Coleman. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, after being found guilty of espionage for her role in leaking diplomatic cables and battlefield reports to Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy group. The leak of more than 700,000 documents and videos was one of the largest breaches of classified material in American history.

On This Day

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Frankie Avalon (76), Jada Pinkett Smith (45), Lance Armstrong (45), Jeremy Irons (68), Twiggy (67), Jimmy Fallon (43), Sofia Loren (82), Kristen Johnson (49), Stephen King (69), Bill Murray (66), Ethan Coen (59), Faith Hill (49), Ricki Lake (48), Alphonso Ribeiro (45), Luke Wilson (45), Liam Gallagher (44), Nick Cave (59), Joan Jett (58), Andrea Bocelli (58), Scott Baio (56), Tom Felton (29), Julio Iglesias (73) and Bruce Springsteen (67).

The Last Word

Is it not meningitis?”–  Louisa May Alcott, an American novelist and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women.

  • Alcott had been in ill health for many years and took a turn for the worse after she visited her father. She did not have meningitis. She may have died of mercury poisoning, the after-effect of an earlier treatment for typhoid fever.

Next week peeps!

Dead Pool 18th September 2016

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Nil points to  dispense this week, but reading through the news we could have quite easily scored quite a lot, here’s hoping for next week!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

johnsimpsonThe veteran BBC foreign correspondent John Simpson has told how he nearly died earlier this month from a severe allergic reaction that caused kidney problems. The 72-year-old was rushed to Oxford’s John Radcliffe hospital on 8th September after experiencing what he described as a “rare and deadly allergic reaction”. Simpson had complained of feeling ill and a doctor who came to his house diagnosed him as suffering from food poisoning and dehydration and sent him to hospital, where his condition rapidly declined. Doctors found he had suffered an allergic reaction to medication, which caused kidney problems. “It was like a perfect storm. There was a whole chain of events that meant their was an overreaction on the kidney side which made him seriously ill,” his wife said. Simpson, who has reported from war zones around the world for more than four decades, described the episode as “terrifying” and thanked the staff in the ICU “who saved my life”.

roof-harrisRolf Harris is reportedly being treated in hospital for  suspected blood poisoning. The Australian-born artist, 86, is serving a near six-year sentence at Stafford prison for historic sex abuse. Our source said, “Harris was treated like any other prisoner in the circumstances. He was escorted from Stafford by prison officers and has been monitored at all times. He is likely to return to jail shortly.” Blood poisoning, also known as sepsis, is triggered by an infection or injury and can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated. In November 2015, we reported that Harris, who is diabetic, had been taken to hospital and fallen ill after eating chocolate and sweets in prison.

hillary-clintonUS Democratic party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton kept her pneumonia diagnosis from most of her staff, according to reports, choosing to tell only family and close aides. Mrs Clinton was reportedly concerned that news of the illness would be exploited by her opponents. She was diagnosed on Friday and advised to rest, but continued campaigning. Her team was forced to go public with the diagnosis on Sunday when she left a 9/11 memorial early, appearing weak. Speaking to CNN late on Monday, Mrs Clinton said she was feeling “so much better”. She also told the broadcaster that she had not disclosed her pneumonia diagnosis, saying: “I just didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal.” The US presidential candidate said she had ignored a doctor’s “wise” advice to rest for five days. She said she hoped to be back on the trail in “the next couple of days”. The Democratic nominee acknowledged she had lost her balance during Sunday morning’s health scare, but said she did not faint. “I felt dizzy and I did lose my balance for a minute, but once I got in (the van), once I could sit down, once I could cool off, once I had some water, I immediately started feeling better,” she said.

shimonperesFormer Israeli President Shimon Peres is in intensive care after suffering a serious stroke, medical officials say. Doctors at the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv, where he is being treated, said Mr Peres, 93, was “in a critical condition but stable”. Mr Peres’ son-in-law and personal physician said there was “no imminent threat to his life”, adding that he had a “pretty good chance of survival”. Dr Rafi Valden said Mr Peres was responsive – he had squeezed his hand. There was “certain optimism” after doctors “lessened the dose of sedation”, he said, adding the former president was being sedated and ventilated again to let his brain recover. “We were happy to see that he was reactive, he was responsive,” Dr Valden told journalists. Doctors had earlier said the stroke had caused “lots of bleeding”. In January, he underwent successful minor surgery at the same hospital after suffering a small heart attack.

TV StarAnd finally, imagine if Ken Barlow aka William Roache managed to drown on the set of Coronation Street. Well, this is what has happened in Brazil! Brazilian soap opera star Domingos Montagner drowned in a river where the crew had been recording scenes for the country’s most popular soap opera. Montagner played the leading role in Velho Chico, a soap opera named after the Sao Francisco river where he died. The 54-year-old had gone for a swim with an actress after a day of shooting in the north-eastern state of Sergipe. She said he had been dragged away by the river’s strong currents. The actress, Camila Pitanga, cried for help but local people failed to act initially as they believed the drowning was a scene in the soap opera. Authorities said there was little that anyone could have done. In the soap opera, Montagner played a farmer who often fought off local gunmen. In one of those clashes, he was shot multiple times and appeared to drown in the same Sao Francisco river, but reappeared weeks later, alas we doubt he will make a return this time as four hours after the incident, rescue teams found Montagner’s body trapped in rocks at a depth of 18 metres (59 feet) and some 300 metres (984ft) from where he was last seen. His body will be taken by plane to Sao Paulo, where his funeral will be held on Saturday.

On This Day

Deaths

  • 1949Frank Morgan, American actor, The Wizard of Oz (b. 1890)
  • 1970Jimi Hendrix, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1942)
  • 2004 – Russ Meyer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1922)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Brian De Palma (76), Virginia Madsen (55), Moby (51), Harry Connick Jr (49), Ian Holm (85), Linda Gray (76), Ben Folds (50), Stella McCartney (45), Sam Neill (69), Tommy Lee Jones (70), Oliver Stone (70), Prince Harry (32), David Copperfield (60), Mickey Rourke (64), Cassandra Peterson (65) and Baz Luhrmann (54).

The Last Word

“I’m not afraid of death. I’m going home”. – Patrick Swayze

Next week peeps!

Dead Pool 11th September 2016

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Bit thin on the ground again this week. So I wont warble on too much. But if any of you amazing readers would like a go at guest editing or supplying a few articles, please do have a go!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

anneThe Princess Royal has cancelled her public engagements next week as she  recovers from a bad chest infection, Buckingham Palace has said. A spokesman said: “On doctors’ orders she has cancelled her engagements for the coming week. She is resting privately at home.” Anne was treated at Aberdeen Royal infirmary on Wednesday before being discharged and returning to Balmoral. Last weekend, she joined the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales at the Braemar Highland Games, which are held a short distance from the royal family’s summer retreat in Aberdeenshire. The 66-year-old also spent time in Brazil at the Olympic Games as a member of the International Olympic Committee. Could it be some kind of Zika virus variant??

dinoireA death we all missed back in April was that of the first-ever person to have a face transplant, Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire. In 2005, surgeons  gave her a new nose and mouth after she was disfigured by her pet dog. But heavy use of immunosuppressant drugs weakened her and she succumbed to cancer in April at the age of 49. News of her death, announced by a hospital in Amiens, was delayed to respect her family’s privacy. She told the BBC in 2009 that when she looked in the mirror she saw a mixture of herself and the donor. “The donor is always with me,” she said. Figaro newspaper said she had suffered another transplant rejection. The strong anti-rejection treatment she was receiving led to two cancers, it added. In her BBC interview she said her disfigurement by her dog had come as a result of an attempt to end her life. After taking an overdose of sleeping pills, she awoke lying beside a pool of blood, with her pet Labrador at her side. The dog had apparently found her unconscious, and desperate to rouse her, had gnawed away at her face. The injuries to her mouth, nose and chin were so extreme that doctors ruled out a routine face reconstruction. Instead they proposed a ground-breaking face transplant. She was happy with the surgery but expressed distress at the attention from the media and passers-by that the operation brought her.

john-hinckley-jrLook out all potential presidential candidates because the man who shot US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has been released from a psychiatric hospital in Washington, DC, 35 years after his assassination attempt stunned the world. John Hinckley Jr, who is now 61, was released from St Elizabeth’s hospital on Saturday morning and returned to his mother’s home in Virginia. Mr Reagan and three others were injured in the shooting outside a Washington hotel on 30 March 1981, weeks into his first White House term. Mr Hinckley, who was obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver and its young star Jodie Foster, is thought to have been trying to impress the actress. He was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. In July, after several decades of treatment at St Elizabeth’s, a judge ruled that Mr Hinckley posed no further danger to himself or to the public. In recent years, he had been spending 17 days a month at his 90-year-old mother’s home, on a golf course in the gated community of Kingsmill, where his bedroom is reportedly decorated with his paintings of houses and cats. Under the conditions of his release, Mr Hinckley will be forbidden to speak to the media and from having any social media accounts. He is banned from contacting Ms Foster or any of his other victims and their families. He must see a psychiatrist regularly and will be permitted to drive no further than 30 miles from the home unaccompanied – or 50 miles if accompanied.

On This Day

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Beyonce (35), Bob Newhart (88), Raquel Welch (76), Michael Keaton (65), Rose McGowan (43), Roger Waters (73), Delores O’Riordan (45), Pippa Middleton (33), Idris Elba (44), Gloria Gaynor (67), Chrissie Hynde (65), Julie Kavner (66), Shannon Elizabeth (43), Evan Rachel Wood (29), Heather Thomas (59), Martin Freeman (45), Hugh Grant (56), Adam Sandler (50), Eric Stonestreet (45), Michael Buble (41), Joe Perry (66), Colin Firth (56), Guy Richie (48) and Karl Lagerfeld (83).

The Last Word

“I cannot.” – Louis Pasteur – His response when he was offered a cup of milk.

Next week peeps!

Dead Pool 4th September 2016

Dead Pool BackgroundUnsurprisingly, nobody listed Gene Wilder. Often is the case that well loved celebrities never make the list. Remember, if you want to win it, you have to be unscrupulous and harsh.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

islam-karimovWe were going to lead this week with the Uzbek President/Dictator, Islam Karimov, having a stroke. Alas he died. So that put a big spanner in the works for us at Death Towers, but we’ll lead with the story anyway.

It does leave central Asia’s most populous country in a state of turmoil and political uncertainty. The Uzbek government did not confirm the reports at first but played funeral music on state channels. Later on Friday the government eventually released a statement saying the 78-year-old president had died. Karimov has no official successor. The most likely candidate to replace him appears to be Uzbekistan’s long-time prime minister, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. There is little prospect that the country of 31 million will democratise, after a quarter of a century characterised by repression, the boiling of prisoners and unflinching authoritarian rule. Even by the standards of the region, Karimov treated manifestations of dissent harshly. The upheaval has sparked much uncertainty for the Karimov family, his daughter, Gulnara Karimova, was for a long time considered a potential successor to her father and was a highly public figure has disappeared. Perhaps we should be looking at listing a few Uzbek elites in the near future.

jeremy-vineJeremy Vine almost got run over by an irate woman in a car as he was cycling home. The lady involved in the alleged road-rage incident has said his “dangerous” cycling provoked her foul-mouthed response. Vine shared the footage of the alleged road rage incident with his Facebook and Twitter followers on Tuesday. The 51-year-old filmed the “horrible moment” on a helmet-mounted camera while cycling home in Kensington, London after hosting his show on Friday 26th August. Have a look at the video yourself and make up your own mind. One thing is for sure, don’t have a wobbly at a cyclist when they work for the BBC.

And finally, an emergency response was initiated at a school in Ohio after around 40 children ingested Bhut Jolokia peppers – one of the hottest species in existence. An unidentified student brought the peppers into Milton Union Middle School, West Milton, and apparently shared them among other students aged 11 to 14. Police and emergency responders were contacted on Friday after the students began to exhibit symptoms such as blotchy skin, hives, sweating, watering eyes and general discomfort. Five students had to be hospitalised. The students “took these peppers voluntarily”, according to a police investigation. “We all drank like 10 cartons of milk,” eighth grade student Cody Schmidt told the newspaper, adding that the pepper was “really hot”. The school’s superintendent, Brad Ritchey, said: “The response of emergency services was amazing, deputies and help from surrounding paramedics. Research conducted in 1980 found a 68 kilogram human would need to eat at least 1.3 kilograms of the hottest chillies in one sitting for the peppers to have a lethal effect.

On This Day

Deaths

Last Week’s Birthdays

Paul Rubens (64), Daniel Stern (59), Shania Twain (51), Jack Black (47), Jason Priestley (47), LeAnne Rimes (34), Florence Welch (30), Elliott Gould (78), Rebecca DeMornay (57), John McCain (80), Michael Chiklis (53), Cameron Diaz (44), Warren Buffett (86), Van Morrison (71), Richard Gere (67), Chris Tucker (45), Lily Tomlin (77), Barry Gibb (70), Gloria Estefan (59), Keanu Reeves (51), Salma Hayek (50), Jimmy Connors (64), Lennox Lewis (51) and Charlie Sheen (51).

The Last Word

Now I can cross the Shifting Sands. – L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz.

  • Note: Baum was referring to the Shifting Sands, the impassable desert surrounding the Land of Oz.

Next week peeps!

Dead Pool 28th August 2016

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No points to award this week, but we do have the joy of reading about Richard Branson falling on his face. If that’s not enough for you, then please take a moment to find a piece of your soul that cares, as the Storm Trooper who hit his head on a door frame has passed away. We’re not sure if he’s actually dead, he might come back as a ghost in subsequent sequels.

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Virgin-1Sir Richard Branson says he thought he was “going to die” after crashing his bike on Caribbean island Virgin Gorda. The businessman said he was “extremely fortunate” only to have suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments. Sir Richard said he was cycling down a hill when he hit a speed bump, and “the next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.” His bicycle “went flying off the cliff and disappeared”, he said. In a post on the Virgin website, the 66-year-old said: “I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a sleeping policeman hump in the road head on. “I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life. “We’ve since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed. My cheek has been badly damaged and my knee, chin, shoulder and body severely cut.” Sir Richard said his assistant, Helen Clarke, was first on the scene as he was “lying prostrate on the road” and then another member of his team, George, “sprinted from the bottom of the hill” to assist. The accident happened on the fifth anniversary of a fire which destroyed his luxury home on Necker Island.

CollinsPhil Collins has addressed his former alcohol addiction and said he came close to nearly dying due to heavy drinking. The 65-year-old grammy-award winning singer explained he started drinking more after his third marriage broke up and his family moved away to Miami. Collins said he was in turn left with an emotional vacuum and began drinking excessively. “There’s a chapter in it about the drinking, which escalated when my third marriage broke up, and I retired,” he told The New York Times while talking about his new memoir I’m Not Dead Yet. “I was left with this huge void. I didn’t want to work because I wanted to be with the kids, but the kids weren’t there anymore, because they moved to Miami, and I was still in Switzerland.” “You start drinking, and then you start drinking too much. Then it physically hurts you. I came very close to dying at that point. I’m being honest about that. The book is honest, it’s self-deprecating. I’m not shirking my responsibilities. I apologise when I need to.” Collins has spoken about his struggle with alcohol in the past, explaining that heavy drinking nearly cost him his life and he would open a bottle of wine at 11am in the morning at the height of his drinking. Once a drinker, always a drinker.

Lee Hsien LoongSingapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong caused a scare when he fainted briefly while delivering a lengthy televised speech on Sunday, but he resumed speaking after resting. The 64-year-old cancer survivor, son of the city-state’s late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew, suddenly stopped speaking more than two hours into his speech and had to be helped off the stage. When he returned about an hour and 20 minutes later, the crowd in the packed auditorium gave him a standing ovation and thousands of well-wishers expressed relief on social media. Aides blamed fatigue and dehydration and ruled out a stroke. “Thank you for waiting for me. I gave everybody a scare,” said Lee, who has been in power since 2004. He said he fainted during the speech, part of celebrations linked to Singapore’s 51st anniversary as a republic on August 9th. “I think that’s what happened. I’ve never had so many doctors look at me all at once, they think I’m all right. But anyway I’m going to have a full check-up after this.” Lee had been on his feet for more than two hours when he stunned the audience as he slouched over the lectern before cameras cut away to his listeners during a live broadcast. Lee underwent surgery for prostate cancer last year and has received the all-clear from doctors. He survived a bout of lymphoma, a form of cancer, in 1992.

ly-thi-nA Vietnamese woman has admitted to paying for her foot and part of her arm to be cut off in order to claim an insurance payout, police say. In May, the 30-year-old woman, named as “Ly Thi N”, pretended she had been hit by a train, the People’s Police Newspaper of Vietnam reports. But she has now reportedly admitted to having paid a friend $2,200 (£1,660) to sever her limbs. The aim was to claim more than $150,000 from her insurance company. A supposed bystander, “Doan Van D”, the same person who did the cutting, had called an ambulance after “finding” the injured woman on a Hanoi railroad. Pictures published by the official police newspaper showed the woman three months later, with her wounds healed. She is believed to run a struggling business, according to local media. Police have dropped the criminal investigation against both suspects, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reports, after all, she’s a bit armless and can’t run anywhere…

mbah-gothoAnd finally, the world’s oldest man has been named as Indonesian Mbah Gotho, who is 145 years old, with documentation that says he was born in 1870. Mr Gotho said he began preparing for his death in 1992, even having a gravestone made, but 24 years later he is still alive. He has now outlived all 10 of his siblings, his four wives and his children. Though his age is impressive, Mr Gotho told a regional news network: “What I want is to die.” For the past three months he has needed to bathed and spoon-fed, and is becoming increasingly frail. Mr Gotho has official documentation which shows his age, and the Indonesian records office says it has confirmed his birth date as December 31 1870. If this is correct, this would earn him the title of the oldest person ever, a title currently held by French centenarian Jeanne Calment, who was 122 when she died – 23 years younger than Mr Gotho. If the documents cannot be independently verified, however, Mr Gotho will not go down in the record books. There are a number of people who claim to have broken Jeanne Calment’s record, such as Nigerian James Olofintuyi, who claims to be 171, and Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia, who claims to be 163, but without verifiable documents they cannot be given her title. The centenarian, from Central Java, says he spends his time listening to the radio, as his eyesight is no longer good enough to watch television. When asked the secret to a long life, he said: “The recipe is just patience”.

On This Day

Deaths

  • 1978 – Robert Shaw, English actor, screenwriter, and author (b. 1927)
  • 1987John Huston, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1906)

Last Week’s Birthdays

Kenny Rogers (78), Carrie-Anne Moss (49), Alecia Witt (41), Hayden Panettiere (27), RJ Mitte (24), Usain Bolt (30), Tori Amos (53), Ty Burrell (49), Kirsten Wiig (43), Barbara Eden (85), Shelley Long (67), Steve Guttenberg (58), Dave Chappelle (43), Rupert Grint (28), Stephen Fry (59), Sean Connery (86), Tom Skerritt (83), Gene Simmons (67), Elvis Costello (62), Tim Burton (58), Billy Ray Cyrus (55), Claudia Schiffer (46), Rachel Bilson (35), Alexander Skarsgard (40), Melissa McCarthy (46) and Macauley Culkin (36).

The Last Word

“Oh, what’s the bloody point?”

  • Kenneth Williams, British actor and raconteur. This was the final entry in his diary.

Next week peeps!