Dead Pool 18th February 2018

Welcome all, a slow week for the Dead Pool, other than Morgan Tsvangirai, I doubt many of you would have recognised any of last weeks deaths. A quick shout out to The Buttington Oak, which had stood outside Welshpool for over 1,000 years. Planted as a boundary marker along Offa’s Dyke it was one of the oldest trees in the country but sadly fell down last week. Its girth measured over 11 meters!

Look Who You Could Have Had:

  • Victor Milan, 63, American science fiction and fantasy author (Wild Cards, Deathlands, BattleTech), cancer.
  • Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, 83, French-born Danish royal, Consort (since 1972), complications from pneumonia.
  • Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, Zimbabwean politician and opposition leader, Prime Minister (2009–2013), colorectal cancer.
  • Gochomu J. Mudzingwa, 101, Zimbabwean traditional ruler, Chief Wozhele (since 2008), pneumonia.

In Other News

For the first time in years, Vladimir Putin has cancelled several public appearances due to illness – prompting speculation about the long-term durability of a leader feted for his virility. On Monday, there was no visit to Sochi. Tuesday, there was no discussion of microelectronics in the Kremlin. Wednesday, the President did not make an appearance at the “Mentor 2018” forum in Moscow. And next week, he will not travel to the Russian Far East. During his last public appearance, at the culmination of the Kremlin’s “Leaders of Russia” talent competition, the President showed obvious signs of illness. His voice was weak and crackly and he coughed throughout. The President struggled with public speeches, made mistakes and seemed unfocussed. On Tuesday, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov played down the suggestion of serious illness. Mr Putin would continue to work from the Kremlin or at his suburban residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, he said. It is not the first time that Mr Putin’s health has been a matter of extended debate. In late 2012, he cancelled several foreign trips and disappeared from public view. Then, the Kremlin claimed Mr Putin was nursing an old “sports injury”. Few were convinced at the time.

Marilyn Manson reportedly had a “meltdown” on a stage in New York this week where he delivered “incoherent rants” before ending the show. The American artist was performing at a venue in Huntington when he apparently began rambling about the audience’s “lack of love” among other subjects. Fans then reportedly began chanting “F**k you Manson” after he dropped his microphone and left the stage. One audience member wrote on Instagram after the gig:  “I wish I could say last night’s show was amazing, but it was just awful.” “Manson came out with a bang but the whole thing deteriorated very quickly,” they continued. “A couple songs in, he went into a conversation with the crowd about how much we loved him (or not). Asked for cheering and the usual rock star ego stuff.” “I think we all started to realise something was wrong. Once he was temporarily satisfied, it didn’t improve. They would start songs only to screech them to a halt a minute in. There were very drawn out versions of songs where Manson mostly rambled on about our lack of love and other bizarre things. After an hour and fifteen minutes of this, he threw his microphone and left the stage. House lights came on a couple minutes later. I don’t think they completed more than 4 songs. It was the strangest, saddest and worst concert I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot.” Last October, Manson was rushed to the hospital after a stage prop of two giant pistols fell on him during a concert in New York City.

A suspected big cat poacher has been eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say. The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found over the weekend at a game park near Hoedspruit. “It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions,” said Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe. “They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains.” Police have not yet established the victim’s identity. A loaded hunting rifle and ammunition were found next to the body, South African website Eyewitness News reports. Lion poaching has been on the rise in Limpopo province in recent years. The big cats’ body parts are sometimes used in traditional medicine, both within Africa and beyond.

On This Day

  • 1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.
  • 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.
  • 2004 – Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Nishapur, Iran when a runaway freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer catches fire and explodes.
  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.


  • 1294 – Kublai Khan, Mongol emperor (b. 1215)
  • 1546 – Martin Luther, German priest and theologian, leader of the Protestant Reformation (b. 1483)
  • 1564 – Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter (b. 1475)
  • 1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and academic (b. 1904)

Last Week’s Birthdays

John Travolta (64), Molly Ringwald (50), Matt Dillon (54), Cybill Shepherd (68), Dr. Dre (53), Yoko Ono (85), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (37), Michael Bay (53), Lou Diamond Phillips (56), Rene Russo (64), Dominic Purcell (48), Paris Hilton (37), Rory Kinnear (40), Ed Sheeran (27), Michael Jordan (55), Patricia Routledge (89), Brenda Fricker (73), Barry Humphries (84), Christopher Eccleston (54), LeVar Burton (61), Amanda Holden (47), John McEnroe (59), Jane Seymour (67), Matt Groening (64), Simon Pegg (48), Andrew Robinson (76), Teller (70), Mena Suvari (39), Kim Novak (85), Stockard Channing (74), Kitten Natividad (70), Peter Tork (76), Robbie Williams (44), Jerry Springer (74), Josh Brolin (50), Christina Ricci (38), Michael Ironside (68) and Arsenio Hall (62).

Things More Likely To Kill You In 1970’s Britain Than Today

The workplace: There has been a big drop in fatal injuries at work since 1981. Before then, not all industries were required to report workplace injuries, so the data is patchy. But in the industries that did have to report, deaths fell sharply in the 1970s too. In the year 1986-87 there were 407 fatal accidents in workplaces around Britain. Three decades later the figure had fallen by two-thirds.  The size of the workforce has increased a lot in that time, so if we look at the death rate per 100,000 workers, the improvement is even greater. This is largely because of Britain’s transformation from an industrial economy to a service-based one. Clearly people working in factories and heavy industry are more at risk of fatal accidents than office workers, although some paper cuts can prove to be deadly! Coal mining and steel used to be big killers but now employ very few people in the UK. But these days the figures may be underreported, says Noel Whiteside, a public policy expert at the University of Warwick. The number of self-employed people is rising rapidly, making incidents harder to track. If a contractor is killed in a car crash on the way to a job, or has a heart attack while working from home, that would not count as a death in the workplace, she points out. Although workplaces are safer now, people generally work longer hours, and it is hard to measure the effects of health problems brought about by overwork. “I don’t think white-collar work was nearly as stressful 40 years ago,” Whiteside says. Improvements in general health levels are one reason for a decline in workplace deaths, but “there are some signs in the last two years that life expectancy has started to fall,” says Whiteside. But we can all agree, Health & Safety rules may have decreased the great unwashed killing themselves in Darwinian fashion.

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