Dead Pool 25th April 2021

Another week full of people you’ve never heard of dying. Unsurprisingly, no points to award this week. I think we could do with a little evil monkey action, but I don’t think they are needed just yet as the Wiki list seems to be filling up with more Covid deaths recently, so maybe we’ll finally see the promised deaths from this little bug.  

Look Who You Could Have Had:

In Other News

Alexei Navalny has said he is ending his hunger strike after getting medical attention and being warned by his doctors that continuing it would be life-threatening. The jailed Russian opposition leader was transferred to hospital amid concerns he has become critically ill. Mr Navalny was nearly three weeks into a hunger strike he declared in protest at not being allowed access to doctors he trusted. Over the weekend, Mr Navalny’s press secretary claimed he was a “matter of days away” from death. On Sunday, Daria Navalnaya, Mr Navalny’s daughter, made a plea to prison authorities via social media. “Allow a doctor to see my dad,” in a post on Twitter and Instagram. The state prison service insisted that the Kremlin critic’s health has been and remains “satisfactory”. “He is seen daily by a doctor,” a statement read. “With his agreement he has been prescribed vitamin therapy.” But Navalny said he would stop refusing food after getting examined by non-prison doctors, which has now happened. Another reason he was ending the hunger strike he began on 31st March, other than being really really hungry, was that some of his supporters were refusing to eat in a show of solidarity with him, Navalny said. Navalny was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin – accusations Russian officials reject. 

In a fabulous twist of fate, 72 year old dickhead rocker Ted Nugent has revealed that he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus – months after he said the virus was “not a real.” “So I was officially tested positive for COVID-19 today. I thought I was dying,” Nugent said in a Fb video posted on Monday. He described that he had a stuffed up head, body aches and that he literally could hardly crawl out of bed the last few days.. He also used racist language to refer to the virus, calling it the “Chinese shit,” and reiterated his previous stance that he wouldn’t be getting the vaccine because he claimed — falsely — that “nobody knows what’s in it.” Nugent also addressed the fact that he previously blasted lockdowns on social media, publicly wondering why “weren’t we shut down for COVID-1 through -18.” (The number refers to 2019 — the year in which the disease was discovered. There is no COVID 1-18.) The outspoken pro-gun conservative, a staunch supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump, previously referred to the virus as a “leftist scam to destroy” America’s 45th president. “It’s not a real pandemic and that’s not a real vaccine” he argued in a video posted in December.   

Jacquie Beltrao, 56, has shared a poignant message on Twitter as she celebrated her birthday. The Sky News host reflected on how much her situation had changed in the past year, after her breast cancer returned. Jacquie said in view of her 80,500 followers: “It’s my birthday today and I can’t help think what a difference a year makes. A year ago I was celebrating without a care in the world. Cancer-free, so I thought, obviously I wasn’t because I found a lump a month later and it doesn’t really work like that. “But what a year, I mean, a lot of joy has been sucked out of my life in a year, but I’m trying to live in the moment.  “Trying to make the best of it, I’m going to try and have a lovely day today,” she added. Since her diagnosis, Jacquie has completely removed sugar from her diet but felt tempted to enjoy a slice of cake her daughter, Amelia, had made for her. She continued: “I’ve been very disciplined with my diet in the last 12 months. I’ve given up sugar, I’ve lost nearly a stone in weight! So I’m just wondering today if I have a piece of cake that my daughter’s made, I’m thinking yes, but then will I feel guilty when I’ve eaten it? Maybe, I don’t know, it’s so difficult for us with stage four cancer. What to do for the best.” The Sky News host said she felt “grateful” for her birthday and hopes she has “got some more” ahead.  

For those of you vaguely interested in The Only Way is Essex, Harry  Derbidge’s ex Rhys Alan Smith has died. Rhys was found dead in Tenerife last week, where he is said to have lived. His cause of death is unknown. Gemma Collins led the heartbreaking tributes to Rhys as she commented on the reality star’s last shared picture to Instagram on 3rd April, while Harry is said to be ‘absolutely devastated’ over the news. Rhys dated TOWIE star Harry in 2013 with the former couple regularly appearing at events together before Harry dated Bobby Norris. In 2014, Harry, who is now engaged to beau Dean Rowland, split from Bobby after he told the reality star he had slept with his ex at the beginning of their romance. I’m fairly sure there’s more to say about this story, but frankly I can’t be arsed to look into it. 

On This Day

  • 1644 – The last Emperor of Ming dynasty China, commits suicide during a peasant rebellion.  
  • 1792 – Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.  1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson publish “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” describing the double helix structure of DNA.  
  • 1954 – The first practical solar cell is publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.  
  • 1961 – Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit.  


  • 1878 – Anna Sewell, English author (b. 1820). 
  • 1995 – Ginger Rogers, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1911). 
  • 1996 – Saul Bass, American graphic designer and director (b. 1920). 
  • 2002 – Lisa Lopes, American rapper and dancer (b. 1971). 
  • 2009 – Bea Arthur, American actress and singer (b. 1922). 

 The First Man to Face The Chop!

Nicolas Jacques Pelletier was a French highwayman who became the first person to be executed by guillotine. 

Pelletier routinely associated with a group of known criminals. But on the night of 14th October 1791, with several unknown accomplices, he attacked a passerby in the rue Bourbon-Villeneuve in Paris and stole his wallet and several securities. During the robbery he also killed the man, though this is disputed in later literature as possibly just having been an assault and robbery or also a rape. He was apprehended and accused that same night, for the cries for help alerted some in the city, and a nearby guard arrested Pelletier. Judge Jacob Augustin Moreau, the District Judge of Sens, was to hear the case. 

A legal advisor was given to Pelletier, but despite his efforts and calls for a fairer court hearing, the judge ordered a death sentence for 31st December 1791. On 24th December 1791, the Second Criminal Court confirmed Judge Moreau’s sentence. The execution was stayed, however, after the National Assembly made decapitation the only legal method of capital punishment. Pelletier waited in jail for more than three months as the guillotine was built in Strasbourg under the direction of the surgeon Antoine Louis, at a cost of thirty-eight livres. Meanwhile, the public executioner Charles Henri Sanson tested the machine on corpses in the Bicêtre Hospital. Sanson preferred the guillotine over the former decapitation by sword, as the latter reminded him of the nobility’s former privileges that the revolutionaries had worked to eliminate. On 24th January 1792, a third criminal court confirmed the sentence. 

The execution was delayed due to the ongoing debate on the legal method of execution. Finally, the National Assembly decreed on 23rd March 1792 in favour of the guillotine. 

The guillotine was placed on top of a scaffold outside the Hôtel de Ville in the Place de Grève, where public executions had been held during the reign of King Louis XV. Pierre Louis Roederer, thinking that a large number of people would come to see the first-ever public execution-by-guillotine, thought that there might be difficulty in preserving order. He wrote to General Lafayette to ask for National Guardsmen to make sure the event went smoothly.

The execution took place at 3:30 pm. Pelletier was led to the scaffold wearing a red shirt. The large crowd predicted by Roederer was already waiting there, eager to see the novel invention at work. The guillotine, which was also red in colour, had been previously fully prepared, and Sanson moved quickly. Within seconds, the guillotine and Pelletier were positioned correctly, and Pelletier was decapitated.

The crowd, however, was dissatisfied with the guillotine. They felt it was too swift and “clinically effective” to provide proper entertainment, as compared to previous execution methods, such as hanging, death-by-sword, or breaking at the wheel. The public even called out “Bring back our wooden gallows!”  

Out of interest, the last person to be executed by guillotine in France was Hamida Djandoubi in 1977!!!

Last Week’s Birthdays

Renée Zellweger (52), Al Pacino (81), Gina Torres (52), Talia Shire (75), Hank Azaria (57), William Roache (89), Rory McCann (52), Aidan Gillen (53), Djimon Hounsou (57), Shirley MacLaine (87), Barbra Streisand (79), John Cena (44), Lee Majors (82), Gemma Whelan (40), John Hannah (59), John Oliver (43), Amber Heard (35), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (55), Jack Nicholson (84), Sheryl Lee (54), John Waters (75), James McAvoy (42), Toby Stephens (52), Andie MacDowell (63), Tony Danza (70), Iggy Pop (74), Queen Elizabeth II (95), Andy Serkis (57), Jessica Lange (72), Clint Howard (62), Veronica Cartwright (72), Ryan O’Neal (80), Carmen Electra (49), Ruth Connell (42), George Takei (85), Leslie Phillips (97), Nicholas Lyndhurst (60), Michael Brandon (76), Hayden Christensen (40), James Franco (43), Ashley Judd (53), Kate Hudson (42), Tim Curry (75), and Maria Sharapova (34).

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