Dead Pool 27th April 2014
Salutations my avid readers and fellow followers of death! Surprisingly, no points this week, even though the oldest man in Germany died and the oldest guy to have been verified died too, I thought you lot were better than this! I implore you all to take note of all the birthdays for last week, almost three quarters of them are ripe for the coffin, many names to keep in mind for your lists next year, and don’t be squeamish, just because you idolise them doesn’t mean you can’t list them!
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Rubin Carter, 76, American middleweight boxer wrongfully convicted of murder, subject of “Hurricane” and The Hurricane, prostate cancer.
- Gertrud Henze, 112, German supercentenarian, oldest person in Germany.
- Arturo Licata, 111, Italian supercentenarian, world’s oldest verified living man.
- Mark Shand, 62, British travel writer and conservationist, injuries sustained from a fall.
In Other News
Lets start off with a feel good story. A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart. Helen Felumlee (92), of Nashport, Ohio, died on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning. The couple’s eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart. Let’s wish the family well and hope both life-long lovers are happy in whatever afterlife they believed in.
Proving that God does have a sense of humour, a man has been crushed to death by a giant crucifix dedicated to Pope John Paul II, days before the said ex-pontiff is to be canonised. In a bizarre coincidence, the 21-year-old man was reported to have been living in a street named after Pope John XXIII, who is also going to be canonised this weekend. Perhaps God is sending a message, that mere men, no matter how pious and good they were in life, were just men. Who said religion was good for you?
French free-climber, Alain Robert, also known as the ‘French Spiderman’, climbed the Galaxy Macau Tower bare-handed on Wednesday. The climbing stunt was a part of a series of events and activities planned to promote the film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Surprisingly, Robert has never been listed on any of the Dead Pool lists, ever! One would think that a man that loves to climb buildings with his bare hands and a bag of chalk should be listed each year, but who am I to judge. If you fancy feeling a bit sick to the bottom of your stomach, Google some of his climbs.
On This Day
- 1521 – Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu.
- 1667 – The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.
- 1840 – Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, is laid by wife of Sir Charles Barry.
- 1950 – Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races.
- 1981 – Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.
- 1992 – Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
- 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese explorer (b. 1480)
- 1882 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet (b. 1803)
Thank Fuck We’re Not All Dead by KoA
There are many instances during our lifetimes that due to some fuck up we should be grateful that we are alive. Could be that your fuck up was not looking when you were crossing the street, for others the fuck up is slightly more grievous. Take for instance, if you were working at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on 26th April 1986. Yup, 28 years ago this weekend, someone had a bad day at work.
The Chernobyl disaster is the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and resulting deaths, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011). The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles. During the accident itself only 31 people died, but long-term effects such as cancers and deformities are still being accounted for.
The disaster began during a systems test, there was a sudden and unexpected power surge, and when an emergency shutdown was attempted, an exponentially larger spike in power output occurred, which led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of steam explosions. These events exposed the graphite moderator of the reactor to air, causing it to ignite. The rest is probably easier to explain by the word BOOM!
Those of us old enough to remember will recall that the resulting radioactive fallout entered the atmosphere and travelled extensively over the planet. Personally, I remember that the local lamb in Wales was off the menu for decades after, many farmers going under because their livestock was too contaminated to sell and their lands being unusable, such sanctions only recently having been lifted.
So after the area was brought under some kind of control, an area extending 30 kilometres in all directions from the plant was officially called the “zone of alienation”. It is largely uninhabited, except for about 300 residents who have refused to leave. The area has largely reverted to forest, and has been overrun by wildlife because of a lack of competition with humans for space and resources. Even today, radiation levels are so high that the workers responsible for rebuilding the sarcophagus are only allowed to work five hours a day for one month before taking 15 days of rest. Ukrainian officials estimate the area will not be safe for human life again for another 20,000 years.
So the next time you’re having a bad day at work, just think how much worse it could be!
Last Week’s Birthdays
George Takei (77), Ryan O’Neal (73), Iggy Pop (67), The Queen (88), Tony Danza (63), Jack Nicholson (77), Lee Majors (75), Glen Campbell (78), Michael Moore (60), Shirley MMacLaine (80), Barbra Streisand (72), Hank Azaria (50), Al Pacino (70), Channing Tatum (33), Renee Zellweger (45), Jessica Lange (65), Clint Howard (55), Andy Serkis (50), Carmen Electra (42), Charles Grodin (79), Andie MacDowell (56), James McAvoy (35), Charlotte Rae (88), Estelle Harris (86), John Waters (68), Sheryl Lee (47), Djimon Hounsou (50), Len Goodman (70), Bjorn Ulvaeus (69), Joan Chen (53) and Jet Li (51).
2013 League Table
Next week peeps!